BREAKING NEWS

Advertisement

Spirituality

Updated on: Thursday, December 02, 2021, 11:03 PM IST

Guiding Light: Understanding Vedanta

Veda gives an ethical way of achieving artha and kama in the world
Photo: Pixabay

Photo: Pixabay

Advertisement

In my last article, I gave an overview of the scriptures in Hinduism — Sanatana Dharma. Now, I'd like to look at one of them from the standpoint of mapping life. The Veda divides all human pursuits into four — dharma, artha, kama and moksha. The pursuits of artha and kama, securities and pleasures give us joy. For example, a house would be something that brings a sense of security. When you make it a home, kama or the joy part of it comes in.

The first portion of the Veda gives us a lot of means — rituals, prayers and actions — to achieve various goals, as far as artha and kama (securities and pleasures) are concerned. Another thing that the Veda insists upon is dharma, which includes life hereafter and what can be done to make it better. While dharma has various meanings, for the purpose of this article, dharma is a universal ethical principle that guides the pursuits of artha and kama.

Dharma includes universal principles like honesty, fairness, justice, compassion, etc. that cut across the board and apply to every human being irrespective of race, religion, country nationality. The Veda gives an ethical way of achieving artha and kama in the world. Of course, Vedic rituals are not meant to replace your worldly action but are only meant to enhance what you do.

The second section of the Veda, known as Vedanta or the Upanishad, deals with a little recognised issue. All human beings experience a lack of fulfilment in their lives. While all dharma, artha and kama pursuits bring certain joys and pleasures, it does not make one a completely fulfilled person.

Hence, Vedanta deals with this need in human beings, otherwise known as moksha (freedom), from a sense of limitation that might make one feel isolated, lonely and disconnected from the world. So, the fourth priority of the Veda is moksha in terms of life mapping. Hence, the Veda offers a complete means for living a fulfilling life — the anterior part dealing with dharma, artha, kama and the posterior part dealing with moksha.

Advertisement

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Published on: Friday, December 03, 2021, 07:00 AM IST
Advertisement