What is Dhamma?

This question is common when we start learning Buddhism. What is Dhamma? Dhamma (in Pali language) or Dharma (in Sanskrit language) has a lot of meaning. Does it mean the truth? Does it mean the Buddha’s teaching? What is it actually? I see Dhamma is the umbrella term of all the truth as well as the Buddha’s teaching and doctrine.

Dhamma is like the tip of an iceberg, in order to practice it we need to understand what Dhamma consists of.

Dhamma is one of the Triple Gem is Buddhist religion. It serves as one of the foundation of the Buddhism. Therefore, whenever we participate either Morning or Evening Chanting at Temple or Monastery, we refer The Triple Gem as our refuge, which is Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. Buddha is our Teacher, Dhamma is the Teaching and the Truth and Sangha is the community of monks.

Dhamma as the Truth.

During the first Dhamma sermon, The Enlightened One explained The Four Noble of Truths, which are:

  1. The truth of Dukkha
  2. The cause of Dukkha
  3. The cessation of Dukkha
  4. The path of cessation of Dukkha

Dhamma as The Teaching

In relation of the 4th truth which is the path or the way of cessation of Dukkha, He explained The Noble Eightfold Path, which are:

  1. Right view
  2. Right intention
  3. Right speech
  4. Right action
  5. Right livelihood
  6. Right effort
  7. Right mindfulness
  8. Right concentration
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