In Sanskrit, ‘Purushartha’ is the word for ‘human goals.’ It is a combination of the two words’ Purusha’, which means a human being, and ‘Artha,’ which means wealth or security.
It’s said in the scriptures that there are four goals of human life.
Here are the four human goals according to Sanskrit.
1. Artha (Security – attaining material wealth)
This stands for the endless search for security in life. It can be through wealth, power, fame, and influence. Although animals seek some form of security, there is no endpoint for humans when it comes to their wants. If a person strives for money, he/she will never be satisfied with the amount of money earned.
You always feel insecure, so you try hard to create wealth for yourself. If you search for security through power, you will spend your money to gain power. Even though you struggled before to earn money, you now spend money because you’ve attached a higher value towards power. Your search for security through power.
2. Kama (Pleasure – fulfilling the desires)
It is the mercurial nature of pleasure. Kama consists of various sensual pleasures such as food, sex, travel, and music. Things that are pursued just for pleasure. It is the second stage and comes after Artha. After a person feels quite secure, he/she will go after pleasure, depending on personal likes and dislikes. Although animals also search for pleasure and comfort, they are guided by instincts and pre-programmed behavior.
When we consider humans, their desires are guided by instinct and their own value systems. Each and every individual lives in his/her subjective world. Think of a garage sale; what was once valuable to me isn’t valuable to me anymore. But it is valuable to others. I find value in what others consider worthless.
3. Dharma (Ethics – moral code of conduct)
This goal is considered as an invisible embodiment of wealth in the form of good fortune and donates to our wellbeing. The benefits come in the form of Artha or Kama. According to Dharma, human actions have unseen results.
If the action was good, then the unseen result is ‘Punya’ (merit), a good experience in the future. It could be in this life or a future one. If the action was bad, then the unseen result is ‘Papa’ (demerit), a bad experience in your current life or a future one.
4. Moksha (Liberation – having a desire for freedom)
Moksha is freedom from all forms of desires and freedom from the sense of insecurity within us humans. Only a few humans pursue Moksha. It is considered as inner freedom. Artha, Kama, and Dharma are secondary goals, whereas Moksha is the primary goal of human life. Anyone who achieves Moksha is no longer a slave of anything.
Hindus believe in the importance of investigating appropriate behavior, including copious rituals, and the ultimate goal of Moksha, the release or freedom from the endless cycle of birth. Moksha is the final ultimate spiritual goal of Hinduism.
The key to working with the ‘Purushartha’ paradigm is to examine the fundamental concepts and their role in your life and how well balanced they are.
Maybe you’re working too hard that your life feels like an endless grind? That would be considered too much Dharma, not enough kama.
Are you so trapped in pleasure that you are neglecting your duty towards your friends and family? That is considered too much kama and not enough Dharma.
Have you become so absorbed in making money? That is considered too much Artha, not enough Moksha.
Are you spending so much time on pleasure that you can’t pay the rent? That is considered too much Moksha, not enough Artha.
The balance between them will invariably shift, by stage of life, by month, by week, even by the minute.
The ‘Purushartha’ tells us that we should view our current roles and where our priorities lie. Then we need to shift our values, passions, and relationships to create a deeply satisfying life.
When you have these four, you have fulfilled the purpose of life.
In another aspect of Knowledge, it is said, Kaam is a sin. That is when in fulfilling your desires, you are too feverish about fulfilling the desires, and you do not follow the moral code of conduct, you may get miserable.
It’s believed that Hinduism is the world’s oldest religion, according to numerous scholars, with roots and customs dating back over 4,000 years. Apparently, with roughly 900 million followers, Hinduism is considered the third-largest religion behind Christianity and Islam.
The world’s major religions are; Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Confucianism, Christianity, Taoism, and Judaism, which differ in plenty of aspects, as well as how each religion is organized and the belief system each one upholds.