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Saddharma (P. saddhama; T. dam pa'i chos དམ་པའི་ཆོས་; C. zhengfa) is translated as "true dharma," "supreme dharma," "sublime dharma," etc. Saddharma refers to the teachings of the Buddha.

This term appears frequently in early texts, and scholars believe the term was used to distinguage the "dharma" of the Buddha from the "dharma" of other traditions.[1]

Two types saddharma

In the Abhidharmakosa, Vasubandhu identifies two types of saddharma:

Three senses of "saddharma"

The Buddhist Psychology of Awakening identifies three senses of the term saddharma (most likely refering to Buton):[2]

  • The Dharma of the Buddha
  • The Dharma that is supreme
  • The Dharma for the supreme ones

(The general usage in English for the typography of the term 'dharma' is to use an upper case when referring to Buddha's teachings.)

Alternate translations

  • true dharma (Buswell, DKC)
  • Highest, supreme sublime dharma (Goodman)

Related terms

  • Buddhadharma


  1. Buswell & Lopez 2014, s.v. saddharma.
  2. Goodman 2020, tbd.