Sunday, February 22, 2009
Four Purusharthas - Dharma, Artha, Kama, Moksha
The four purusharthas or goals of human life are 1. Dharma (righteousness, duty and moral order) 2. Artha (wealth and prosperity) 3. Kama (wordly desires) 4. Moksha (liberation) The ancient hindus never neglected any aspect of human life. The four goals or endeavors of human life constitute the roadmap for a happy life on earth and beyond. Let us try to understand each of the goals briefly: 1. Dharma is the foundation and first of the four human goals. Dharma refers to moral duties, obligations and conduct, namely, vidhis(do's) and nishedhs(dont's). Dharma is always given a highest importance, in Ramayana, Rama himself represented the Dharma and was crowned as a King. In Mahabharat, Krishna himself crowned the Dharma roopa Yugishtir as King. 2. Artha, is the second goal of life for the householder for the attainment of wealth and material prosperity. The efforts or means to realizing this goal must have a righteous and moral basis. It must be based on dharma or lawful means. 3. Kama, is the fulfillment of biological, physical and material desires. The householder is instructed by the shastras to legitimately fulfill his or her wordly desires in accordance with the canons of dharma. Artha & Kama are important goal for the growth and progress of society. 4. Moksha means liberation form the web of maya, freedom from the cycles of birth and death, and the experiences of divine happiness. This is the ultimate goal of human life. It is achieved through taking the refuge of God or a God-realized guru. Through the guru's grace one becomes free from the bondage or maya, and is blessed with self-realization and God-relalization. Hari Om.