Dharma

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Dharma is the principle of righteousness. It is the principle of holiness. It is also the principle of Unity. … If you protect it, it will protect you. ~ Swami Sivananda

Dharma (also Dhamma), is an Indian spiritual and religious term which signifies "the way of righteousness" and refers to one's duty or to any path of virtue; the word dharma translates as that which upholds or supports, and is sometimes translated into English as law.

See also:
Humanism
Universalism

Quotes[edit]

King Piyadasi, does not consider glory and fame to be of great account unless they are achieved through having my subjects respect Dhamma and practice Dhamma, both now and in the future. ~ Ashoka
Dhamma is good, but what constitutes Dhamma? (It includes) little evil, much good, kindness, generosity, truthfulness and purity. ~ Ashoka
Do not spend your life committing sinful deeds;
It is good for you to practice holy Dharma. ~ Milarepa
  • Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, does not consider glory and fame to be of great account unless they are achieved through having my subjects respect Dhamma and practice Dhamma, both now and in the future.
  • This progress among the people through Dhamma has been done by two means, by Dhamma regulations and by persuasion. Of these, Dhamma regulation is of little effect, while persuasion has much more effect. The Dhamma regulations I have given are that various animals must be protected. And I have given many other Dhamma regulations also. But it is by persuasion that progress among the people through Dhamma has had a greater effect in respect of harmlessness to living beings and non-killing of living beings.
    • Ashoka, in Edicts of Ashoka (c. 257 BC)
  • Once Soma, having returned from her alms round
and having eaten her meal, entered the woods to meditate.
Deep in the woods, she sat down under a tree.
The tempter Mara, desirous and capable of arousing fear, wavering and dread,
and wishing her to interrupt her focused meditation, came to her and said,
Your intent is difficult, even for the sages;
Completion cannot be reached by a woman regardless the wisdom reaped."
Then Soma thought, "Who is this speaking, human or nonhuman?
Surely it is evil Mara desiring to interrupt my focused meditation."
Knowing that it was Mara, she said,
"What does gender matter with regard to a well-composed mind,
which experiences insight in the light of the dharma?"
The evil Mara thought, "Soma knows me"
and sorrowful for the evil, instantly vanished into darkness.
  • Gautama Buddha Soma and Mara An adapation of a translation by C.A.F. Rhys-Davids
  • Where dharma prevails, there will be the rule of law and justice, and the king who follows the path of dharma is known as 'dharma raja'. Even the Machiavellian Arthashastra teaches the ideal king to "establish the rule of Dharma by commands and directives, and discipline among the people by the extension of education." The most powerful ruler or his minister could not place himself above Dharma — his subjects would immediately know his violations and chastise him.
    • Gurcharan Das, The Difficulty of Being Good : On the Subtle Art of Dharma (2010), p. 58
  • धर्मो रक्षति रक्षितः
    • Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitah
      • Dharma protected protects
        • Manusmṛti, Ch. 8, verse 15
        • Variant translation: Dharma protects those who protect Dharma.
  • Do not spend your life committing sinful deeds;
    It is good for you to practice holy Dharma.
    • Milarepa, in "Song to the Hunter" as translated in The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa: The Life-Story and Teaching of the Greatest Poet-Saint Ever to Appear in the History of Buddhism (1999) edited by Garma C. C. Chang
  • No language is perfect. There is no proper equivalent word in English for the Sanskrit term Dharma.
    Dharma is generally defined as righteousness or duty. Dharma is the principle of righteousness. It is the principle of holiness. It is also the principle of Unity.
    … If you protect it, it will protect you. It is your sole companion after death. It is the sole refuge of humanity.
    That which elevates one is Dharma. This is another definition. Dharma is that which leads you to the path of perfection and glory. Self-realisation is the highest Dharma. Dharma is the heart of Hindu ethics.
    • Swami Sivananda, as quoted in All about Hinduism (1977) by the Divine Life Society, p. 51

External links[edit]

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