Purushartha- The four Goals of human life.

Human is a very intelligent animal and we are fortunate that we were born as a human. Today, human has forgotten their purpose and meaning of life. That is the principle reason of all the sufferings. In Vedas this situation is described as Avidya. Avidya means illiteracy or lack of knowledge. If we know the real purpose of our life we can come over from all the worries, anxiety, and sufferings. in our everyday life, we set a goal and try to achieve that goal. These goals can be of various kind. If we can not achieve our target then we start to feel frustrated and agitated. we feel happy after achieving our target but that happiness is for short time and we start to worry for our next target. Then what can we do that can help us to be relaxed and calm? For that we need to know what are the principle goals of human life. Today we are going to learn about the four goals of human life, described in Vedas which can help us to come over from all the sufferings.
These four goals are translated as purushartha in Sanskrit. This Purushartha word is made of two words, Purusha and Artha. Purusha means Atma and Artha has many meanings but in this blog we will use Artha’s translation as purpose. so the translation of purushartha is the purpose of self, or purpose of Atma. The four goals are (1) Dharma (truth, righteousness), (2) Artha (prosperity or wealth or security), (3) Kama (Desire) and (4) Moksha (liberation). Among these four goals Artha and kama can be perceived by any living organism, while the Dharma and Moksha can only be perceived by human beings. Although all of these four goals are important but Dharma comes over Artha and Kama, while Moksha is considered as Pramartha means the ultimate goal of our life. These purushartha should be followed at same time and can be mastered one by one. Let us try to understand these four goals.
Dharma – Righteousness. Dharma is truth. Dharma is a religion of human. it should not be misunderstood as a particular religion. It’s a religion of all the human. It’s a code of conduct for everyone. it is The real way of living. Dharma is living with consciousness of your mana ( Thoughts) , vachana ( Words) and karma (Actions). Dharma means to follow specific rules and regulations which can help to develop our own self and for others as well. basically when you witness supreme soul within you and that will help you to be aware of your karma towards society. Following dharma with senses means what ever perceptions we receive through our sense organs should be the right and should not harm anyone in the universe. Dharma followed with all the five senses will make us aware of oneness with the universe. when we realize this oneness, there will not be any hates, anger, jealousy, anxiety. We will have more calmness and we will be more content. If this happens we will be able to keep other physical illnesses away. Because mind is the origin of most of the physical illnesses. Dharma is considered as an invisible wealth and it contributes to our overall well being. When we follow Dharma, we feel content and more secure. so benefits of Dharma can be seen as Artha (security) and Kama. You might have noticed that when you donate some thing to the needed, you feel happy. everyone can have their own Dharma(code of conduct), you do not want to follow others Dharma. Your Dharma can change at a period of time. As a student, your Dharma is to study, as a teacher your dharma is to teach and so on. so dharma is morality. In Gandhi’s word As long as you follow your Dharma with no expectations and not harming anyone you are on the right path. following Dharma or duties can help us to nourish our mind, body and soul.
Artha- Artha can be translated as wealth, prosperity, money, security, needs and in many more words. these needs varies from person to person. we have a physical body and a physical body has attraction towards the physical world. we have various needs and we try to pursue those needs through the economic value, name and fame. we are seeking security and for that we run after wealth. Artha is necessary to follow the other three goals as if you are not secure or if you do not have enough wealth, it will be hard for us to follow dharma and Kama. But we need to ask how much wealth do I need? Am I content with the wealth I have? what is really valuable to me? of course we need to have wealth, but we do not want to be greedy. we do not want to do any adharma( against law and regulation) to achieve money. we do not want hurt or harm anyone in the society to acquire wealth. Artha teaches us to be content with what we have. to be content with what we do to live and to use our wealth to help others. A contented person can be happy and can enjoy the life and can achieve the ultimate goal of Moksha.
Kama- Desires or urges. desires of pleasure and enjoyment. Kama is the desire of pleasure of the appropriate subjects of the five senses governed by the mind and soul. so these desires can be cravings of physical body and yearnings of soul. All that we do that is inspired by kama. Kama is desires of pleasure and that can be having money and wealth, being superior, love, intimacy, helping others, perceiving ultimate goal. we may have endless of desires to get happiness but we want follow kama with Dharma, we want to make sure that our desires are aligned with dharma. excessive kama or desires can lead to addiction, lust and greediness. vedas says desires are the root cause of all the sufferings. kama of knowing true self or our own self will lead us to be conscious of oneness with universe. When this desire arises a man will start to seek about his own self. once this desire starts all other physical desires will be automatically limited and Dharma will be followed and the path of ultimate goal of moksha can be easy. kama teaches us to control excessive desires of material world and working to improve our spiritual desires.
Moksha- Liberation. liberation is not which can be achieved after death only but Liberations from all the sufferings, worries, desires and egoism That is liberation. Liberation is supreme stage of tranquility and highest bliss. It is contentment of self and can be achieved by following the Dharma (righteousness). there is no desire, no egoism and nothing to attain in this stage. It is a destruction of egoism and ignorance. it is a knowledge of our true self. it is a true nature. in this stage one merges oneself with super power. there is no difference between supreme soul and oneself. Moksha can only be achieved by following three goals Dharma, Artha and Kama. Moksha is considered as an ultimate goal because once this goal achieved there is nothing to achieve. he first three purushrtha are more relevant to physical life and the fourth one is more concern with the spiritual life.
Today we learnt a little about Purushartha. Purushartha is a vast subject to learn and understand. I hope you enjoy this subject. see you next month with new interesting subject.


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