Meaning: noun: Dharma or dharam, religious observance or practice; duty; righteousness, right behaviour; eternal law of the cosmos; religion, etc.
ਜੋ ਤੁਧੁ ਭਾਵੈ ਸੋ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਕਰਮਾ॥ ਜੋ ਤੁਧੁ ਭਾਵੈ ਸੋ ਸਚੁ ਧਰਮਾ॥
jo tudh bhaavai so nirmal karmaa.
jo tudh bhaavai so sach dharmaa
(O Divine!) Whatever pleases You is pure karma, and whatever pleases You is true dharma
Guru Arjan Sahib, Guru Granth Sahib, 180
Message: In Hinduism, dharma or dharm generally refers to somebody’s duty to behave according to religious and social codes. Or it’s good points or merits earned by performing such good and appropriate duties.
Commonly we see people performing various religious rites at places of worship. Are these good deeds or merely external performances of rituals?
The verse tells us that we need to be vigilant all the time and perform only those deeds that are pleasing to the Creator. What else can the Creator expect from His creation and creatures than for us to lead our lives righteously and truthfully?
Actions and deeds performed with the intention of improving the living conditions of His creation and leaving this world a better place are noble and correct.
Excellence, bliss, purity and peace lie not in mere empty rituals that inflate the ego. Rather, the path to inner peace lies in practising rightful conduct, good behaviour and attitude.
Let us endeavour to always be guided and motivated to lead such a way of life!
Etymology: From Sanskrit dharma or dharm (custom, duty; righteousness, morality, virtue; law, etc.), ultimately from Indo-European root dhar (to hold firmly or support).