Dharma Lakshanam

satyameva jayate nānṛtaṁ, satyena panthā vitato devayānaḥ, yenākramantyṛṣayo hyāptakāmā, yatra tat satyasya paramaṁ nidhānam - Mundaka Upanishad 3.1.6

Truth alone triumphs; not falsehood. Through truth the divine path is spread out by which the sages whose desires have been completely fulfilled, reach where that supreme treasure of Truth resides.

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The great law giver, Maharishi Manu has beautifully described Dharma as:

Dhartih ksama damo'steym sauchamindariyanigrahah.
Dhirvidya satyamakrodho dasakam dharmalaksanam.
(Manusmriti 6.92)

Maharishi Manu's above definition of Dharma(6.92) has ten characteristics, i.e., dhriti(perseverance), forgiveness(kshama), self restraint(dama), not to take possessions of others without permission(asteya), internal and external purification(shaucha), senses control(indriya nigraha), improvement of intellect(dhi), acquisition of accurate knowledge(vidya), truth(satya), abstaining from anger(akrodha). This definition of dharma which is as relevant today as it was in the past is majorly taught to kids in most of the DAV Schools and Gurukulas run by Arya Samaj. Every thing pertaining to dharma should stand the test of Veda and logic says Maharishi Manu( Manusmriti 12/106). Acharya Brihaspati says "When there is a contradiction among the Smrities, treat Manu Smriti as authentic. But it should be taken like this only, when the Manu Smriti is in consonance with the Vedas and not where it contradicts the Vedas."

( Y.K. Wadhwa )

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