What is “Dharma”?

发布日期:2018-06-01   字体大小:   


“Dharma” in Sanskrit means “retaining one’s own nature, so that it can be recognized”. That is to say, everything has its own attributes and appearance and maintains its own properties, by which people can perceive it as what it is. For instance, water maintains its property of wetness and acts according to its fixed track, so people recognize it as water when they see it. Conversely, when something is devoid of wetness and obey different rules from water, there then can be no conception of water. Therefore, Buddhism views everything as “dhamma”. The terms “all dhammas”, “each dhamma” appearing in Buddhist canons indicate “all things” or “universal existence”. According to this interpretation, the discourses delivered by the Buddha based on his own empirical comprehension of dhammas are also “Dhamma” since they hold true to the principle of “retaining its own nature, so that it can be recognized.” (From Essentials of Buddhism: Questions and Answers)