From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Sādhāraṇadharma literally means ‘dharma that is common to all’.

Classification of Dharma[edit]

The word ‘dharma’ has been used in the scriptures in several senses out of which the meaning ‘duties and good conduct’ is the most common. Dharma is usually classified into two categories:

  1. Sādhāraṇa or sāmānya dharma
  2. Viśeṣa-dharma

Peculiarities of Sādhāraṇa Dharma[edit]

It is common to all walks of life. It pertains to all persons without exception. It is generally described as comprising the following ten qualities:[1]

  1. Ahimsā - not harming others
  2. Satya - truth
  3. Asteya - non-stealing
  4. Dāna - giving gifts
  5. Kṣānti - forbearance
  6. Dama - self-control
  7. Śama - keeping the mind at peace
  8. Akārpaṇya - not demeaning oneself
  9. Śauca - cleanliness and purity
  10. Tapas - austere life

Virtues of Aspirant of Sādhāraṇa Dharma[edit]

Other virtues included in such lists given by other sources are:[2]

  1. Nābhimānitā - absence of arrogance and pride
  2. Anāyāsa - avoiding too much of exertion
  3. Priya-vāditā - gentle speech
  4. Maitrī - friendly feeling
  5. Aspṛhā - absence of greed
  6. Anasuyā - absence of jealousy
  7. Guruśuśrusā - serving the elders
  8. Tirthānusaraṇa - going on a pilgrimage
  9. Devabrāhmaṇapujana - worship of God and brāhmaṇas


  1. Vāmanapurāṇa 14.1 and 2
  2. Viṣṇu-dharmasutrās 2.16, 17
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore