Yoga Retreat
Advanced Yoga Study ( By Swami Dharmananda
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Four-fold aspirations of Human Life

Human desirings are many. Hindu philosophers have classified them under four fundamental forms.

Dharma
The word "Dharma" is understood in three different ways. Firstly it refers to duty. Dharma means duties we have to perform as a husband to a wife, as a parent to children, as a citizen to society or country, or duties that we have to perform to ourselves, sub-human species and to the environment or nature outside ourselves. Secondly dharma refers to universal values and ethical behavior that we should adopt in life for our own good and the good of others. A good example is, ‘Do unto others what you want others do unto you'. Thirdly dharma in its highest connotation comes from the root "Dhri" - meaning to uphold or maintain. It refers to all laws, rules, regulations, principles and disciplines that go to maintain the universal order or any other smaller system within it, in its highest efficiency. It refers to the sum total of all laws of Nature. The intrinsic characteristic property of anything is its Dharma. Dharma refers to the desires in the human mind to understand the laws of Nature. It is a desire for knowledge, spiritual growth, and wisdom.

Artha
The word literally means wealth and property. It also includes family and security. Artha is all human desires connected with seeking power.

Kama
The word refers to sex pleasure, or in a broader way all sense pleasures. We crave for sense pleasures seeking happiness. Kama refers to all the human desires seeking peace and happiness.

Moksha
The word means freedom. Freedom from human weaknesses and limitations. Freedom from those factors in our mind that creates pain in us. Freedom from the cycle of birth and death. Freedom from the soul's bondage to the five material bodies.

Psychologically speaking

  Dharma
Artha
Kama
Moksha
-
-
-
-
Refer's to the desires for knowledge or wisdom.
Refer's to the desires for power.
Refer's to the desires for happiness or bliss.
Refer's to the desires for freedom from limitations imposed by Nature.


Cause of human desiring

Why do we as human beings desire or crave or search or seek knowledge, power, bliss, freedom?

The Hindu philosophers say that our real nature is all wise, all powerful, blissful, and free from all limitations, but because of God's desire to play and consequently His operation of His all powerful force of Maya, we who in reality are eternal, immortal, blissful spirit beings forget that awareness and wrongly identify with our instruments; the body and the mind. We

   
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