What are Life Pursuits?
The Vedic philosophy says that the humans have a definite goal in life. Since the end Goal of life is “Moksha“, there are few other (intermediary) life pursuits as well. Here is the type of life pursuits.
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- DHARMA- Righteousness
- ARTHA- Acquisition of wealth by proper means and its right use
- KAMA – Fulfillment of noble desires
- MOKSHA – Liberation or the final Goal
Although, these objectives are regularly used in our daily life in different situations. Indeed, it is essential to have proper knowledge of these pursuits of life. Let us see them in detail.
Dharma is a primary and one of the foremost life pursuits or objectives.It is a Sanskrit word and does not have any equivalent word in the English language. The term dharma has a much broader impact on everyone that the word ‘religion‘. The word DHARMA has been taken from its root ‘Dhari’ which means ‘to uphold‘, ‘to adopt‘, ‘to safeguard‘, etc. Therefore, DHARMA means to uphold or practice something. DHARMA is a comprehensive term and hence, covers an entire range of values.
DHARMA covers two factors:
(a) True faith and devotion to supreme, as all noble qualities emanate from Him;
(b) Follow the path of righteousness in your life,
The above-listed factors are also known as the root principles of Dharma. The above two objectives can be the unification base for all conventional religions. Hence, it has been known as Sanatan (Always) or Manava (human) Dharma.
Basic Principles of DHARMA
- Forbearance: It is the quality to stay calm and composed in all situations.
- Mind Control: We have to practice total control over our mind which is never resting and always changing.
- Forgiveness(shama): It is the fortune of those who are physically and morally strong. However, it is not desirable to forgive a habitual wrongdoer.
- Not Stealing: One should not steal or take away anything which belongs to others, without paying its proper price and without proper permissions from the rightful owner
- Cleanliness: It is necessary to keep your body, mind and physical nature clean and pure.
- Wisdom: Study, self-experience and a wise company is the key to attain wisdom.
- Senses control: It is necessary to keep senses in control to become their master. We have five senses for knowledge and action.
- Knowledge: It requires the accumulation of vibes through the physical and spiritual world.
- Absolute Truth: Always speak the truth in thoughts, words and actions.
- No Anger: To stay calm and balanced even in the face of provocation and chaos.
Artha comes second on the list of life pursuits based on Dharma. Observation is the priority of Artha. There are certain forms to understand Artha, these are:-
- Knowledge: In a material and spiritual world, Knowledge is important and thus it is the primary purpose of our life.Material life needs knowledge for the requirement and activities that are necessary for living.God and spirits are the only preachers of spiritual knowledge.
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Material knowledge is a combination of good education, intellectual objectives and daily experience, etc. However, it is difficult to acquire spiritual knowledge as it leads to self-realization. Hence, the yogic discipline and hard practice along with dedication are necessary for spiritual knowledge.
- Health– It is necessary to practice the knowledge of acquiring good health at physical, emotional and mental level. Therefore, the fundamentals of good health are hygienic food, regular exercise and good thoughts.
- Contentment-It is an abstinence of desire to have more requirements and material accumulation in life. Therefore, honest work and satisfaction through hard work and effort is the only path. It also provides moral strength and mental peace to stay calm in all circumstances.
- Material wealth-Dharma is the path for attaining wealth. Thus wealth should be used only in emergencies and not for one’s greed (luxuries). But It is still better to be a master of wealth than to be a slave.
Kama-controlled fulfilment of desires
KAMA comes third on the list of life pursuits. It is a satisfaction of desires for sensual urges. Analogous to, these desires are responsible for our sexual gratification. It requires fulfilment of material desires on a broader level.
There are Two Faces of Kama
- A controlled and beneficial desire serves as a catalytic agent for all our actions in life. The need of new discoveries are objects of desire, to achieve something for personal and worldly progress.
- Consequently, an uncontrolled desire can lead to destruction.
Therefore, it is very important to know about the differences between these two faces and then to satisfy all our desires in a properly controlled way. Let us now examine how desires are produced.
Our mind dwells on the objects of senses through a thought process to produce desires. It then leads us to attachment with the produced external objects.Hence, it is necessary to have a limit on our desires for daily living and duty. Desires of lust greed and anger are absolutely curbed through control enforced through wisdom.
Moksha (Salvation) in Life pursuits
It is the end purpose of human life. It is a state of liberation from all your miseries and pain. Moksha is the state of perfect bliss. Hence, after attaining Moksha there is nothing left to achieve or attain.Human life is unique as it is at the top of all creation. Therefore, only human beings have the capacity to think amongst all other beings. Above all, humans have the ability of higher intelligence, to analyse, and to distinguish between right and wrong.
Consequently, Moksha is extremely easy to achieve. It only requires continuous spiritual practice, constant and unselfish devotion to god, and an attitude of non-attachment. In short, True knowledge, selfless action, and constant devotion is the path of attaining Moksha. But, usually, it is a set of many births and deaths and, may or may not be achieved in the current birth.