Definitions for dharmaˈdɑr mə, ˈdʌr-
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word dharma
basic principles of the cosmos; also: an ancient sage in Hindu mythology worshipped as a god by some lower castes;
the principle that orders the universe; one's conduct in conformity with such a principle
one's obligation in respect to one's position in society
the teachings of the Buddha as one's personal path to enlightenment
the teachings of the Buddha as a practice to be promulgated and taught.
Dharma is the Law that "upholds, supports or maintains the regulatory order of the universe". Dharma has the Sanskrit root -dhri, which means "that without which nothing can stand" or "that which maintains the stability and harmony of the universe." In Abrahamic religions only the believe in a certain teachings is sufficient to allow a follower to be enlisted as a member of that religion. Whereas in Dharmic religions certain obligations must be fulfilled to be considered part of the religion. Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism all have the idea of dharma at their core. In Buddhism and Hinduism it points to the purification and moral transformation of human beings. Though differing in some particulars, they concur that the goal of human life is liberation whether this salvation be in the form moksha or nirvana. In Sikhism self liberation is not the goal rather the aim of a Sikh devotee is to be detached from the world and attached to the Guru's feet. Dharma is not the same as religion, every entity in the cosmos has its particular dharma -- from the electron, which has the dharma to move in a certain manner, to the clouds, galaxies, plants, insects, and of course, man. Man's understanding of the dharma of inanimate things is what we now call physics.
The Nuttall Encyclopedia
the name given to the law of Buddha, as distinct from the Sangha, which is the Church.
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