What are human goals according to Hindu religion ?

Discussion in 'Chitvish on Hindu Culture & Vedanta' started by Chitvish, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Human beings are unique when compared to all other living beings.
    The features common to human beings and animals are are
    Ahara – Eating, for survival
    Nidra – Sleep
    Bhayam – Fear and inherent sense of insecurity
    Maithunam – Love for perpetuation of one’s own species

    The two main differences are, speech and superior intellect, which is a unique faculty of a human being. Hence a human being is capable of seeing his life very clearly, fixes specific goals and works for their fulfillment.
    Our culture specifies these human goals. Artha is the Sanskrit word for goal and hence these goals are called Purushartha or the goals which are sought after by human beings.

    There are four types:
    Artha:
    This means wealth or security. In fact this can be aptly called, freedom from insecurity!
    We also strive for freedom from pain and threats, broadly speaking. Man wants to acquire various things that he does not possess ( yoga) and wants to protect what he possesses (kshema). So yoga and kshema are the two fundamental requirements which are reflections in various actions we perform.

    Kama:
    This means pleasure or entertainment. Once the security is taken care of, we look for pleasure, entertainment or recreation. When the physical requirements are satisfied, there arises the requirement of the mind.

    Punyam or Dhama:
    This is the invisible favour factor.
    Hinduism believes in rebirth.
    We invest for the post-retirement life because we want financial security in our old age.
    The same way, we want to think of our well being in the next birth (janma) also. (We are not considering here the non-believer, who may not bother about the next birth).
    Dharma or Punya is what is meant for the wellbeing in the next birth. Punya is the invisible (adhr(u)shta) result gained by the noble activities performed in this birth.
    According to Hinduism, the physical body only dies and the soul within, never dies.
    But the path the soul takes for the next janma is decided upon by the past actions which are known as “karmas”. So the results of the actions of former body do not die with the body. They are attached to the soul and they decide what kind of body the soul takes in the next life. So it is clear that only the Papam and Punyam, acquired during this janma, follow one’s soul to determine the next janma.
    Life is a pursuit of happiness at the three levels of the body, mind and intellect which are respectively called artha, kama and dharma.
    We generally pursue only the first three goals. But they do have some limitations.

    Pain:
    Acquisition of anything involves a corresponding loss. If we build a costly beautiful house, it does involve a corresponding loss of money! After we build, maintenance involves more money. More loss of money is also painful. So the first limitation is that the pleasure we derive is always mixed with pain.

    Dissatisfaction:
    We are never contented with what we have. The urge to acquire more is forever there.

    Dependence:
    For security and enjoyment, we depend on external factors. Also we depend on Punyam for happiness in the next janma. The above three goals, put together are called Preyas.
    So, there are limitations in Preyas. Realising that, the wise people look for the fourth goal called Moksha.

    Moksha:
    This word is often misinterpreted and understood wrongly.
    Moksha means freedom from dependence on all external factors. One should discover happiness in oneself and not depend on security, pleasure or punyam. Moksha is discovering security and happiness within oneself. We no more depend on people or situations. Their arrival is fine and equally fine is their departure. This inner freedom called Moksha should be the highest human goal. This goal is called Sreyas.

    When we pursue Preyas, we are undergoing permanent struggle. But in Moksha or Sreyas, all the struggles end and I discover joy and security in myself. So it is up to the individual to choose Preyas or Sreyas as one’s goal.

    Love & regards,
    Chithra.

     
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  2. purnima_2k

    purnima_2k Senior IL'ite

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    Diff topics explained in simple words?

    Hi Mrs CV,

    I truly enjoyed this weeks post! Tough topics understandable @ ease! Thank you very much for this enlightenment. I really look forward to thursdays! :)

    Purni
     
  3. Priya Amarnath

    Priya Amarnath Bronze IL'ite

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    wonderful

    Dear Chithra

    The goals of a Hindu is well explained in this topic. I really enjoyed ur explantion to Moksha. With ur nice explanation u make even the most difficult topics easily understandable. Hats off to u.

    Love and Regards
    Priya
     
  4. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    My dear Purnima !

    Thanks for the prompt response.
    I posted this topic, because we must always start " with end in mind". That gives us a road map of how to go about.
    Please stay tuned.
    Love & regards,
    Chithra.
     
  5. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Priya, you always encourage me.....

    in both my forums. Any amount of thanks is not enough.
    Moksha is always interpreted wrongly by us. It is not a place to be reached, but a state of mind to be achieved.
    Now that vedanta is much sought after, the word Shreyas is becoming very popular in Chennai. Our own building's name is Shreyas !
    You may need to read it 2, 3 times to remember the terms, but is worth the effort.
    Please continue with me, Priya.
    Love & regards,
    Chithra.
     
  6. AGR

    AGR Bronze IL'ite

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    Re:Shreyas.......

    Dear Chitra Madam

    I have also heard from a speech given by krishna premi that first, do your duty. If the duty of a wife is to take care of the house, look after husband and children, that should be done first..........and when you do your duty you would feel a sense of satisfaction...........inner satisfaction that comes just from hearing to all theses lectures without doing your duty is not complete............

    Now only through artha, kama and dhama we can attain shreyas......and shreyas is the ultimate and as said to attain the ultimate we need to undergo pain..........am I on the right path or am I taking any deviations??
     
  7. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Akhila, you are right.

    What you said comes under dharma. That means doing our duty.
    Shreyas is the ultimate & can be achieved by the soul only after many janmas. Our aim should be that anyday. I should not depend on any external factor like people around or the money I possess for security. I should not depend even upon punyam for future security or pleasure! All pursuits end once we reach " moksha". This is because I discover security & joy in myself.
    Thanks for going deep, Akhila!
    Love & regards,
    Chithra.
     
  8. sudhavnarasimhan

    sudhavnarasimhan Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Chitra,
    You make it all sound so easy! I am really happy to read all these again and again, it really reinforces our mind and strengthens these thoughts, which seem to get lost now and then in our day to day live struggles.

    I liked your explanation on MOKSHA, "It is not a place to be reached, but a state of mind to be achieved. All pursuits end once we reach " moksha". This is because I discover security & joy in myself."

    I just have a question in my mind....if we perform all our duties with a sense of detachment.....will the enjoyment be lost? I know that we should attach love and loving thoughts, to all this , but somewhere, wont the detached feeling create a sense of dissatisfaction.....i am thinking aloud , since we are all emotional beings.....what role does emotions play!?
    Of course i dont want to sart a discussion on emotions, but was just wondering , how to balance both these aspects, emotions and a sense of detachment.....i know i am confused, so bear with me please!:cry:
     
  9. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Sudha, I can make out that.....

    you continue to be under the influence of Sridhar's Emotional needs, post, right ?
    Well, whatever we do, any action, we must do, completely applying our mind, lovingly & with enjoyment. BUT, your expectations about the result should be detached. You must remember that you have control over only your actions & never on the results. When it comes to results, remember we always get what we deserve & never what we desire. Our results are always Iswara Prasadam - we will deal with it in a separate post, Sudha !
    Being a student of energy classes as well, I strongly believe in the energy that goes into any action we do. Do even a mundane job lovingly, you will be amazed at the happiness you arrive at ! That is the difference in the food cooked in a hotel & at home. When we cook for our family, we put all our love & affection in it. So it is definitely better any day.
    Thankyou for the prompt F B , my dear Sudha.
    Love & regards,
    Chithra.
     
  10. sudhavnarasimhan

    sudhavnarasimhan Silver IL'ite

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    Thanks Chitra,
    True i am under Sridhar's post spell....plus i wanted you to explain this in your deep , simple way! That was good one , do ur work with joy, but dont expect results, to be your way.....that is where the detachment comes in ....well this is what i wanted you to say .....and make itclear ,,,,,thanks......very much the profound essence of Gita...i mean Bhagvad Gita here...ha ha!
    Thanks once again, keep up ur inspiring posts....
     

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