The Chicago-Prashnottar ► Chicago Prashnottar ► 108-108 Questions & Answers

Posted: 08.08.2011

108. Question:

What are the perfect attributes of dharma found among the different re­ligions? What are the eventual objects of dharma.


The perfect attributes of dharma are three in number viz. (1) Darshana (belief), (2) jnāna (knowledge), (3) chāritra (action) Darshana means belief in tatvas. The Tatvas are three viz. deva, guru, dharma. By the term deva is meant master. Mas­ter is one who is free from 18 dusham (defects), is possessed of 12 gunas (vir­tues), and is the preacher of true dharma in this world and is after giving up this body to become the Siddha. There is no God other than such God. To worship such a benevolent master for the purpose of purifying one's own soul, to publish His qualities in the world according to his ability to praise Him always are acts helpful to one's spiritual development. This is called Shudha devatatva. Guru (teacher) is one who observes 5 maha-vratas (highest vows), who is well-versed in sac­red lore, has always uniformity of disposi­tion, gets pure food i.e. free from any fault by means of begging, maintains thereby his body for the purpose of doing good, possesses many other such qualities and tells the people in the world what has been preached by the aforesaid masters. This is Gurutatva. The afore­said masters have shown to the people the path (Law) which leads to salva­tion. This is dharma tatva.

What is contrary to those three is called

  1. Kudeva (false master)
  2. Ku-guru (false teacher)
  3. Ku-dharma (false law)

One ought to believe in the truth of master, teacher, and law and wholly abandon kudeva, Ku-guru, ku-dharma. Thus one attains the first part (attribute) of dharma named Darshan. There are five divisions of Jnana (knowledge) i.e.,

  1. Mati-Jnana (knowledge through senses),
  2. Sruti-Jnana (knowledge by means of education)
  3. Avadhi-Jnana (knowledge of forming matter to a certain extent)
  4. Man-prayay Jnana (knowledge of the mental thought of living beings born of pregnancy in 2 1/2 dvipas,
  5. Keval Jnana (per­fect knowledge).

The objects of these 5 kinds of knowledge are six dravyas and nine tattvas. This is 2nd part of dharma named jnana. The third part of dharma is chāritra. It is divided into 140 parts by reason of the divisions of chamna sattari and karana-sattari. The divisions of charana sattari are


        1. five Mahavratas
        2. ten Yati dharma
        3. seventeen sanyam (self-control)
        4. ten vaiyā-vrityas (ser­vices)
        5. nine brahmacharya gupti
        6. three jnāna, darshan and chāritra,
        7. twelve tapas
        8. control of krodh (anger) etc.


These are 70 in number. The 70 divisions of karana sattari are:


        1. 4 kinds of bodily purification.
        2. 5 kinds of sammiti
        3. 12 kinds of meditations
        4. 12 kinds of pratimās
        5. 5 kinds of control of senses
        6. 25 Pratilekhna
        7. 3 Guptis
        8. 4 kinds of Abhigrhaha


Thus there are 140 divisions of chāritra in all. This is third part of dharma.

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