Questioner: What isswa-dharma? TheVaishnavreligion tells us to remain inswa-dharmaand not to go topardharma.
Dadashri: Our people have not understood the word swa-dharma at all. They think swa-dharmais the Vaishnavreligion and par-dharmais all other religions such as Shaivism, Jainism etc. Lord Krishna said, “Par-dharma bhayavaha,” People understood this to mean, ‘There is danger in practicing any religion other than the Vaishnavreligion.’ All the other religions too say that par-dharma means there is danger in other religions, but no one understands the true meaning of swadharmaor par-dharma. Par-dharma means dharmaof the non-self, the body complex, prakruti, and swa-dharmais the dharmaof the Self. Washing and bathing the body, making it fast etc., are all religions of the body; it is par-dharma. There is no swa-dharmain that. The Self is your natural state (swaroop). Lord Krishna had said, “The religion of the Self is swa-dharmaand any other activities such as fasting or penance are activities of the non-self. There is nothing of the Self in them.”