Friends of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies Talk: Dharma and Human Life


Dr Nick Sutton

Date & time:

Saturday 11 July, 4pm (UK time)


Online via Zoom!

A Friends of the OCHS public lecture.

Limited spaces available so registration is required. Registration details will be sent by email before the talk begins.

There is no fee for this lecture but donations are welcome and support the educational work of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies.


In this talk, we first establish the meanings of the term dharma and its many uses in Indian traditions. Is dharma duty, law, virtue, right conduct, ritual? Or is it the very essence of the world and all things in the world? We also consider the role of dharma as one of the four puruṣārthas – the four legitimate goals of human life – set out in texts such as the Mahābhārata. How do the other three – kāma, artha and mokṣa – rest on dharma. And in the absence of dharma do they lose their position as legitimate goals to strive for?

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