[72], In Rajadharmaparvan 91.34-8, the relationship between poverty and dharma reaches a full circle. English translated version by Donald R. Davis (2006): Paul Hacker, "Dharma in Hinduism", "...the order and custom which make life and a universe possible, and thus to the behaviours appropriate to the maintenance of that order". Raymond F. Piper (1954), "In Support of Altruism in Hinduism". It is, claims Van Buitenen, the pursuit and execution of one's nature and true calling, thus playing one's role in cosmic concert. It derives from a Sanskrit root word meaning 'to uphold or sustain'. Van Buitenen, "Dharma and Moksa". According to Paul Horsch,[23] the word dharma has its origin in the myths of Vedic Hinduism. Furthermore, it represents the direct connection between the individual and the societal phenomena that bind the society together. Dharma is a common thread in the Indic traditions that expands the conventional term “religion” to include ethics, spiritual path, duty, law, and cosmic order. It represents a ‘Principle’ or a ‘Quality of being’ that can be widely used in a variety of contexts to mean a variety of different ideas. For others still, they see the Dharma as referring to the "truth", or the ultimate reality of "the way that things really are" (Tibetan: Chö). Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The third source applies when neither one's education nor example exemplary conduct is known. For practising Buddhists, references to "dharma" (dhamma in Pali) particularly as "the Dharma", generally means the teachings of the Buddha, commonly known throughout the East as Buddha-Dharma. This answer has been confirmed as correct and helpful. The concept of dharma was already in use in the historical Vedic religion, and its meaning and conceptual scope has evolved over several millennia. [20], Dharma is a concept of central importance in Indian philosophy and religion. The Bhagavadgita (“Song of God”; c.... Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. The interest rates reflected on this page are as of the current date and time, and may change at any time, before or after the account is opened on Dharma. [64] Yet, other texts question the very existence of varna. For both are one. यो वै स धर्मः सत्यं वै तत् तस्मात्सत्यं वदन्तमाहुर् धर्मं वदतीति धर्मं वा वदन्तँ सत्यं वदतीत्य् एतद्ध्येवैतदुभयं भवति ।।. In its true essence, dharma means for a Hindu to "expand the mind". 204–205; For an English Translation, see Jha (1924), Bibliotheca Indica, Vol. These are forbearance, modesty, straightforwardness, purity, truthfulness, self-restraint, austerity, renunciation, non-attachment, and celibacy. 321–331. 108–123. James Fitzgerald (2004), "Dharma and its Translation in the Mahābhārata". Dharma, Sanskrit dharma, Pali dhamma, key concept with multiple meanings in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. (1962), History of Dharmasastra (Ancient and Medieval Religious and Civil Law in India), Volume 1, pp. [13][note 2] Dharma in Jainism refers to the teachings of Tirthankara (Jina)[10] and the body of doctrine pertaining to the purification and moral transformation of human beings. Figuratively, it means "sustainer" and "supporter" (of deities). Kumarila, Tantravarttika, Anandasramasamskrtagranthavalih, Vol. Thapar, R. (1995), The first millennium BC in northern India, Recent perspectives of early Indian history, 80–141. Karl H. Potter (1958), "Dharma and Mokṣa from a Conversational Point of View". [54], According to Klaus Klostermaier, 4th century Hindu scholar Vātsyāyana explained dharma by contrasting it with adharma. These Dharmasutras include instructions on education of the young, their rites of passage, customs, religious rites and rituals, marital rights and obligations, death and ancestral rites, laws and administration of justice, crimes, punishments, rules and types of evidence, duties of a king, as well as morality. [35] However, it is thought that the Daena of Zoroastrianism, also meaning the "eternal Law" or "religion", is related to Sanskrit "Dharma". [50], In Mahabharata, the other major Indian epic, similarly, dharma is central, and it is presented with symbolism and metaphors. Joel Brereton (2004), "Dharman in the RgVeda". citation in. It does not imply any specific object (living or inanimate) and thus applys to all possible objects. Yet, each of these definitions is incomplete, while the combination of these translations does not convey the total sense of the word. [43] The following verse from the Rigveda is an example where rta and dharma are linked: O Indra, lead us on the path of Rta, on the right path over all evils... Dharma is an organising principle in Hinduism that applies to human beings in solitude, in their interaction with human beings and nature, as well as between inanimate objects, to all of cosmos and its parts. The Dharma is realized through practices connected to the destruction of greed, hatred, and delusion—or, in other words, to letting go of all clinging, to peace, and to Nibbana. Dharma refers not only to the sayings of the Buddha, but also to the later traditions of interpretation and addition that the various schools of Buddhism have developed to help explain and to expand upon the Buddha's teachings. [49] Each episode of Ramayana presents life situations and ethical questions in symbolic terms. ", This page was last edited on 16 December 2020, at 16:26. a unique gift or special talent to give to others. Added 2 days ago|12/14/2020 6:52:37 PM. [83], The major Jain text, Tattvartha Sutra mentions Das-dharma with the meaning of "ten righteous virtues". In Buddhism, dharma means "cosmic law and order" Log in for more information. Omissions? In Jain philosophy, dharma, in addition to being commonly understood as moral virtue, also has the meaning—unique to Jainism—of an eternal “substance” (dravya), the medium that allows beings to move. [15] In hymns composed after the mythological verses, the word dharma takes expanded meaning as a cosmic principle and appears in verses independent of gods. Mark Harvey (1986), The Secular as Sacred?, Modern Asian Studies, 20(2), pp. Paul Horsch[23] suggests Ṛta and dharma are parallel concepts, the former being a cosmic principle, the latter being of moral social sphere; while Māyā and dharma are also correlative concepts, the former being that which corrupts law and moral life, the later being that which strengthens law and moral life.[40][42]. The ritual is connected to the cosmic, and "dharmani" is equated to ceremonial devotion to the principles that gods used to create order from disorder, the world from chaos. Hindus consider dharma the very foundation of life. Indo-European parallels for "Dharma" are known, but the only Iranian equivalent is Old Persian darmān "remedy", the meaning of which is rather removed from Indo-Aryan dhárman, suggesting that the word "Dharma" did not have a major role in the Indo-Iranian period, and was principally developed more recently under the Vedic tradition. For example, a fisherman must injure a fish, but he must attempt to do this with least trauma to fish and the fisherman must try to injure no other creature as he fishes. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/topic/dharma-religious-concept. The Mahābhārata: Book 11: The Book of the Women; Book 12: The Book of Peace, Part 1 By Johannes Adrianus Bernardus Buitenen, James L. Fitzgerald p. 124. Dharma (Hinduism) For Hindus, dharma is the moral order of the universe and a code of living that embodies the fundamental principles of law, religion, and duty that governs all reality. There is an implied discipline to remain in alignment with your unique contribution. A right believer should constantly meditate on virtues of dharma, like supreme modesty, in order to protect the soul from all contrary dispositions. In Hinduism, dharma is the religious and moral law governing individual conduct and is one of the four ends of life. The Path of Synchronicity. 3) Human law (ashrama dharma) is the natural expression and evolution of the body, mind, soul and feelings throughout the stages of life: righteousness, wealth, pleasure and liberation. [39][40] Māyā in Rig-veda and later literature means illusion, fraud, deception, magic that misleads and creates disorder,[41] thus is contrary to reality, laws and rules that establish order, predictability and harmony. The word dharma takes the meaning of "what is established or firm", and hence "law". There are various types of dharma for a Hindu. Dharma is a key concept with multiple meanings in many religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and others. For other uses, see, Key concept in Indian philosophy and Eastern religions, with multiple meanings, Dharma, life stages and social stratification. [75] The available evidence suggest India once had a large collection of dharma related literature (sutras, shastras); four of the sutras survive and these are now referred to as Dharmasutras. There is considerable amount of literature on dharma-related discussion in Hindu Epics: of Egoism versus Altruism, Individualism versus Social Virtues and Tradition; for examples, see: Klaus Klostermaier, A survey of Hinduism, SUNY Press. In Upanishads, the concept of dharma continues as universal principle of law, order, harmony, and truth. [37] Scholars of Hellenistic Greece explain eusebeia as a complex concept. Thomas R. Trautmann (1964), "On the Translation of the Term Varna". dharma is often taken to mean “religion” or “duty.” But these meanings are incomplete. Albrecht Wezler, "Dharma in the Veda and the Dharmaśāstras". In times of distress, of drought, of poverty, everything suffers including relations between human beings and the human ability to live according to dharma. Dharma is the "law of being" without which things cannot exist. In Hinduism, dharma is simultaneously the eternal order that rules the universe and the duty or law that governs one’s life. Coward, H. (2004), "Hindu bioethics for the twenty-first century". Dharma is like medicine that prevents the sufferings of the three lower realms, Buddha is the doctor who gives us this medicine, and the Sangha are the nurses who assist us. It is semantically similar to the Greek Themis ("fixed decree, statute, law").[18]. The hymns of the Rig Veda claim Brahman created the universe from chaos, they hold (dhar-) the earth and sun and stars apart, they support (dhar-) the sky away and distinct from earth, and they stabilise (dhar-) the quaking mountains and plains. Dharma is a concept in Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, and many other smaller traditions and philosphies. It is neither the act nor the result, but the natural laws that guide the act and create the result to prevent chaos in the world. [45] In terms of humanity, dharma is the need for, the effect of and essence of service and interconnectedness of all life.[25][37]. [76], In Buddhism dharma means cosmic law and order,[10][12] but is also applied to the teachings of the Buddha. Dharma is the power that maintains society, it makes the grass grow, the sun shine, and makes us moral people or rather gives humans the opportunity … "Dharma and Moksa". This rock inscription contains Greek and Aramaic text. The Sanskrit word “dharma” has joined “yoga” and “karma” in common English usage. Dhamma in Theravada Buddhism. Log in … According to Pandurang Vaman Kane, author of the authoritative book History of Dharmasastra, the word dharma appears at least fifty-six times in the hymns of the Rigveda, as an adjective or noun. [15] The ancient Tamil moral text of Tirukkural is solely based on aṟam, the Tamil term for dharma. Adharma (Sanskrit: अधर्म) is derived from combining "a" with "dharma", which literally implies "not- dharma ". The concept, claims Paul Horsch,[23] has caused exceptional difficulties for modern commentators and translators. Dharma is a word without direct translation, but implies 'religion,' 'duty,' and 'righteousness.' The Hindu worldview asserts that is one by following one's dharma, a person can eventually achieve liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth (samsara). [66] In practice, medieval India is widely believed to be a socially stratified society, with each social strata inheriting a profession and being endogamous. Bernard S. Jackson (1975), "From dharma to law". [10][12] In Buddhist philosophy, dhamma/dharma is also the term for "phenomena".[13][12]. [44] Dharma, according to Van Buitenen,[45] is that which all existing beings must accept and respect to sustain harmony and order in the world. Dharma is considered to be one of the three jewels of Buddhism, alongside sangha and buddha, together paving the path to enlightenment. B. Dharma, in these ancient texts, also takes a ritual meaning. [86][87] The use of the term dharmastikaay to mean motion and to refer to an ontological sub-category is peculiar to Jainism, and not found in the metaphysics of Buddhism and various schools of Hinduism. The general meaning of Dharma is “holding.” If someone is in danger of falling down, if someone is suffering—if there is a high cliff and someone is in danger of falling down—then the method to protect them, to hold them from that suffering is the Dharma. This is been subtly echoed by the credo धर्मो धारयति प्रजा: meaning dharma is that which holds and provides support to the social construct. [64] Most texts of Hinduism, however, discuss dharma with no mention of Varna (caste). Updates? Menu. It … [28], The antonym of dharma is adharma (Sanskrit: अधर्म),[29] meaning that which is "not dharma". [10][note 1] Hindu dharma includes the religious duties, moral rights and duties of each individual, as well as behaviours that enable social order, right conduct, and those that are virtuous. Rinehart, Robin (2014), in Pashaura Singh, Louis E. Fenech (Editors). [53] The Epics of Hinduism illustrate various aspects of dharma, they are a means of communicating dharma with metaphors. In some contemporary Indian languages and dialects it alternatively occurs as dharm. [16] The antonym of dharma is adharma. Dharma is an important concept found in many spiritual philosophies from the Indian subcontinent, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. [37][61] For example, Apastamba Dharmasutra states: Dharma and Adharma do not go around saying, "That is us." [51] The value and appeal of the Mahabharata is not as much in its complex and rushed presentation of metaphysics in the 12th book, claims Ingalls,[49] because Indian metaphysics is more eloquently presented in other Sanskrit scriptures; the appeal of Mahabharata, like Ramayana, is in its presentation of a series of moral problems and life situations, to which there are usually three answers given, according to Ingalls:[49] one answer is of Bhima, which is the answer of brute force, an individual angle representing materialism, egoism, and self; the second answer is of Yudhishthira, which is always an appeal to piety and gods, of social virtue and of tradition; the third answer is of introspective Arjuna, which falls between the two extremes, and who, claims Ingalls, symbolically reveals the finest moral qualities of man. 52. Dharma constitutes the subject matter of the Dharma-sutras, religious manuals that are the earliest source of Hindu law, and in the course of time has been extended into lengthy compilations of law, the Dharma-shastra. Derrett, J. D. M. (1959), "Bhu-bharana, bhu-palana, bhu-bhojana: an Indian conundrum", Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 22, pp. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Dharma is the moral law combined with spiritual discipline that guides one's life. Jha, Nyayasutras with Vatsyayana Bhasya, 2 vols, Oriental Books (1939). Synchronicity is a sign that the universe uses to show you that you're on … Finding your dharma can be a little more work, but once you figure it out, you can experience complete fulfillment and bliss. [52] There is extensive discussion of dharma at the individual level in the Epics of Hinduism, observes Ingalls; for example, on free will versus destiny, when and why human beings believe in either, ultimately concluding that the strong and prosperous naturally uphold free will, while those facing grief or frustration naturally lean towards destiny. In a sense, dharma could be seen as one’s lifelong task, and karma, the steps that one has to take to complete the task. Think of dharma as your vision statement that guides your responsibility and duty to the world around you. [59], The five niyamas (observances) are cleanliness by eating pure food and removing impure thoughts (such as arrogance or jealousy or pride), contentment in one's means, meditation and silent reflection regardless of circumstances one faces, study and pursuit of historic knowledge, and devotion of all actions to the Supreme Teacher to achieve perfection of concentration.[60]. Until now we have cherished ourself above all others, and for as long as we continue to do this our suffering will never end. J Ganeri (2010), A Return to the Self: Indians and Greeks on Life as Art and Philosophical Therapy, Royal Institute of Philosophy supplement, 85(66), pp. Dharma (/ˈdɑːrmə/;[7] Sanskrit: धर्म, romanized: dharma, pronounced [dʱɐrmɐ] (listen) (Pali : dhamma)) is a key concept with multiple meanings in many religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and others. English translated version by Jarrod Whitaker (2004): Horsch, Paul, "From Creation Myth to World Law: the Early History of Dharma". This development continued in the Upanishads and later ancient scripts of Hinduism. 119–135. Truly that dharma is the Truth (Satya); Therefore, when a man speaks the Truth, they say, "He speaks the Dharma"; and if he speaks Dharma, they say, "He speaks the Truth!" Steven Rosen (2006), Essential Hinduism, Praeger. At the individual level, some texts of Hinduism outline four āśramas, or stages of life as individual's dharma. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Hindus acknowledge the validity of several paths (margas) toward such release. In general, dharma in Hinduism and other traditions often refers to the law of the universe and the way of living in accordance with spiritual and religious teachings.In different traditions, these laws of the universe and teachings on ways to behave may be different. 8930, pp. [8] There is no single-word translation for dharma in Western languages. [87], For Sikhs, the word dharam (Punjabi: ਧਰਮ, romanized: dharam) means the path of righteousness and proper religious practice. In Buddhism, dharma is the doctrine, the universal truth common to all individuals at all times, proclaimed by the Buddha.

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