dharma

(redirected from Dharmas)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.

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
..... Click the link for more information.
, 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
..... Click the link for more information.
, 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 ?
This reformulation clarifies the intention of the classification, namely that these pertain to the verdict, which is only one step of the judicial process, even though it leaves the three ambiguous terms of the first line, dharma, vyavahara, and caritra, untouched and needing explanation.
Of these, dharma rests on truth, (3) vyavahara on witnesses, caritra on what is recorded in books, and decree is king's order.
Thus, dharma is when the verdict is based either on an ordeal or on the admission of guilt by the defendant.
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.
The remaining dharma texts either do not explicitly list the sources or give only the standard three found in the Dharmasutras.
I will now present several (and certainly most) of the Dharmasastra commentarial explanations of atmatusti as a source of dharma in Sanskrit and in English translation.
My favorite chapter of the book looks at the stories of Rama and Yudhisthira as two dharma biographies.
The climax of the book, if there is one, is the chapter on dharma and bhakti.
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).
Those who have made devoted prayers, in the future, the latter times, will obtain in their hands (mdo 'di lag tu 'thob pa) this sutra which was spoken by the king of dharma.
Dharma is important to the Ramayana and Mahabharata, too, but are or were they really dharmasastra, even including the at-best-fragmentary dharmasastra-style books of the Mahabharata?
Those differences are presented as tensions in a unitary view of dharma, rather than as fundamental disagreements about what dharma is, how one knows it, and how one does it.