What is Dharma?



Dharma listens (help·info) (Sanskrit: धर्म dhárma, Pali: धम्म dhamma; lit. that which upholds, supports or maintains the regulatory order of the universe[1]) means Law or Natural Law and is a concept of central importance in Indian philosophy and religion. As well as referring to Law in the universal or abstract sense dharma designates those behaviors considered necessary for the maintenance of the natural order of things.[2] Therefore dharma may encompass ideas such as duty[3], vocation, religion, and everything that is considered correct, proper, or decent behavior. 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 yuka, moksha, or nirvana (personal liberation). The antonym of dharma is dharma, meaning unnatural or immoral.

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 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).[4] A Hindu‘s dharma is affected by the person’s age, caste, class, occupation, and gender.[5]

In modern Indian languages, it can refer simply to a person’s religion, depending on the context. 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“.[6]

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the term in Indian religions. For other uses, see Dharma (disambiguation).
for more go to this link:     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dharma
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