Four goals of life

Racchna Sharma
Peace and Happiness are not new topics or concepts, however so many of us have not been able to truly find it, ever thought why it is not available. Allow me to contexualize it for you, you may find it worth your read for the year 2019, as it will give you a blueprint for the year 2020. Beginning of your journey towards eternal peace and happiness.
Let me begin by saying, being the oldest civilisation, owning and practicing its age old traditions and understating their connection with present times is a guideline to peace and happiness.
I am sure we have many spiritual teachers /mentors telling us many things everyday. However have we been able to understand it yet. Indian ancient texts have been talking about Peace and Happiness byadopting certain philosophy in life and Philosophy which is scientific in nature. So lets talk about some of the most essential philosophies which help us live a peaceful & happy life.
First and foremost and the simplest philosophy is to balance four goals of life. Lets talk about these four goals of life from something we are very familiar with and is as ancient as it can be; hanuman challisa.
Hanuman Chalisa which probably everyone recits, says something very profound in its first stanza itself. When one recites that one is praying for balancing four goals in life; Artha, Kama, Dharma and Moksha.
Shree Guru Charan Saroj Raj, Nij Man Mukar Sudhari,
Barnau Raghuvar Bimal Jasu, Jo dayaku Phal Chari
It means cleansing the mirror of my mind with the dust from the lotus feet of divine guru, I describe the unbleshimed glory of lord Rama, which bestows four fruits of righteousness ( Dharma ), Wealth ( Artha), Pleasure ( Kama) and Liberation ( Moksha).
Let’s go in detail. Artha is material, that is visible, it could be your wealth, salary that you earn, cars that you own, house that you live in, jewels that you own and other desires which you have to live a particular kind of life. Artha is all about possession and when not in balance it gives rise to obsession and subsequent result is misery. Artha when not in balance gives rise to unhealthy competition, treachery, ego. Artha when in balance, it makes you passionate, purposeful and generous.
Kama is Love, that is manifesting and binding this world together. It begins with Self Love, evolves to family, friends & it keeps finding a mate. When not in balance it gives rise to bitterness, lust, jealously, animosity. When in balance it gives rise to compassion, loyalty, empathy, kindness which gets extended to societies, animals and nature at large.
Dharma is righteousness, which varies from tradition to tradition, family to family and society to society. Righteousness. It has layers, self and others and When not in balance it gives rise to judgement, prejudice, crimes and other societal nuances. When in balance it gives rise to detachment and truth.
Moksha is spiritual, it is again vast, depends on cultures, religions and traditions. It is self connect and connection with Spirit inside us, many call it God in outward manifestation. When not in balance it gives rise to mental illness like depression, low confidence, stress & something like midlife crisis. When in balance it gives rise to peace, stillness and the power to be in the moment. It gives you humility.
Now when we have understood these four goals then pen down these personal four goals and also remember to fulfil those & keep them in balance. When we strive to immerse ourselves in activities which are fulfilling our goals of Artha, Kama, Dharma and moksha “simultaneously”, that is when we are doing Karma yoga. Karma Yoga doesn’t only mean persuing only one goal, that won’t be counted as Karma Yoga.
Now when we indulge in to Karma Yoga, we will be experiencing good and bad both in order to achieve our goals. So while performing karma yoga and keep forging ahead without being affected by good or bad, success or failures one might need another guiding light. That light which will keep you consistently on the path of Karma Yoga and make you a resilient leader. This will happen when you are fully aware and in charge of your Values, Principles, Ethical Boundaries and Passion or Purpose. How would you like to live, what would you like to be remembered as & how do you get there ? Many times the values we are born with due to our genetic memory and environment /culture/ family influences may not serve us to be where we want to be. Hence we need to trade off between the old and new values.
These new values need to be practiced and accordingly principles need to be made out of them.
Now apply them in pursuing your particular passion or purpose and draw ethical boundaries around it. So we have to see what is it that we can take and what it is that we can’t and create a boundary for ourselves. Like how Laxman created a line for Sita. She crossed it & then misery followed. Like that in our life we have to draw certain boundaries around us, there would be temptations and detours, however you will now have a guideline to stick to. These guidelines will be within you, and not in other people or situations.
Believe me if you stick to even 70 percent of this, you shall forever remain happy unless you are stuck with some natural calamity, disease or unforeseen incident. That is not in our control. However whatever should be in control is also something we do not understand that can be engineered within us.
So going back to the essence of this article, remember none of ancient scriptures or festivals are without a meaning, instead of just following a ritual or tradition, this time try and find out the context of it in those mythological stories. You will find hidden mantras to live a fulfilling and happy life.