Purusharthas – Our Goal of Life

People usually ask what Purusharthas refer to and what the meaning of it is and how it is attained. Basically, Purusharthas serve as pointers in life and act as stage-posts of awareness. It points to the goals in life that human beings need to live a life of meaning.

To make it simple, it means you need a destination before you begin a journey otherwise it is an aimless journey without any purpose. This obviously means that life becomes meaningless without Purusharthas.

Search Within Yourself

Comprehending your goal takes place within yourself; there is no need to look outside. It is you that is important here and not the world. Know what satisfies you, discover yourself, introspect and then make a decision. Following the rat race of the modern world may certainly not be your way of life, and when you realize this, it might be too late.

Therefore, take time, think and then begin your journey. The way you lead your life is important. You get it just once and following others is the simple way out, and wrong as well. Scriptures have thus asked us to contemplate on the Purusharthas of life or the four objectives of humans. Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha are the main aspects of human life, through which man leads a complete life.

DHARMA – Orderly, Holistic Approach to Life

Dharma is maintained as the first Purusharthas in the scriptures, which lead us to have a disciplined and orderly life, by using the right method to live a peaceful and satisfying life. As man is a social animal, he has to follow rules and restrictions so that he does not hurt others, while leading his own life.

It means that we have to love, care and be compassionate towards others. Only if we live life according to the Dharma can we truly enjoy Artha and Kama. If Dharma is the common regulator, Moksha or liberation is the common aim, though difficult to attain.

ARTHA – Wealth

Artha is one of the Purusharthas and relates to the financial aspect or the economical status of humans, which is important for all. It does give security and material pleasure and above all it gives us a comfortable feeling. As it provides us what we want, we usually run after it day and night, without any thought as to how much is enough.

Desperation is what takes control of us and leads us to a destructive or imbalanced life. Money can be earned through hard work and passion for the work. This will automatically lead to making money. If you earn lots of it, then new insecurities will stand in front of you and you will then have the problem to protect your money.

Put a stop to the whole thing when you feel you are secure enough. After all does money give you everything you have worked for? The task of Artha remains and hopefully progresses to gaining that which is beyond the material level which makes us safe and secure. Keep inquiring into yourself until you become really secure within.

KAMA – Satisfaction in Life

Money does provide you with things that you long for. It give you comfort, satisfaction, fulfills your desires and even you responsibilities towards you family. The next Purushartha is Kama, to fulfill your desire. But wait, desires never end, when one is achieved, the second one comes up.

Therefore, control of the mind and desire is necessary. Otherwise attaining Artha and Kama are a waste if you are not enjoying what you have worked for.

MOKSHA – Liberation in Life

This is the fourth Purushartha and leads one to liberation. This can be achieved only by right living and right thinking and is attained in life itself and not after death. So what does Moksha mean? It is the freedom from sense of fear, insecurity, unhappiness, which is only achieved when man discovers that he is free from all kinds of limitations like space and time. It is ultimate sense of security that leads to Moksha.


The order of Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha corresponds to human nature, in the order of importance to today’s 21st century man. Dharma is always held higher than Artha and Kama. In fact,Dharma is that which helps man to fulfill the obligations of Artha and Kama directed to the ultimate end of Moksha. Moksha can be attained through Dharma, once it has been cultivated through Artha and Kama.

About the Author

Vandana Singhal writes extensively on science, technology, health, and travel. Vandana has a degree in science and is artistic in nature.

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