from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Hinduism & Buddhism The principle or law that orders the universe.
- n. Hinduism & Buddhism Individual conduct in conformity with this principle.
- n. Hinduism & Buddhism The essential function or nature of a thing.
- n. Hinduism Individual obligation with respect to caste, social custom, civil law, and sacred law.
- n. Buddhism The body of teachings expounded by the Buddha.
- n. Buddhism Knowledge of or duty to undertake conduct set forth by the Buddha as a way to enlightenment.
- n. Buddhism One of the basic, minute elements from which all things are made.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. the principle that orders the universe; one's conduct in conformity with such a principle
- n. one's obligation in respect to one's position in society
- n. the teachings of the Buddha as one's personal path to enlightenment
- n. the teachings of the Buddha as a practice to be promulgated and taught.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Established order, usage, custom, rule, duty, virtue, right, law, etc. In Buddhism, the law; the canon. Also dhurma.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. basic principles of the cosmos; also: an ancient sage in Hindu mythology worshipped as a god by some lower castes
In both languages, they translated the term dharma with the Greek loan word nom, originally meaning “law.”
The word "dharma" has multiple meanings depending on the context in which it is used.
He looks for answers in dharma, the moral law that sustains society, the individual and the world.
The only way I can dilute the dharma is by adding one less capful of soap to a full load.
With a little “d,” dharma is all phenomena, all things.
Practice 2: Meditate upon the definition of dharma as the very essence of a thing.
Frankly, after the barest research on Wikipedia, I think the word dharma from the same cultural and religious tradition as karma addresses these matters of social and cultural determination.
The great epic, the Mahabharata, which is often called a dharma-shastra, constantly contests dharma.
In Indian philosophy, the word dharma refers to a higher truth or the ultimate reality of the universe.
In Sanskrit it is called dharma, which means “that which holds.”