[Advaita-l] A question on the meaning of 'dharma''

श्रीमल्ललितालालितः lalitaalaalitah at gmail.com
Wed Dec 7 06:20:14 CST 2011

*श्रीमल्ललितालालितः <http://www.lalitaalaalitah.com>
lalitAlAlitaH <http://about.me/lalitaalaalitah/bio>*

On Mon, Dec 5, 2011 at 14:51, V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>wrote:

> The pUrva mImaamsA sutras start with 'अथातो धर्मजिज्ञासा' ।  There is the
> popular saying 'वेदमूलोयं धर्मः' ॥

OK. Both words are from different scriptures.

> It is generally understood that the
> pU.mI.shastra deals with karma enjoined in the Veda.

Correct. But, as the first sUtra says pUrva-mImAMsA is dedicated to dharma.
So, if someone says that karma is subject of pUrva-mImAMsa, he says it
knowing that karma is dharma.

> Now in the second
> quoted sentence do we strictly separate 'dharma' from the karma of the
> veda?


 Is there a real difference made between the word 'dharma' found in
> the two quotes?

No, because both are talking about dharma which is said in veda-s.

> The pU.mI. sutra also states: चोदना लक्षणो अर्थो धर्मः
> which appears to be defining the word dharma in terms of chodanaa,
> enjoining, or vidhi.

And vidhi is a type of veda-vAkya or veda.
So, it comes that pUrva-mImAMsA is talking of the dharma according to

>  Further, does the pU.mI. shastra also deal with
> 'dharma' as it is generally understood: appropriate conduct?

appropriate conduct is known as Achara. It is mainly a subject of smR^it-s,
i.e. dharmashAstra-s. And smR^iti-s go according to veda-s. To know more
about prAmANyam of smR^ti-s you may look at commentary of mAdhava on

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