Hinduism and Tribal Religions

Living Edition
| Editors: Pankaj Jain, Rita Sherma, Madhu Khanna


  • Ravi Khangai
Living reference work entry

Later version available View entry history

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1036-5_39-1


Āpaddharma and DharmaDharma is one of the most difficult words to translate into English. It does not have a singular connotation. Sometimes it means a sacred duty, sometimes as a law, sometimes as an obligation, and sometimes as a desirable behavior. Apad means crises, and Āpaddharma is acceptable behavior at the time of the crises. The epic gives a message that there could be a significant difference between the Dharma at the normal times and the Āpaddharma.

VarṇāandVarṇāśram Dharma– Varṇā literally means color. Later on it came to be associated with social stratification based on birth, and the society came to be divided into the four Varṇās, i.e., Brāhmaṇas (the priestly learned class), Kṣatriya (the rulers and the warriors), Vaiśya (the traders and cultivators), and Sūdras (the people expected to serve the upper three Varṇās). All the Varṇās have different duties prescribed for them called Varṇāśram Dharma, and any deviation from the prescribed Varṇāśram Dharmais...

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HistoryRashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur UniversityNagpurIndia
  2. 2.Hindu University of AmericaOrlandoUSA