dharma

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dharma

(där`mə). In HinduismHinduism
, Western term for the religious beliefs and practices of the vast majority of the people of India. One of the oldest living religions in the world, Hinduism is unique among the world religions in that it had no single founder but grew over a period of 4,000 years in
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, dharma is the doctrine of the religious and moral rights and duties of each individual; it generally refers to religious duty, but may also mean social order, right conduct, or simply virtue. Sacred law is the codification of dharma, and Hinduism itself is also called Sanatana Dharma [the eternal dharma]. In BuddhismBuddhism
, religion and philosophy founded in India c.525 B.C. by Siddhartha Gautama, called the Buddha. There are over 300 million Buddhists worldwide. One of the great world religions, it is divided into two main schools: the Theravada or Hinayana in Sri Lanka and SE Asia, and
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, dharma has two distinct meanings: it refers to religious truth, namely Buddhist teaching as the highest truth; it is also used as a technical term to denote a constituent element of experience, or any existing thing or phenomenon.

dharma

See CASTE.

Dharma

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

The Hindu understanding of the word "dharma" is difficult to translate. Roughly, it refers to the order of the world and the moral behavior of those in it. But that doesn't really capture its all-encompassing meaning. Hinduism is very comfortable with things that really can't be pinned down with a concise definition. After all, creation came before language, so it is only logical to think there are limitations in expression. Dharma includes all that there is, so it naturally follows that the basic concept of the word has fuzzy outer edges that can't quite be contained by scientific categories.

In Buddhism, however, the word is easier to grasp. The Buddha used the word to refer to the doctrine he taught, beginning with the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path, and the Middle Way (see Buddhism).

Dharma

 

a Sanskrit word used in the ancient and medieval literature of India to express very varied concepts, including law, religion, obligation, justice, soul, and custom. Of all these concepts, the basic one is that which refers to the group of religious, moral, social, and family obligations placed on a human being by the laws and customs of his varna and caste. The observance of these precepts supposedly secures the successful transmigration of the soul or even the freeing of the soul from the influence of karma. In Buddhist literature the word dharma meant above all the teaching of Buddha.

Dharma

multi-faceted concept of morality, truth, doctrine. [Hindu Rel.: Parrinder, 77]

dharma

1. Hinduism social custom regarded as a religious and moral duty
2. Hinduism
a. the essential principle of the cosmos; natural law
b. conduct that conforms with this
3. Buddhism ideal truth as set forth in the teaching of Buddha
References in periodicals archive ?
dharma = (1) truth (satya), that is, the admission of guilt by defendant; (2) ordeal; (3) oath
Dharma and the other three are really four feet of nirnaya (decision), which is one of the four stages of a lawsuit (vyavahara) and so only in a secondary or far-fetched sense is said to be the four padas of vyavahara.
A verdict in a doubtful case is said to be of four kinds: based on dharma, vyavahara, caritra, and king's order.
Perhaps the most ambitious interpretation in this direction is Menski's recent attempt to describe the Hindu law tradition as a system of "self-controlled ordering" that "is the first and foremost method of 'finding' dharma, i.
it is only when all the other sources are silent that the rule of dharma may be sought in the approval of one's conscience.
The last restriction, however, actually undermines Lingat's claim that atmatusti "is a source of dharma [that] does not strike us as quite properly placed here, following upon sources which possess an authority exterior to man" (ibid.
Manohar Shinde, chair of the Dharma Civilization Foundation, said he envisions the new Dharma Center at the Graduate Theological Union as a community of scholar--practitioners who will enrich discourse on contemporary issues from a dharma--centered perspective.
Thurman (1976: 95), following in Lamotte's footsteps, translates the "grasping- as a cognitive act: "Those living beings who understand correctly this teaching of the Dharma will obtain the treasury of the jewels of the Dharma.
te dharmaratnanidhanaprapta bhavisyanti, yesam ayam dharmaparyayo hastagato bhavisyati I Those who have this Dharma-discourse in their hand will obtain a precious treasure of the Dharma.
Mahayana siltras) will be deposited in the interiors of mountains, caves, and trees for bodhisattvas and mahasattvas wanting the dharma and that "endless dharma-teachings in book-form come into their hands" (dharmamukhany anantitni pustakagattini karatalagateini bhavanti).
In so doing, Bowles puts into relief an important assumption that is often made in Indological scholarship, namely that Indic discourses on particular themes are unitary, that all intellectual traditions addressing a particular topic, in this case dharma, are providing aspects of a singular, overarching Indian or Brahminical view of that topic.
With that new material, digest authors expanded hitherto minor topics in dharmasastra such as tirthayatra (pilgrimage), puja (worship), and utsava (religious festival) into major focal points for dharma study.