Vol: 68   No: 19

May 15, 2022

Recalling Dharma

B. L. Razdan

The present-day human society is in turmoil. Instead of creating a civilisation which provides happiness, contentment and fulfilment of human aspirations, an indifferent, intolerant and unhappy society has come into being. The main reason for this is that we are loath to follow the path of dharma, which is the very core of Hindu philosophy. All other principles and values flow from this beautiful fountain of dharma. It is regarded as the highest virtue in our polity even as its precise meaning continues to baffle scholars. The comprehensiveness and all-pervasive nature of the term does

not permit it to be narrowed down to a definition. Used in different senses, dharma stands for nature, intrinsic quality, civil and moral laws, justice, virtue, merit, duty, and even morality.
The word ‘dharma’ (धर्म) has been derived from the root ‘dhru (धृ)’. ‘धरति लोकान् ध्रियते पुण्यात्मभिः इति वा धर्मः।’ meaning ‘Dharma is that which sustains the people or that which is adopted by meritorious souls.’ There is no accurate translation of the word into English but we may have a glimpse of its vast scope by translating dharma as right action, right conduct, virtue, moral law, etc. Every form of life, every group of people has its

Bhavan's Journal May 15, 2022∎ 34

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