Dharma & Greg

Dharma & Greg is an American television sitcom that aired from September 24, 1997, to April 30, 2002.

The show starred Jenna Elfman and Thomas Gibson as Dharma and Greg Montgomery, a couple who married on their first date despite being polar opposites. The series was co-produced by Chuck Lorre Productions, More-Medavoy Productions and 4 to 6 Foot Productions in association with 20th Century Fox Television for ABC. The show's theme song was written and performed by composer Dennis C. Brown.

Created by executive producers Dottie Dartland and Chuck Lorre, the comedy took much of its inspiration from culture-clash "fish out of water" situations.[1] The show earned eight Golden Globe nominations, six Emmy Award nominations, and six Satellite Awards nominations.[2] Elfman earned a Golden Globe in 1999 for Best Actress.

Dharma & Greg
Created by
Opening theme"Dharma & Greg" by Dennis C. Brown
Ending theme"Dharma & Greg"
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes119 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running timeest. 22 minutes
Production company(s)Chuck Lorre Productions
More-Medavoy Productions
4 to 6 Foot Productions
(seasons 1–2)
20th Century Fox Television
Distributor20th Television
Original networkABC
Original releaseSeptember 24, 1997 –
April 30, 2002

Show summary

Free-spirited yoga instructor/dog walker Dharma Finkelstein and straight-laced lawyer Greg Montgomery marry on their first date despite being complete opposites. Their conflicting views lead to comical situations. Ivy League Greg was raised by wealthy, conservative parents. After graduation from Harvard and Stanford, he went to work with the U.S. Attorney's Office as a federal prosecutor in San Francisco. He then meets Dharma, who was raised by hippie parents. They fall in love immediately and elope. Despite being totally different, their parents eventually learn to tolerate each other.



  • Jenna Elfman as Dharma Freedom Montgomery, née Finkelstein, Greg's wife and a flower child. She is overly cheerful and sensitive, but she is also more compassionate and forgiving than most people. Despite her trust in the goodness of people and persistent good intentions, Dharma is not naive. She understands the real world, employs sarcasm and receives it well. Dharma perseveres in expressing her personality and her identity even in the face of an overwhelmingly opposing world. Dharma encourages Greg to seek happiness rather than fret about practical issues like money. She is named after the concept of dharma in Indian philosophy. A Native American friend of her father gave her the name "Crazy Man's Daughter". She addresses both of her parents by their first names. According to Chuck Lorre's eleventh vanity card (see below), he and Dottie Dartland originally conceived Dharma & Greg as "a series revolving around a woman whose personality is not a neurotic product of societal and parental conditioning, but of her own free-flowing, compassionate mind".
  • Thomas Gibson as lawyer Gregory Clifford "Greg" Montgomery, Dharma's husband. He is an upright, uptight, decent, though sometimes surprisingly open-minded man. Greg grew up in a conservative Republican family. Greg's life was hopelessly banal before he met Dharma and married her on their first date. Since then, he has played straight man to the antics of his eccentric wife. Though his relationship with Dharma has been rocky at times, Greg has never been shown to regret their marriage. He is an alumnus of elite schools, Phillips Exeter Academy, Harvard University, and Stanford Law School.
  • Susan Sullivan as Katherine "Kitty" Montgomery, Greg's extravagant mother. In the beginning of the first season Kitty was generally represented as a manipulative, controlling woman who only had higher aspirations for her son. As an elite socialite, Kitty was initially quite displeased to have Dharma and her parents join the family, but over the course of the series, Kitty broadens her limited country club world to become part of a larger family, becoming a major part of Dharma's life, while remaining lovingly manipulative. Despite their vast differences, she recognizes Dharma's place in their family's life, once telling her "We both know you're not the girl I would have picked for Greg. What matters is that you are the girl that Greg did pick."
  • Mitchell Ryan as Edward Montgomery, Greg's eccentric father. His philosophy for dealing with his wife, Kitty, involves remaining as uninvolved as possible. Head of Montgomery Industries (though he keeps working only because he can see little tugboats out the window) and at odds with Dharma's father, who calls him "Ed" and whom he calls "Finkelstein" in the English custom of gentry's addressing manservants by their last names alone. Edward is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, of which he is fiercely proud, and partially resents Greg for considering Notre Dame to not be "good enough" for him. Ed is often seen drinking martinis and Scotch.
  • Mimi Kennedy as Abigail Kathleen "Abby" O'Neil, Dharma's free-spirited, caring mother, who encourages her daughter and son-in-law to produce children: "Feel free to have sex anywhere." Although they have a grown daughter and later a son, she and Dharma's father are not married. She and Larry were engaged and held the wedding ceremony but still did not marry to "stay under the radar". Unlike her "lifemate" Larry, she immediately accepted Greg, though she still constantly annoys and conflicts with his parents. She is a militant vegan, which is a never-ending source of trouble. During her pregnancy in season 4, however, she did make exceptions because of her food cravings. It was mentioned in Invasion of the Buddy Snatcher that she has a degree in ornithological psychology from Berkeley.
  • Alan Rachins as Myron Lawrence "Larry" Finkelstein, Dharma's "hippie" father. He is a stereotypical sixties radical who frequently rants about various conspiracies, a lot of which revolve around Richard Nixon. He also thinks he's wanted by the FBI, but when Greg discovers he's not, his family goes to great lengths to prove to him that he still is because this is a source of great pride to him. Despite this, he manages to get along with Edward, often when both are sick of dealing with their wives. He homeschooled Dharma in American history, passing on his conspiracy theories, such as the latest Apollo mission secretly burying the missing minutes of the Watergate tapes on the moon. It is often alluded to that Larry is a chronic user of marijuana, though never shown. In the season 4 episode Mother Daughter Reunion, Dharma mentions that Larry has a resistance against most drugs after frequent use. In the pilot episode Abby introduces his usual cluelessness with "he blew out his short term memory back in 1972". He sometimes becomes a "pothead savant" and reveals skills such as his talent for carpentry and his music.
  • Shae D'Lyn as Jane Deaux, Dharma's friend. She considers all men more or less evil; over the course of the show, her hair went from black, to red, to blonde. She is Canadian and married Pete Cavanaugh in Season 2, and made an attempt to divorce him after six weeks. They eventually divorced in the premiere of the fourth season. She and Dharma met when Dharma dialed a wrong number. D'Lyn left at the end of the fourth season, though she had guest appearances in three episodes in season five.
  • Joel Murray as Peter James "Pete" Cavanaugh, Greg's friend and colleague at the Justice Department. A particularly bad, lazy lawyer, he was married to Jane for a time. His entire life can be summed up by the interior of his apartment: a massage chair surrounded by empty take-out containers, next to which is a small refrigerator and a stack of porno tapes. A high-class entertainment center is in front of this. It is said he wears adult diapers to football games. Greg once said of his friend: "Pete went to law school in Barbados; he failed the Bar eight times. The last time because he threw up on the exam." In season 1, he mentions that he worked as a plumber's assistant during college. Pete marries Jane in the second season because neither of them wants to be alone on Valentine's Day.
  • Helen Greenberg as Marcie, one of Dharma's Co-Op friends; nasal-voiced receptionist, whose vocabulary primarily consists of the words "I'm sorry". Greenberg joined the main cast in season five; she also played a different character in the episode "Drop Dead Gorgeous".
  • Susan Chuang as Susan Wong, one of Dharma's friends from the Co-Op, she is seen as Marcie's counterpart. Susan also pulls a "Dharma & Greg" with a lawyer, Darrell Gottlieb, hired by Kitty in a community garden spat (her wedding, along with Dharma's accident, was the Season 4 finale). Chuang joined the main cast in season five; she also played a different character in the episode "Looking for the Goodbars".


  • Lillian Hurst as Celia: Kitty and Edward's Hispanic maid. She is given constant support from Larry, who views her as "oppressed". When Kitty and Edward are out of town, Celia and her family move into the Montgomerys' mansion and invite their friends over, pretending it is their house.
  • Yeardley Smith as Marlene: Greg's legal secretary whom he fired and then re-hired. She is snide, rude, and a bad secretary in general, though a better "lawyer" than Pete.
  • Floyd Westerman as George: an elderly Native American, who came to live with Dharma and Greg in the episode "Indian Summer"; he died at the end of the episode, but his ghost sometimes appears to Dharma to offer her advice.
  • Kathryn Joosten as Claire: an elderly woman who works in Dharma's co-op, along with Susan and Marcie.
  • J.D. Walsh as Donald: a high school (later college) student who lives in Dharma and Greg's building. He is often given (occasionally unsolicited) advice from Dharma, and sometimes Greg.
  • Kevin Sorbo as Charlie: a university professor going through a divorce who falls in love with Dharma. His affections, particularly a love letter and offering to drive Dharma home on a rainy day, cause Dharma and Greg to briefly separate in a story arc that alienated many viewers of the show.


SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
123September 24, 1997May 20, 1998
224September 23, 1998May 26, 1999
324September 21, 1999May 16, 2000
424October 10, 2000May 22, 2001
524September 25, 2001April 30, 2002

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Recipient Result
1998 BMI Film & TV Awards BMI TV Music Award Dennis C. Brown Won
Casting Society of America's Artios Award Best Casting for TV, Comedy Pilot Nikki Valko Won
Directors Guild of America Award Outstanding Directing – Comedy Series James Burrows (For the pilot episode) Nominated
Golden Globe Award Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Jenna Elfman Nominated
Online Film & Television Association Award[3][4][5] Best Actress in a Comedy Series Jenna Elfman Nominated
Best New Comedy Series Nominated
People's Choice Award Favorite Television New Comedy Series Won
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Jenna Elfman Nominated
Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series James Burrows (For the pilot episode) Nominated
Outstanding Art Direction for a Series John Shaffner and Anne H. Ahrens (For episode "Invasion of the Buddy Snatcher") Nominated
Television Critics Association Award Outstanding New Program Nominated
Individual Achievement in Comedy Jenna Elfman Nominated
Viewers for Quality Television Award Best Quality Comedy Series Nominated
Best Actor in a Quality Comedy Series Thomas Gibson Nominated
Best Actress in a Quality Comedy Series Jenna Elfman Nominated
Best Supporting Actress in a Quality Comedy Series Susan Sullivan Nominated
1999 American Comedy Award Funniest Female Performer in a TV Series (Leading Role) Network, Cable or Syndication Jenna Elfman Nominated
BMI Film & TV Awards BMI TV Music Award Dennis C. Brown Won
Golden Globe Award Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy Nominated
Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy Thomas Gibson Nominated
Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Jenna Elfman Won
Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Susan Sullivan Nominated
Online Film & Television Association Award Best Actor in a Comedy Series Thomas Gibson Nominated
Best Actress in a Comedy Series Jenna Elfman Nominated
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Jenna Elfman Nominated
Teen Choice Award TV - Choice Comedy Nominated
TV Guide Award Favorite Actress in a Comedy Jenna Elfman Won
Viewers for Quality Television Award Best Actor in a Quality Comedy Series Thomas Gibson Nominated
Best Actress in a Quality Comedy Series Jenna Elfman Nominated
Best Supporting Actress in a Quality Comedy Series Susan Sullivan Nominated
Writers Guild of America Award Episodic Comedy Dottie Dartland and Chuck Lorre (For the pilot episode) Nominated
2000 BMI Film & TV Awards BMI TV Music Award Dennis C. Brown Won
Golden Globe Award Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy Nominated
Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy Thomas Gibson Nominated
Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Jenna Elfman Nominated
Online Film & Television Association Award Best Costume Design in a Series Nominated
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Jenna Elfman Nominated
Outstanding Art Direction for a Multi-Camera Series John Shaffner and Anne H. Ahrens (For episode "Hell to the Chief") Nominated
Satellite Award Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy Nominated
Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy Thomas Gibson Nominated
Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Jenna Elfman Nominated
TV Guide Award Favorite Actress in a Comedy Jenna Elfman Won
Viewers for Quality Television Award Best Supporting Actress in a Quality Comedy Series Susan Sullivan Nominated
Writers Guild of America Award Episodic Comedy Bill Prady, Eric Zicklin and Chuck Lorre (For episode "The Paper Hat Anniversary") Nominated
2001 Satellite Award Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Jenna Elfman Nominated
TV Guide Award Favorite Actress in a Comedy Jenna Elfman Nominated
2002 Genesis Awards Television - Comedy Series "A Fish Tale" Won
Satellite Award Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Jenna Elfman Nominated
Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy Nominated

Ratings and cancellation

The series was a top-25 fixture in the US during its first three seasons, first airing Wednesday at 8:30 p.m., then at 8:00. It was moved to Tuesdays at 9 p.m. during its third season where it experienced a dramatic ratings lift thanks to a lead-in of the then red-hot Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. As ratings for that series waned in 2000/2001, Dharma & Greg suffered a similar fate, compounded by NBC moving Frasier into the same time slot. As Millionaire fell even further and was moved off the night in the fall of 2001, ABC tried to rebuild a Tuesday night comedy block consisting of Dharma & Greg, What About Joan?, Bob Patterson, and Spin City. Bob Patterson and What About Joan? were quickly cancelled while Dharma & Greg and Spin City shared the 8 p.m. hour for the rest of the season.

The final episode aired on April 30, 2002 to 6.8 million viewers, compared to the 20 million the series had peaked two years previously. Along with Ally McBeal, Dharma & Greg was one of the last two surviving shows to debut during the 1997–98 season.

Season Season Premiere Season Finale TV Season Ranking Viewers
(in millions)
1st September 24, 1997 May 20, 1998 1997–1998 #25[6] 13.9[6]
2nd September 23, 1998 May 26, 1999 1998–1999 #25[7] 13.5[7]
3rd September 21, 1999 May 16, 2000 1999–2000 #14[8] 15.76[8]
4th October 10, 2000 May 22, 2001 2000–2001 #38[9] 12.3[9]
5th September 25, 2001 April 30, 2002 2001–2002 #82[10] 8.1[10]

DVD releases

20th Century Fox has released the first two seasons of Dharma & Greg on DVD in Regions 1, 2 and 4.

DVD Name Ep # Release dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
The Complete 1st Season 23 June 13, 2006 June 20, 2007 January 11, 2007
The Complete 2nd Season 24 November 11, 2014 April 1, 2008 January 22, 2008

Season 2 was released in Australia as a Region 4 PAL on January 22, 2008, with a picture of Dharma and Greg dancing on the cover.[11] It is available in Japan as a Region 2 NTSC format with a picture of them sitting down for the cover art.[12] In the spring of 2008, the second season was released in Europe (Netherlands) as a Region 2 PAL as well. All countries have different covers, and all are using the "dance shot".

On November 11, 2014, 20th Century Fox released season 2 in Region 1 via Amazon.com's CreateSpace program. This is a Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) release, available exclusively through Amazon.com.[13]

Vanity cards

The vanity card for Chuck Lorre Productions at the end of each episode included a message written by producer and show co-creator Chuck Lorre, expressing his personal views on a variety of subjects. Because the card only appeared on the screen for a brief moment, it was usually readable only by those who recorded the program and paused it (although the complete collection of cards has now been posted on Lorre's website).[14]

Messages were also included on the vanity cards for later Chuck Lorre Productions shows, such as Two and a Half Men, Mike & Molly, and The Big Bang Theory.


Elfman and Gibson had a cameo appearance in the 2011–12 season premiere episode Two and a Half Men "Nice to Meet You, Walden Schmidt". Their characters are not named either in the dialogue or the credits (possibly for legal reasons due to Men's being produced by a different studio),[15] but they appear to be based on Dharma and Greg. While the couple remain married, Greg seems overly tired of his responsibilities and marriage, even going so far as to sarcastically hint at divorce to Evelyn Harper (along with a self-inflicted gunshot gesture) when leaving. Joel Murray also makes a cameo appearance in the episode.[16]

See also


  1. ^ "Dharma & Greg trivia". IMDb. Retrieved June 30, 2007.
  2. ^ "Dharma & Greg awards". IMDb. Retrieved June 30, 2007.
  3. ^ "1997-98: The Season of Merlin". Online Film & Television Association. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
  4. ^ "1998-99: The Season of The Practice". Online Film & Television Association. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
  5. ^ "1999-2000: The Season of The West Wing". Online Film & Television Association. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
  6. ^ a b "The Final Countdown". Entertainment Weekly (434). May 29, 1998. Retrieved December 2, 2010.
  7. ^ a b "TV Winners & Losers: Numbers Racket A Final Tally Of The Season's Show (from Nielsen Media Research)". GeoCities. June 4, 1999. Archived from the original on October 29, 2009. Retrieved December 2, 2010.
  8. ^ a b "Top TV Shows For 1999–2000 Season". Variety. Retrieved December 2, 2010.
  9. ^ a b "The Bitter End". Entertainment Weekly (598). June 1, 2001. Retrieved December 2, 2010.
  10. ^ a b "How did your favorite show rate?". USA Today. May 28, 2002. Retrieved December 2, 2010.
  11. ^ "Buy Dharma & Greg - Season 2 (3 Disc Set) on DVD-Video from". EzyDVD.com.au. Archived from the original on April 12, 2011. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  12. ^ "ダーマ&グレッグ シーズン2 DVD‐BOX DVD・ブルーレイ - ジェナ・エルフマン, トーマス・ギブソン, スーザン・サリバン, ミミ・ケネディ, ミッチェル・ライアン, アラン・レイキンズ". Amazon.co.jp. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  13. ^ "Dharma & Greg DVD news: Announcement for Dharma & Greg - The Complete Season 2". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  14. ^ "CLP - Vanity Cards". Chucklorre.com. 2016-02-18. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  15. ^ "What To Watch". Aoltv.com. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  16. ^ Carina MacKenzie (September 20, 2011). "Dharma & Greg reunite for 'Two and a Half Men' Season 9 premiere – Zap2It". Blog.zap2it.com. Archived from the original on March 10, 2014. Retrieved February 23, 2016.

External links


Artha (; Sanskrit: अर्थ) is one of the four aims of human life in Indian philosophy. The word artha literally translates as "meaning, sense, goal, purpose or essence" depending on the context. Artha is also a broader concept in the scriptures of Hinduism. As a concept, it has multiple meanings, all of which imply "means of life", activities and resources that enable one to be in a state one wants to be in.Artha applies to both an individual and a government. In an individual's context, artha includes wealth, career, activity to make a living, financial security and economic prosperity. The proper pursuit of artha is considered an important aim of human life in Hinduism. At government level, artha includes social, legal, economic and worldly affairs. Proper Arthashastra is considered an important and necessary objective of government.In Hindu traditions, Artha is connected to the three other aspects and goals of human life: Dharma (virtuous, proper, moral life), Kama (pleasure, sensuality, emotional fulfillment) and Moksha (liberation, release, self-actualization). Together, these mutually non-exclusive four aims of life are called Puruṣārtha.

Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad Gita (; Sanskrit: भगवद्गीता, IAST: bhagavad-gītā, lit. "The Song of God"), often referred to as the Gita, is a 700-verse Sanskrit scripture that is part of the Hindu epic Mahabharata (chapters 23–40 of Bhishma Parva).

The Gita is set in a narrative framework of a dialogue between Pandava prince Arjuna and his guide and charioteer Krishna. At the start of the Dharma Yudhha (righteous war) between Pandavas and Kauravas, Arjuna is filled with moral dilemma and despair about the violence and death the war will cause. He wonders if he should renounce and seeks Krishna's counsel, whose answers and discourse constitute the Bhagadvad Gita. Krishna counsels Arjuna to "fulfill his Kshatriya (warrior) duty to uphold the Dharma" through "selfless action". The Krishna–Arjuna dialogue cover a broad range of spiritual topics, touching upon ethical dilemmas and philosophical issues that go far beyond the war Arjuna faces.The Bhagavad Gita presents a synthesis of Hindu ideas about dharma, theistic bhakti, and the yogic paths to moksha. The synthesis presents four paths to spirituality – jnana, bhakti, karma, and raja yogas. These incorporate ideas from the Samkhya-Yoga and Vedanta philosophies.Numerous commentaries have been written on the Bhagavad Gita with widely differing views on the essentials. Vedanta commentators read varying relations between Self and Brahman in the text: Advaita Vedanta sees the non-dualism of Atman (soul) and Brahman as its essence, whereas Bhedabheda and Vishishtadvaita see Atman and Brahman as both different and non-different, and Dvaita sees them as different. The setting of the Gita in a battlefield has been interpreted as an allegory for the ethical and moral struggles of the human life.The Bhagavad Gita is the best known and most famous of Hindu texts, with a unique pan-Hindu influence. The Gita's call for selfless action inspired many leaders of the Indian independence movement including Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Mahatma Gandhi; the latter referred to it as his "spiritual dictionary".


Bodhidharma was a Buddhist monk who lived during the 5th or 6th century. He is traditionally credited as the transmitter of Chan Buddhism to China, and regarded as its first Chinese patriarch. According to Chinese legend, he also began the physical training of the monks of Shaolin Monastery that led to the creation of Shaolin kungfu. In Japan, he is known as Daruma.

Little contemporary biographical information on Bodhidharma is extant, and subsequent accounts became layered with legend and unreliable details.According to the principal Chinese sources, Bodhidharma came from the Western Regions, which refers to Central Asia but may also include the Indian subcontinent, and was either a "Persian Central Asian" or a "South Indian [...] the third son of a great Indian king."

Throughout Buddhist art, Bodhidharma is depicted as an ill-tempered, profusely-bearded, wide-eyed non-Chinese person. He is referred as "The Blue-Eyed Barbarian" (Chinese: 碧眼胡; pinyin: Bìyǎnhú) in Chan texts.Aside from the Chinese accounts, several popular traditions also exist regarding Bodhidharma's origins.The accounts also differ on the date of his arrival, with one early account claiming that he arrived during the Liu Song dynasty (420–479) and later accounts dating his arrival to the Liang dynasty (502–557). Bodhidharma was primarily active in the territory of the Northern Wei (386-634). Modern scholarship dates him to about the early 5th century.Bodhidharma's teachings and practice centered on meditation and the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra. The Anthology of the Patriarchal Hall (952) identifies Bodhidharma as the 28th Patriarch of Buddhism in an uninterrupted line that extends all the way back to the Gautama Buddha himself.


Dharma (; Sanskrit: धर्म, translit. dharma, pronounced [dʱɐɽmɐ] (listen); Pali: धम्म, translit. dhamma, translit. dhamma) is a key concept with multiple meanings in Indian religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and others. There is no single-word translation for dharma in Western languages.In Hinduism, dharma signifies behaviors that are considered to be in accord with Ṛta, the order that makes life and universe possible, and includes duties, rights, laws, conduct, virtues and "right way of living". In Buddhism, dharma means "cosmic law and order", and is also applied to the teachings of Buddha. In Buddhist philosophy, dhamma/dharma is also the term for "phenomena". Dharma in Jainism refers to the teachings of tirthankara (Jina) and the body of doctrine pertaining to the purification and moral transformation of human beings. For Sikhs, the word dharm means the path of righteousness and proper religious practice.The word dharma was already in use in the historical Vedic religion, and its meaning and conceptual scope has evolved over several millennia. The ancient Tamil moral text of Tirukkural is solely based on aṟam, the Tamil term for dharma. The antonym of dharma is adharma.

Dharma (Jainism)

Jain texts assign a wide range of meaning to the Sanskrit dharma or Prakrit dhamma. It is often translated as “religion” and as such, Jainism is called Jain Dharma by its adherents.

In Jainism, the word Dharma is used to refer the following:


Dharma as a dravya (substance or a reality) (the principle of motion)

The true nature of a thing

Ten virtues like forgiveness, etc. also called ten forms of Dharma

Dharma Initiative

The Dharma Initiative, also written DHARMA (Department of Heuristics and Research on Material Applications), is a fictional research project featured in the television series Lost. It was introduced in the second season episode "Orientation". In 2008, the Dharma Initiative website was launched. Dharma's interests were directly connected with fringe science. Dharma is a Sanskrit term used in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. The logo is a circle with the word "dharma" inside, all inscribed inside a bagua.

Dharma talk

A Dharma talk (Sanskrit) or Dhamma talk (Pali) or Dharma sermon (Japanese: 法語 (ほうご, Hōgo), Chinese: 法語) is a public discourse on Buddhism by a Buddhist teacher.In some Zen traditions a Dharma talk may be referred to as a teisho (提唱). However, according to Taizan Maezumi and Bernard Glassman, a teisho is "a formal commentary by a Zen master on a koan or Zen text. In its strictest sense, teisho is non-dualistic and is thus distinguished from a Dharma talk, which is a lecture on a Buddhist topic." In this sense, a teisho is thus a formal Dharma talk. Vietnamese master Thich Nhat Hanh says the following about Dharma talks:

A Dharma talk must always be appropriate in two ways: it must accord perfectly with the spirit of the Dharma and it must also respond perfectly to the situation in which it is given. If it only corresponds perfectly with the teachings but does not meet the needs of the listeners, it's not a good Dharma talk; it's not appropriate.


The Dhamma Chakra (also known as the wheel of Dhamma) is a symbol from ancient India and one of the Ashtamangala of Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism. The Dhamma wheel symbol has represented Buddhism, Gautama Buddha's teachings and his walking of the path to Enlightenment since the time of early Buddhism.

The symbol is also connected to the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path.


Dharmaśāstra (Sanskrit: धर्मशास्त्र) is a genre of Sanskrit theological texts, and refers to the treatises (shastras) of Hinduism on dharma. There are many Dharmashastras, variously estimated to be 18 to about 100, with different and conflicting points of view. Each of these texts exist in many different versions, and each is rooted in Dharmasutra texts dated to 1st millennium BCE that emerged from Kalpa (Vedanga) studies in the Vedic era.The textual corpus of Dharmaśāstra were composed in poetic verses, are part of the Hindu Smritis, constituting divergent commentaries and treatises on duties, responsibilities and ethics to oneself, to family and as a member of society. The texts include discussion of ashrama (stages of life), varna (social classes), purushartha (proper goals of life), personal virtues and duties such as ahimsa (non-violence) against all living beings, rules of just war, and other topics.Dharmaśāstra became influential in modern colonial India history, when they were formulated by early British colonial administrators to be the law of the land for all non-Muslims (Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, Sikhs) in India, after Sharia was already accepted as the law for Muslims in colonial India.


Hinduism is an Indian religion and dharma, or way of life, widely practised in the Indian subcontinent and parts of Southeast Asia. Hinduism has been called the oldest religion in the world, and some practitioners and scholars refer to it as Sanātana Dharma, "the eternal tradition", or the "eternal way", beyond human history. Scholars regard Hinduism as a fusion or synthesis of various Indian cultures and traditions, with diverse roots and no founder. This "Hindu synthesis" started to develop between 500 BCE and 300 CE, after the end of the Vedic period (1500 BCE to 500 BCE), and flourished in the medieval period, with the decline of Buddhism in India.Although Hinduism contains a broad range of philosophies, it is linked by shared concepts, recognisable rituals, cosmology, shared textual resources, and pilgrimage to sacred sites. Hindu texts are classified into Śruti ("heard") and Smṛti ("remembered"). These texts discuss theology, philosophy, mythology, Vedic yajna, Yoga, agamic rituals, and temple building, among other topics. Major scriptures include the Vedas and Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana, and the Āgamas. Sources of authority and eternal truths in its texts play an important role, but there is also a strong Hindu tradition of questioning authority in order to deepen the understanding of these truths and to further develop the tradition.Prominent themes in Hindu beliefs include the four Puruṣārthas, the proper goals or aims of human life, namely Dharma (ethics/duties), Artha (prosperity/work), Kama (desires/passions) and Moksha (liberation/freedom from the cycle of death and rebirth/salvation); karma (action, intent and consequences), Saṃsāra (cycle of death and rebirth), and the various Yogas (paths or practices to attain moksha). Hindu practices include rituals such as puja (worship) and recitations, japa, meditation, family-oriented rites of passage, annual festivals, and occasional pilgrimages. Some Hindus leave their social world and material possessions, then engage in lifelong Sannyasa (monastic practices) to achieve Moksha. Hinduism prescribes the eternal duties, such as honesty, refraining from injuring living beings (ahimsa), patience, forbearance, self-restraint, and compassion, among others. The four largest denominations of Hinduism are the Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Shaktism and Smartism.Hinduism is the world's third largest religion; its followers, known as Hindus, constitute about 1.15 billion, or 15–16% of the global population. Hinduism is the most widely professed faith in India, Nepal and Mauritius. It is also the predominant religion in Bali, Indonesia. Significant numbers of Hindu communities are also found in the Caribbean, Africa, North America, and other countries.


Jainism (), traditionally known as Jain Dharma, is an ancient, non-theistic, Indian religion. Followers of Jainism are called "Jains", a word derived from the Sanskrit word jina (victor) and connoting the path of victory in crossing over life's stream of rebirths through an ethical and spiritual life. Jains consider their religion to be eternal (sanatan), and trace their history through a succession of 24 victorious saviours and teachers known as tirthankaras, with the first in current time cycle being Rishabhanatha, who according to Jain tradition lived millions of years ago, twenty-third being Parshvanatha in 8th century BC and twenty-fourth being the Mahāvīra around 500 BCE. Jains believe that Jainism is an eternal dharma with the tirthankaras guiding every cycle of the Jain cosmology.

The main religious premises of Jainism are ahiṃsā (non-violence), anekāntavāda (many-sidedness), aparigraha (non-attachment) and asceticism. Devout Jains take five main vows: ahiṃsā (non-violence), satya (truth), asteya (not stealing), brahmacharya (celibacy or chastity), and aparigraha (non-attachment). These principles have impacted Jain culture in many ways, such as leading to a predominantly vegetarian lifestyle that avoids harm to animals and their life cycles. Parasparopagraho Jīvānām (the function of souls is to help one another) is the motto of Jainism. Ṇamōkāra mantra is the most common and basic prayer in Jainism.Jainism has two major ancient sub-traditions, Digambaras and Śvētāmbaras; and several smaller sub-traditions that emerged in the 2nd millennium CE. The Digambaras and Śvētāmbaras have different views on ascetic practices, gender and which Jain texts can be considered canonical. Jain mendicants are found in all Jain sub-traditions except Kanji Panth sub-tradition, with laypersons (śrāvakas) supporting the mendicants' spiritual pursuits with resources.

Jainism has between four and five million followers, with most Jains residing in India. Outside India, some of the largest Jain communities are present in Canada, Europe, Kenya, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Suriname, Fiji, and the United States. Major Jain festivals include Paryushana and Daslakshana, Mahavir Jayanti, and Diwali.

Kalpa (Vedanga)

Kalpa (Sanskrit: कल्प) means "proper, fit" and is one of the six disciplines of the Vedānga, or ancillary science connected with the Vedas – the scriptures of Hinduism. This field of study focused on procedures and ceremonies associated with Vedic ritual practice.The major texts of Kalpa Vedanga are called Kalpa Sutras in Hinduism. The scope of these texts includes Vedic rituals, rites of passage rituals associated with major life events such as birth, wedding and death in family, as well as personal conduct and proper duties in the life of an individual. Most Kalpasutras texts have experienced interpolation, changes and consequent corruption over their history, and Apasthamba Kalpasutra ancillary to the Yajurveda may be the best preserved text in this genre.Kalpa Sutras are also found in other Indian traditions such as Jainism.


Kshatriya (Devanagari: क्षत्रिय; Gujarati: ક્ષત્રિય; Gurmukhi: ਰਾਜਪੂਤ ; from Sanskrit kṣatra, "rule, authority") is one of the four varna (social orders) of the Hindu society. The Sanskrit term kṣatriyaḥ is used in the context of Vedic society wherein members were organised into four classes: kshatriya, brahmin, vaishya and shudra. As per the caste system, after Brahmin, Kshatriya is regarded as the second highest caste. Traditionally, the kshatriya constituted the ruling and military class. Their role was to protect their interests by fighting in wartime and governing in peacetime.


Mahārāja (; Sanskrit: महाराज; also spelled Maharajah, Moharaja, Moharaza) is a Sanskrit title for a "great ruler", "great king" or "high king". A few ruled mighty states informally called empires, including ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh, founder of the Sikh Empire, and Maharaja Sri Gupta, founder of the ancient Indian Gupta Empire, but 'title inflation' soon led to most being rather mediocre or even petty in real power, while compound titles were among the attempts to distinguish some among their ranks.

The female equivalent, Maharani (or Maharanee, Moharani, Mahārājñī, Maharajin), denotes either the wife of a Maharaja (or Maharana etc.), and also in states where that was customary, a woman ruling without a husband. The widow of a Maharaja is known as a Rajmata "queen mother". Maharaja Kumar generally denotes a son of a Maharaja, but more specific titulatures are often used at each court, including Yuvaraja for the heir. The form Maharaj indicates a separation of noble and religious offices, although the fact that in Hindi the suffix -a is silent makes the two titles near homophones.


Puruṣārtha (Sanskrit: पुरुषार्थ) literally means an "object of human pursuit". It is a key concept in Hinduism, and refers to the four proper goals or aims of a human life. The four puruṣārthas are Dharma (righteousness, moral values), Artha (prosperity, economic values), Kama (pleasure, love, psychological values) and Moksha (liberation, spiritual values).All four Purusarthas are important, but in cases of conflict, Dharma is considered more important than Artha or Kama in Hindu philosophy. Moksha is considered the ultimate ideal of human life. At the same time, this is not a consensus among all Hindus, and many have different interpretations of the hierarchy, and even as to whether one should exist.

Historical Indian scholars recognized and debated the inherent tension between active pursuit of wealth (Artha purusartha) and pleasure (Kama), and renunciation of all wealth and pleasure for the sake of spiritual liberation (Moksha). They proposed "action with renunciation" or "craving-free, dharma-driven action", also called Nishkam Karma as a possible solution to the tension.


Smriti (Sanskrit: स्मृति, IAST: Smṛti), literally "that which is remembered" are a body of Hindu texts usually attributed to an author, traditionally written down but constantly revised, in contrast to Śrutis (the Vedic literature) considered authorless, that were transmitted verbally across the generations and fixed. Smriti is a derivative secondary work and is considered less authoritative than Sruti in Hinduism, except in the Mimamsa school of Hindu philosophy. The authority of smriti accepted by orthodox schools, is derived from that of shruti, on which it is based.The Smrti literature is a corpus of diverse varied texts. This corpus includes, but is not limited to the six Vedāngas (the auxiliary sciences in the Vedas), the epics (the Mahābhārata and Rāmāyana), the Dharmasūtras and Dharmaśāstras (or Smritiśāstras), the Arthasaśāstras, the Purānas, the Kāvya or poetical literature, extensive Bhasyas (reviews and commentaries on Shrutis and non-Shruti texts), and numerous Nibandhas (digests) covering politics, ethics (Nitisastras), culture, arts and society.Each Smriti text exists in many versions, with many different readings. Smritis were considered fluid and freely rewritten by anyone in ancient and medieval Hindu tradition.

Three marks of existence

In Buddhism, the three marks of existence are three characteristics (Pali: tilakkhaṇa; Sanskrit: trilakṣaṇa) of all existence and beings, namely impermanence (anicca), unsatisfactoriness or suffering (dukkha), and non-self (anattā). These three characteristics are mentioned in verses 277, 278 and 279 of the Dhammapada. That humans are subject to delusion about the three marks, that this delusion results in suffering, and that removal of that delusion results in the end of suffering, is a central theme in the Buddhist Four Noble Truths and Noble Eightfold Path.

According to Thich Nhat Hanh, the 3 seals are impermanence, non-self and nirvana. He says in "The heart of the Buddha's Teaching" that "In several sutras the Buddha taught that nirvana, the joy of completely extinguishing our ideas and concepts, rather than suffering, is one of the Three Dharma Seals."

Varna (Hinduism)

Varna (Sanskrit: वर्ण, translit. varṇa) means type, order, colour or class. The term refers to social classes in Dharma-shastra books like the Manusmriti. These and other Hindu literature classified the society in principle into four varnas:

Brahmins: priests, scholars and teachers.

Kshatriyas: rulers, warriors and administrators.

Vaishyas: agriculturalists and traders.

Shudras: laborers and service providers.Communities which belong to one of the four varnas or classes are called savarna. In the present-day context, they include all the forward castes. The Dalits and scheduled tribes who do not belong to any varna, are called avarna.This quadruple division is a form of social stratification not to be confused with the much more nuanced Jāti or the European term "caste".The varna system is discussed in Hindu texts, and understood as idealised human callings. The concept is generally traced to the Purusha Sukta verse of the Rig Veda.

The commentary on the Varna system in the Manusmriti is oft-cited. Counter to these textual classifications, many Hindu texts and doctrines question and disagree with the Varna system of social classification.


Yama (listen ) or Yamarāja is a god of death, the south direction, and the underworld, belonging to an early stratum of Rigvedic Hindu deities. In Sanskrit, his name can be interpreted to mean "twin". In the Zend-Avesta of Zoroastrianism, he is called "Yima".According to the Vishnu Purana, Yama is the son of sun-god Surya and Sandhya, the daughter of Vishvakarma. Yama is the brother of Sraddhadeva Manu and of his older sister Yami, which Horace Hayman Wilson indicates to mean the Yamuna. According to the Vedas, Yama is said to have been the first mortal who died. By virtue of precedence, he became the ruler of the departed, and is called "Lord of the Pitrs".Mentioned in the Pāli Canon of Theravada Buddhism, Yama subsequently entered Buddhist mythology in East Asia, Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka as a Dharmapala under various transliterations. He is otherwise also called as "Dharmaraja".

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