Dharma is the first word of Bhagavad Gita. It’s also one of the most misused words in the language. Although it has multiple meanings in different belief systems, and there’s no single word translation, it doesn’t mean religion.
It means the path of righteousness, eternal duty, or the universal laws of nature, that apply to everyone.
For example, we say that it’s the dharma of fire to burn and to cause to burn. Here, dharma just means the nature of fire.
Likewise, ice is ice. The dharma of ice is to be cold and to cause to cool. This is the nature of ice, that’s universal and eternal.
Dharma is the soul of an individual. If everyone complies with its teaching, nature will become favorable to human happiness.
It’s that which accomplishes the three tasks of exceptional administration of the entire world, bringing about the worldly progress of every living being and causing progress in the spiritual realm as well.
In a nutshell, dharma isn’t religion.