Relationship between the Four Aims of Life

Hindu Versus Western Culture

These four aims of life namely, Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. are like a pyramid with liberation at the top. Each is meant to aid in the others. We need to be happy generally in order to function at all.We need the resources to enable us to have leisure and peace of mind. We need the acknowledgment or recognition of others. In this regard, a failure or inability to achieve the lower goals can inhibit the higher.

If we are impoverished, degraded, ill or stupid, it is difficult to get beyond the outer aspects of life.Yet most of us are caught in the lower goals and do not appreciate the higher in our true nature. Often our pursuit of the higher remains a pursuit of the lower in disguise. In the name of God, we still seek pleasure, power or fame. Astrology is also usually denigrated in such a way when its lower rather than higher insights are implemented.

Relationship - Four Aims of Life

It is important not to deny the pursuit of any of these aims for anyone but to show how they relate properly to and direct us toward the true goal of spiritual liberation. We should never encourage a client to pursue these outer goals as the highest pursuit in life. There may be times in life when it is necessary to focus on them or take advantage of the favorableness of the time to achieve them, but this can be done with a long-term spiritual orientation. For this reason, we should not give the lower goals too much weight in reading a chart. A purely business astrology, for example, would not be in harmony with the Vedic approach unless the business was oriented towards spiritual goals.

When we define success or failure, difficulty or ease for people based upon their charts, we must indicate in which domain and on what level. We may judge a chart as good for wealth or career, but this does not mean it is good for health or spirituality. In this way, many charts that are difficult for ordinary goals have higher blessings.