Question and Answer

Q. What is Dharma?

A.  My duty based on my age, caste, gender, occupation, relationships etc is Dharma. Word comes from “Dharan” to adopt or hold or live by. English equivalent “Dhere” (Adhere, adherents, generally of a religion). Anything that defines my duty can be the source of information as to what my Dharma should be.

In the social setting: following the speed limit signs is the Dharma of the driver, taking good care of family is the Dharma of parents, taking care of elderly parents is the dharma of the children, taking care of the customer in a courteous and friendly manner is the dharma of the sales clerk. When a driver breaks the speed limit he is breaking his “driver dharma”.

In the religious setting the performance of the temple rituals is the dharma of the priest, a devotee performing aarti and rituals is also dharma. Often a religion will prescribe certain codes of conduct for its followers or adherents. That is where the term Dharma becomes synonymous with Religion.