System of Purusharthas

If there is one place on the face of earth where all the dreams of living men have found a home from the very earliest days when man began the dream of existence, it is India!

– Romaine Rolland

Purusharthas means the individual’s objectives to living. The individual has to adhere to a system so that she/he has a meaningful life.

The four pursusharthas are dharma, artha, kama, and moksha.

Let us put the above technical terms into practical livable truths:

Dharama means righteousness and duties, i.e., well-thought-of rules and regulations for harmony of self and nature.

Artha means material, money, and wealth.

Kama means desires.

Moksha means liberation or enlightenment.

The beauty of the system is its timelessness. Do look at the chronological order which is the most relevant part of the system.

Dharma: The first is to create within us is the dharma—the right and wrong. Right and wrong cannot be defined by universality. It is always individual in nature. Money can be easily made with dubious means. So it is an individual’s responsibility to decide the right ways that he thinks he can make money or create wealth. The onus likes totally with us. The only person who you need to encounter each day and night is your own self.

Look at the kind of freedom it can give us. If you made money in an unfair corrupt manner, then you need to face the consequence of the society laws and also your own emotions. Money made by fairness is always rewarded by peace of mind within. So live a life of dharma—the right conduct for your own benefit.

Artha: Now that you have created the right rules, use these rules to fulfil your duty of earning money. Use this money for your family and also for societal development. It is perfect to earn enough or more than enough money in a right way. Ensure that this money gets converted to wealth. This money-to-wealth journey becomes meaningful.

Kama: It means desires. As a human being, we are all born with desires. It is a very intrinsic part of our life. Use the money earned righteously to fulfil yours and your family’s desires.

Moksha: It means liberation. The last is the most important and these days it has become the least important because of the rapid materialization and a very unhealthy way to live without awareness. The only purpose of life is God realization or self-realization.

Moksha: If we have fulfilled the first three stages in a harmonious manner, then the fourth is a natural process. The fourth “Moksha” is a non-doing state. It just happens.

This can be combined with another system called as ashrama or stages of human life.

Article by: Mr. Suresh Padmanabhan, creator of The Money Workshop