A sage, seated beside the Ganges, noticed a scorpion that had fallen into the water. He reached down and rescued it, only to be stung. Some time later he looked down and sees the scorpion thrashing about in the water again. Once more he reached down to rescue it, and once more he is stung. A bystander, observing all this, exclaims, “Holy one, why do you keep doing that? Don’t you see that the wretched creature will only sting you in return?” “Of course,” the sage replied. “It is the dharma of a scorpion to sting. But it is the dharma of a human to save.”
The word dharma is almost impossible to translate into English. It can be thought of as “teachings” “sacred laws” “the essential order of things” or “the harmony of the universe.” Any way of looking at it, living life according to dharma is something we should all strive for.
I have been involved in an on-going debate about the significance of the American Constitution with my father. He is a firm believer that it is a very important great document. I do not doubt this. However, I question weather there is dharma in this law of the land? What do you think?
How might Senator John McCain’s recent remarks, “the Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation,” be part of this conversation? See