Key concept in Indian philosophy and Eastern religions, with multiple meanings / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dharma (/ˈdɑːrmə/;[7] Sanskrit: धर्म, romanized: dharma, pronounced [dʱɐrmɐ] (listen); Pali: dhamma) is a key concept with multiple meanings in Indian religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and others.[8] Although there is no direct single-word translation for dharma in European languages,[9] it is commonly translated as "righteousness", "merit" or "religious and moral duties" governing individual conduct.[10][11]

Rituals and rites of passage[1]
Yoga, personal behaviour[2]
Virtues such as ahimsa (non-violence)[3]
Law and justice[4]
Sannyasa and stages of life[5]
Duties, such as learning from teachers[6]

In Hinduism, dharma is one of the four components of the Puruṣārtha, the aims of life, and signifies behaviours that are considered to be in accord with Ṛta, the order that makes life and universe possible.[12][note 1] It includes duties, rights, laws, conduct, virtues and "right way of living".[13]

In Buddhism, dharma means "cosmic law and order",[12][14] as expressed by the teachings of the Buddha.[12][14] In Buddhist philosophy, dhamma/dharma is also the term for "phenomena".[15][note 2]

Dharma in Jainism refers to the teachings of Tirthankara (Jina)[12] and the body of doctrine pertaining to the purification and moral transformation of human beings.

In Sikhism, dharma means the path of righteousness and proper religious practice and one's own moral duties toward God.[16]

The concept of dharma was already in use in the historical Vedic religion, and its meaning and conceptual scope has evolved over several millennia.[17] The ancient Tamil moral text Tirukkuṟaḷ, despite being a collection of aphoristic teachings on dharma (aram), artha (porul), and kama (inpam),[18]:453[19]:82 is completely and exclusively based on aṟam, the Tamil term for dharma.[20]:55 As with the other components of the Puruṣārtha, the concept of dharma is pan-Indian. The antonym of dharma is adharma.