Freedom to Choose a Personal Path (Svadharma)
In most dharmic traditions, each individual has a unique ‘svadharma’ (personal dharma) or purpose in this world. This is based on his or her ‘svabhava’ (character) as shaped by past karma and gunas and on the context or circumstances of the person’s life. Buddhists have the notion of’upaya’ (skilful means), which becomes the basis for mutual respect between those who are different. In the Jain tradition, principles of relative and multiple perspectives of truth, combined with the inherent uncertainty in knowledge, serve as protection against dogmas and universal absolutes. All of this demonstrates that dharmic spiritual practices are diverse, eclectic, and adaptable by communities, families, and individuals, and for specific circumstances.