Article

Dharma

Alf Hiltebeitel

in Hinduism

ISBN: 9780195399318
Published online January 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195399318-0001
Dharma

Preview

Dharma is a term distinctive to South Asian civilization. It is a concept that dictates appropriate behaviors necessary to maintain the order and customs of life. In a rough approximation of its major connotations, dharma is translated as righteousness, law, justice, duty, and virtue, though it has other meanings as well. It is considered a matter of subtlety and profundity by both Hindus and Buddhists and so is widely considered to be untranslatable in any uniform way. This article focuses on dharma as contextualized in history, and on four disciplinary discussions in South Asian studies in which the term dharma has been pivotal: law, religion, narrative literature, and ethics. The emphasis will be on Brahmanical/Hindu usages but will also touch on Buddhist ones.

Article.  13412 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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