What’s in it for me? Can’t someone else do it? I don’t want to bother with such religious matters!


Here’s why YOU should ‘protect’ dharma - 

धर्म एव हतो हन्ति धर्मो रक्षति रक्षितः तस्माद्धर्मो न हन्तव्यो मा नो धर्मो हतोऽवधीत्॥


This Sanskrit Shloka appears in the Manusmriti in Verse 8.15 and the Mahābhārata. Literally meaning: Those who oppose dharma, will perish, those who uphold it, will be protected. Thus, to never face negative consequences, one must never go against their dharma. (Dharma here isn’t religion, it is a divine law of moral duties and conduct.) 


The Shloka further means that when individuals stand up for and defend ethical values, they are in turn protected by the same principles they uphold. It emphasizes the importance of upholding one's righteous duties, principles, and moral values. One can even consider upholding dharma as an investment for one’s own future. 


Today, when each of us is fighting our own personal battles, this phrase encourages individuals to act in accordance with our duties and values, even in the face of challenges or adversity, as doing so not only contributes to the well-being of society as a whole, but ensures preservation of our own integrity.


Nowadays, the phrase can often be found used in leadership contexts. Leaders who prioritize the well-being and moral guidance of their people will find their leadership protected and sustained.


Ancient Indian scriptures and texts highlight the significance of righteousness (dharma) in leading a meaningful and fulfilling life. This concept is a recurring theme in Hindu epics like the Ramāyana and Mahābhārata where characters are faced with moral dilemmas and must make choices that uphold righteousness.


The meaning of Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitah is often interpreted as ‘Dharma protects those who protect it’. However, that is just partly correct, because Dharma is all-pervasive, and certainly doesn’t need our protection. Even though we are powerless in front of the all-mighty dharma, we can certainly do our moral duty of upholding it! Thus,‘Dharma protects those who uphold it’ is more suitable!


Did you know? ‘Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitah’ is also the motto of the National Law School of India University and the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). 


Lastly,‘Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitah’ is not just a philosophical concept but also a cultural value in Indian society. While deeply rooted in Hindu philosophy, it also transcends religious boundaries and highlights the universal principle that doing good and acting ethically leads to positive outcomes.


Flaunt your love for Dharma in style with our unique ‘Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitah t-shirts & notebooks! 


Subscribe to Stay updated on our upcoming Sanātani products & blogs. #StaySanātani

~ Megh Furia, your Sanātani pal.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.