Four Purushartha of life

Our life is very mysterious. Human beings are the dominant species of the planet. They are the dominant species of the planet because they have the sense of their consciousness and have higher intelligence which is unique to their species. The primary purpose of the other animals on the planet is finding food, surviving, and reproduction.

These are the main goal of every living being no matter if they are big or small, singular, or multicellular, and so on. Even the biological goal of humans is the same o find food, survive and reproduce. No matter the animal or species if it is alive the biology in them compels them to complete these tasks there is no other option. If they are alive, they will try to complete these goals above others and humans are no exceptions to these goals.

However, the consciousness and intelligence among humans make them special and the only exception to these rules. The consciousness gives them the ability to have other goals rather than biological goals. They have social goals, spiritual goals, and other many things. The Hindu scriptures describe these goals as the Purushartha of life. According to the Upanishads and scriptures, the Purushartha of life is something every human should have the knowledge about and try to pursue in life.

The human consciousness

The human consciousness is one of the mysteries of the world. Nobody certainly knows why we are the only species to have it. There are many speculations and theories on why we are what we are? Some of these theories are linked with mythology while some are told by scientific research and theories. Some of these theories hold above others and are much believable while some are the most absurd things one can imagine and looks like a fragment of fiction. 

Most of the answers provided by the mythologies tilt towards one point. They say that humans were meant to be special and be the dominant species of the planet. That is the reason we were made special. Looking at this answer one needs to wonder as it is true. Not only we have been gifted with the most amazing mind we also have been gifted the most amazing body.

A body that can learn and adapt to swimming and that can adapt to various climates, is omnivorous and other many amazing things. Are we made by the gods and were meant to be special and gifted with intelligence and consciousness? Nobody knows for sure and no one can officially confirm nor deny the fact that we were created by God and made to be special among other species. 

Science and scientists have a different take on the ability of human beings. According to science, humans and their ability is the product of the evolution of millions of years. The humans of the initial period were hugely different than the humans that are now. As time changes the human-focused more on their intelligence and brainpower developing it the way it is today. Various archeological findings and other research also support their theory. Furthermore, the developed thinking ability of the other species that are closer to us genetically than the other species of the planet further proves this point.

What comes with consciousness?

Humans are the only beings with such high intelligence on the planet. That is the very reason the lifestyle of humans very much differs from the other species. This consciousness also adds many things to our menu. While the other species without higher forms of intelligence have nothing more to do than find food, find a mate, and be alive humans have much more to do.

Humans do many things in theory day time like fulfilling the basic needs, entertainment, and pursuing other goals that enhance the quality of their life. However, other than these goals the Hindu culture describes the Purushartha of life. The Purushartha of life is the ultimate goal in life that humans need to pursue.

Mating, finding food, and surviving are the things that are done by every species all are coded in their genetics to do so. Even the unicellular organisms with no higher function do so. Now, if the humans also do only this much activity. What is the use of having the most advanced brain on the planet? What is the use of having consciousness and higher intelligence than others?

The Purushartha of life is what we get with the higher form of intelligence we have. The Purushartha of life is what should be the basis of every action of human beings. According to the Hindu scriptures and texts, the Purushartha of life is something that the best of the people follows and live by its rules. It is true as the Purushartha of life is the novel acts which is not beneficial to the one who follows but for the people around him and the entire world for that matter. 

There are four Purushartha of life. They are as follows:

  • Dharma
  • Artha
  • Kama
  • Moksha

Now let us discuss the four Purushartha of life in detail.


Dharma is the first of the four Purushartha of life. Dharma is the vast world and the actual meaning of Dharma cannot be translated into one word. The word can be interpreted into many things and can also be described as many things. However, that may be the case but it is something that everyone needs to follow and live by.

The right thing to do, the novel act and the duty that one needs to live in their life is Dharma. Dharma is described in many books and scriptures of Hindu mythology. Also, the role of Dharma is very great in the stories of Hindu mythology. The gods incarnate in the human to preserve Dharma, the hero fights and defeats the villain to preserve dharma, the mythologies tell the story to preserve Dharma.

The Hindu scriptures say that everything in their universe has their Dharma. It is the novel duty that is assigned to them. Without everyone and everything following the Dharma, the world cannot run. Even the nonliving things have their Dharma and they must follow it as it is the universal rule that even they cannot break.

The Dharma of the sun is to provide warmth and life to the living beings of the earth. The Dharma of the earth is provided food and provide a home to living beings. The dharma of the plant is to grow from the seeds and provide fruit and shade to the living beings. As we can see everyone has the Dharma. As humans were made as the most special in the world their Dharma and the duty to the world is much more than the other in this world. 

The Dharma of the humans according to the Purushartha of life is to love and care for everyone. Humans are only with the ability to have compassion for others and it is their Dharma to make the world better for all living beings. 

In every Yug, the Dharma is said to be disturbed by the one who does evil acts and harms others in harmony. They disturb the peace on the earth. Then Lord Vishnu comes into the earth in many forms to establish peace and maintain the Dharma again. 

Dharma is the first and the most important among the Purushartha of life.


Artha is the second of the four Purushartha of life. Artha is the Sanskrit word and meaning when it is translated to English it becomes meaning. The second Purushartha of life is the means of life. What is the Artha or means in life? Like the Dharma, this Purushartha of life Artha also has a broad meaning and spectrum. What are the means of our life? The answer is everyone can have the means of their life and that is the beauty of it. However, the basic means of the life of the people may remain the same. 

In our life, everybody needs the means to live and adjust to society. The means that we possess in our life depends on many things. Like what profession we are involved in, which country we live in, how much education we have, and what skill we have in our life. The one certain thing is that the means in this are not equally distributed.

The means may include wealth, food, opportunities, prosperity, economic stability, and similar things. These are the things that are not well distributed and this system sometimes feels unfair. Some by birth get the resources one dreams to achieve and work all life to get it. The distribution is unfair and the Purushartha of life tells to share the resources with those who do not have enough. The Purushartha of life also tells us to accumulate wealth and means by walking the path of Dharma and not Adharma.


The Kama is the third of the four Purushartha of life. Kama means physical and sensual pleasures. The Kama sometimes is mistranslated and often related to only the pleasure of the body and sexual activities. Sexual actions most of the time are seen as vulgar and something that should not be discussed. However, this is extremely far from the truth. Aside from pleasure and desire the sexual activities are also the means of reproduction. To be on point the primary purpose of sexual activities is to give birth to new life and continue the cycle of life. 

Nobody is immortal in this world. One who has taken birth in this world has to leave it at one point some fast some a little bit longer. The activities of the Kama give birth to the new life to keep the earth populated and the life running. It is something without which we as a race cannot continue and every human living is the product of it. The Kama Purushartha of life does not only include sexual activities but all the emotions and feelings like pleasure, passion, emotion, wish, and other similar emotions. 

The Kama is also a form of love, without the activities of the Kama the activities of the love between two partners cannot continue. The activities of the Kama between the individuals with proper consent and emotions and feelings are the true definition of love between two partners. According to the Purushartha of life, the activities of Kama should be inside the boundary of the Dharma.


Moksha is the final of the four Purushartha of life. It is the final and the most complex among the four of the Purushartha of life. Moksha is something every soul wishes to get but only a few enlightened ones can get the taste of the true Moksha. Moksha when translated to English is liberation and enlightenment. 

According to the Hindu texts and scriptures, we are primarily the soul more than the body. The soul is immortal energy that is giving life to the body and is immortal. The body grows old and dies but the soul like the cloth changes the body. We are currently in the body and at one point we will change this body as we changed the previous body to get into this one. Like this, the cycle of birth growth and ultimately death continues and keeps ongoing. Only the one who can attain Moksha can get freed from this cycle of life and death then attain the true energy form that we all are destined to become once we attain Moksha. 

As we had talked about earlier Moksha is something every soul desire but not everyone can attain it. According to Hindu scriptures, there are many ways to attain Moksha, even harnessing the true power of Yoga gives the ability to attain true Moksha according to the book Shiva Shamita. There may be many ways to the destination of Moksha but only with the strength of Dharma, love, compassion, knowledge is someone able to walk the path to achieving enlightenment.  

According to the texts and books, Moksha is the highest form of bliss one can feel in their life. It is right there and everyone can achieve it but they need the strength to achieve self-realization and attain the true knowledge of the world which is behind the Maya of this world.