In this second post in a series of four we explore the Four Goals of Life as laid out by the ancient sages and seers of the Indian subcontinent.
Thousands of years ago, at a time known as the ‘golden age’ these sages asked themselves some profound questions in their quest of self discovery. They explored what it means to be a human being and what our relationship is with the universe and creation.
In the depths of their meditation they came in touch in what they realised was the essence of who and what we all are.
Having awakened to who they really are they described that essence as satcitananda, a Sanskrit term that describes that we are eternal pure blissful consciousness without a beginning and without an end.
They also realised that we’re born with four root desires, the so called Purusharthas. These four Purusharthas are known as the four human pursuits which are the pillars of living a fulfilling and satisfying life.
In the previous blog post I explored why as a change maker it is useful to know about these four desires and looked at the first of these four goals of life, called Dharma.
Now we’re going to have a look at the second of these four goals of life which is called Artha. It is the desire for the means to fulfil your dharma.
Mostly linked to the acquirement of money or wealth, at its foundation the root driving force behind Artha is the desire or need for security.
We all appear to be insecure at our base and feel uncomfortable with that. As money is perceived as the most important resource to provide us with some sense of security it is money we generally seek after most.
Even though money won’t fully address our apparent inherent sense of insecurity, in our world there is a need for acquiring money.
The sages realised that good health stands at the basis of the four Purusharthas and from that insight the science of Ayurveda came about, with is the science of health and longevity.
Health is essential to fulfil dharma. Therefore the means associated most with Artha are security, money and health.
Artha at its foundation is about the longing for the means that support one in the process of enlightenment. As we don’t recognise ourselves for who and what we really are, we feel insecure.
In our true nature we are eternal, we are full already. There is no need for security.
With our outward focus towards the material world to provide that sense of security and fulfilment we set ourselves up for disappointment and frustration as the material world is always changing.
We seek outside of ourself that which in fact is already our very own nature.
We can argue that Artha is the realisation that something within us is lacking. It is almost as if we are born with an inherent memory of what we truly are and that memory feeds the desire to return to the fulness of who and what we are.
The root of all fear and insecurity is the fear of death. But the sages say we are eternal. Therefore there is nothing to fear. It is to this aspect of our inherent eternity, our pure existence that Artha is geared towards.
We crave objects and the perceived security of for example wealth because we want to be happy. We either think an object will make us happy, or that an experience will make us happy. It is the feeling that is the result of acquiring object or having certain experiences that we are after.
When working with people recognise the desire for Artha is at play. Create an environment where people are setup for success by addressing their need for psychological and physical safety and having the finances and resources that support change makers in bringing their message out into the world.
Underpinning all of this is health so whenever you work with people make health a priority. Good health is the source of people’s vitality and energy which they need to fuel their personal growth and to actualise themselves in this world.
To lead people, you need energy and show up consistently in an inspiring and empowering way. You need to embody radiant health and vitality and have the energy to a create positive impact in the world.
People need to feel secure around you and that requires you to know what you’re about and behave in a congruent way with your higher purpose, with your dharma. You need to demonstrate emotional maturity and stability and show that you’re successful in the world which means you have a healthy relationship with finances and resources.
You don’t come from a place of lack, but from a place of abundance. You don’t waste resources but respect them and use them wisely.
You’re generous and kind as both Dharma and Artha are blossoming in your life.
And from this place, you lead and teach the people around you how to get to know who really they are and how to live a successful and fulfilling life.
So, if you can take a few moments today to reflect and journal about what your relationship is with your health, with finances and resources, and how secure you feel about yourself and the world.
Then write down at least 10 practical ideas on how you can improve each of these and put these ideas into practice.
In the next post we’re going to look at the third of the Four Goals of life, called Kama, the gratification of desire.