Plane of dharma
Dharma is whatever is right. Dharma is an ever-evolving, ever-flowing principle. Dharma is an atemporal, aspatial force working in human existence. Dharma is constant, but its form varies from situation to situation. It lives in the depths of reality. The player who finds the stream of dharma dwells in reality and becomes at one with it (at-one-ment follows atonement).
Conscious action is dharma — conscious action in accord with the reality of the moment. Learning to act consciously is learning to act in accord with the principles of the cosmos. So dharma is that action which accords with cosmic knowledge.
There are ten signposts of dharma, all of which must be present if the action is to accord with the law of dharma: firmness, forgiveness, self-command, restraint (nonstealing), cleanliness (purity), control of the sensory and work organs, intellect, right knowledge, truth, and absence of anger.
Whatever you feel is genuinely good for yourself is good for others. There is no dharma like doing good for others. There is no adharma, vice, worse than causing harm to another. Dharma can best be understood when related to conduct. Yet it is far more than a code of conduct, of morality and ethics. These are attributes of dharma but not all of dharma. Ethics is a reflection of dharma, not dharma itself.
The dharma of fire is to burn. The dharma of water is to quench. It is the dharma of water to create taste, as it is the dharma of fire to create color and form. The innate, essential nature of a thing is its dharma. And there is no escape from dharma. The moment there is a deviation the energy flows downward, drawing the player down with it. The arrows on this board are dharmas, virtues; the snakes adharmas, vices.
Though dharma exists always, beyond form, it assumes a special form for each player. It is the dharma of the player who lives in a cold climate to wear warm clothing. It is the dharma of the hungry man to take nourishment. It is the dharma of the student to meditate and partake of sadhana, spiritual discipline. It is the dharma of the child to play freely, without care for the world of the spirit. It is the dharma of the elderly to dwell in the realm of spirit. Dharma is the truth that holds all existence in proper relationship.
Dharma is the scaffolding on which is constructed the edifice of the self. As long as the building is not complete, the scaffolding holds the structure erect. The minute the building becomes self-supporting the scaffolding is removed and used for other unstable, evolving new buildings.