What is the difference between Paap and Adharma ? Are both the same thing ? Or Are they different ?

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    it's the difference between sin (adharm) and committing a sin (paap). once you commit adharma, your paap account balance increases. if you either commit prayaschit or undergo punishment, your paap account balance decreases. paap is nothing but anger in bhagavan's heart, while punya is happiness in bhagavan's heart. His heart is the ultimate bank that keeps perfect accounts.
    – ram
    Commented May 23, 2022 at 1:51

1 Answer 1


Excerpt from Hindu Dharma , The Universal Way of Life , Pujyasri Chandrashekara Saraswati Swami

Papa(Paap) sinful action, is too-pronged in its evil power. The first incites us to wrong-doing now. The second goads us into doing evil tomorrow. For instance, if you take snuff now you snuffer now. But tomorrow also you will have the same yearning to take the same. This is what is called the vasana that comes of habit. An effort must be made not only to reduce such vasana but also cultivate the vasana of virtue by doing good deeds.

What is called dharma.It is the law governing the conduct of man. Human actions are to be inspired by dharma . the famous poet Nilakantha Diksita said: "If, even after being born a man, one does not have any sense of discrimination, it would be better for such a one to be born an animal since animals are not subject to the law that controls the senses."

We try to gain the object of our desire with no thought of right or wrong (Dharma or Adharma). when we gratify one desire, another, much worse, crops up. Are we to take it, then, that it would be better if our desires were not satisfied? - No. Unfulfilled desire causes anger, so too failure to obtain the object we hanker after. Like a rubber ball thrown against the wall such an unsatisfied desire comes back to us in the form of anger and goads us into committing sin (Paap) .

We are unable either to efface our desires or to cease from all action. It is not necessary that we should altogether stop our actions in our present immature predicament. But instead of working for our selfish ends, we ought to be engaged in such work as would bring benefits to the world as well as to our inward life. The more we are involved in such work the less we will be drawn by desire. This will to some extent keep us away from sin(Paap).

Both (pāpa) and Adharma (not dharma), is any transgression(Violation from moral principles), that is inconsistent with Dharma.

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