dam pa'i chos

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དམ་པའི་ཆོས
holy/ true/ excellent dharma [IW]

holy/ true/ excellent dharma [exhausting obscuration, having the nature of scripture and realization]2(one of the [['jig rten legs par byed pa'i chos - the dharmas which makes the world excellent)faith; yid ches pa / dang ba / 'dod pa ] [IW]

the sacred / sublime Dharma, true / genuine doctrine. Syn dam chos [RY]

holy religion, buddhism, the dharma, supreme teaching [JV]

True Dharma DKC

Discussion

The Tibetan word dam pa literally means elevated or exalted. In the Sanskrit Saddharma, Sad seems to mean either good or true, according to Monier-Williams. The translations "sacred" or "holy" dharma draw too many Christian associations and can provoke negative reactions in students, not to mention that the definitions given in dictionaries do not really seem to match the meaning of either dam pa or sad. The translation "True Dharma" avoids that and also matches the explanation of the term in the commentary to the grub mtha' rin chen phreng ba that this is the dharma which when known brings one to the truth. (This citation is paraphrased from memory and may be inaccurate.) DKC