What is Adharma?

Adharma is a Sanskrit word which means that which is not in tune with dharma or that which is against Dharma or, more literally, not-dharma. This has connotations of wrong, evil, immorality and other vices such as hatred etc. It can also be translated as chaos, disorder and disharmony. It is a complex term which has different shades of meaning depending on the context.

Its opposite, dharma, etymologically means that which support and sustains. Thus Adharma can represent all attempts to destroy or oppose this process of supporting or sustaining. It is often written as a pair in the scriptures of Dharma-Adharma. Dharma leads to well-being, prosperity and spiritual enlightenment, Adharma leads away from all of these.
Adharma is considered to be the root of all trouble, fear and suffering. Another meaning of Adharma is unrighteousness. In practice, this is often taken to stand for unrighteous deeds, such as telling lies, cheating, stealing and committing crimes. It may also stand for acts of omission; for example, when a person does not perform their dharma or the duties they are entrusted with.
In yogic philosophy, Adharma can be considered to be an imbalance of the three gunas which are tamas, rajas and sattva. These can be rebalanced by the yogi through faith and devotion, as long as this devotion is in resonance with their spirit and is not blind faith.  In some of our spiritual texts, Adharma is personified as a son of Brahma, who is married to violence and father to falsehood and deceit.
Mahindra Tiwary

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