Dharma vs. Dhamma

By Jaxson

  • Dharma

    Dharma (; Sanskrit: धर्म, translit. dharma, pronounced [dʱɐɽmɐ] (listen); Pali: धम्म, translit. dhamma, translit. dhamma) is a key concept with multiple meanings in Indian religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and others. There is no single-word translation for dharma in Western languages.In Hinduism, dharma signifies behaviors that are considered to be in accord with Ṛta, the order that makes life and universe possible, and includes duties, rights, laws, conduct, virtues and “right way of living”. In Buddhism, dharma means “cosmic law and order”, and is also applied to the teachings of Buddha. In Buddhist philosophy, dhamma/dharma is also the term for “phenomena”. Dharma in Jainism refers to the teachings of tirthankara (Jina) and the body of doctrine pertaining to the purification and moral transformation of human beings. For Sikhs, the word dharm means the path of righteousness and proper religious practice.The word dharma was already in use in the historical Vedic religion, and its meaning and conceptual scope has evolved over several millennia. The ancient Tamil moral text of Tirukkural is solely based on aṟam, the Tamil term for dharma. The antonym of dharma is adharma.

  • Dharma (noun)

    The natural order of the universe; natural law, cosmic order.


  • Dharma (noun)

    One’s obligation in respect to one’s position in society, one’s duty.

  • Dharma (noun)

    The teachings of the Buddha as one’s personal path to enlightenment.

  • Dharma (noun)

    The teachings of the Buddha as a practice to be promulgated and taught.

  • Dhamma (noun)

    The teachings of Buddha

  • Dharma (noun)

    (in Indian religion) the eternal and inherent nature of reality, regarded in Hinduism as a cosmic law underlying right behaviour and social order.

  • Dharma (noun)

    (in Buddhism) the nature of reality regarded as a universal truth taught by the Buddha; the teaching of Buddhism.

  • Dharma (noun)

    an aspect of truth or reality

    “all dharmas are forms of emptiness”

Oxford Dictionary

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