What could be the main purpose of human life? What is the cause of his arrival on earth? What should be the life values of human beings? These kinds of questions normally arise in our mind and answer of these questions is nicely explained in Hinduism by the four main PURUSHARTHA of life. The scriptures point out four main objects about what man should strive to achieve. The four main pursuits of human life are Dharma, ARTHA, Kama, and MOKSHA (dharma means religion, ARTHA means money, Kama means desires and MOKSHA means salvation) the understanding of which is essential for a better life. Perhaps the majority of us know about four pursuits of life but how to achieve it we do not know so let us get an idea about it.
1) Dharma – Dharma means ethics and virtue which is at the forefront of human life. Religion advises us regarding do’s and don’ts (that is why dharma is known as ACHARDHARMA) and piety without which peace in human life is not possible. Religion is the command to do certain kinds of deeds or the rules by which human beings can get all the best. The attainment of ARTHA that is money and KAMA that is desires must also be done within the limits of religion, otherwise ARTHA or KAMA can also cause destruction. Seven types of purification are necessary for the attainment of the first object of human life that is religion. Dharma can be achieved only through these seven purifications, that is, success can be achieved in the first PURUSHARTHA by seven types of purity. The seven purifications are as follows.
A) DESHSHUDHHI – DESH means place, society or country. Place, society or country has a very deep effect on a person. Purification of a person becomes easier if these three are pure and holy. A person living in a religious and moral society or country can be valuable and pious without any special effort. But in present time we need to start cleaning of society at individual level.
B) KAALSHUDHHI – KAAL means time. The quality or specialty of time from golden age to iron-age that is Sat-Yuga to Kali-Yuga is different. SATYUG is a time of positivity, ethics and virtues while KALIYUG is time of complete negativity and evils. In time like SATYUG routine positive conducts and ethical practice become possible automatically. No special efforts are needed but that is not possible in KALIYUG. So we need to do hard work (austerity) for it means special efforts (penance) are needed for KAALSHUDHHI.
C) MANTRASHUDHHI – The attainment of Dharma is facilitated by real power of mantra. For many such Veda mantras a certain kind of qualification and purification remains indispensable.
D) DEHSHUDHHI – means purification of the body – There are two types of purification of the body, internal purification and external purification. External purification depends on bathing and hygienic diet while internal purification is based on virtue, noble deeds, SATSUNG and positivity.
E) VICHARSHUDHHI – that is Purification of thoughts – is a kind of purification of the mind which is based on positivity, complete purity or holiness and rituals. That is why in Hinduism there is a tradition of sixteen rituals which ultimately makes human being pure.
F) INDRIYASHUDHHI – that is purity of senses which is possible by controlling five main senses of human being with its five subjects such as touch, smell, taste, vision, listen. That is made possible by controlling evils. Sense purification is not possible or becomes tough due to the main evils of human life such as lust, anger, greed, ego, jealousy, selfishness etc.
G) DRAVYASHUDHHI – means material purification – that is money purification, money of immorality that is money earn from any unethical practice is an obstacle in attaining Dharma. Impure matter or unethical money never allows man to get happiness and peace in life. Moreover, the money of iniquity goes in the wrong direction, which speeds up the journey of sin. Donation and renunciation are necessary for purification of capital. According to the scriptures, charity purifies money or capital.
In short, the attainment of Dharma is not possible in human life without the seven kinds of purification. Moreover, those who do not have Dharma in their life find it difficult to get ARTHA, KAMA and MOKSHA means it will be impossible to get success, money and salvation without religion in life. That is why there is a first position among all pursuits of life is dharma. As we know that without schooling no one can get admission in college same is with the dharma. Only dharma can give you all kinds of success as well as money in life and the last or final purpose of life that is salvation.
2) ARTHA – ARTHA means money or wealth which is very important to earn because in every work of life there is a need for money, even if you want to do charity or welfare, money is necessary so that there is no need to give up or sacrifice money. Getting it is the right and duty of every human being, but wealth should be earned ethically that is within the limits of religion. The lust or desire for wealth is not right, that is, the craze to forget religion and earn wealth is unrighteousness, which creates many misfortunes. Such iniquity has flourished in Kali Yuga as the absence of religion is responsible for the root cause of corruption in Kali Yuga.
The BHAGAVAT-PURANA states that the second pursuit ARTHA (money) of human life is made possible by five means.
1) Blessings of parents – one can get blessings of parents by serving as good child and giving happiness to parents.
2) Grace of Guru – one can get grace of guru by becoming real genuine disciple who follows all command and orders of a teacher. Be a discipline student. By becoming obedient pupil one can achieve grace and blessings of guru.
3) Hard work and honest efforts – we know lazy and unskilled cannot get anything in life. Hard-work of right direction is requires with all blessings of parents and gurus. Not only hard work but honest work is needed means your efforts should not be unethical and selfish.
4) Destiny – actually destiny is made up by our past karmas. So we should be very much careful regarding our all karmas.
5) Grace of God – one can achieve grace of God by all good karmas and by following rules of nature that is do’s and don’ts.
The man of Kali Yuga is constantly working day and night to amass wealth, and when success does not achieve he becomes frustrated and helpless. If he acquires true knowledge about earning money, then he realizes that earning money is possible only through these five tools so that a person who understands the importance of these five principles and lives a moral and valuable life can easily achieve the goal. But today’s man, without understanding the value of parents, gurus, destiny or God’s grace, tries to get everything only on the strength of his own intelligence and skill, so that most of the time, failure take place.
3) KAMA – KAMA is not just about physical need or sex but KAMA means wish, want or desire and there are lots of desires of human beings. Among unlimited wants desire for happiness is the ultimate wish of every human being. Happiness is actually the first right of human life. God sent him to earth to have joy and happiness only. But if your desire to be happy is driven by bad feelings, or if you find happiness only by hurting others, you need to give up or sacrifice that desire. Otherwise, just as you make someone sad, others will make you sad and in this way the whole world will be sad, longing for happiness and joy. Everyone should understand by having a wish that happiness is only in collaboration, only by making others happy can a person be happy. Because every element of nature is interconnected they can never be happy alone. The third pursuit of human life is the attainment of KAMA, that is, for the fulfillment of wish or desire, information about the place of KAMA must first be obtained.
According to BHAGAVAT-PURANA the KAMA resides in a total of eleven places.
1) Five senses – The five senses are the nose, the eyes, the ears, the tongue and the skin. (There are five subjects of these five senses such as smell, vision, words, taste and touch all should be pure)
2) Five KARMENDRIYA – The five KARMENDRIYA are the hands, the feet, the anus, the genitals and the tongue. (Means we should not do anything wrong by hands, should not move in the wrong direction by our feet, should not eat improper or non hygienic food just for the taste of tongue and should have proper control on sex that is proper utilization of genitals etc.)
3) One mind- we know that all senses are actually under the control of mind so if we are not the slave of our mind or have full control on mind we can get complete control on senses.
That is why it is said that by controlling KAMA that is desire one can get RAMA that is happiness. Because attaining divine power is easy for one who controls these eleven places. In short, in order to conquer KAMA or to fulfill all the desires in life, one should control the above ten senses and the mind. In short by controlling these eleven places which explained above one can get victory over KAMA.
4) MOKSHA – MOKSHA means salvation or liberation. Liberation means freedom from the bondage of pains and ignorance. Salvation means liberation from all kind of suffering. To be free is MOKSHA. Sin, sorrow, ignorance, lack, incapacity, etc. are the bonds of the world from which to get liberation is the natural wish of everyone. Lust, anger, greed, jealousy, etc. are also terrible obstacles and by restraining these all one can get liberation that is real salvation. Which is not possible for all but the ultimate goal of human life is only salvation. With such a deep understanding, everyone has to do their best to achieve the goal.
The fourth object of human life that is salvation is obtained by controlling the eight elements of nature and those eight elements are
1) Earth 2) Water 3) Sky 4) Air 5) Light or fire 6) Mind 7) Intellect 8) Ego.
First five are nothing but the PANCHMAHABHOOTAS by which the entire universe with humankind has been made up and the last three are the astral body or conscience which is the responsible cause behind birth and death of mankind so these eight elements are nothing but the physical body and subtle body of mankind. Thus salvation is possible by controlling all these eight elements means restraining physical and astral body.
In short, through the above-mentioned tools for Dharma, ARTHA, Kama and MOKSHA, all kinds of success can be achieved with grace of God and true deep understanding by human being. That is the purpose of human life. The creature that is subdued by nature is called ordinary human-being and the nature which is subdued by the power is called God. Thus we all have to become God by controlling the elements of nature which are mentioned in this article. Moreover, ARTHA and KAMA have to be achieved within the limits of Dharma then only salvation can be achieved. That is why there is an arrangement of these four PURUSHARTHA like ARTHA and Kama are in between and the first is Dharma, the last is MOKSHA. It is a mistake to think that money brings happiness. Happiness actually comes from restraint, virtue, good morals, devotion to God and renunciation. But man finds happiness in the wrong place and tries to get it with the help of wrong tools so that he never gets success and never gets it. How can we find something at the place where it is not actually there? Life improves when human beings give more importance to religion (ethics) than money or wealth.
~ SHILPA shah director in-charge HKBBA College