What is the Dhamma?

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ShanYin
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What is the Dhamma?

Post by ShanYin »

What is the Dharma? I have heard that the Dharma is a universal principle. What is this principle?

Does Dhamma mean the same thing?
SarathW
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Re: What is the Dhamma?

Post by SarathW »

Dhamma means what is arising in the mind, according to Theravada.
Dhamma also called Cetasikas in Abhidhamma.
In a broader sense all the Rupa, Citta, Cetasika, and Nibbana also considered Dhamma as per Abhidhamma.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... l#cetasika
Last edited by SarathW on Fri Sep 11, 2020 12:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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SteRo
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Re: What is the Dhamma?

Post by SteRo »

dhamma: lit. the 'bearer', constitution (or nature of a thing), norm, law (jus), doctrine; justice, righteousness; quality; thing, object of mind (s. āyatana) 'phenomenon'. In all these meanings the word 'dhamma' is to be met with in the texts. The Com. to D. instances 4 applications of this term guna (quality, virtue), desanā (instruction), pariyatti (text), nijjīvatā (soullessness, e.g. "all dhammā, phenomena, are impersonal," etc.). The Com. to Dhs. has hetu (condition) instead of desanā. Thus, the analytical knowledge of the law (s. patisambhidā) is explained in Vis.M XIV. and in Vibh. as hetumhi-ñāna, knowledge of the conditions.

The Dhamma, as the liberating law discovered and proclaimed by the Buddha, is summed up in the 4 Noble Truths (s. sacca). It forms one of the 3 Gems (ti-ratana, q.v.) and one of the 10 recollections (anussati q.v.).

Dhamma, as object of mind (dhammāyatana, s. āyatana) may be anything past, present or future, corporeal or mental, conditioned or not (cf. sankhāra, 4), real or imaginary.
https://www.dhammatalks.net/Buddhist.Di ... dic3_d.htm

dharma is sanskrit, dhamma is pali
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santa100
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Re: What is the Dhamma?

Post by santa100 »

ShanYin wrote:What is the Dharma? I have heard that the Dharma is a universal principle. What is this principle?
Refer to Pali Dict for its various different meanings.
simsapa
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Re: What is the Dhamma?

Post by simsapa »

Refraining from all that is detrimental,
The attainment of what is wholesome,
The purification of one's mind:
This is the instruction of the Awakened Ones.
-Dhammapada, v.183

Forbearing patience is the highest austerity;
Nibbana is supreme, the Awakened Ones say.
One who has gone forth is not one who hurts another,
No harasser of others is a recluse.
-Dhammapada, v.184

And a less literal translation of v.183:

Refrain from doing evil,
cultivate that which is good,
purify the heart.
This is the Way of the Awakened Ones.
ShanYin
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Re: What is the Dhamma?

Post by ShanYin »

In my thoughts the idea of "cultivating that which is good" gets me stuck on the cultivate part.

My understanding of the eightfold path is that one should prevent unwholesome qualities and arise in the mind wholesome states in a nutshell and let go of unwholesome states that have arisen and perfect (or cultivate) wholesome qualities that have already arisen.

So, I think I understand it a bit in the context of the eightfold path.
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DooDoot
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Re: What is the Dhamma?

Post by DooDoot »

ShanYin wrote: Fri Sep 11, 2020 12:14 pm What is the Dharma? I have heard that the Dharma is a universal principle. What is this principle?

Does Dhamma mean the same thing?
No. Not literally.

Dhamma literally mean the "bearer" or the "supporter" or "sustainer".

Universal principles or natural laws ('niyama') are just one supporter of a peaceful life. There are other supporters of a peaceful life, such as practising.

The word "dhamma" only has one meaning yet the types of dhamma are myriad (such as phenomena, nature, principles, laws, wisdom, practise, duty, results of practise, etc).
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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Pulsar
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Re: What is the Dhamma?

Post by Pulsar »

ShanYin wrote
What is the Dharma? I have heard that the Dharma is a universal principle. What is this principle?
Dharma or Dhamma is the doctrine, The Four Noble truths, and Dependent Origination. Yes it is a universal principle as taught by Buddha.
'Does Dharma/Dhamma mean the same thing?' you asked. Yes of course, Dhamma does not vary. However one must pay attention to the wording, meaning is there a capital? Dhamma spelt
Dhamma/Dharma is the doctrine.
When the word is
dhamma/dharma
it means how things are experienced, our experiences, or it is also called phenomena by some scholars.
This of course vary as you can see. Experiences of the world varies for an individual. Individuals create their own dhammas.
With love :candle:
Padipa
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Re: What is the Dhamma?

Post by Padipa »

ShanYin wrote: Fri Sep 11, 2020 12:14 pm What is the Dharma? I have heard that the Dharma is a universal principle. What is this principle?

Does Dhamma mean the same thing?
Dhamma is probably the most difficult term to translate into English; it is of multitudes. It is constructed from the Sansrkit verb root "Dha," which means "to hold." The etymology points to "Dhamma" as "that which holds the world together." Based on this, we can accept many meanings which, at least partly, point to the Dhamma.
simsapa
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Re: What is the Dhamma?

Post by simsapa »

My understanding of the eightfold path is that one should prevent unwholesome qualities and arise in the mind wholesome states in a nutshell and let go of unwholesome states that have arisen and perfect (or cultivate) wholesome qualities that have already arisen. So, I think I understand it a bit in the context of the eightfold path.
Yes. You're not stuck. This is it.
ShanYin
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Re: What is the Dhamma?

Post by ShanYin »

simsapa wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:02 pm
My understanding of the eightfold path is that one should prevent unwholesome qualities and arise in the mind wholesome states in a nutshell and let go of unwholesome states that have arisen and perfect (or cultivate) wholesome qualities that have already arisen. So, I think I understand it a bit in the context of the eightfold path.
Yes. You're not stuck. This is it.
And that's right effort?
simsapa
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Re: What is the Dhamma?

Post by simsapa »

And that's right effort?
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dha ... index.html

Also see Bhikkhu Bodhi's book on the Noble Eightfold Path.
Last edited by simsapa on Wed Sep 23, 2020 5:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Bundokji
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Re: What is the Dhamma?

Post by Bundokji »

A similar question was raised on a different forum. I hope you find some of the answers there beneficial and relevant

https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/wh ... amma/17285
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.
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