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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1answer
332 views

Why shave hair after parents die?

Recently, a cousin of mine lost his father. Before conducting a ritual for the well being of his father's soul, he had to shave all his hair except for a bit at the back (choti). Why did he have to do ...
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Are Nishkama karma and Purusharthas opposed to each other?

Nishkama karma means desireless action, whereas, purushartha is all about desires and goals. Aren't these two opposed to each other? Which one should we follow?
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Scriptural source for the Subhāṣita that says 'treat others' wives as your mother'

The other day I was listening to a discourse on Rāmāyaṇa ‡ where the speaker points out that although it is very simple for anyone to say सत्यं वद । धर्मं चर ॥ § (Speak truth, follow dharma.), but ...
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Which Smṛtis or dharma śāstras give a brāhmaṇa the adhikāra to fast unto death to collect his debt?

For many Hindus, The Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa has become a way of life. But for Rāma himself it is the Śruti and Smṛti that have guided every step and every move of his life. One instance where the Smṛtis ...
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Is invincibility in a battle dharma or adharma?

Background: Many warriors like Bhishma, Indrajit, etc., had boons which made them invincible in a battle. Even Karna had Kavacha and Kundalas which made him invincible (or almost immortal) in any ...
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Do we take rebirth if we help others?

Lord Krishna told us to surrender to him and do our duties for him and not for dharma and adharma and if we do it (for dharma or adharma) we will take rebirth to take the effects of good deed or bad ...
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Difference between Danam and Dharma?

What is the difference between danam and dharma I cannot find out the difference in any of the scriptures as Karna is called the dana warrior and Yudhishthira is called of dharma Can anyone help me.......
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Which scriptures deal with rules for widows?

Widows are not allowed to wear colour sarees and are not allowed to participate in functions, they are also prohibited from touching certain plants. What is the exact reason behind this and can ...
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1answer
185 views

Is it not obligatory for a householder to try begetting children? [duplicate]

I know that a similar topic has been discussed in the link below, but my position is different. Is it necessary for one to have children? I know that this can be a very subjective topic, and ...
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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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726 views

Are Hindu children meant to serve their parents forever whether they like them or not?

Do children need parents' permission to live away from them? What if parents are just bad apples, should children continue to serve their needs? What do the shastras say? After marriage, did ...
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What exactly is a leela (लीला)? Is there a scriptural definition of leela (लीला)?

When people cannot logically explain certain actions of Gods, their incarnations, Saints, Ṛṣis etc., they often use the term leela which is sometimes spelled as līlā and lIlA. I think the word ...
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Immorality of the gods

Something that puzzles me is that many stories about the gods show that the gods exhibited immoral behavior sometimes. For example, Indra had sex with wives of Rishis. So, what exactly do the gods ...
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What is the meaning of 'adhikāra' in Hinduism? And who decides if someone has the 'adhikāra' to do or not to do something?

Often you hear Hindus saying or asking: "You are only 10. You don't have the adhikāra to speak on this topic." "You don't have the adhikāra to participate in this debate." "Who gave you the adhikāra ...
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What is the view of Hinduism on “speaking lie” or “hiding things” among spouses? [duplicate]

Relationship between husband & wife relies on trust. Does Hinduism permit anyone of them (husband or wife), to hide things in any situation? (e.g. if speaking "truth" is detrimental/damaging)
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When should one shift focus from artha and kama to dharma?

The Kama Sutra seems to state that early in life, it is best to focus on artha and kama, and that only later in life should we truly seek dharma. Is this interpretation correct? Is it useless to seek ...
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Can a married woman take out her Mangala Sutra and keep it anywhere?

I have seen many of our sisters and mothers wear the Mangala Sutra. The question Why do brides wear a mangal sutra? answers why they wear it in the first place. But my question is: Nowadays we see ...
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What is dharma as per Karna?

What is the definition of dharma as per Karna? I read somewhere that actions that weakens the soul is not dharma. Can anyone cite some reference on the same.
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Kalidasa on good and bad people

Kalidasa supposedly wrote this verse in the poem Megadootam. मनस्येकं वचस्येकं कर्मण्येकं दुरात्मनाम् | मनस्येकं वचस्येकं कर्मण्येकं महात्मनाम् || manasyEkam vachasyEkam karmaNyEkam ...
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Dharma Shastras on Black Money, Corruption and paying Interest

What does dharma shastras say about Black Money and Corruption In India giving Bribery is a common act one has to go through it one day or the other. If one has given Bribe is he doing Adharma, if ...
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Does one gain pāpa or puṇya by remaining neutral in a moral crisis?

I came across this quote today and am wondering what the Hindu scriptures have to say about this. Does one gain pāpa or puṇya by remaining neutral during a moral crisis? The darkest places in hell ...
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Did Yudhishthira lie more than once?

From the childhood I was knowing that Yudhishthira had lied just once at the time of Guru Drona Vadha and that was also the half truth half lie. But recently, I came to know that Yudhishthira had also ...
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What do scriptures say about using swear or abusive words for cursing people?

I am asking this question from a modern perspective. Do we consider the use of abusive words as "Vaani Hinsa"? Is there any punishment for this and also does it affect our deeds (karma)? And also ...
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Did Swami Vivekananda eat fish and meat before he turned a sannyasi? Did he continue eating fish and meat after?

Did Swami Vivekananda eat fish and meat before he turned a sannyasi? Did he continue eating fish and meat after? What were his views on consumption of vegetarian or non-vegetarian food? PS. Please ...
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261 views

What is the source of the Sanskrit śloka that lists the four corner-stones of dharma?

Vedah Smritah Sadaachaarah Svasyacha priyamaatmanah, Etad chaturvidham praahuh saakshaat Dharmasya lakshanam The four corner-stones of Dharma are Veda, Smriti, Sadaachaara and above all, ...
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How is “Patriotism” seen from the Hindu Dharma perspective?

Are there any scriptures (Dharma Shastra-s) or Hindu saints who have talked about patriotism? Related: This post discusses specific to Kshatriya class, Martyr concept in Hinduism
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Is Dharma is equal to Religion? [duplicate]

This is a bit confusing. Sometimes public use dharma in the same sense as the English word religion. But as per Wikipedia entry for Dharma: There is no single word translation for dharma in ...
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270 views

What is the legend of the Bāhudā river?

How did the Bāhudā river near Kanipakam, Andhra Pradesh, India get its name? Is there a story behind it? Is the river mentioned in any of the scriptures?
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What are the instructions by our scriptures on how to win a chaste wife with integrity?

I am looking to get married in the next few years and would like to know where in our scriptures it is written how to win a chaste wife. I want to stress not the victory of winning a chaste wife, but ...
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Is Euthanasia considered morally right?

Is Euthanasia considered morally right? Is it acceptable under certain conditions, for example, if a person is in extreme pain?
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On use of contraceptive methods and enjoying sex-life without being kandarpa

Kandarpa is a person who only uses his sexual power to beget good children from his dharmapatni or wife. So for being a kandarpa, a person can only have sexual contact with his wife for having ...
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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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What is the exact dharma to be followed in case of a marriage outside the caste or religion? [duplicate]

What exactly does the dharma say in the tricky circumstances or situation where a brahmin community girl loves and willing to marry a non-brahmin hindu/non-religion boy. What Dharma is to be ...
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What is the significance of “ Vratas” ( व्रत ) In Hinduism?

What is the significance of "Vratas (व्रत )" described in Hinduism. e.g. "Haritalika (हरितालिका)" , "Rushi Panchami (ऋषि पंचमी) etc. Are there any scriptures pointing towards importance of "vratas" ...
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Where does Vyasa say this shlokha in the Mahabharata?

In which parva and in what context does Vyasa say the following shlokha in the Mahabharata? You can listen to it here: https://clyp.it/bqm01ao5, I tried transliterating it as below. yasmin ...
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Why fight against adharma if everything is already planned?

If one knows that what has to happen will happen, by the will of Supreme, then why do we protect our dharma? We do not control the results (fruits). By the will of Supreme, if dharma has to stay, it ...
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What is Dharma according to Veda or Upanishad?

I know that the question asked before What is dharma? but the question and answer shows what Dharma is according to Bhagavad Gita. I am interested in the explanation of Dharma according to shruti. So,...
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How is Rukmi's killing by Balarama justified?

The slaying of Rukmi by Lord Balarama is described in Srimad Bhagavatam, Harivamsa and Vishnu Purana. This page gives a comparative study of all three texts as to how they differ in the details of ...
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Merits vs. Good Karma vs. Acting out of Anger

Is Merit different from Good Karma? Is repeatedly doing a meritorious act called Good Karma? Somewhere I read that one drop of acid ruins a good and tasty soup. In the same way once person a got ...
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534 views

Why was Widow re-marriage not tolerated in South India?

Widows had their head shaved and forced into seclusion in South. Why??
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Why did Arjuna kill Takshak's wife?

Takshaka was king of Nagas and at the time of Mahabharata was fighting against Pandava, but why and how did Arjuna killed the innocent wife of Takshaka. How is it righteous to kill a woman according ...
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242 views

Precedence among the four Purushartha

Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha are considered as the four goals of life according to Hinduism. One might argue that Moksha is the highest amongst all four. In the remaining three - Dharma, Artha and ...
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What do Hindu scriptures say about the relationship between religion and politics?

It is believed that in ancient times, the Rishis and the Gurus used to guide the kings regarding how to run the kingdom. Nowadays, we see many countries have a separation of the government and the ...
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Celibacy - Methods proposed by scriptures for a student

Celibacy is considered as one of the greatest virtues of a student seeking knowledge. What are the methods proposed by Hindu scriptures, by which a student can keep his/her celibacy or practice of ...
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What portion of his earnings should a son contribute to support his parents?

Questions: According to Hindu scripture or shastras, what portion of his earnings should a son contribute, to the parents or family? Does this amount vary if the son is married vs. unmarried?
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Why did Karna choose not to fight on the side of the Dharma?

I have not 'read' the Mahabharata yet, but the Hindi poem Rashmirathi by Ramdhari Singh Dinkar narrates how Shri Krishna tried to convince Karna to get on the side of the Pandavas. Yet, Karna chose to ...
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What is difference between Neeti and Dharma

Vidura was known as Neetijnya in english one who has knowledge of Neeti. Neeti word Derives from the word Naitikta in sanskrit, which in english is similar to Morality(proof). Since he was the wise ...
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Does Geeta advocate the execution of one's dharma according to the varna system?

Does Geeta advocate the execution of one's dharma according to the varna system?
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How do the scriptures describe an ideal Sanyasi?

This page describes some of the Dharmas that a "Sanyasi" has to follow. For example, a Sanyasi: Should always have a dhanda (bamboo staff) and kamandulu (used for abulations made of wood). If ...
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Duryodhana becoming undefeatable

At the end of the Kurukshetra war, Duryodhana was undefeatable during the fight with Bheema. Bheema was able to defeat him by hitting on his thigh, that was against the rules of the war. The ...

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