Questions tagged [dharma]

Dharma (Sanskrit: धर्म ) is a key concept with multiple meanings in the Indian religions Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism.

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What are the 10 doors of the Dharma?

When I read Adi Parva about the families of the gods and how they were classified, I read that when Brahma gave ten wives to the Dharma, they were "the ten doors of the Dharma": 13 नामतॊ ...
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Why do Brahmacharis who break the vow of celibacy need to sacrifice a donkey as atonement?

From Apastamba Dharma Sutras 1.9.26.8: A [student] who has broken the vow of chastity, shall offer to Nirṛiti an ass, according to the manner of the Pāka-yajña-rites. This same Prayaschitta is ...
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How to reconcile these incendiary acts of Devaguru Bṛhaspati, in the story of Dīrghatamas (from Mahābhārata)?

In the Book 1: Adi Parva, Sambhava Parva (Section 104) of the Mahābhārata, we encounter an appalling story of sage Dīrghatamas, as narrated by Pitāmaha Bhīṣhma to Satyavatī. I'm quoting the ...
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Has the current day India become a mlecchadeśa? Is it still fit for sacrifices?

Commenting on Manusmṛti 2.23, Medhātithi says: In fact, the name ‘mlecchadeśa’ is to be taken literally, in the sense that it is ‘the country of mlecchas’; so that if mlecchas happen to conquer a ...
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What rules do Devas have to follow? Do human dharma shastras apply to them?

It is well known that Draupadi had 5 husbands. Ordinarily, this would be a huge sin for human women. However, Draupadi was an incarnation of a Deva (Devi), particulary Sachi (wife of Indra). ...
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What are the duties of Dvija-Bandhus?

According to the book "Hindu Dharma" by Sri Sri Chandrashekarendra Saraswati: If the Gayatri has not been chanted for three generations in the family of a Brahmin, its members lose caste (they ...
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Is it okay to Ignore Jananashucha from distant relative(but sapinda)

Janaashucha is the period of impurity after birth in family. Manu Smriti prescribes Janashucha for the period of 10,12,15,30 days for the four Varnas respectively A Brahmana shall be pure after ...
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What is the difference between Sati and Jauhar?

Is Jauhar the same as Sati? If not what is the difference and what is the origin of these terms?
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Were the harsher punishments laid out in smṛtis actually carried out or they merely served as a deterrent?

Were some of the harsher punishments laid out in smṛtis like the Manu actually carried out (any real examples?) or they merely served as a deterrent? From Manusmṛti: On abusing a Brāhmaṇa the ...
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Can a son perform amavasya tarpanam in place of his sick father?

Doing tarpanam (water libations) on the day of Amavasya is a well-known fact. My father was doing it very sincerely on all Amavasyas. But now, since he became very old and has health issues, he is not ...
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Did Karna think that it was adharma to not appoint Duryodhana as king of Hastinapura?

In Star Plus Mahabharata (e.g., S11 E7), it is shown again and again that Karna believed that it was adharma to not appoint Duryodhana as King/Yuvaraja (crown prince) of Hastinapura. Did Karna really ...
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When were women allowed to have multiple husbands without sin?

When were women allowed to have multiple husbands without sin? According to this answer, the Rishis permitted this practice at one point in history: King Pandu well-acquainted with all rules of ...
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What are the guidelines on child adoption?

A neighborhood couple adopted a child a while back. The main criteria they saw, was if the skin colour & general appearance of that child is matching with them, so that it looks natural to others. ...
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What are 36 kinds of weapons & tactics of the war?

In Shiv Rahasya on 11th chapters Lord Shiva giving commandments to Kaliyuga people. Here is characteristics of a King. The King shall favour peace above war. He shall not start a war without just ...
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Why was Mother Saraswati so unfair with KumbhaKarna?

We all know the story that to stop KumbhaKarna from asking boon from Brahma, all Gods eulogized Saraswati to enter KumbhaKarna's mouth to ask- "I may sleep for years". And Mother Saraswati did it! ...
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Can a non-virgin woman marry? If yes, how?

Non-virgin women are excluded from marital rites with its Agni-hotra, etc. pāṇigrahaṇikā mantrāḥ kanyāsveva pratiṣṭhitāḥ | nākanyāsu kva cinnṝṇāṃ luptadharmakriyā hi tāḥ || 226 || The marriage-...
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Between japa yajna and yuga dharma which is to be followed and to what extent?

Japa or repeating mantras, shlokas, Bhagavan’s names, etc is in fact a form of yajna supposed to be highly effective as per the Puranas and Agamas. In fact even the dharmashastra, Manusmriti is in ...
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What is the difference between the role of Lord Shani and Lord Yama?

We know from various scriptures that Lord Yamaraja gives us the results of our karma (either good or bad) when we die. But at the same time, it is said that Lord Shani is 'Karmafala Daata' and gives ...
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Is "Democracy" naturally in accordance of "Dharma" (righteousness)?

"Democracy" was not famous until last few centuries. Famous political system till then was "Dynastic". i.e. the dynasty was not only prevalent among the ruler clan (i.e. Kshatriya), but also ...
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What is the relation between Niti , Nyaya and Dharma?

Ruling Lands of great Kings are said to be complete in Niti , Nyaya and Dharma without any decline. While solving problems, these three must be there in judgement and one must only live considering ...
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Why there should be degradation of dharma with the change in the yuga?

It a well known fact that there are four ages satya, treta, dwapara and kali. But why there is a demarcation in the ages, one explanation is that there is decline of dharma. The dharma stands on ...
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Who are Upa Brahmins?

Came across this verse in Jatibhaskar By Jwala Misra.It mentions Kayasthan as one of the types of Upabrahmins,who were Upbrahmins ? And who does this Kayasthan refer to ?
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The case of Infertility and Dharma

As per the Baudhayana Dharmasutra (BD)  A man who ejaculates his semen in any place other than the vagina becomes equal to a thief and to a murderer of a Brahmin. [BD 3.7] AND also The Gautama ...
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Any relationship between the Three Guṇas (गुण) and the three Ayurvedic Doshas ( दोषः)?

In Hinduism (Sanātan Dharma) the number - "three",.occurs in many instances The Trimurtis - Brahmā, Vishnu and Mahesh (त्रिमूर्ति - ब्रह्मा, विष्णु और महेश ), the Three (Guṇas) Qualities - ...
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Is getting promotion using influence dharma or adharma?

In offices, people may often resort to lobbying and using influence to get a promotion in their jobs. Will this practice be considered as adharma or dharma?
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Do Kshatriyas have to abide by the Dharmic rules of engagement when fighting enemies who do not abide by the same rules of engagement in battle?

Kshatriya dharma has certain rules of engagement in battle. For example: Manu 7.90 - While fighting his enemies in battle, he shall hot strike with concealed weapons; nor with arrows that are ...
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Is it the dharma of Rakshasas to be evil?

I remember Ravana being berated for being adharmic (fighting while rendering himself invisible, if i recall right) and he says thats the way Rakshasas behave. Is Rakshasa Dharma described anywhere?
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Are there instances in Hinduism where Dharma is cited to both support and oppose an act?

For example - the killing of Duryodhana is condemned by Baladeva and celestial beings showered flowers on the fatally wounded Duryodhana when he chastised Krishna for his acts of treachery throughout ...
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How to identify the person who asks for Dana deserve or not?

I saw Is it adharma to give Dana without considering what we are giving and to whom we are giving? But When we give Dana to some person, how to find that person deserved dana or not? Some looks like ...
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How is the ritual of Vratyastoma performed?

Vratyastoma, is a ritual performed by Vratyas (people who have failed to perform Upanayana in time) to readmit themselves to the fold of Varnashrama Dharma. Many Westerners who convert into Hinduism ...
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What is/are the punishment(s) for corruption?

Corruption is a dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery. More particularly, Bribery is a specific offence which concerns the practice of offering something, ...
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Is Marriage with desire considered to be adharma?

Marriage should be made in Love by the couples towards each other. Marriages are also conducted with Desires like Beauty,Money,Physical Strength,etc,.... Material desires are not considered to be a ...
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What is the story behind Karna and the Two golden Mountains?

There is story in other sites and many people say this story of Karna and the two golden mountains This story is about Karna and Arjuna giving dana of the two golden mountains and the story concept ...
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Who do I bow down to the feet and who to the hand?

Every time I see a person from my Father's family, my parents ask me to bow down to their feet. However, when I see someone like my 'mama' (mother's brother) or an unrelated elder person I have to bow ...
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Forgotten culture from centuries

Many people want to follow their culture as their ancestor was following centuries back. But unfortunately they are not having enough knowledge about this, so they are forced to neglect and start ...
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What is meant by 'scarifying whole earth for oneself'?

It is always rational to sacrifice a smaller group for the sake of a larger group if both groups are irreconcilable. The same idea is present in the scriptures. For the sake of a family a member may ...
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Closure of temples

Generally temples are closed during the afternoon. Can anybody enumerate the reasons why they are done so ? Quotes from our Dharmashastras, if any would be welcome.
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What are the 18 Smritis and what is the story behind having 18?

Just the way there are 18 Puranas, there are said to be 18 Smritis too. However unlike the list of the Puranas the lists of the 18 Smritis are inconsistent. One list can be found here. There are some ...
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How to explore Hindu texts

I am really eager to explore hindu texts for multitude of reasons. But, most of them are in sanskrit and I don't know the language. Hindi is my mothertongue, so I am confortable with devnagari but ...
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Is there any scriptural opposition to humane animal slaughter?

Note that I'm not talking about general ethics - I mean only from a religious scriptural perspective. To give you full context on why I have this question: Because cow slaughter is banned in many ...
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To what extent should a Hindu follow the rules of a country with a Non-Hindu majority?

To what extent should a Hindu follow the rules of a country (with a Non-Hindu majority) and where is the limit when a Hindu has to protest or to disobey? Also, which rights of the Hindu religion ...
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Are there different kinds of killing?

Scriptures say "vadha" for the killing of bad entities. There is capital punishment, homicide, slaughtering animals for sacrifice etc. Are there different terms for all these forms of ...
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What should the praja (citizens) do if their ruler is adharmic?

Are they suppose to endure it ? Or they should collude with a dharmic king to overthrow him ? While there were quite a few evil kings - from Ravana to Kamsa, I am unsure of their behavior towards ...
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Did Rama and Ravana agree to rules of war, as was done in the Mahabharata?

I think Ravana says Rakshasas don't have dharmic rules of war. Did Ravana's side fight adharmically all the time, or did they show fair play on occasion? Was destroying Indrajit's Yagna to prevent ...
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Is Krishna-Kali (a combined form of Krishna and Kali, worshipped in West Bengal) male or female?

It is NOT like Ardhanarishvara, which shows the left-side being Shiva, and the right being Parvati. Instead, Krishna-Kali is just one form, resembling both Kali and Krishna, without any indication of ...
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Are all Gods and Goddesses omnipresent?

NOTE: I am not just talking about Krishna, but all Devatās. Most answers here tend to be Vaishnava-centric, and only cite examples involving Krishna or Vishnu.
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As per the scriptures, can an adult son retain his Hindu religious identity if his parents were to convert to a different religion?

This is not a legal question but need an answer from the scriptural perspective
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Can one have no dharma?

How can dharma be determined, what if this is not apparent? Is there a possibility for a being to exist without any particular dharma?
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Why did Sri Rama say that it is not possible to obtain fame and glory by conciliation even though the time period was treta yuga?

When ocean was not yielding to Sri Rama's request for 3 days , Sri Rama said the following to Laxmana "O, Lakshmana! In this world, it is not possible to obtain fame, glory or victory at the end of ...
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HOW can morality be a part of karma when societal rules change from culture to culture?

Within sanatan dharma we consider karma to be universal ... but there are differences in the social rules between differing cultures on our planet. So how can this description of karma be accurate? I ...
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