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 (där′mə, dûr′-)
1. Hinduism & Buddhism
a. The principle or law that orders the universe.
b. Individual conduct in conformity with this principle.
c. The essential function or nature of a thing.
2. Hinduism Individual obligation with respect to caste, social custom, civil law, and sacred law.
3. Buddhism
a. The body of teachings expounded by the Buddha.
b. Knowledge of or duty to undertake conduct set forth by the Buddha as a way to enlightenment.
c. One of the basic, minute elements from which all things are made.

[Sanskrit dharmaḥ, statute, law; see dher- in Indo-European roots.]

dhar′mic adj.


1. (Hinduism) Hinduism social custom regarded as a religious and moral duty
2. (Hinduism) Hinduism
a. the essential principle of the cosmos; natural law
b. conduct that conforms with this
3. (Buddhism) Buddhism ideal truth as set forth in the teaching of Buddha
[Sanskrit: habit, usage, law, from dhārayati he holds]


(ˈdɑr mə, ˈdʌr-)

1. (in Hinduism and Buddhism)
a. conformity to religious law, custom, duty, or to one's own character.
b. the essential nature of the universe or one's own character.
2. the doctrine or teaching of the Buddha.
[1790–1800; < Skt: custom, duty, akin to dhārayati holds, maintains]
dhar′mic, adj.


1. Saving truth. The Buddha’s message of how to overcome suffering.
2. Moral and religious duty, or the right way of living.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.dharma - basic principles of the cosmosDharma - basic principles of the cosmos; also: an ancient sage in Hindu mythology worshipped as a god by some lower castes;
Hindu deity - a deity worshipped by the Hindus
References in periodicals archive ?
Citing high religious significance of the festival, Jinvani will introduce a number of Apart from that, Jinvani will also present a series of special packages based on Dus Dharmas of Jain religion (ten virtues: Uttam kshama, Mardav, Aarjav, Satya, Shaucha, Samyam, Tap, Tyag, Aakinchinya and Brahmacharya) exclusively for the occasion.
dharmas ca vyavaharas ca caritram rajasasanam I catuspad vyavaharo 'yam uttarah purvabadhakah II
dharmas ca vyavaharas ca caritram rajasasanam I vivadarthas catuspadah pascimah purvabadhakah II
smrti [the root of establishing] the dharmas of class and order of life, etc.
As Kumarila (bhattapadah) states, "Thus the authority of atmatusti is established for the accomplishment of dharma for those whose selves are refined by the glory of the many Vedic dharmas.
While scholars have long recognized that dharma is a concept used in many different contexts by many distinct authors and traditions, understanding its semantic diversity, its conceptual evolution, and its cultural significance has been something perpetually to place in the desiderata box.
Hiltebeitel's case for the complexity of dharma in early India is the most compelling argument of the book and a lesson from which we could all learn.
For the first time in its 52-year history, the Graduate Theological Union will offer a dedicated curriculum in Hinduism, beginning this fall, as the initial step toward establishment of a Center for Dharma Studies.
Shiva Bajpai, founding president of the Dharma Civilization Foundation, said his organization's agreement with the Graduate Theological Union "ensures that Hinduism and other Indic religious and philosophical traditions are taught in the United States at a major theological center by scholars who are also dedicated to their faith.
I will claim that Indian Buddhist cultural understandings of textual discourses resulted in individual and group domestic worship of texts, the veneration of copies of satras owned by dharmabharyikas, and the veneration of dharmabhatzakas as Buddhas who embodied the dharma texts that they recited.
Dharmaparyiiya is translated by Burnouf (1852: 714) as "discours religieux," by Hurvitz (1976: 119, 372-73) as "Dharma-circuit," by Zimmermann (2002: 144) as "Dharma discourse," by Nattier (2003: 260, 319-30) as "Dharma-text," by Skilling (2009: 63) as "turn of the teaching," and by von Hinither (2012: 60) as "exposition of the Dharma.
Dharma, Disorder and the Political in Ancient India: The Apaddharmaparvan of the Mahabharata.