Author Topic: What is dharma more specifically?  (Read 77 times)

Offline IgnoringTheAversion

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What is dharma more specifically?
« on: May 17, 2019, 07:40:55 am »
Buddhists love using this word, almost every time i go to a buddhist service i hear it. Asking the internet it seems to refer to rules for behavior and conduct, but also seems to refer to every single thing (the theraveda interpretation here for "dhamma" since it's pali instead of sanskrit: http://www.thebuddhagarden.com/what-is-dharma.html)

Is there a clear definition or examples for this term? Are the precepts an example of "dharma"?

Offline Chaz

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Re: What is dharma more specifically?
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2019, 01:49:08 pm »
Buddhists love using this word, almost every time i go to a buddhist service i hear it. Asking the internet it seems to refer to rules for behavior and conduct, but also seems to refer to every single thing (the theraveda interpretation here for "dhamma" since it's pali instead of sanskrit: http://www.thebuddhagarden.com/what-is-dharma.html)

Is there a clear definition or examples for this term? Are the precepts an example of "dharma"?


"Dharma" (with a capital D) is generally meant to be the teachings of the Bhudda - as in "Buddhadharma".  Translated, the word means "law" and I suppose "truth", to, but a bit of a reach.

"dharma" with a lower-case "d", means phenomena.

Most people think of "Dharma" because of Jack Keroack's book "Dharma Bums" and the TV show "Dharma and Greg".
 They look at you funny if you say "Dhamma". They sometimes think you're talking about a serial murderer. Theravadins don't seem to mind and insist on the Pali.  Whatever.  :lmfao:

Offline stevie

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Re: What is dharma more specifically?
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2019, 11:48:11 pm »
Is there a clear definition or examples for this term? Are the precepts an example of "dharma"?

Dear IgnoringTheAversion,

definitions usually are clear even if there are several definitions which convey different meanings.
Since Buddha Dharma is not 'natural science' you necessarily will find different definitions within different lineages.
I guess that common to most of them is that somehow the Buddha's teachings are subsumed under 'Dharma'.

Yesterday I have come across the following:
Rong-zom-pa when etymologizing the term 'dharmakaya' wrote:
Quote
Dharma means that which is characterized by the essence of primordial awakening, being from beginningless time the spiritual disposition [of all sentient beings], and that which exists as naturally pure.
<3

I would define Buddha Dharma thus:
Quote
Dharma is the inseparability of the conventional and the unfathomable ultimate.
Since the conventional includes all that can be expressed with words and all that can be thought about the Buddha's teachings are part of the conventional aspect of Dharma - but not only a part among others: the Buddha's teachings are the inevitable framing of the conventional since only the Buddha's teachings reveal a way of life that corresponds with the unfathomable ultimate. To call conventional phenomena 'dharma' is consistent, since although conventional phenomena have conventional names they are ultimately unfathomable, inexpressible with words and inaccessible by thought. In that sense every 'dharma' is an instance of 'Dharma'.

 :anjali:
།བྷྲཱུཾ་བི་ཤྭ་བི་ཤུད་དྷེ།

Offline IgnoringTheAversion

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Re: What is dharma more specifically?
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2019, 03:29:40 pm »
This has helped clear some thinks up for me, even though you've lost me a little here stevie:




I would define Buddha Dharma thus:
Quote
Dharma is the inseparability of the conventional and the unfathomable ultimate.
Since the conventional includes all that can be expressed with words and all that can be thought about the Buddha's teachings are part of the conventional aspect of Dharma - but not only a part among others: the Buddha's teachings are the inevitable framing of the conventional since only the Buddha's teachings reveal a way of life that corresponds with the unfathomable ultimate. To call conventional phenomena 'dharma' is consistent, since although conventional phenomena have conventional names they are ultimately unfathomable, inexpressible with words and inaccessible by thought. In that sense every 'dharma' is an instance of 'Dharma'.

 :anjali:

if "Dharma" is buddha's wisdom, but "dharma" is everything (or as you call it, "conventional phenomenon"), wouldn't it be the reverse: that every instance of "Dharma" is an instance of "Dharma"

Offline VisuddhiRaptor

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Re: What is dharma more specifically?
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2019, 10:01:09 pm »
"Dharma" literally means "that which supports" or "upholds" life so life is free from problems.
Quote
The Classical Sanskrit noun dharma (धर्म) or the Prakrit Dhaṃma are a derivation from the root dhṛ, which means "to hold, maintain, keep". Hence, dharma holds one falling down or falling to hell.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dharma

Each Indian religion of a doctrine of "dharma", namely, a doctrine, view or theory about how life is best lived. The dharma of the Buddha is called "Buddha-Dhamma".

Therefore, in Buddhism, when "dhamma", dependent on context, is translated as "phenomena", "law", "truth", "teachings", "path", "practises", etc; or in India when "dharma" is most commonly understood as "duty"; all of these things are dharmas that support, uplift & maintain life so life has as least problems as possible.

My post is how "dharma" should be understood.

 :fu:
« Last Edit: May 18, 2019, 10:04:20 pm by VisuddhiRaptor »

 


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