What are the three principles of dharma?

What are the three principles of dharma?

30 Sec Answer: The three principles of dharma are truthfulness, non-violence and austerity.


Dharma is an ancient Indian concept that encompasses both religious and secular codes of conduct in one’s life. It is a code of ethics that helps to define the ideal behavior for individuals and society at large. Dharma consists of three key principles – truthfulness, non-violence and austerity. These principles provide guidance on how to live one’s life with integrity, compassion, and responsibility towards oneself and others. In this article, we will explore these three principles of dharma in detail.

What Is Dharma?

Dharma is a Sanskrit word which can be translated as “duty” or “law”. It has many meanings including justice, righteousness, morality, law, and truth. According to Hinduism, it is a universal principle which governs how each individual should behave in their day-to-day lives. The goal of following the path of dharma is to bring balance between one’s physical world (family and material possessions) and spiritual world (God). By adhering to the principles of dharma, an individual seeks to attain moksha or liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth.

Why Are There Three Principles Of Dharma?

The concept of dharma originates from Hindu philosophy which states that there are three qualities required for living a successful life – truthfulness (Satya), non-violence (Ahimsa), and austerity (Tapas). All three of these qualities must be practiced together in order to achieve harmony in one’s life. Without any one quality being fully developed, it would be impossible to reach true enlightenment or peace of mind.

Principle 1: Truthfulness (Satya)

Truthfulness is about living honestly and authentically in every aspect of your life – thoughts, words, actions, relationships etc. This means being honest with yourself as well as others around you. To practice truthfulness one needs to cultivate mindfulness so they can recognize when they are speaking out of ignorance or fear rather than honesty. Truthfulness also involves keeping promises made by you as well as honoring agreements entered into with other people.

Principle 2: Non-Violence (Ahimsa)

Non-violence is the practice of not causing any harm or suffering to yourself or another living creature. This means abstaining from violence either physically or emotionally in all forms such as killing animals for food or using abusive language against someone else. It also includes refraining from causing harm through thought processes such as anger, hatred or jealousy towards others. Additionally, it requires taking care not to cause any environmental damage such as polluting rivers or cutting down trees without good reason.

Principle 3: Austerity (Tapas)

Austerity is the practice of self-discipline which helps an individual resist temptations that lead them away from the path of righteousness. This requires setting boundaries on our desires such as curbing craving for luxury items or addictive habits like smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol excessively. Practicing austerity also entails avoiding activities that involve loss of money or resources such as gambling or hoarding wealth unnecessarily. Lastly, austerity also calls for refraining from engaging in negative thoughts and emotions such as envy, pride or greed that prevent us from leading a peaceful life free from suffering and attachments to worldly objects/pleasures.

How Can We Apply These Principles To Our Lives?

Each principle offers invaluable lessons on how we can live our lives responsibly while striving towards self-improvement and understanding our purpose here on Earth. Here are some practical ways we can apply these teachings in our day-to-day lives:

  • Speak only what is true even if it may hurt someone’s feelings;

  • Refrain from acts that can cause physical harm;

  • Limit unnecessary expenditure on things that don’t really add value to our lives;

  • Set healthy boundaries for ourselves;

  • Practice meditation and mindful breathing exercises to stay present in the moment;

  • Live with respect for other living creatures;

  • Be kind and compassionate towards others;

  • Be patient with yourself and strive to understand your inner self better;

  • Take steps towards reducing mental clutter;

  • Let go off desires driven by greed or lust;

  • Exercise restraint when faced with difficult situations;

  • Embrace change gracefully without attachment;

  • Reflect on ethical questions posed by karma before acting impulsively;

  • Cultivate gratitude towards nature for its abundance;

  • Celebrate accomplishments with humility;

  • Respect time and make wise use of it;

  • Participate actively in activities that bring joy to you & others around you etc..


The path of dharma offers timeless wisdom that has stood the test of time across centuries due its universal applicability & power to positively transform lives if adopted earnestly over a period of time! Ultimately all three core principles work together harmoniously since they ultimately aim at helping us realise our higher potential while leading more fulfilling lives based on unconditional love & acceptance towards ourselves & those around us!

Samantha Greenfield

Samantha Greenfield was born and raised in a small town in the rural countryside of Washington state. From a young age, she was drawn to the natural world and spent much of her time exploring the forests and fields around her home. As she grew older, she became increasingly interested in the intersection of nature, spirituality, and personal growth, and began to study Buddhism and mindfulness in depth. After completing her undergraduate degree in Environmental Science, Samantha decided to pursue a career in nature conservation and spent several years working with various non-profit organizations and government agencies on conservation projects around the world. Along the way, she discovered a passion for writing and began to document her adventures and insights in a series of personal blogs and articles. In recent years, Samantha has turned her focus to sharing her knowledge and experiences with a wider audience and has become a popular speaker and workshop leader on topics related to Buddhism, mindfulness, and personal growth. She is currently working on a book about the intersection of nature, spirituality, and mindfulness, and continues to be an active advocate for environmental conservation and sustainability.

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