A central concept in Hindu philosophy, and arguably the central concept in the Bhagavad Gita, dharma is a moral code of behavior that follows from one’s sacred duty to the gods, other people, and the universe. Over the course of the text, Arjuna learns to follow his dharma as a warrior, despite his initial worry that his dharma as a member of the Bharata family should prevent him from killing his cousins, the Kauravas. Following one’s dharma, or acting ethically, means performing in accord with one’s position in the world and coming closer to the divine; this is generally a function of one’s caste position. Vishnu often enters the material world (here, in the form of Krishna) to restore dharma in the universe.
Dharma Quotes in The Bhagavad Gita
The The Bhagavad Gita quotes below are all either spoken by Dharma or refer to Dharma. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of The Bhagavad Gita published in 2008.).
Discourse 1 Quotes
The dharma of caste,
and the eternal dharma
by these wrongful acts
since they create
a blending of caste.
Dharma Term Timeline in The Bhagavad Gita
The timeline below shows where the term Dharma appears in The Bhagavad Gita. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...happened when his sons (the Kauravas) met their cousins (the Pandavas) “in the field of dharma” to battle for the kingdom that both sides claim. Sanjaya recounts Duryodhana, the eldest Kaurava... (full context)
...would take no joy in this evil battle, which would destroy his family and its dharma forever, defiling their women, corrupting the caste system, and leading their ancestors to fall into... (full context)
...he has had many births, bringing himself into being through his own “creative force” whenever dharma is lacking. He strives to fix dharma, saving the good and punishing the evil—when souls... (full context)
...god Indra’s heaven and lose their merit, they return to the “mortal realm” and, following dharma, participate in the world of desire and things. Krishna brings yoga’s “secure peace” to those... (full context)
...on the right path and started to become good. This evildoer can quickly progress through dharma to “eternal peace.” No devotee of Krishna’s can be lost, and even women, vaishyas, and... (full context)
...sees his endless light completely and proclaims him the highest, “the great refuge of all,” dharma’s ancient and eternal protector, with the endless power of infinite limbs and a light that... (full context)
...discern these distinctions, and tamasic action inverts them, leading people to perform the opposite of dharma. Steadiness in yoga, actions, and breath are sattvic; steadiness in wealth, desire, and dharma for... (full context)