[INDOLOGY] dharma in Rg Veda

Philipp Maas philipp.a.maas at gmail.com
Fri Oct 4 12:57:18 UTC 2013

I would recommend as a starting point for further research the chapter
"Dharma in the Self-Understanding of Traditional Hinduism" by W. Halbfass
in his* India and Europe. An Eassay in Philosophical Understanding*. Delhi:
Motilal Banarsidass, 1990, p.310-333, which highlights historical
continuities as well as breaks in the use of the words *dharman *and *dharma
*in pre-modern brahmanical circles of South Asia.

Philipp Maas

2013/10/4 Dominik Wujastyk <wujastyk at gmail.com>

> I think you would find the Wikipedia entry on Dharma<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dharma>would answer your question.
> References to words in the RV can be easily had by fetching the text from
> GRETIL or elsewhere, and just searching.  But that's not enough.  Meanings
> arise only from sentences.  So you have to read and understand the
> sentences and think about the meanings.  For example, the use and meaning
> of the word "dharma" in the RV is very different from "dharma" in the
> dharmaśāstras.
> There is important scholarship from Olivelle, developed over recent years,
> that suggests that the development of the Brāhmaṇa dharmaśāstra literatures
> is a direct response to the challenge of the Buddha's use of dhamma as a
> key term on which to  hang his teaching.  Pre-Buddhist uses of the word are
> not prominent, ideologically speaking.
>> ​Dominik Wujastyk​
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Dr. Philipp A. Maas
Institut für Südasien-, Tibet- und Buddhismuskunde
Universität Wien
Spitalgasse 2-4, Hof 2, Eingang 2.1
A-1090 Wien

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