Dharma (; Sanskrit: धर्म, romanized: dharma, pronounced [dʱɐrmɐ] (listen); Pali: dhamma; Tamil: aṟam) is a key concept with multiple meanings in Indian religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and others

Although there is no direct single-word translation for dharma in Western languages, it is commonly translated as “righteousness”, “merit” or “religious and moral duties” governing individual conduct

In Hinduism, dharma is one of the four components of the Puruṣārtha, the aims of life, and signifies behaviours that are considered to be in accord with Ṛta, the order that makes life and universe possible

It includes duties, rights, laws, conduct, virtues and “right way of living”

In Buddhism, dharma means “cosmic law and order”, as expressed by the teachings of the 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

In Sikhism, dharma means the path of righteousness and proper religious practice and one’s own moral duties toward God

The concept of 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 Tirukkuṟaḷ consist of a collection of aphomistic teachings on dharma (aram), artha (porul), and kama (inpam)

As with the other components of the Puruṣārtha, the concept of dharma is pan-Indian

The antonym of dharma is adharma