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Four Goals in life in Hinduism – Dharma – Artha – Kama – Moksha

According to Hindu religion, man has four goals in life. Various Hindu scriptures define the four goals as Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. The four goals can be achieved only through Atma Jana (Self realization). Hindus believe that equal importance has to be given to the four goals.

Dharma is bit tricky to define as there is no exact English definition to it. It can be loosely termed as a righteous way of living or social obligations. Perhaps the best definition of Dharma was given by Swami Chinmayananda – a ‘the Law of Being’ meaning, ‘that which makes a thing or being what it is.’

Artha can be defined as economic, social and political achievements – making of money or generating wealth.

Kama can be defined as pleasurable pursuits including sexual and other enjoyments which are momentary. Fulfillment of desires.

Moksha is spiritual liberation. Brahman realization.

For a balanced human life one has to give importance to the four goals. Giving too much importance to one particular goal will lead to imbalance. Getting stuck in one goal and ignoring other goals also leads to imbalance. All the four goals compliment each other.

One goal is also a guide to another goal. A person rooted in Dharma will clearly understand what is positive Kama and negative Kama (violence). He will understand the difference between positive wealth generation and greediness.

Dharma, Artha and Kama leads to Moksha – the final goal of each human being in Sanatana Dharma.
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