法(Dharma, धर्म )
June 22, 2012 § Leave a comment
法은 다르마(dharma)의 번역으로서, ‘지키는 것’·’지지하는 것’이 원뜻이다. 불교의 3보 중에서도 중심관념을 이루는 것인데, 인도에 있어서의 기원은 오래된 것으로서 베다에서는 신적 의지(神的意志)에 대해 인간 편에 서서 인간생활에 질서를 부여하는 것이라는 의미로 사용된 이래 오늘에 이르기까지 일반적으로 최고의 진리, 혹은 종교적 규범(宗敎), 사회규범(法律·制度·慣習), 행위적 규범(倫理·道德) 등 넓은 범위에 걸친 규범이라는 의미로 사용되고 있다. 불교에서도 법은
① 교설(敎說)이나 성전(聖典：敎法)
② 최고의 진리(깨달음의 내용)
③ 일체의 현실존재로 하여금 현재의 상태로 존재케 하고 있는 법칙과 기준
④ 법에 의해서 지탱되고 있는 유형·무형, 심적·물적의 일체 존재(存在：現象), 즉 의식의 대상이 되는 모든 것
등과 같이 매우 복잡하며 여러 가지 뜻으로 사용되고 있다. 특히 법을 일체법(一切法) 또는 만법(萬法), 즉 일체의 존재라고 보는 견해는 인도사상(印度思想) 일반에서는 볼 수 없는 불교 독자의 것이며 법에 관한 다방면의 인구가 불교의 중요한 과제로 되어 있다.
Dhamma (Pali: धम्म) or Dharma (Sanskrit: धर्म) in Buddhism can have the following meanings:
- The state of Nature as it is (yathā bhūta)
- The Laws of Nature considered collectively.
- The teaching of the Buddha as an exposition of the Natural Law applied to the problem of human suffering.
- A phenomenon and/or its properties.
Other uses include dharma, normally spelled in transliteration with a small “d” (this differentiation is impossible in the South Asian scripts used to write Sanskrit), which refers to a phenomenon or constituent factor of human experience. This was gradually expanded into a classification of constituents of the entire material and mental world. Rejecting the substantial existence of permanent entities which are qualified by possibly changing qualities, Buddhist Abhidharma philosophy, which enumerated seventy-five dharmas, came to propound that these “constituent factors” are the only type of entity that truly exists. This notion is of particular importance for the analysis of human experience: Rather than assuming that mental states inhere in a cognizing subject, or a soul-substance, Buddhist philosophers largely propose that mental states alone exist as “momentary elements of consciousness”, and that a subjective perceiver is assumed.
One of the central tenets of Buddhism, is the denial of a separate permanent “I”, and is outlined in the three marks of existence. The three signs: 1. Duḥkha (Pali: Dukkha) – Suffering, 2. Anitya (Pali: Anicca) – Change/Impermanence, 3. Anātman (Pali: Anatta) – Non-self. At the heart of Buddhism, is the realization of no “self” or “I” (and hence the delusion) as a separate self-existing entity.
Later, Buddhist philosophers like Nāgārjuna would question whether the dharmas (momentary elements of consciousness) truly have a separate existence of their own. (i.e. Do they exist apart from anything else?) Rejecting any inherent reality to the dharmas, he asked (rhetorically)
Dharma in the Buddhist scriptures has a variety of meanings, including “phenomenon”, and “nature” or “characteristic”.
Dharma can mean the source of all mental experiences. In major sutras (for example, the Mahasatipatthana sutra), Dharma is paired with citta (heart/mind) to show citta as the reflection of Dharma. This teaching is paralleled with the pairing of kaya (body) and vedana (feelings or sensations), where vendana arise within the body but is experienced through the mind. Dharma in this context is the origin of order and organization that is the foundation of ideas, wisdom, understanding, and values.
Teachings of natural law
Dharma is also used to refer to the teachings of the Buddha, not in the context of the words of one man, even an enlightened man, but as a reflection of natural law which was re-discovered by this man and shared with the world. A person who lives their life with an understanding of this natural law, is a “dhammic” person, which is often translated as “righteous”. The Buddha would teach the Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eightfold Path, the Three marks of existence, and other guidelines in order to achieve the freedom and liberation from suffering.