Saturday, June 11, 2011

Dharmaratna

It was many years ago that I first came across this particular term. It is Sanskrit in origin, and I encountered it because I had a friend who bore it as a name.

Dharma, of course, is a concept of that which is right and hence supports what ought to be the nature of things. It is duty, devotion, discipline; it comes from the Sanskrit root dhri, 'to uphold or sustain'. Ratna means 'jewel' or 'gem' — it is something that is crystalline and bears its essence in the most exact and excellent way.

The idea of dharmaratna, then, is the idea of 'the essence of universal law'. It is that in which we live and move and have our being. Some things never change.

This is one such thing.

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