Fascinating Facts about Dharma

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The word Dharma encompasses a wide range of meanings but is generally associated with Buddhism. Its etymological origin is traced back to Sanskrit and primarily means ‘to support’ something. In general, Dharma implies faith or religion while, in association with Buddhism, the world can be used to imply the cultivation of knowledge, practicing the laws of nature the even the personality of human beings.

Below written are some facts about Dharma.

  • In Hinduism, Dharma stands for the religious and moral law that govern all individuals and their conduct throughout life. Hindu laws are to be followed by the people belonging to Hinduism and the earliest sources of these Hindu laws can be found in the Dharmashastra.

  • The doctrine of universal truth that was preached by Buddha is what represents Dharma in Buddhist faith.

  • The concept of Dharma also exists in Jain philosophy, in which dharma is considered to be a form of moral virtue.

  • According to the teachings propagated in Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism, any person who lives his life in accordance with Dharma will be able to attain freedom of the soul meaning ‘œmoksha’ or ‘œnirvana’ (personal liberation).

  • Dharma also stands for “phenomenon” in Buddhism.

  • In Hinduism, the Bhagavad Gita and the Manu Dharmasmriti propagate and expound the meaning of Dharma in great detail.

  • If translated to English, Dharma can stand for many meanings including justice, obligation, order, duty, law, religion, ethics, righteousness etc.

  • Buddhists are meant to adhere to five main principles of Dharma throughout their lifetime which include not killing, stealing, lying, taking intoxicants or engaging in sexual misconduct. Their teachings also include Ahimsa or non-violence, listening and understanding of good and evil, and gaining of wisdom to realise the truth.

  • Hinduism primarily focuses on the four truths about life, of which Dharma is one. These include Dharma, reincarnation, karma, and all-pervasive divinity.

  • The Vedas says that dharma is most rewarding while neglecting it could bring about the downfall of an individual.

  • The Dharma Chakra is an integral part of Buddhist history and culture. It stands to represent the geometric representations of the universe.

  • The Dharma Chakra has 8 spokes of the wheel and each of them stands for the laws of the Eightfold Path that can help a human achieve nirvana. The 8 spokes represent Right Intention, Right View, Right Speech, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, Right Concentration, Right Action and Right Livelihood.

  • The Eightfold path as preached in Buddhism is a middle way of Dharma or way of living which creates a balance between the excessive worldliness on the one hand and excessive asceticism on the other.

  • The Way of the Wheel also refers to Dharma and is the Turning of the Wheel is believed to be Buddha’s first teaching. Hence the Dharma Chakra is a central symbol to Buddhism.

  • The 4th century Hindu Philosopher Vatsayana had explained the meaning of Dharma in comparison to Adharma pointing out all those activities that one must not engage in.

Therefore, one may conclude that Dharma is those natural and moral laws that bind humans together in harmony for peaceful co-existence. Abiding by the laws of Dharma can help one achieve closeness with God; this is the inherent way of nature’s law.

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