Dharma is a concept which refers to the idea of a principle or a law administering the entire universe. In different Indian religions like Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism, and others, Dharma has its own meaning and significance.
Buddhism, the fourth largest religion in the world has over 520 million followers, known as Buddhists. Started by Siddhartha Gautama, who was born in Nepal between 563- 480 BC, this teaching was based on seeking Nirvana, which is the highest state and the end of human suffering and pain.
In Buddhism, Dharma is one of the most common terms used. It includes several forms of Dharma like the Eternal, Phenomenon, Path, and teachings.
Dharma in Buddhism
Dharma (in Sanskrit) or Dhamma (in Pali), Buddha (The historical Buddha) and Sangha (the monastic community in Asia) are the triple gem (Triratna) of Buddhism. The word “Dharma” is often defined as “the teachings of the Lord Buddha”, however, it is more than just a Buddhist doctrine. In some references, Dharma is also known as cosmic law and order or term for “phenomena”.
Dharma refers both to the teachings of Buddhism and the nature of reality. In Buddhism, the dharma offers both a practical path and vision of transformation. It is a methodology than the ideology which includes a set of practices for the transformation of the world and ourselves. The Buddha taught that every moment is an opportunity to become more aware, generous and loving.
Basics of Buddhism – The Four Noble Truths
- There is suffering.
- The suffering originates from craving.
- There is a way to attain the end of suffering.
- Noble Eightfold Path is the way to the end of suffering
These four noble truths must be accepted and realized to move on to the next stage of life. This is also known as the lesser vehicle of Buddhism.
According to the Buddha’s proclamation, in Buddhism ‘dharma’ is a universal truth common to everyone at all times. One of the simplest ways to follow Buddhism is through meditation, ethics, and wisdom. The Buddhist practice not only ethics inspired, but through meditation, individuals can cultivate compassion and awareness, which lead to complete wisdom.
Summary: Dharma in Buddhism means moral law that guides one’s life if combined with spiritual discipline. However, it is also applied to the teachings of the Lord Buddha. As per the Buddhism philosophy, the dharma offers both a practical path and vision of transformation.