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hinduism.in.peperonity.net

Purushartha

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Hinduism developed a doctrine that life has different goals according to a person's stage of life and position. These goals became codified in the 'goals of a person' or 'human goals', the purusharthas, especiallyin sacred texts about dharma called 'dharma shastras' of which the 'Laws of Manu' is the most famous. In these texts three goals of lifeare expressed, namely virtuous living or dharma, profit or worldly success, and pleasure, especially sexual pleasure as a married householder and more broadly aesthetic pleasure. A fourth goal of liberation (moksha) was added ata later date. The purusharthas express an understanding of human nature, that people have different desires and purposes which are all legitimate in their context.
Over the centuries there has been discussion about which goal was most important. Towards the end of the Mahabharata (Shantiparvan 12.167) there is a discussion about the relative importance of the threegoals of dharma, profit and pleasure between the Pandava brothers and the wise sage Vidura. Vidura claims that dharma is most important because through it the sages enter the absolute reality, on dharma the universe rests, and through dharma wealthis acquired. One of the brothers, Arjuna, disagrees, claiming thatdharma and pleasure rest on profit. Another brother, Bhima, argues for pleasure or desire being the most important goal, as only through desire have thesages attained liberation. This discussion recognises the complexity and varied nature of human purposes and meaningsin life.

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