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February 12th

Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
धारणाद्धर्ममित्याहुः धर्मो धारयते प्रजा |
यत् स्याद्धारणसंयुक्तं स धर्म इति निश्चयः 
- महाभारत, कर्ण पर्व

dhaaraNaaddharmamityaahuH dharmo dhaarayate prajaa |
yat syaaddhaaraNasaMyuktaM sa dharma iti nishchayaH ||
- mahaabhaarata, karNa parva

Meaning of the subhAShita:
(Due to) bearing, (it) is called 'dharma', dharma supports the people. That which is associated with upholding is certainly called dharma.

There are certain words which communicate the meaning most effectively in their original language alone. 'धर्म' (dharma) is one such word! No matter how we translate it into English - virtue, righteousness, moral merit, attribute, etc....; it just doesn't have the same punch as the original word धर्म !! The strength and weight carried in the word is..., well..., too heavy to be carried over with translation :). Hence, we will refer to it with the original word itself!

The verse says it is called as 'dharma' due to its attribute of upholding, bearing, supporting! (These words don't have the same effect as the word 'धारण' (dhaaraNa) either!). 'dharma' is the backbone to a working society. It is that aspect that keeps the faith in the people and keeps the world going. It is that which propitiates life and is the very basis for the existence of life itself!

But what is considered as 'dharma'? What actions come under the umbrella of 'dharma'? Well, the answer is quite simple - which ever has the the potential to uphold, support, endure and be the back bone of the whole existence is defined as 'dharma'!

'dharma' is that faculty which is existent in the conscience of each and every living being. Whether one accepts it or not, acts according to it or not, it is there! It's presence is felt by every creature at every step of life. Only, we need to pay attention and heed to it...

pada vigrahaH:
धारणात् धर्मम् इत्य अहुः धर्मः धारयते प्रजा |
dhaaraNaat dharma itya ahuH dharmaH dhaarayate prajaa |

यत् स्यात् धारण-संयुक्तं स धर्म इति निश्चयः ||
yat syaat dhaaraNa-saMyuktaM sa dharma iti nishchayaH ||

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