Dharma

About this sound Dharma (Sanskrit: धर्म dhárma, Pali: धम्म dhamma; lit. that which upholds or supports) means Law or Natural Law (as in the natural order of things) and is a concept of central importance in Indian philosophy and religion. In the context of Hinduism, it refers to one's personal obligations, calling and duties,[1] and a Hindu's dharma is affected by the person's age, caste, class, occupation, and gender.[2] In modern Indian languages it can refer simply to a person's religion, depending on the context.

The idea of dharma as duty or propriety derives from an idea found in India's ancient legal and religious texts that there is a divinely instituted natural order of things (rta) and justice, social harmony and human happiness require that human beings discern and live in a manner appropriate to the requirements of that order. According to the various Indian religions, such as Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism, beings that live in accordance with dharma proceed more quickly toward dharma yukam, moksha or nirvana (personal liberation). See Dharma (Buddhism).

In traditional Hindu society, dharma has historically denoted a variety of ideas, such as Vedic ritual, ethical conduct, caste rules, and civil and criminal law. Its most common meaning however pertains to two principal ideals: that social life should be structured through well-defined and well-regulated classes (varna), and that an individual's life within a class should be organized into defined stages (ashrama, see dharmasastra).[3]

The antonym of dharma is adharma meaning unnatural or immoral.

Dharma also refers to the teachings and doctrines of the founders of Buddhism and Jainism, the Buddha and Mahavira. In Buddhist philosophy, dhamma/dharma is also the term for "phenomenon".[4]

Contents

Etymology

In the Rigveda, the word appears as an n-stem, dhárman-, with a range of meanings encompassing "something established or firm" (in the literal sense of prods or poles), figuratively "sustainer, supporter" (of deities), and semantically similar to the Greek ethos ("fixed decree, statute, law"). In Classical Sanskrit, the noun becomes thematic, dharma-.

It is a derivation from Proto-Indo-Iranian root *dhar- ("to fasten, to support, to hold"), in turn reflecting Proto-Indo-European root *dʰer- ("to hold"),[5] which in Sanskrit is reflected as class-1 root √dhṛ. Etymologically it is related to Avestan √dar- ("to hold"), Old Persian Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dharma — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Para otros usos de este término, véase Dharma (desambiguación). Dharma (en alfabeto devanagari धर्म) es una palabra sánscrita que significa ‘ley natural’ o ‘realidad’. Se utiliza en casi todas las doctrinas y… …   Wikipedia Español

  • DHARMA — Le mot sanskrit dharma désigne la «disposition» normale de toutes choses (de la racine Dh face= EU Domacr 句 , soutenir), ou l’Ordre, la Norme. La forme la plus ancienne du mot, la forme védique, est dharmán , la forme classique dharma , en moyen… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • dharma —    Dharma is a complex and multifaceted term in Hindu tradition. It can be translated as “religious law,” “right conduct,” “duty,” and “social order.” Its root, dhri, means “to hold up.”    The social concept of dharma emerges from the VEDIC… …   Encyclopedia of Hinduism

  • Dharma — es una palabra sánscrita que significa las cosas como son . El Dharma se dividió para su mejor comprenión en las llamadas Tres Cestas. ● Sutras (enseñanzas del Buda mismo); ● Vinayas (reglas monásticas proporcionadas por Buda); y ● Abhidharma… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Dharma — prop. n. (Hinduism) the basic principles of the cosmos; also: an ancient sage in Hindu mythology worshipped as a god by some lower castes;. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Dharma — (Relgesch.), so v.w. Darma …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • dharma — 1796, in secular sense, caste custom, right behavior; in Buddhism and Hinduism, moral law, from Skt., law, right, justice, related to dharayati holds, and cognate with L. firmus, all from PIE root *dher (2) to hold firmly, support (see FIRM (Cf.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • dharma — dhàrma (izg. dàrma) ž DEFINICIJA fil. rel. ključni koncept nekih religija 1. u hinduizmu vjerski i moralni zakon o ponašanju pojedinca i jedna od četiri svrhe življenja, treba ga slijediti u skladu s kastom, statusom i mjestom u životu 2. u… …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • dharma — ► NOUN ▪ (in Indian religion) the eternal law of the cosmos. ORIGIN Sanskrit, decree or custom …   English terms dictionary

  • dharma — [där′mə, dʉr′mə] n. [Sans, law, custom < IE base * dher , to hold, support > L firmus, OHG tarnen, to conceal] Hinduism Buddhism 1. cosmic order or law, including the natural and moral principles that apply to all beings and things 2.… …   English World dictionary

  • Dharma — Rad des Dharma (Museum Guimet, Paris) Dharma ist ein zentraler Begriff sowohl im Hinduismus als auch im Buddhismus, der religionsabhängig unterschiedliche Bedeutungen hat. Dharma (Sanskrit, m., धर्म, dharma; Pali: Dhamma) beinhaltet Gesetz, Recht …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”