of pleasure and it is a natural tendency. It occupied an important place in Hindu scheme of
life because married house holder‘s life was considered as the most important stage in life.
purushartha, i.e., Moksha is the ultimate goal of individual‘s life. It
is the fulldevelopment of soul. It is the realization of the true self by a person. The first three purusharthas serve as means to achieve this goal. Salvation or Moksha means attainment to
bliss in life after death. It also signifies that an individual‘
s soul is no longer subjected tovicious cycles of rebirths. The Moksha could be achieved only when an individual hasfulfilled his duties towards the different sections of the society, towards some persons andalso towards the gods.
The synthesis of all the four gives the Purushartha. Dharma (life duty), Artha (wealth), andKama (sex) relate to objects of this world. These are called triverga. Dharma signifies ethicalideal, Artha signifies physical means and Kama signifies vital desires of man. Dharma andArtha are the sources and regarded as the ends meant for corporate activities. To be free of Karma is real Moksha. Moksha is the last Purushartha. All the work has to be performedkeeping in view the last Purushartha
which is equally important for man.
The ancient Hindu pattern of social organisation aimed at the values of Dharma, Artha,Kama, and Moksha by the individual through his physical, psychological and socialevolution. This evolution was calculated to be effected through the process of theVarnashrama system.
The varnashrama Dharma refers to the institutionalization of the stratification in society interms of Varna and the four stages of life. It reflects a broad set of personal duties and socialresponsibilities. Varna literally means colour, which later on with distinctive division of labour and diversification of socio
economic activities was identified with birth andsolidified into caste
system. Ashramas were idealistic division of an individual‘s life for the
performance of all socially acceptable actions one should perform. Bhagavad Gita emphasisethe importance of fulfilling varnashrama dharma.
It is supposed that human life has a span of about one hundred years. Ashrama system dividesthe span of human life into four stages or Ashramas namely
Brahmacharya or the period of training and learning
Garhasthya or the period of work for the world as a householder and of enjoyingmarried life
Vanprasthya or the period of retreat for loosening of social bonds
Sannyasa or the period of renunciation and expectant waiting of freedom or moksha.
Prof. A. L. Basham commenting on this system writes, ―This scheme, of course, represents
the ideal rather than the real. Many young men never passed through the first stage of life inthe form laid down, while only a few went beyond the second. Many of the hermits andascetics of ancient India were evidently not old men, and had either shortened or omitted the