According to Ancient Vedas, the aspirations of humankind are clearly articulated as “Purusharthas” which means an “object of human pursuit”.
Purusharthas aims of a man must be achieved for the attaining complete fulfillment of life. This concept forms a main part of Hinduism and refers to the four proper goals or Asramas.
The articulated 4 Purusharthas as:
- Dharma: Duty, Righteousness, Moral values
- Artha: Prosperity, Wealth, Economic values
- Kama: Desire, Pleasure, Psychological values
- Moksha: Liberation, Freedom, Spiritual values
The 4 Purusharthas are main objectives and qualities of God, the Supreme Soul. Since an individual is a manifestation of God, it is the lawful activity to attain the Purusharthas by every individual. In fact, the purpose regulates both the individual and the soul.
Let us discuss these asramas in detail.
1. Dharma – Why am I here? Conscientious living
Dharma means righteousness i.e. duty towards the family, the humanity and the society. Dharma is observed by accepting the laws of society and observing the correct living in the society. It is the functioning of Sat-asat-viveka-buddhi while performing the personal acts.
Dharma is clearly introduced first compared to other three Purusharthas. It is all due to its exceptional benefits to attain an ideal position to acquire all other Purusharthas. Dharma aids us to expand the family, and turn it into a holistic vision. It wakes us up to the survival of God and directs our ways to live accordingly, incorporating love and peace.
A person’s dharma includes his progress through different stages of life for different purposes. Dharma enlightens us that the origin of nature is beautiful, orderly and purposeful. When we agree with the concept of God, the embodiment of holistic vision, knowledge, love and power then we start following the path represented by God. The essence of Dharma lies in Acceptance of God. This helps us emerge as a better person and attain Artha & Kama and make us get ready for the real goal of life, namely Moksha.
Adapting the inmost lead of the heart enables a person to attain dharma, the true calling.
2. Artha – What do I need? Seeking security
Artha represents the “means of life”, the activities and resources to enable a person be in his desired state. Artha deals with activity, career, wealth, to make prosperity in life and achieve security. It is the pursuit of material wealth, which brings comforts to a person. Once the person is rid of all the worries, only then he would focus his consciousness to the goal of Divinity. It is essential not to get attached to all the assets and wealth and it can be surpassed with awareness. It is the medium to provide the means of thrust, hunger, and safety needs that are inherent in a physical living body.
However, to begin with, do discover ways & means to acquire necessary wealth and Money satisfies all the above needs which must be earned in truthful methods only. The cleverest way to earn money is to choose a particular field that is compatible and satisfactory to the interest of an individual, which also serve the purpose of society in one way or other. Self-satisfaction after attaining certain wealth is enough as the actual purpose of achieving it is way ahead. Follow the motto “Keep working hard until the real security is gained”.
The right pursuit of artha forms an important aim of human life.
3. Kama – What do I want? The art of enjoying pleasures
Gratification of our desires is explained in the Purushartha – called Kama. Desires can be – power, name and fame, sexual needs, wealth and other creative activities which help us enjoy the life. It signifies the affection, desire, emotions, wish, love, passion, and pleasure of senses.
To attain spiritually and reach the eventual destination, all the desires need to be fulfilled. This can be achieved by fulfilling, or transcending the wishes from the values obtained from Artha.
4. Moksha – Who am I? freedom from all limitations
The Moksha means attaining salvation of the soul from the cycle of birth and rebirth.
The fourth Purushartha is Moksha, which indicates the realization of the purpose of this human birth. Liberation is not something that has to be attained after death but is a state to achieve right in this very life. It makes the inner realization of the individual self-same as the Supreme Soul. Moksha signifies emancipation, liberation or release.
The real happiness can be attained only when desires have been fulfilled. This state of existence is real freedom and liberation. Liberation is freedom from fear and insecurities. This is practicable only when the person finds that he is independent of all imperfections. Moksha is the final liberation from all of the deep dynamic impressions that recurrently participate in the mind and the world as well, by the virtue of which, we force to come and go from the bodily form.
Moksa is the straight experience of the Absolute Truth or Reality.
Balancing the Four Aims of Life
Every facet of our lives is an opportunity to attain Purushartha which moves us towards the opportunities of life and make us think of the needs to be achieved.
These four aims are the pillars of a fulfilling life and finding Ekatvam through them. Ekatvam helps realize inner Selves, to join as one with the Supreme Self and attain moksha. The balance of all the four Purusharthas lets an individual realize himself. These aims are dependent on each other and allow to define and refine themselves. By retaining a balance between the fulfillment of the four purusharthas, an integrated evolution of the individual self exist.
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