WHY DHARMA NILAYAM
The nomenclature of Dharma Nilayam is inspired by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba whose universal message of Truth, Righteousness, Peace and Love transcends all barriers of creed, color, caste and cult. In a general sense Dharma is interpreted as a theistic system of faith and worship professed by an individual or groups of individuals comprising a clan, race or sect. Religion and Dharma are often mistaken as synonymous. There are also those who believe dharma to be liturgical incantations, rituals and sacerdotal rites, which the scriptures belonging to every faith are replete with. Such definitions limit the all-encompassing and expansive nature of dharma. To quote the ancient scriptures of the land, Dharma is what contains everything within its infinite bounds - dhaarayateitidharmah. The scriptures also declare - dharmo rakshati rakshitah - those who abide by Dharma are protected by Dharma.
Saints and teachers galore appeared at different parts of the world to foster and teach the essential norms of dharma whenever man, blinded by ignorance disregarded his symbiosis with nature and transgressed the universal law of creation resulting in wanton blunders. Unfortunately their teachings were misread by most of the people who looked upon them as founders of a new religions paving the way for proliferation of bigoted and chauvinistic religious schools. While puny little men, prattling and prancing, bellowing and trumpeting, believing themselves to be mighty and immortal, revel in the cozy and transient comforts of relative attainments, even trying to create surrogate gods and religions, the eternal wheel of dharma continues to twirl ceaselessly upon the fulcrum of life's longing for liberation.
Dharma therefore transcends all the finite and parochial definitions coined by man so far. Dharma is the eternal principle that governs and sustains the entire creation - sanatanasya dharma iti sanatana dharma. Be it the Sermon on the Mount ; the teachings of pratityasamutpaada or the Prajnaparamita; the Zend Avastha, the Quran or the entire gamut of Vedic tradition - all are emblematic of man's quest for Being through Becoming. When Sri Krishna asked Arjuna in the battlefield to give up all the dharma and take refuge in Him alone by doing which he would be absolved of all sins and worries, what was implied was surrendering the sense of becoming. One must relinquish the sense of ego-clad individuality, the taints and stains of many isms, and the variegated brands and apparels that conceal the stark reality of every individual. Dharma therefore is much more than an ism. Dharma is duty. Dharma is Nature, as much as heat is to fire and wetness and fluidity to water.
The wounds that nature has sustained in the wanton ways of man in his utter disregard for Dharma will not be healed unless he abides by his alignment with Truth, Righteousness, Peace and Love - the corner stones of his true nature. The world today needs sanctuaries or abodes where these lofty values are upheld and worshipped. Such an abode can only be denominated by the word Nilayam. Its a resort where every lost wayfarer finds his refuge. Its a lighthouse that inspires people from afar across the turbulence of raging waves lending them strength, courage and right direction.
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba while interacting with university students in Puttaparthi said it most succinctly - " Let every heart be a temple, every home a place of worship and every region a sanctuary that fosters Love".
Dharma Nilayam is envisaged to be that sanctuary of Love that will sanctify not only the North Eastern Himalayan Region of the Country but the entire World at large. Dharma Nilayam in Sikkim will stand tall to enable people to realize the true meaning of Dharma and to adhere to the norms of Dharma, find their spiritual moorings and innate bliss.