CONCEPT OF DHARMA IN BHARAT (Part - 2)
Let us now concentrate the synonyms of धर्म in Sanskrit Literature. The synonyms as enumerated in Koshas are न्याय, स्वभाव, आचार, उपमा and क्रतु. All these synonyms neither used in the sense of Religion in modern days nor they have suggestive meaning of Religion. All these synonyms refer to human character or Yaga. Thus the word धर्म is used to convey the meaning of human actions, nature or character or Yaga. Of course, this Yaga is the origin of Dharma and itself is Dharma as seen in the sacred scriptures Sanskrit Literature.
Let us now consider the nature of धर्म defined in our Itihasas i.e Ramayana and Mahabharata. These two are the epics and treated by Bharatians as the source of Itihasa i.e History. That is why, in Indian tradition, we accept two Pramanas i.e Means of Valid Cognition by which human gets knowledge via Aitihyam ( Historical Evidence) and Sambhavam ( Narrative Evidence). Hence, we get valid cognition through these Ramayana and Mahabharata. In Ramayana Valmiki describes or projects Rama as रामो विग्रहवान् धर्मः meaning that Rama is the Concrete Face of धर्म. It explicitly shows that धर्म is the phenomenon of human nature rather ideal nature of human. Valmiki in the beginning of Ramayana asks कोऽन्वस्मिन् साम्प्रतं लोके गुणवान् कश्च वीर्यवान् ... धर्मज्ञश्च. Then he himself answers that Rama is that person who possessed all the characters of धर्म. In Mahabharata it is said that कृत्वा प्रवर्ग्यं धर्माख्यं .. meaning having performed Yaga. Srimadbhagavatam explains or puts forth the nature of धर्म through personification - श्रद्धा लक्ष्मीर्धृतिस्तुष्टिः पुष्टिर्मेधा तथा क्रिया । बुद्धिर्लज्जा वपुः शान्तिः सिद्धिः कीर्त्तिस्त्रयोदशी । पत्न्यर्थं प्रतिजग्राह धर्म्मो दाक्षायणीः प्रभुः । Here, commitment, dedication, intelligence, peace etc., are personified as wives of धर्म. It is none other than the explanation of धर्म in a different way. Vishnu Purana also supports this as श्रद्धा कामञ्च श्रीर्दर्पं नियमं धृतिरात्मजम् । This धर्म is explained as गुणद्रव्यक्रियाजातिचतुष्पादः प्रकीर्त्तितः । That is धर्म has four feet as Guna, Dravya, Kriyaa and Jaati, meaning that Dharma is nothing but various characteristics of human nature. This धर्म became Vyasa in the fourteenth Dvapara Yuga. Devi Bhagavatam says त्रयोदशे चान्तरिक्षो धर्म्मश्चापि चतुर्द्दशे । Thus, धर्म was dominant in the fourteenth Dvapara Yuga. धर्म is nothing but auspicious or Good characters of all the organisms. See, What is धर्म? this question was answered in Padma Purana as पात्रे दानं मतिः कृष्णे मातापित्रोश्च पूजनम् । श्रद्धा वलिर्गवां ग्रासः षड्विधं धर्म्मलक्षणम् ॥ धर्म is nothing but ideal and ought to be adopted characters by human. This धर्म grows by Brahmacharya, Satya (Truth), Tapas (Penance), Dana (Giving) etc., as stated in Padma Purana. Our scriptures enumerates Loyalty, Non-greediness etc., as sources of धर्म. Further, धर्म is explicated in various forms such as Bhakti (again which has no synonym in English, however, the nearest word could be devotion), commitment, Shraddha, Truth, etc.
Further, धर्म could be perceived as one dimension of a human such as his length (height), breadth (width) and depth are perceived. However, this perception may not be possible for us, this was possible for our ancient Rishis (Seers). Bhagavaan Patanjali in Vyakarana Mhabhashya says in a context - परावरज्ञाः साक्षात्कृतधर्माणः .. ऋषयो बभूवुः । it means that there were Rishis who were exponents in Para and Apara Vidyaas, and who had perceived the Dharma. Patanjali never uses a single word without purpose. If such Patanjali says this much big word साक्षात्कृतधर्माणः, he might be serious in his saying that there were Rishis who perceived धर्म. Here, one must keep in mind that धर्म is not a concrete thing which could be perceived as stone, mountain, water, fire etc. Even then if he says that साक्षात्कृतधर्माणः, Rishis must be able to perceive धर्म. It means in ancient days, there were super humans who could have perceived more than Three Dimensions (3D). Now it is proved by Science that 11 dimensions could be perceived by scientific methods, whereas our Rishis were able to perceive numerous dimensions as Veda claims सहस्रशीर्षा पुरुषः. OK, let us not divert our attention from the present discussion of धर्म. Here, धर्म is human welfare. So Yaga is धर्म as it is intended for human welfare. Person who carries out a kind of action is known by the same action such as one who drives is known as Driver, one who supervises is known as Supervisor. Like that one who performs Yaga is known as Dhaarmika (धार्मिक). That is to say that Yaga is Dharma and the performer of Yaga is known as Dhaarmika (धार्मिक).
Thus, the word धर्म could be seen in these meanings shown above in our ancient scriptures. Nowhere the word धर्म is used or seen in the meaning of Religion of modern days. There was no Concept of Religion at all in our ancient India (Bharat). Ours is the Concept of Dharma and not Religion. The word धर्म being used in the sense of Religion is of modern origin that too after the entry of Foreigners in our Bharat.