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Dharma, justice, is the Hindu god of law and one of the sons of Brahma, but almost certainly derives from the dharmas or archetypal social patterns identified in the Rg Veda. According to tradition he is the consort of thirteen daughters of Daksa and the father of Yudhisthra. He is also regarded as a minor avatar of Vishnu, and appears as a bull standing for the redemption of souls.

In Bengali tradition Dharme (probably of the same derivation) has been annually engaged in a sacred marriage to the earth at the time of the year when a tree known as the sal is blossoming. Birds are sacrificed in a sacred grove after which the cult returns to the homr of the village shaman where the marriage is enacted between the priest and his wife, followed by sex among cult members. A.G.H.


Jordan, Michael, Encyclopedia of Gods, New York, Facts On File, Inc. 1993, p. 64

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