Four Puruṣārthas

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

Puruṣārtha means achieving ‘one’s purpose’ after knowing the purport of it. There are four principal puruṣārthas in Sanātana tradition. They are:

  1. Dharma - It delineates the religious and moral law governing individual conduct.
  2. Artha - It means wealth, riches, property, money etc.
  3. Kāma - It encompasses love or desire of sensual enjoyments.
  4. Mokṣa - It is the final emancipation, the deliverance of the soul from recurring births or transmigration

Sometimes transliterated as: Four Purusarthas, Four PuruSArthas, Four Purushaarthas


In order to maintain decorum and prevent unmārgapravṛtti,[1] artha and kāma are bound by dharma which designate that in pursuit to attain artha or kāma, dharma has to be followed. The main purport of all the three puruṣārtha’s is to attain the state of mokṣa. Hence mokṣa is considered to be the ultimate puruṣārtha. It evinces that dharma plays a significant role in pursuing mokṣa.

References

  1. It means following evil courses or indiscipline ways in the society.

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