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Fundamental Pursuits

There are only four pursuits, the fundamental pursuits of life. All others are extensions. These are Dharm, Arth, Kama, and Moksh.

If these Sanskrit terms are roughly translated into English, they will be closer to The Religion, Wealth, Sensuous pleasure and Salvation. These terms in Sanskrit, in fact, contain much more meaning than these translated English words have.

Dharma comes first, because it is the fundamental doctrine of all that exist and do not exist. The next thing we need after our birth to survive is wealth. Then follows the Kama, the sensuous pleasures. These three - Dharma, Arth, and Kama - then become the driving force for us.

There are many permutations and combinations of these three in our lives. These form a life-cycle. When we feel entrapped in this cycle, we wish for liberation. We long for absolute freedom from the tribulations of this life-cycle. This absolute freedom is called Moksh, that is Salvation.

How can these be achieved?
In the Arsh Ramayan composed during 6th century BC by Maharshi Valmiki, it was said that a man achieves the first three - Dharm, Arth, and Kama - by the single action of marrying.

The means to achieve all the four pursuits
A sage of ancient India, Maharshi Charak said that Health is the root of all through which one call achieve all the four pursuits - Dharm, Arth, Kama, and Moksh.