Dharma is one of the central concepts of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. The original Sanskrit noun may be loosely translated to ‘the way things are’, ‘one’s duty to keep and maintain’, or ‘the inherent value of something’. However, the concept of dharma is somewhat more complex in nature. It may be summarized as the natural order of things, or those actions that maintain the natural order of the universe through the cultivation of moral principles that improve an individual and uplifts society in general.
Hindu scriptures outline ten characteristics necessary for the observance of Dharma. These are perseverance, patience, self-control, refrainment from theft, purity, control of one’s senses, reasoning, learning, truthfulness and the absence of anger. In addition to these qualities, the observance of Dharma is also dependent on the unique make-up of an individual, your personality and the way in which you conduct yourself. Every person has their own unique Dharma when you have a look at the tendencies present in all human beings.
The ten characteristics do not only determine your personality, but also your life path and the duties you must fulfill in order to observe Dharma. In addition, your own personal Dharma is also determined by the particular stage of life in which you find yourself.
The 10 most loved quotes on Dharma
“The Dharma is the truth that all natures are pure.”
― Bodhi Dharma
“Most of us are raised to believe we are ordinary. The anchor of the universe is present in every child. A parent only needs to guide and step aside and let them fulfill their dharma. Help children remember that they can do or be anything.”
― Wayne Dyer
“I just kind of understood it, and I threw my love for others and love for life into the character, and was having a blast. I loved playing Dharma. I loved it!”
― Jenna Elfman
“What I found particularly fascinating and satisfying about the Hindu tradition was its spirit of inclusiveness. In Sanatan Dharma, or what is commonly called Hinduism, I discovered the basic truths of all religions in a way that the oneness of God and religion is comprehensively understood.”
― Radhanath Swami
“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.”
― Jack Kerouac
“Not till your thoughts cease all their branching here and there, not till you abandon all thoughts of seeking for something, not till your mind is motionless as wood or stone, will you be on the right road to the Gate.”
― Huang Po
“The apple tree never asks the beech how he shall grow, nor the lion, the horse, how he shall take his prey.”
― William Blake
“This is what the path of Dharma is like. It’s not that you have to do all the practices. It is sufficient to take just one of them, whichever one you really have an affinity with, and through practicing that one alone, for the rest of your life, you will achieve enlightenment. Whichever practice you choose doesn’t matter; they are all valid methods for achieving enlightenment—if you practice. The key is to practice with diligence for the rest of your life.”
― Dhomang Yangthang
“Everyone can only succeed with their own Dharma.”
― Anni Sennov
“Dharma is not about believing in God. It’s about making the right choices, doing the right things and leading the right life.”
― Anurag Shourie
The two most important aspects of Dharma is that firstly, it is a personal duty and the observance thereof is based on your own personal experience of the world. Secondly, how your Dharma is defined is determined by your actions as opposed to where or when you were born.
In order to observe Dharma all you have to do is live your life to its fullest given your circumstances, capabilities, and stage of life whilst adhering to its ten universal characteristics which are essentially those of any decent human being who respects themselves and those around them.