About Our Tradition - What is a Dhama?


What is a Dhama?

There is no exact English equivalent for the Sanskrit word dhama, but in Vedic theology, dhama refers to the supra-mundane abode of the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Biblical counterpart for the Lord’s holy dhama is the Kingdom of God. As God is beyond the creation and destruction of this material universe, so His dhama is also entirely beyond the scope of matter. It is wholly spiritual, an unlimited transcendental plateau composed exclusively of spiritual energy. Dhama is the abode of God.

The etymology of the word dhama indicates the location of the prime support and source of nurture for all existence – spiritual and material. Therefore, the dhama is the eternal home and goal of all living beings.

There are many scriptural references that establish the fact that the Supreme Godhead’s personal dhama is identical with the Lord’s own completely spiritual nature. It is devoid of all material attributes, and the opposite of mundane nature. Therefore that eternal Kingdom of God, His sacred dhama, is as worshipable as He is.

How does the dhama appear in this world?

The dhama exists only to serve the pleasure of the Lord, and it manifests along with the Lord and His eternal associates whenever He chooses to appear in this world. Before the appearance of the Lord, the dhama appears in order to make the many wonderful arrangements necessary for satisfying the Lord’s transcendental desires. And when the Lord withdraws His transcendental form from our view, the reflection of His personal abode remains in the material world, and its spiritual glory and sweetness can be seen by those who are blessed with the necessary spiritual vision. Yet to a person with mundane vision, the dhama in this world appears like an ordinary place. Therefore it is necessary to proceed under the guidance of a genuine representative of God if anyone wants to develop real purity of heart, and become eligible for such transcendental vision.