SCHOOL TIMES : Duties in a secular Nepal

I had read that Nepal is the only Hindu country in the world. But in the Parliamentary proclamation by the House of Representatives of Nepal on May 18, 2006 declared Nepal a secular state.

And I found that people were very much concerned about this word — secular. I checked the dictionary for the meaning but could not understand what it actually meant.

So I asked my father what being a secular state meant. He said a secular country is one that is not aligned to any specific religion be it Hinduism or Islam or Christianity or any other religion. He added that religion is dharma in Nepali.

So I asked him what does dharma mean?

He answered dharma is a sense of duty — one who does not accomplish his/her duty looses one’s entity and so is a not a religious person. Every being in this world has one’s own duty. For example, a student should always respect one’s teachers and elders, should be honest while doing homework, be truthful. And that student is a daughter or son and should be obedient to parents, loving to brothers and sisters and sincere to the family. This person is someone’s friend and should be loyal, loving and caring to them. And as citizen of the country, the person should be a real servant of the motherland and try to develop the country with full honesty and devotion. The person is one but duties are manifold.

I could not understand all his explanations, but I understood that if we perform our duties properly, that is dharma. I don’t see the need to get confused and be disturbed with the word secular.

I asked my father how dharma could be summarised for the people of the world? He said that real dharma is “love all, serve all, help ever, hurt never, and have faith in God, which is only one and is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient”. — Lily Pokhrel, Class VIII, Little Angels’ School