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The Four Principles - Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha
There are four principles: dharma, artha, kāma, and moksha.
Dharma is the nature.
The body has its nature. If the body wants to sleep you have to provide it with rest. But, what do we do if the body wants to sleep? We put on the television because of an interesting movie. We are going against the body. Dharma, the body has its demands.
Artha is the means, kāma is the desire and moksha is the release from the desire.
Suppose the body has a desire to eat and even though you have eaten, the desire has not vanished. Your stomach is full, but the mind wants you to eat. So the desire to eat still remains. Can you relate to this situation? This is where moksha comes in. Moksha means release from the desire. Dropping of desire is moksha.
If there is no co-ordination between these four faculties, then life will be a total chaos.
It will be a misery. When there is co-ordination between the four faculties, the desire and the nature are co-ordinated. The means and fulfillment are co-ordinated. Liberation can be taken to mean fulfillment. Suppose you have a desire to go to the moon or to fly. But, your desire is not co-ordinated with your means.
There is a story. Once there was a potter who made many pots.
He took much time in making them, making each pot artistically and even painting some of them. He put them all in a basket to take to the market. It was quite some distance to the place. Usually the mind does not keep quiet. The potter started daydreaming as he was walking along. He began to make various plans what he would do with the money that he would earn by selling the pots. He imagined that he would become a millionaire. That his friends would respect him a lot. He would give them a lot of money and he would be able to just relax and lean on a chair doing nothing. While dreaming he dropped both his hands and all the pots fell down and were shattered. He did not even reach the marketplace.
No co-ordination between the means available, our desires and our nature, brings misery. And no co-ordination between all four – fulfillment, desire, means, and one’s very nature creates problems.