We all want to find purpose in our lives, don’t we? But it’s not that easy to know what our purpose in life truly is. More often than not, people get stuck in the rat race of life. Involved in an endless pursuit of wealth, power, or status but with little reward or purpose.
If you’re looking for enlightenment, it may be worth learning about Hinduism’s Purusharthas. These are four core values — Dharma (righteousness), Kama (pleasure), Artha (wealth), and Moksha (liberation) — that can give meaning to our lives. These four purusharthas provide a blueprint of how we can live a peaceful and successful life.
Dharma is all about living a righteous and conscientious life. According to Hindus, we can attain dharma by acting ethically and morally. It involves the realization that we are all connected in this world and that we are all living according to God’s will. As such, it’s essential to care for and be sensitive to the needs of others.
Dharma serves as our foundation and makes it easier to attain the other purusharthas.
Kama pertains to pleasure and meeting our desires and wishes. Contrary to popular belief, kama doesn’t just refer to sensual pleasures, but it also involves other pleasurable activities. The focus is on achieving a holistic experience of fulfillment and joy. And by letting go of egoistic problems and desires, the more we can make the best of our experiences.
According to Hindu scholars, attaining Kama must not come at the expense of the other purusharthas.
Artha involves wealth and prosperity. Achieving economic security allows us to pursue Kama. It also allows us to meet our life responsibilities, including family and friends.
Artha acknowledges that money plays a vital role in life. But economic security isn’t just about acquiring as much money as possible. Rather, it’s about using money to help us attain financial independence. It’s a means for us to access enjoyment or comforts in life.
And while Artha can create a path towards Moksha, we must not let wealth hinder our pursuit of moksha. Instead, it is best pursued in the context of Dharma and Moksha.
After achieving Artha and Kama and living out Dharma, what more would we want out of life? According to Hindu scholars, Moksha is the ultimate goal in life.
Moksha means final liberation or self-actualization. It may signify freedom from our fears, insecurities, and limitations. Moksha involves introspection and discovering our true selves.
Moksha refers to attaining absolute security and happiness. This means that while you still enjoy wealth and pleasures in life, you are also not motivated by it. You can feel secure even without them in your life. Some also interpret Moksha as breaking free from Samsara, or the repeated cycle of death and rebirth.
An Inquiry Into Hindu Purusharthas
The four purusharthas provide a path for us to find purpose as human beings. But more importantly, it gives us the opportunity to pause and look inward.
We must ask ourselves what will truly give our life meaning and purpose. We do not need to be in a hurry to find this answer., and we also shouldn’t blindly follow what others are doing. In time and with deep introspection, we will discover our true purpose in life. In the process, we can do our best to live a moral and ethical life.
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