dhar·ma (därmə, dûr-)
1. Hinduism & Buddhism
a. The principle or law that orders the universe.
b. Individual conduct in conformity with this principle.
c. The essential function or nature of a thing.
2. Hinduism Individual obligation with respect to caste, social custom, civil law, and sacred law.
a. The body of teachings expounded by the Buddha.
b. Knowledge of or duty to undertake conduct set forth by the Buddha as a way to enlightenment.
c. One of the basic, minute elements from which all things are made.
[Sanskrit dharmaḥ, statute, law; see dher- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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