DHARMA AND ITS ROLE IN HINDU LAW AND POLITICS
The concept of Dharma, is rooted in Indian History since its civilization. Literally translated it stands for “that which holds”. It is deemed to be the law that holds the people in the world and the creation. It is considered as the “law of being” without which existence is impossible. It is very difficult to determine the precise meaning of the term.
The concept of Dharma lacks any exact definition despite being a prominent feature of the Indian Civilization, Culture and History. The word dharma is sui generis, in that there is no equivalent translation of it in any other language, nor can it be precisely defined within the scope of a sentence. The word brings with it a wide variety…show more content… In M.B. Shanti, it is stated that things such as truthfulness, freedom from anger, spreading of one’s personal wealth procreation only from one’s wife, purity of the sole, lack of enmity and hatred, straightforwardness and independence are the nine most basic features of dharma. Manu further adds that ahimsa (non-violence), Asteya (not indulging in thieving of the property of others), shouchan (purity of mind and body) and Indriyanigraha (Control of the six senses) are the aspects of dharma that apply to all the varnas. Every act that was in contravention of the fundamental tenets stated above was called adharma and considered to be against the interests of both the individual and the society…show more content… The Manu Smriti says that a King must behave as impartial as mother earth and must uphold the principle of equality for all. Moreover Atrisamhita sums up the functions of the King into these five categories: punishment of criminals, reward to the honest, delivering of justice through unbiased means, enhancement of the finances of the state through just and equitable methods and ensuring that the state and the subjects are safe. Narada smriti goes on to say that the principles of secularism and tolerance must be of utmost importance among the King’s priorities.
The difference between just dharma and Rajadharma is that while the former draw its validity primarily from the Vedas, the latter gets its legitimacy from other sources as well. Dharma is an embodiment of action and the consequence of that action. Vyavahara, which is a part of rajadharma, is something which is siddha, and does not require the rituals. Secondly, rituals, their procedures, and the fruits can be known from the Vedas, but not through ordinary means of knowledge. However, the process of vyavahara can be known through practical