Dharma is the innate property of a thing/person which makes it what it is. Like for example, for honey, innate property is being sweet. Without sweetness it does not make a sense for honey. Likewise, for a stone, the innate property is being hard/bold. The dharma of water is being wet. The dharma of a salt is being salt. In other words, Dharma is adding meaning to a thing. Without wetness, there is no meaning for water. Without saltness, there is no purpose of salt.
Now that we understand, the meaning of dharma for a thing, now the question is, what is the innate behaviour of a human which makes us being human?
Also Read: 4 Legs of Dharma
Vedas say Dharma of a person is Being in Service. Many people misunderstand, service as if its serving many people for free like donating blood, providing food etc. But in fact, being in service means, providing service for everyone we get in touch with. Let us understand this in detail…
If you are a parent, it is your dharma to be in service for your children. You serve your children by providing education and other necessities for the children. You serve the society by paying taxes. You serve the organization you work at. Service is an inevitable feature of a human.
Let us understand it more clearly. When you are in love, you serve your lover by spending quality time with each other, by doing things for each other, by listening for what other is going through. Without these it would end up just being a name sake love.
Lord Krishna says to attain moksha, one needs to serve me. But now the question is, how to serve the lord? By chanting his name? By doing pooja daily? Bigger question is Where is the lord to serve? He might be only in temples, in a stone.
When Hiranyakashipu asks his son Prahallad, where is your lord? He utters that my lord is everywhere. He is in the pillar, he is in you and he is in me. This makes us clear that, God Is Everywhere. He is in your Mother, Father, Spouse, Son, Daughter, Neighbour, Beggar you see in the street, the boss you have in your office etc.
Also Read: 3 Debts You Must Repay in your lifetime.
By doing an honest service to others, gives you an access to receive Moksha. Now I believe it is clearer for you in understanding, Maanava Seve Maadhava Seva. Serving a human mankind is nothing but serving the lord. And serving human includes being in integrity with every area of life and serving it fully.
Better translation of Dharma is Duty. It is the duty of yours to be serve others. However, duty differs from body to body. Duties of male, female, children, parents differs. Thus, there are different dharmas for each type of people and social orders.