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Report No. 58

Concept of 'law' in ancient times

2.2. According to ancient Hindu concept, "law" sustains, supports and helps the progress of society. The Upanishads describe 'law' in eloquent words, thus:-

"Law is the king of kings, far more rigid and powerful than they. There is nothing higher than law; by its prowess as by that of the highest monarch, truth prevails, and the weak succeed against the strong."

The function of maintaining, sustaining or supporting1 is the essence of the word "Dharma", derived from the root 'dhr', a word corresponding to the Latin 'fir', from which the word 'firmus' (strong and durable) is derived. According to the Mahabharata3, "law" maintains everything that has been created, "and is thus, that very principle which can maintain the universe".

1. Chapter 1, supra.

2. Hindi Mater

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