The Concept of Purushartha and Contemporary Indian Society.

Friday, 20 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Pramod KUMAR, College of Commerce, Arts and Science, Patna (India), India
Indian thought conceives human values or Purushartha as fourfold. According to the Indian tradition, the values consciously pursued or to be pursued by human beings for fulfilment of life are said to be fourfold. These values are, in Sanskrit, called the Purushartha (objects or aims of man’s existence). All the desired and desirable objects in earth and heaven are subsumed under four categories: Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksa. The scope of the Caturvarga schemes thus covers the entire life of an individual, society and culture, the material world and the realm of spirituality. The scheme of the fourfold ends of man, Caturvarga, is one of the principle ideas of Hinduism. Like many other things, it is based on the Vedas, though the scheme as such is not found therein.

In the contemporary age, the advancement in science and technology has expanded the horizon of human knowledge and made life more comfortable and more secure. On the other hand life has become more insecure too. The rising number of crimes, corruption, unrest and demoralization almost at every level of the society can hardly convince one that we may rest complacent. In these circumstances it is wise to consider whether the old values are enshrined in our ancient texts may be useful in solving the crisis of the contemporary age problems. When science fails to check such propensities, the ancient scriptures have to be restored for moderating influence. If we get more and more power from science and more and more moderation from the scriptures, their combination will certainly yield a very balanced way of living.