Purusarthas: The Value Paradigms of Human Life (The Bhagavat Gita Perspective)


  • Pramod Kumar Dash Head, Department of Philosophy, Nayagarh Autonomous College, Nayagarh




Purusārthas, Paradigms, Dharma, Human life


In the context of human life, the Hindu scriptures have suggested four cardinal values of life, such as, dharma, artha, kāma, and moksa. These four cardinal values are called Purusārthas or the fundamental goals of human life. Human life is empirical and therefore, contextual.`Understanding values and `living with such values invite the dilemma in value paradigms because man lives through contextual contingencies. The dialectics of `dharma and adharma`, `artha and anartha`, `kāma and niskāma`, and `moksa and bandha` are to be understood in the context of ever-changing human life. In this paper, we shall discuss how the dilemma in value paradigms is resolved by the dialectical understanding of the apparent opposites in the context of practical human life. Dharma is a value paradigm (Purusārtha) and related to other Purusārthas such as artha, kāma, and moksa. In the schemata of Purusārtha, artha and kāma are empirical values and moksa is the trans-mundane value (Paramapurusārtha). When artha and kāma are regulated by dharma one attains the ultimate state of freedom which cannot be expressed through any empirical mode of experience.Dharma is discussed from several categories, such as dharma-artha, dharma-kāma, vastu-dharma, jaiva-dharma, mānava-dharma, āshrama-dharma, varna-dharma, swadharma, raja-dharma, prajā-dharma, guna-dharma, and so on, from an empirical standpoint.


Mohanty, A. K., Dharma, Utkal Studies in Philosophy, Bhubaneswar, 1998, p.41


ācāra paramo dharmaḥ śrutyuktah smārta eva ca

tasmād asmin sadā yukto nityam syād ātmavān dvijaḥ – Manu. S. 1.108

Yatobhyudaya nihsreyasasiddih sa dharma – Vaisesika. S.1.1.2

Mohanty, Aditya Kumar, Philosophy of Value – Central Issues, Centre of Advanced Study in Philosophy, Utkal University, 2007, p. 52

Isopanisad, Verse. 1

The Katha Up., Ch-1, Section-2, Mantra-3

Mohanty, A. K., Dharma, Utkal Studies in Philosophy and Elite Publications, 1998. P.66

Mohanty, A. K., Philosophy of Value: Central Issues, Utkal Studies in Philosophy and Elite Publications, 1998. P.67

BG. 18. 49

Durlabham trayamevaitaddevānugrahahetukam; Manuṣyatvam mumukṣutvam mahāpuruṣasamśrayaḥ Vivekachudamani – Verse -3




How to Cite

Purusarthas: The Value Paradigms of Human Life (The Bhagavat Gita Perspective). (2023). Knowledgeable Research: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 1(12), 15-25. https://doi.org/10.57067/kr.v1i12.112

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