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Purushartha

Purushartha

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RAJENDRA

PRASAD

THE THEORY OF PURUSARTHAS:

REVALUATION

AND

RECONSTRUCTION*

The theory of purqlrthas, which is in substanceand not merely in virtue of the meaningof ‘puru@ha’ a theory of human values,is by common acceptation one of the basictheories of classicalIndian philosophy. It is central to classicialIndian ethics and evento the whole of classicalIndian philosophy of life.’ It pervades latter in its various pictures, visions, and the utopias of human well-being. It hasbeenassumed appealedto, overtly or or covertly, not only in Indian ethical and non-ethical philosophical treatisesbut also in severalliterary works, though a detailed and systematicaccount of it may not be found in any one of them. In this paper I shall not enter into any historical debateabout the theory. My objective is its philosophical analysisand appraisaland not an authentic exegesis, historical or non-historical. I shall first presenta rough outline of it by stating the main featuresof the four puru@rthasand their inter-relationshipsasgenerally accepted.Thereafter, via an analytical examination, I shall try to show (a) that the point of its enunciation is to offer a social-functional theory of human valuesor goalsand (b) that, asa theory of that sort, it does not have to have asits component conceptsthe conceptsof all the four puru@has (caturvarga);rather, it can perform better asa theory having those of the first three (trivarga) alone. I shall conclude with the conceptual proposal (c) that it can be mademore elegantif it is reconstructedor restructured in such a way that the concept of Mok?, insteadof being required to denote, asit is accordingto the tradition, a fourth puru#rtha, is incorporated in the concept of Kima. In all this my main aim will be to assess what extent and in which form it can function asa reasonably to satisfactory theory of human valuesand perform the role or roles the performanceof which may be said to be its primary objective. My expository account of the theory will really be too brief sincemy motive in giving it is not at all to add anything to the availablestock of information. Rather, its purposeis only to provide the relevant context or universeof discourserequired to make intelligible the discussionof the philosophical issuesinvolved in or raisedby the theory. Therefore, I shall
Journal oflndion Philosophy 9 (1981) 49-l&0022-1791/81/0091-0049 $02.80. Copyright o 1981 by D. Reidel Publishing Co., Dordrecht. Holland, and Boston, i2S.A.

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assume severalcommonly or conventionally known details about it and many other matters related to it though pertaining to the classicalIndian conception of man, society and nature. Among the scholarsof Indian philosophy there is by and large a general agreement about what the puru@-thasare. References them can be found to in almost every book on Indian philosophy. But they are mostly casualand seemto take it for granted that the subjectdoesnot merit any detailed philosophical discussion2 This is true of the books mainly or exclusively on Indian ethics aswell. Even original sourcesdo not give any detailed theoretical treatment of the puru@rthas,though someof them are full of opinions about what doesor doesnot constitute a purugrtha and of precepts,prescriptions and prohibitions about what human beingsshould or should not seek.Since mine is primarily a theoretical venture, I shall dependon the materialsavailable asregardswhat the puru@rthasare taken to be. Therefore,my description of what they are taken to be wilI not add anything new to the availableaccounts. ‘Puru~rtha’ is not a technical term but a word of common usagein Sanskrit and many modem Indian languages. Hiriyanna translatesit to meana human value consciouslypursued,an object of desire.3Evenetymologically it means that which is aimedat or desired.It denotesthe objectsof both positive and negativedesires, anything one desiresto have(upadeya)or to avoid i.e., (heya). But in classicaldiscussions about purugrthas references generally are madeonly to the former, and the latter are taken to have beendiscussed by implication. The classification of puru@rthascan therefore be taken to be a classificationof what human beingsaim at. According to the acceptedtradition, the purusrWhas four in number: are Artha, K&na, Dharma,and Mok+. Indological scholarsalmost unanimously maintain that originally the theory of purusarthasincluded only the concepts of Artha, K%ma Dharma,the trivarga (three-membered and the and set) concept of Moksawasa later addition to the three, asin someearly works only the former three are mentioned. The four-memberedset (caturvarga) fmds mention only in later works. But though whether the original theory consistedof the trivarga or of the caturvargamay be historically important, it is of no great philosophical significance.The philosophically important question is whether or not the theory resulting out of the addition of Moksa to the trivarga, i.e., the theory comprisingthe caturvarga,offers a better, more complete,exhaustive,or conceptually illuminating, classificationof the purus&thas, of the things we aim at, than the earlier theory comprising only

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51

the trivarga does.It is generally acceptedthat it does.Rather, to many, Moksa being admitted to be the highest puru@tha, the trivarga scheme,without it, is not only inexhaustive but completely misses real point of categorising the the endsof human life. They claim that the caturvargascheme, the other on hand, presents,in point of philosophical theory, a more (or the most) satisfactory classification or categorisation.To me this claim seems be not to only not obvious but rather untenable. This I shall try to show a little later. ‘Artha’ denotesall kinds of material possessions, including everything that one can own, loose, or gift, etc. Artha includes all types of material things, irrespectiveof their potentiality for rightful or wrongful uses.It includes the material meansfor the performanceof religious, social,legal, and moral duties, aswell asthose required for normal living and subsistence. ‘Kama’ meansdesire,but in its occurrencein the theory of purusrlrthasit denotesthe satisfaction of desires,enjoyment resulting out of the fulfillment of desires,and therefore it may be said to denote pleasureor agreeable feeling. Here again,there is no defmitional resetriction that ‘Kama’ can denote only someand not someother desires,though the desirefor Mok+ais not, accordingto the commonly acceptedversion of the theory, included in Mama.In fact KSmacan be said to be a categorialrepresentationor hypostatisation of man’sappetitive life or pursuits. In generalusage ‘Dharma’ functions like an omnibus term denoting the essence a thing, custom, ritual, legal system,religion, morality, etc., etc. of But it also has a relatively narrower sense which it denotesthe set of in obligations one is committed to fulfil in virtue of his passingthrough a particular period in his life-history, his natural and professionalcompetence, and his status in society (varr$sramadharma) aswell asthose in virtue of his being simply a memberof the human species (sgmanyadharma).In the context of the theory of puru$rthas the narrower sense seems have been to given more prominence than the former. But evenin that sense areaof the its application remainsvery wide sinceit denotesboth moral and non-moral obligations. It is because this built-in ambiguity that it suffersfrom the of conceptual disadvantage giving the impressionthat a non-moral obligation of is asbinding or sacrosanct a moral one. In this work in the analysisof the as theory of Dharma,or the parent theory of puru@rthas,‘Dharma’ will generally be treated as denoting the complete systemof morality or of moral obligations and values,though the remarksmadeabout it would be true of its other, wider, sense well. as

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It is obvious that one’sposition in his life-history (z%rama) in his society and (varna), or his belongingevento a sub-groupin his society, generates set of a obligations and alsotrue that without the acknowledgmentof certain obligations and norms of behaviour one cannot function properly asa social being. It is this fact which seems havebeenhighlighted by emphasising to that everyonehasto follow his varna’srama dharma.The latter can be taken asa basicprinciple or axiom of the theory of puru@rthas. Moksa,wheneveracceptedasa puru@rtha,is regardedasthe highest to which Dharma,by most of its advocates, treated asa means.‘Moksay5also is denotesso many things, e.g., freedomfrom the chain of birth and death, freedomfrom suffering, freedomfrom karma (action), freedom from attachment to the objectsof desires,discriminative knowledge that the self is completely different from the not-self, eternal bliss, propiniquity with God, identity with God, etc., etc. That is why it is often translatedasfreedom, liberation, salvation, release from bondage,etc., etc. Moksais taken to be a purely intrinsic valueof the highest order. On the other hand, Artha is taken to be only extrinsically, Dharmaby someasintrinsically while by someothers as only extrinsically, and KSma asintrinsically, valuable.But KSmais not 6 generallygiven, at least in later, post-vedic,works (except by the Carvakas i.e., the materialists)a very elevatedstatus. The theory of purugrthas wasformulated in the setting of the classical Indian society with its division of the individual’s life-spaninto four stages @ramas) and that of the society into four castes classes or (vainas). Quite naturally severalassumptions, dogmas,beliefs, and theories, then in vogue, concerningthe nature of man, his aspirationsand goals,and his relationship to reality, social, natural, and divine, formed its background.It is an attempt to give a comprehensive classificationof the various types of things which human beingsin fact and ought to aim at. In the construction of the theory there is clearly visible the predominanceof the concern for the then social realities, but it may not be right to infer therefrom that it cannot be relevant to or true of any other society except the traditional Indian society. At somepoint in human history an individual’s life may not be neatly divisible into four stages, and his society into four castes, eventhen it may be true to say that human but beingsaim at, or ought to aim at, what havebeen called the purusajthas, consistingof trivarga or caturvarga. The theory, particularly in its version comprising only the trivarga (Artha, Krlmaand Dharma),appearsto have beenformulated to depict the complete

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life-plan of a viable citizen. The three purugrthas are said to constitute a set not of alternative but conjoint goals’ in the sense that all of them together are claimed to be the desirableobjectivesof a well-balancedpersonality. Further, the theory seems have beenby and large inductively arrived at. to That is, looking synoptically at the different kinds of things men aimed at, the theorisersmadean attempt to give a systematicand generalizedaccount of the chief types of human objectives.That men do seekArtha, Ksimaand Dharma,all of them not perhapsto the sameextent, is certainly true, and to say that they seekthem is in effect a conciseway to categorisethe all and sundry which they seek.In this respect,all men, the ancient Indians and modemers,are very much alike. Therefore, the theory of trivarga can very well be treated asa statement of what men generally, ordinarily, or evennaturally, aim at. This statement, however,also contains an element of evaluativeness prescriptiveness the or in sense that the puru@thas are claimed to be not only the goalswhich are sought, but also those which ought to be sought, to make a man’slife full or well-lived. There is nothing surprisingin a descriptivestatementbeing also prescriptive, asseveralstatementsof social customsor practicesdo function like prescriptions aswell. For example,it is both a statementof a custom and at the sametime an injunction (at least for many Br%hmins eventoday) that Brahminsmarry only amongBrahmins. That Artha and Dharmaare social goals,i.e., goalswhich can meaningfully be sought only in a social world, is obvious. But it seems me that in the to context of the theory of purusirthas evenKamacan be treated aslargely a social value. Kama,meaningpleasureor agreeable experience,may be consideredassomethingpersonalor private to the experiencer.But in the theory the emphasisseems be laid not on the experienceper se but on the to
experience as the outcome or effect of the satisfaction of all sorts of desires for all sorts of things which can be the objectsof human desires. The theory

seems highlight the importance of the truth that in the empirical world to one’s attempt to fulfill a desirederivesits significancevery greatly from the fact that it involves someinteraction - somecontact, co-operation, or conflict - with someother memberor membersof the society. A life of acquiring pleasurable,or of avoiding disagreeable, experiencesby the fulfilment of desirescan ordinarily be led in a natural - social world which provides,or inspires one to think of, things which can fittingly be the objects of human desires,things which one may desireto have or to avoid. The

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problemsit may give rise to, or the temptations it may offer, also become important to one because is a memberof a society. All this is clear from he what the theory considersto be the proper relationship of K&mawith Dharmaand Artha. Dharmais its regulator in the sense that any KSmacan be said to be permissible,or really worth while, only if it doesnot conflict with or go againstDharma.Artha, on the other hand, is a necessary condition for the acquisition of K;lma. Making K%ma subject to the regulation of Dharma or dependenton Artha can be genuinely relevant only to a desirethe fulfilment (or non-fulfilment) of which is going to havesomeimpact on some other memberor membersof the society. To say that without Artha the satisfactionof a desireis not possible,or that without Dharmait may lead to socialill-being, is to bring into clear focus the social or interpersonalimpact of the desireswhosefulfiment is categorised the puru$&ha of Kama.To as lead a life in which one can seekpleasures for the theory of purusarthas, is, to lead by and large a sociallife because seekingpleasures by and large a is social phenomenon. But it may be lvgically possible to have a desirethe fulfiment of which doesnot necessarilyinvolve any impact on or referenceto any one other than the personhaving the desire.If this is also empirically possible,then Kama can be said to include even such desireswhich may be character&d aspurely personalistic.Perhapsthe desireto attain mental peaceby meditation can be offered asan example.But, asI have said above,the emphasis the theory in of purusrlrthasis laid on such desireswhich are social in the sense already explained. Onemay question eventhe logical possibility of a purely personalistic desire,and I am myself not too sureof it. But I am assuming here for a it theoretical purposewhich will be madeclear when I shahdiscussthe conceptualproposal to incorporate Moksain Kama. The fulfilment of a desireof any sort producesan agreeable feeling, and therefore the value assigned a certain agreeable to feeling is, accordingto the theory, to be determinedin terms of the value assigned the object of the to desirewhosesatisfactionhasproduced the agreeable feeling in question. Pleasures derived from doing charity can be rated higher than those derived from malevolencebecause charity is rated higher than malevolence.Neither in the desiresnor in the pleasures themselves can locate a basisfor the one qualitative gradation of the pleasures. Artha, tima, and Dharmaare, therefore, for the trivarga theory, the goals

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of the social man. Among them Dharma,besidesbeing credited with the role of determining which Kamais worth pursuing, is also consideredto be a necessary condition for any successful pursuit of the other two. Both Artha and K%rna goalsonly pursuablein society, but they can be successfully are pursuedonly if society has at least someamount of stability and harmony. Dharmais claimed to be an important factor in the maintenanceof social stability and harmony. It provides a set of rules and norms the observance of which is consideredto be a necessary condition for the latter. Therefore, the observance Dharma,in virtue of its being a necessary of condition of social stability and harmony, also works asa necessary condition for the pursuit of Artha and Kama. Artha, K%ma Dharmathus form a well-knit, cohesive,trio. The pursuit and of the three together, in their proper order, is taken to constitute an organic whole, a whole not only quantiatively richer but qualitatively better than the pursuit of Artha and K%ma alone. Looking at the shining and majestic personality of R&ana, seatedon his beautiful throne, in the city of Lanka, full of all sorts of riches and splendour, Hanumanaexclaimsthat had R&ana not been antagonistic to Dharma,he would have beenthe patron of the entire kingdom of gods,including Indra, their king.s Ravana’s mode of living presentshere a glaring example of a tremendously successful Dharmabut lesspursuit of Artha and K5ma. The point of Hanumana’sexclamation is that however successful its pursuit of Artha and Kamaa life is, it cannot be in consideredto have all the excellencesof the good life unlessit is also a pursuit in accordancewith the laws and norms of Dharma.It could also be interpreted to mean that the pursuit of Dharmais not just one of the three constituents of the good life, but one which heightensthe value of its other two constituents, the pursuit of Artha and that of Kama. Dharmacan therefore be said to be a higher value than Artha and Kama. This seems be the purport of Sita’s sayingto R%ma Dharmagives to that everything, wealth and happiness,and is the essence the world.9 But it of should be noted that in the context of the trivaga theory, Dharmais not a value higher than the other two because is a more effective meansthan they it are to somefourth value but (a) because conformity to it is the ground of the excellenceof Artha and Irma and (b) because observance the members its by of a society a necessary condition for the successful pursuit of either one of them. The concept of Dharmais not only social, but also functional in the sense

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that, though every one has to follow Dharma,the Dharmaof a personis very much tied to the performanceby him of the functions which have been socially allotted to him. The virtues of a man very much consistin the performanceof his functions well. What is presupposed here is a social order which provides for the assignment clearly identifiable functions to every of individual. An individual’s functions, in the context of the pm+rthas, are taken to be, on account of the nature of the social realities in ancient India, relative to his statusin the society and to the particular stages his own of life-history. Secondly,it is alsopresupposed here that there are more or less clearly identifiable ways of performing well the various functions one has beenrequired to perform. SinceDharmalo is assigned role of regulating or guiding the pursuits the of Artha and K&ma,and is itself functional, the entire schemeof trivarga can be said to be a functional schemeof valuesor goalsof life. Any pursuit of Artha or K%ma a purustirtha asa matter of fact, but not in the normative is or prescriptive sense. the latter category belong only those of such To pursuits which are in conformity with Dharmic prescriptions or prohibitions, and the latter are quite importantly relative to the functions assigned a to person.In somevery important sense good man is a good Br&min (priest), a a good Qatriya (warrior), a good householder,a good student, etc. That is, a good man is good very greatly on account of the good performanceby him of his assigned functions. The theory of trivarga seems have beeninspired by a very important to insight that the puru@rthas,the pursuits of human goals,have any meaning only in a relational human complex, only when is assumed net-work of a social,interpersonal, relationshipsexisting amonghuman beings,obligating them to perform various functions so that society and the individuals composingit may live a life which they not only like to live but is also worth living. In someancient works Dharmahasbeenidol&d, hypostatised,said to havebeencreatedby God, eternal, etc. Wealso comeacrossstatements speakingof Dharmaasappearingin personand addressing human beings. But such descriptionsof Dharmashould be taken only in a metaphorical or an allegorical sense, attempts to emphasise objective, obligatory, as the characterof the Dharmic principles. It is a fact that Dharmic requirements havechangedin courseof time and that there havebeen debatesabout the bindingnessof this or that Dharmic principle. It is also true that the hypostatic

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or the socalled eternal character of Dharma,if taken too seriously, can lead to the perpetuation of even such social practiceswhich might have ceased to possess functional utility due to abrupt, pervasive,or basic,changes any in the nature of social realities. The theory of puruskthas did arise,ashasbeen already said, in the context of the then prevailing social structure. But it doesnot, as far asI have beenable to gather, take into account, what to speakof giving to it the emphasis it deserves, importance of classconflicts, though it is unimaginablethat the the then society wascompletely free from them.” Rather, the emphasison the importance of svadharma (one’s own dharma), visible, for example,in the pronouncement that even destruction resulting out of the performanceof svadharma preferable to success easeresulting out of the performanceof is and paradharma(another man’s dharma), seems suggest at least one kind of to that class-conflicts,namely those which may be causedby one man’strying to perform another man’s svadharma, were madelegislatively impermissible. The abovede facto injunctional pronouncement seems have acquired to the status of a truism because an equivocation in the concept of svadharma. of ‘Svadharma’really meansvar@rma dharma,but the word givesthe impression that what it denotesis related to man’s nature in someinviolable manner.In the latter sense trying to go againstone’s svadharma would mean trying to do somethingnot allowed by his nature, i.e., somethingimpossible.It is obvious that then, though svadharma would becomeinviolable, the warning not to go againstone’s svadharma would becomepointless. I shall show later that the concept of svadharma not, in point of logic, an indispensableconstituent of is the theory of Dharma. The concept of Dharma is generally explicated in terms of the three subsidiary conceptsof sam&nya sadharana or dharma,var@$ama dharmaand svadharma. Sadh&rana (general,universal) dharmacomprisessuch obligations which are binding on every one. For example,every one has the obligation to cultivate such virtues astruthfulness, mercifulness,forgiveness, wrathlessness,benevolence,hospitality to guests,etc. Varmi’srama dharma(obligations relative to one’s casteand stageof life) comprisessuch obligations which are binding on a personin virtue of his varna, the casteor classto which he belongs,and in virtue of his Grama, the specific period of his life-history he is going through. Therefore, the duties of a priest (b&mm) are different from those of a warrior (Ksatriya) and the obligations of a householder (grhastha)different from those of a student (brahmaciri).

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It is worth mentioning here that eventhough s&lharanadharmais the dharmaof a man qua man, it doesnot imply that man is taken here asa completely isolated, asocial,individual. The virtues which constitute sadharana dharmacan be required only of a man-in-society.It makesno sense to require a man, who belongsto no society, to be merciful, wrathless, hospitable, etc. It is important to rememberthis point otherwise one may, from the distinction betweensadharana dharmaand varn&.ramadharma, draw the wrong inference that the concept of Dharma,when signifying sadharana dharma,is an asocialconcept. The point of calling someobligations .$idharana dharmais that theseobligations are consideredto be required of a man simply in virtue of his being a memberof the human society; it is believedthat they are basicto the very existenceand survival of human society. Varr@ramadharma,on the other hand, is variable and situational, dependingupon how one is located or situated in society and in his personal history. The ancient Indians might havemademistakesin calling somethinga ddharana dharma,or a var@rama dharma,when in fact it is not, in listing the do’s and don’t’s for different classes people, or in dividing an of individual’s life into four stages @ramas),or the society into four castes (varna) or classes. their attempt to distinguish between sadhiirapaand But var@srama dharmas,betweenbasicand variableobligations, seems be in to principle sound. The concept of svadharma, though very frequently usedin the discussions of Dharma,doesnot really convey anything substantially different from or additional to what the concept of var@rama dharmadoes.The currency of this concept owesa great deal to its useat somevery important placesin the
Bhagavadgiki.

‘Svadharma’ literally meansone’s own dharma.In the Bhagavadgita at two placesr2 Krsna tells Arjuna that his, a ksatriya’s (i.e., his who is a memberof .. . the warrior caste),svadharma to fight a righteous battle and therefore if he is doesnot do that, he will earn sin for himself. In thesecontexts svadharma meanscaste-obligations (varna-dharma).Every castehasto perform certain duties and theseduties constitute the svadharma the membersof the caste. of One may interpret svadharma meanthe set of professional obligations, to i.e., the obligations a personis obligated to fulfd on account of his possessing someprofessionalskill, like the skill in fighting. But sinceevery castewas conceivedto be a professionalgroup, a group required to perform, in virtue

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of the aptitude, training, skill etc., of its members,somespecific functions, evenin this interpretation svadharma varqa-dharma and would be nondifferent from eachother. It is in the sense varqa-dharma that even of also defectively performed svadharma beensaid by Krsna to be preferableto has paradharma(duties assigned a casteother than one’s own) flawlessly or to comfortably perfonned.13 At another placer4 Krsna describes svadharma consistingin doing such as .. . actions which one is fitted to do in virtue of his nature, i.e., his psychophysical make-up(svabhavaniyatakarma). But in principle the various caste duties are also supposedto havebeen determined in accordance with the psycho-physicalmake-upof the individuals composingthe various castes. Each caste,inprinciple is a compossibleset of people who on account of their similar psycho-physicalmake-upcan perform a set of similar functions. The concept of svadharma thus doesnot connote or denote any other kind of dharmathan vamtirama dharma,and therefore it doesnot add any new content to the theory of Dharma or puru@thas. However,it seems have to an emotive advantage over the concept of vaqa-or var@rama-dharma because calling an action, or a classof actions, one’s svadharma by (own dharma), the impressionmay be createdthat it is his dharmain a much more intimate sense than can be done by calling it his varqa-orvar@aama-dharma. Therefore it can be usedas a more effective instrument of persuasionthan the latter. This is nothing unusual. Addressingan elderly woman as ‘my mother’ is more persuasive than addressing as ‘my father’s wife’, though in certain her social contexts the former may not mean anything different from what the latter means.In its various occurrencesin the Bhagavadgits the term ‘svadharma’doesseemto have beenusedmore asa persuasive expressionthan asa logical tool in the defenceor explication of Dharma. A modem champion of the concept of svadharma may try to saveits independent identity by disconnectingit completely from the context of the classicalIndian society. He may interpret it to meanthe set of actions one is fitted to do in virtue of his possessing, an unique individual or person,the as nature, or psycho-physicalmake-up,he possesses, therefore having and nothing to do with the caste-orgroup-dutieswhich are relative to the common competences the people composinga casteor group. This wilI be of an extremely individualistic conception of Dharma and therefore inconsistent with the spirit of the trivarga theory of puru$rthas, sincethen the svadharma of eachpersonmay be different from that of another. It will also be an

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incorrect explication of the concept of Dharma.The concept of Dharma,and therefore, of svadharma, built into it an elementof obligatoriness.One is has saidto be obligated to do what his svadharma enjoins him to do, but if one’s svadharma madeto meanwhat he is disposedor ordained to do by his is nature, then the distinction betweenobligation and ability or inclination would vanish. Moreover,then the argument,say, of Kcna to Arjuna, that the latter ought to fght because f@ting is his svadharma be equivalent to saying will he ought to fght because is his nature to fight. It is obvious that the latter it argumentcannot havethe obligational force of the former. In addition, it is an invalid argumentaswell. No obligation to do x can follow from the fact that one is naturally fitted to do x, or evenfrom the fact that one’snature is of this or that type. The relationship betweenobligation and nature is such that it makesno sense prescribean obligation to a personwhich his nature to makesit impossiblefor him to fulfil. But what his nature may let him do is neutral from the point of view of whether or not he can be said to be obligated to do it. Out of all the things his nature may enablehim to do some may be obligatory, somepermissible,someimpermissible,and someneither. Therefore, the natural cannot be identified with the obligatory, what is in accordance with one’s individual nature with one’s dharmaor svadharma. To make svadharma derive its sanction from the fact of its being rooted in human nature will makeit not only inviolable but also inflexible, and all this at too great a cost. Sinceone cannot go againsthis nature, he cannot violate his svadharma, sincehe cannot changehis nature without ceasing and to be the personhe is, he cannot introduce any changein his svadharma. But then the prescription ‘One ought to follow the laws of one’s svadharma’ would not carry any sense because can be meaningfully usedonly if it is it assumed he may not. Here a law of svadharma that would becomenondifferent from a law of nature and therefore would virtually cease be a law to of svadharma of Dharma. or One may proposeto usethe term ‘svadharma’ a wider sense asto in so meanwhatever dharma is a man’sown dharma,including both ddh&rana and var@rama dharmas.In this usageit will in effect becomesynonymouswith ‘Dharma’, asthen to find out any person’ssvadharma will haveto fmd one out his sadharana dharmaand var@rama dharma,i.e., his Dharma.But since s5idh%rana dharmais the samefor all, evenon this procedurewhat is really to be done is the determination of his varnasrama dharmawhich alone is

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variable. That is, all that one needsto do in order to know a man’s svadharma is to know what is his var@i$amadharma.All this conclusively showsthat it is not possibleto give to the concept of svadharma sense a important and distinct enough to earn for it an independent statuseither inside or outside the theory of puru$rthas. It is surprising that this logical point hasbeen missedby almost all the writers on Dharma. Any theory of social ethics or of human endsmay be (mis)usedto justify exploitation of one classby another. But the theory of Dharma can be very easily fortified with a built-m conceptual mechanismby meansof which the misusecan be decisively declaredto be a misuse.Such a mechanismcan be generatedby the explicit inclusion of nonexploitation in the set of s&lhLana dharmas.This would entail that it is the obligation of everyoneto desistfrom exploiting any other. Therefore, if a person tries to exploit someape else’s services, they are in his interest, on the (false) ground that they constitute if the latter’s var@rama dharma,it can be pointed out to him, if his attempt is truly exploitative, that he (the exploiter) is going againsthis (and everybody’s) s&lh&ana dharma in trying to exploit another human being. It may not in practice stop exploitation, but we would have madeavailableto us a theoretical meansof declaring exploitation anti-Dharmic. This is all that a theory of Dharma can do. No theory by itself can stop exploitation or any other evil. It may sometimesbe difficult to decidewhether one is really trying to exploit another person,or to help him in the performanceof his genuine duties. For example,in the Bhagmudgit~ Krsna (ostensibly) tries to convince Arjuna that, he being a householderand a Ksatriya, it is his svadharma (varr#rama dharma) to fight the battle. If one looks at the dialoguewithout ascribingany divinity to Krga, it no longer remainsobvious whether he is really trying to dispel Arjuna’s befoggedmoral vision and help him clearly seehis Dharma,or to exploit, with someulterior motive, Arjuna’s personal regardfor him. One may venture to describehis ulterior motive asthat of protecting the existing social order (varna-vyavastha) from the dangerhe anticipates to be causedto its stability if a socially respectable man like Arjuna violates what is by social acceptationhis unquestioned var@rama dharma.The issuecan be settled only by solving the conceptualproblem of distinguishing betweengenuine moral illumination and motivated persuasion. But such problemscan arisein any ethical or valuational theory and can be solvedby a proper examination of the logic of the conceptsinvolved.

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The theory of Dharmaoutlined abovepermits that on someoccasions varr@ramadharmacan be superseded tidh%ranadharma.For example, by when Laksamana expresses angeron Kaikeyi’s askingRamato go into his exile, letting Bharatabe enthroned asthe king, and his determination to kill anybody who standsin Rama’sway to the throne, Ramaaskshim to subjugatehis inclination to follow his var@rama dharma,the dharmaof a Ksatriya to fight (Ksatradharma)and to follow the samiinyaor ddh%rar.ra dharma,the duty of a son to respectfully fulfil the wishesof his father, since to fulfil Kaikayi’s wish is to fulfi their father’s wish. Ramacalls the standpoint of caste-dharma (Kgtradharma) the lower standpoint.i5 Again, when Ravanatells Sit2 that in forcibly taking her away from her husbands place and askingher to becomehis wife he is not doing anything against Dharmabecause adultery and abduction constitute, wihout any doubt, his, a demon’s,svadharma, tries to convincehim that his actions are wrong Sit2 because they go againstsomesam2nyadharmasrelating to conjugal life.r6 But in the Bhagmadgit8 Krsa tries to convince Arjuna that he ought to fight the battle which is his svadharma evenwhen Arjuna tries to show that the fighting will result in the violation of somes%manya dharmas.Instead of showingwhy should not svadharma var@rama dharmain this casebe or superseded sam5nyadharma,KEna introduces severalmetaphysical by considerationsand useshis personalinfluence over Arjuna to win his point. In fact, the theory of Dharmadoesnot provide any clear-cut principle to determine when a samanyadharmacan supersede var@rama dharmaor the a vice versa,though it doesadmit that on occasionsone can supersede, be or superseded the other. by, One may feel tempted to saythat the theory of Dharma,or eventhe parent theory of puru$irthas itself, comprisingonly the three (trivarga) or evenall the four types of values(caturvarga),Seems do well asa theory of to human goalsonly aslong asthesegoalsare statedin generalterms such as Artha, Kama, Dharma,etc. But difficulties start creepingin assoon asan attempt is madeto give concrete content to the generalvalues,i.e., to state which specific things are to be sought, or preferred to which others, in which circumstances. This criticism may not be untrue, but if true, it seems be to true of all generaltheories of human goals.This may be so because the of extreme complexity of human life. Perhaps is the awareness the it of inevitable limitations of such theories which motivatesManu to give only a general,rather too general,answerto the question how to decidewhat is right

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when one is in doubt. His well-known answeris that one should be guided by the sacredliterature, conduct of socially acceptedmoral leaders,or one’s own conviction.” Quite obviously this is not a completely faultlessanswer.But it is also difficult to imaginewhat could count asa completely faultnessone. The concept of Moksa, ashasbeen said earlier, wasaddedto the list of puru@rthaslater. For its addition lessinductive and more prescriptive considerationsseemto havebeen responsible. BasicallyMoksais a personalgoal, a kind of personalpeaceor salvation. Looking at human nature in general,it would not be completely wrong to say that the desirefor personalpeaceis also a human desire.However,it seems that in someof its quite abstract conceptions,the goal of Moksa(meaning, for example,permanent freedom from the chain of birth and death, identity of the self with God, etc.) wasdeliberately prescribed, motivated perhapsby the reflection that evenheavenly abodemight not give completely abiding personalhappiness,or that there might be redeath, evenafter one’s being given a placein the heaven.But the main reasonfor emphasizingthe importance of Moksa seems be the awareness none of the other to that three goalsare fully or excluively personal,and without the addition, or authoritative inclusion, of a purely, or dominantly, personalgoal, the list of puru+thas cannot provide a complete statementof what men aim at, or should aim at. Evenwhen Moksais said to be an ontological state, the final or ultimate state of the human self or of reality assuch,it still remainsa personalideal which one is required to attain. The ontological mode of speakingcan tempt one to think that Moksa,(allegedly) being a state of reality, is already there and therefore is not somethingto be attained. The Advaita Vedantic conception of Moksa(the identity of the Self and Brahman)is generallygiven this interpretation. But an ordinary person,a Maya-infectedself, bar to attain the immediate awareness the identity which is his Moksabecause does of he not alreadyhave it. It is true that he doesnot haveto attain anything external to himself, but that doesnot meanthat he hasto attain nothing. Only the mukta (liberated) doesnot haveto attain the awareness, Moksa,but this i.e., is true of any thoery of Moksaand any ideal. One who already hasit cannot meaningfully be askedto try to haveit. To saythat Moksais an ideal to be attained is to saythat it is to be attained by those who are not yet mukta (liberated), and this can be said of both Advaitic and non-Advaitic conceptions of Mok+

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It is precariousto say, on sheerempirical grounds,that Moksa,as conceivedby somephilosophies,e.g.,the Bauddha,Jaina,Nyaya, Snkhya, Vedanta,etc., is in fact as common a goal of man’sendeavours are Artha, as Kama,or Dharma,though it would not be fictitious to saythat apart from socialgoalsman also seeks some sort of personalpeaceor satisfaction. Therefore,it is plausible to hold that in the addition of Moksato the trivarga the elementof prescription dominates;that is, it hasbeenintroduced largely or predominantly asa goal which one ought to seek,evenif he doesnot naturally do that. In this prescriptive sense there is nothing apparently wrong in sayingthat Moksais the highest purusarthaeventhough in fact very few seekit. It hasbeen saidby the exponentsof Moksathat there is in man a specific desirecalled ‘mumuk~’ (the desirefor Moksa) whoseobject is Moksa.The acceptance the reality of mumukg would technically makeMoksaa of puru$irtha, i.e., an object of a desireand thus would seemto preservethe formal systematicness the theory of caturvarga.If Moksais (calimed to be) of a puru+tha, the theory comprisingthe caturvargawould give the appearance of being formally systematic,sincethen all of its four component concepts (‘Artha’, ‘Kama’, ‘Dharma’, and ‘Moksa’) would be conceptsof puru+rthas (Artha, K2ma, Dharma,and Moksa). But this would be only an apparentgain because mumukg is consideredto befundamentally differ&t from all other desires.It is therefore that the satisfactionof mumuksais not in the tradition included in KSma.If mumuksais not a desirein the ordinary sense, Moksa cannot be saidto be an object of a desire(puru@rtha) in the ordinary sense. Weare confronted here with an obvious dilemma. If mumuk$ is like an ordinary desire,then Moksawould cease be a goal different from Kama, to sincethen it would be nothing more than a puru+tha consistingin the satisfactionof a particular desire.On the other hand, if it is in no way similar to an ordinary desire,then it is illigitimate to call it a desireand Moksaan object of a desire(a purqartha). Therefore, the introduction of the concept of mumukg doesnot makethe theory of puru@thas really systematic.It providesno conclusivereasonfor sayingthat Moksais in fact a human goal in the samenatural, obvious, sense which the other three puru$rthas in are. It is the implicit or explicit realisation of the abovedifficulty which seems to haveprompted severalclassicalthinkers to makevery seriousattempts to provide theoretical support, by meansof their epistemological,theological, or

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ontological doctrines, to their conception of Moksa.Thesetheories,however, cannot be discussed here. SinceMoksa is not a functional l8 but a personal&ticor individualistic value,lg it doesnot obviously coherewith the trivarga theory which, asI have shown earlier, presentsa functional scheme human values.However,some of attempts seemto havebeenmadeto show that the concept of Moksais congruent with the latter. One such attempt is visible, for example,in Krga’s persuasive dialoguewith Arjuna when he tells Arjuna that if he performsin an unattached mannerhis var@rama dharma(i.e., the functions assigned him to in virtue of his belonging to the warrior caste)and dedicateswhateverhe does to Krsna, he would attain his Moksa.20Moksais thus madethe end and Dharmaits means.But then, Dharma, a social, functional, goal, is madea meansto Moksa,a personalisticgoal. This amountsto sacrificing the socialfunctional spirit of the trivarga theory. Moreover, another problem ariseshere because Krsna’sintroduction of dedication to God asalso a causalfactor of in the attainment of Moksa.It is really very difficult to decidewhat exactly could be the proportionate causalshareof the unattachedperformanceof var@rama dharma and what of dedicating all actions to God in enabling one to attain Moksa.What Krsna saysin this context doesnot makethe decision in any way easier. One may suggest the question of the coherenceof Moksawith the that trivarga neednot be raisedon the ground that the former is a purely religious value and the latter a set of functional values;therefore the two belong to two different worlds. But this would amount to concedingthe point that Moksais categorially different from the trivarga and therefore is not a puru+tha in the samesense which the membersof the latter are. in Moreover, it would not be completely free from objection to sayof all conceptionsof Moksa, availablein the various schoolsof Indian philosophy, that they presentit asa purely religious goal, evenwhile admitting that its concept wasintroduced in the theory of puru@thas to compensate the for apparent,relative, neglectof, or lack of emphasis the individual asan on, individual in the trivarga theory. The reasonis that someof the schoolsmake knowledgeof ultimate reality a necessary condition for the attainment or realisation of Moksa.21This exhibits an intellectualistic or metaphysicalbias and not a religious bias. Rather, it seems be an irreligious or unfair to requirement to make the attainment of a religious goal dependon a particular kind of philosophical expertise.One who lacks it, who is mentally deficient,

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cannot then attain Moksaevenif he is a God- intoxicated person.This view is prejudiced in favour of the talented and againstthe handicapped.When philosophic wisdom (tattvajnana) is madea meansto Moksa,it might seemto someto elevatethe status of philosophy or of the philosopher, but it makes Moksaunreachableto all those who do not havegot adequateopportunities for the acquisition of philosophic wisdom. Almost all interpreters of Indian philosophy seemto hold that the addition of Moksa fiu in an important gapin the trivarga theory of puru@rthas.But it seems me that, asa theory in social ethics, the trivarga to theory doesnot havea gap and if it hasany, it cannot be filled in by the concept of Moksa.The trivarga theory depicts the goalswhich man pursues and ought to pursuein a social world. For socialwell-beingthe trivarga scheme seems be self-complete.Whenthe individual’s pursuit of material to acquisition and the fulfiient of his desiresare regulatedand guided by Dharma,social welfare is likely to be fairly ensured.This is particularly so because Dharmic regulation includes not only regulation in terms of social customs,but evenin those of political, legal, moral, and religious principles. A particular set of Dharmic principles may not be exhaustive,or alI of the Dharmic principles may not be equally acceptable.But sinceDharma represents somethingdevelopingand changing-evolving, there is nothing in the concept of Dharmawhich rules out the possibility of making Dharmic regulation more and more appropriate and acceptableby meansof criticism, revaluation, or modification of, or addition to, its existing principles. In theory a society regulatedby Dharmadoesnot needany other, extraneous,principle to ensuresocialwelfare which will naturally include the welfare of the membersof the society. Therefore, the addition of Moksadoes not seemto fill in any gapin, or improve upon, the trivarga theory of puru+thas from the point of view of offering a descriptive-cum-perscriptive picture of how best sociallife could be organ&d and regulated. It is true that the addition of Mok+ introduces a personalelement. It emphasizes valuesasacquisition of eternal bliss, equanimity, peaceof such mind, absence suffering, evenindifference to pleasures pains,etc., of and The which are definitely personal achievements. trivarga theory, on the other hand, emphasises man’s social,inter-personal,pursuits and acquisitions,since it requiresthe control and regulation of the pursuits of Artha and KSmaby Dharma.But how doesit matter to society if I becomea sthifaprajti (completely self-composed)? may havean undisturbable peaceof mind, but I

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unlessI participate in the control of social evil or the increaseof social good, my peaceof mind remainsa merely personalacquisition of mine. Further, if the acquisition of Moksameansdevelopingan attitude of indifference to my surroundings,even to evil-doers,asit sometimesdoes,the Mukta cannot play the role of an agentof the control of evil. The ideal of complete indifference or detachmenthas in it an element of a morality. Another consequence the emphasison mental or spiritual equanimity of would be to devalueor undervaluethe body, though the role of the body in the exerciseof one’s social role is undeniable. The emphasis tapas(selfon torture), asa meansto salvation, which sometimesinvolvesnot only a rigorous discipline but also torture of the body, direct or indirect, is a pointer to the fact that the introduction of the concept of Moksatends to make the personalelement too dominant in the purusartha schemeof life. Tapashad not beengiven earlier the kind of importance it acquired when it wasmadea meansto Moksa.If by torturing the body I can get an indestructible peaceof mind, why should I not? But my peaceof mind is my peaceof mind. It is a personalgood, not a social good, and if this peaceis the highest purr@rtha, why should I work for the society? In fact, my tapasmay incapacitateme from doing any social service,and still remain, being a meansto Moksa,a highly laudable virtue. It is hazardousto say of all conceptionsof Moksathat they require a social organisationfor its realisation, whereasonly in a social organisationmorality or Dharmacan meaningfully be said to have any role to play. It is difficult therefore to claim any necessary, logical, link betweenmorality and Moksa at least in the caseof someconceptions of the latter. According to someclassicalthinkers, e.g.,PrabhSkara, Dharmais a purusarthain its own right and henceleading a Dharmic life is an end in itself. But according to someothers it is a purusartha because regulating the by pursuits of Artha and KSmait functions asa meansto someother, higher, end or ends.For example,in the Vui~e&z&dnz2* Dharmais claimed to be a (or the) meansto the acquisition (siddhi) of prosperity (abhyudaya) and salvation (nil$reyasa, i.e., Moksa).Whetheror not Dharmais such a means is an empirical matter, but evenif it is true that it is, the fact that it is cannot be given the statusof a justifying reasonfor its obligatory characterif Dharmais taken to mean, asit should be in such contexts, the entire system of morality. From the logical point of view it doesnot make much sense to give or ask for ajustification of the totality of the moral system.The above

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fact may, however,function asa motivating cause,an incentive, for leading a Dharmic, moral, life. Sinceleading a moral life obviously needssome motivation and desiresfor certain objectsmay function asmotives to morality if morality helps one to acquire them, it is not pointless to mention suchobjects.But it would be a logical error to think of this exerciseasnondifferent from offering ajustification for being moral. In someother works Dharmais claimed to be primuriry a meansto Moksa. Perhapsit is Samkaradue to whom this conception of Dharmahasbecome prominent. For severalthinkers Dharmic life is nothing but a condition for the attainment of Moksaand Moksathe ultimate justifier of Dharma.But Moksacannot, in point of logic, play this role.?’ Whenconsideredasa justifier of morality on the ground that Dharmais a meansto Moksa,Moksa doesnot fare better than prosperity or any other object. Whetheror not the desirefor Moksais in fact a more effective motive than others for being moral is quite irrelevant to the problem of justification. Moreover,it is not obvious that it is empirically true. It seems me that when Moksa cameto be treated asthe highest to puru@-tha,for whateverreasons which seemed persuasive, becamea it fashion to sayfor almost any thing worth doing, acquiring, or cultivating, that it derived its value from being a meansto Moksa.Someof these statements,therefore, neednot be taken too seriouslyor literally. Even some technical philosophical treatisesfollow this tradition by announcing that the philosophy they are going to expound is worth expounding because is a it meansto Moksa.For example,in the first sutra (aphorism) of his Ny#yuSdtra Gautamaclaimsthat the exposition of the sixteen categories, which he is going to presentin the work, is a meansto the attainment of ni@reyasa, i.e., Moksa.Any student of the Nylfya-S&ra finds it extremely difficult to understandhow the study of sucha logical-metaphysical treatise can in any way bring him closerto the goal of spiritual salvation. To regardDharmaasa meansto Moksais rated by somescholarsasa higher point of view than the one which treats it asan end in itself. In Hiriyanna’sjudgment it is, accordingto the ancient Indians, the highest stand-point sinceit is Vedantic! * But such a move doesnot elevateor justify Dharma,but only makesit a secondaryvalue. Nor doesit makethe theory of puru@rthasin any way richer or more complete and exhaustive.In fact, it works asthe most effective meansof converting, or rather debasing,the social ethics of the trivarga into a personalistic,asocial,ethics. The idea that

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Dharmais to regulatethe pursuits of Artha and Kamameansthat the individual, the society, and the state, all are to be governedby Dharma;i.e., all pursuits of man in his individual, social, political, or evenreligious, spheres should be in accordancewith the laws of Dharma.Therefore, to make Dharmaitself a meansto Moksaamounts to subvertingthis entire schemeof life asit amounts to making Dharma a meansto (personal) salvation. Declaring Dharmato be a meansto Moksacan generatethe belief that the liberated (mukfa) personis exempt from the obligation to abide by the principles of Dharmaor morality. Of what value can a ladder, after its use,be to a man who has, by using it, already climbed to the roof of the building? The obvious implication that the demandsof morality are inapplicable to a personwho has attained Moksacan be acceptedasunobjectionable only if we are willing to treat him asone completely outside human society, since living in society and being answerable the demandsof morality are the two to sidesof the samething. Therefore, the Moksaof such a personwould be an asocial,amoral, ideal, and not in any way socially relevant, asafter acquiring it he ceases be a social creature. But if there is any further implication to to the effect that he can ignore morality, that he can do anything without earning moral merit or demerit, then certainly the pursuit of Moksawill weakenthe sanctity and dignity of morality, and thereby the basisof society and social wellbeing, i.e., abhyudaya. It is true that all those who emphasise ultimatenessof Moksaalso the maintain that before embarking on the path to its acquisition in the later half of one’slife, i.e., in v@aprasthaand sanyasa Gramas,the individual is required to havegone through a Dharmic life, i.e., a life of moral discipline. Hencethe Mukta has,it is claimed, in a sense fulfilled his moral obligations, and doesnot have to bother about morality any further. But this point of view misses important truth that commitment to morality is a continuing the commitment, a commitment valid for all walks or stages life. Beinghuman of and being committed to morality are related to eachother not merely empirically but in a rather conceptual, or at least-semi-conceptual, manner. This is not the case,for example,with being human and being religious. Men may happen to be generally religious, but if it is true, it would be true only empirically and not conceptually. On the other hand, we shall hesitate to call any one a human being if we are informed of his being completely unanswerable to any of the demandsof morality. Weshall hesitate to apply to him any of the following expressionswhich are doubtlessly applicableto a human

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being and only to a human being: ‘person’, ‘citizen’, ‘father’, ‘social’, ‘criminal’, ‘loyal’, ‘cruel’, ‘saintly’, ‘virtuous’, ‘benevolent’, etc., etc. To conclude, the addition of Moksaasthe fourth puru@ha to the trivarga doesnot therefore makethe theory of purusirthas (as a theory in social ethics) in any way better. Rather, it tells upon the theoretical, logical, elegance the theory. But, one may urge,Moksabeing a highly personalistic of value,its addition must compensate a seriousdeficiency in the trivarga for theory, sincea theory of puru@rthas,to be a complete theory of human goals,must not exclude (what is claimed to be) the highest personalistic value. This is to someextent a plausible argument,but it doesnot justify making Moksathe fourth puru@ha theoretically on par with the other three. It seems me, on the other hand, that the theory of purusarthascan to quite consistently be reconstructedor restructured so asto include the concept of Moksain that of Kamabecause essentialcharacteristicof the Moksais satisfyingness absence disagreeableness or of which is also the result of the fulfilment of any normal desire,If this proposalis acceptedone would haveto treat mum&@ (the desireto attain Moksa) asconceptually on par with other human desires, a desireor K%ma fulfilment of which gives as the the experienceof Moksa.He cannot, of course,then say, asthe advocates of Moksado, that it is completely or categorially different from all (other) desires.This would not causeany logical damage the concept of Moksa. to Perhapsthe insistancethat mumukg is completely unlike all (other) desires is the result of the explicit or implicit assumptionthat there is something wrong or condemnablein having any desirewhatsoever.If this assumption is granted,then the only way to keep murnuk$i exempt from the above accusationis to declareit to be completely different from all (other) desires. But, fnstly, it is not logically or ethically reasonable condemnall desires to and, secondly,treating mumuk@ascompletely different from all (other) desires,ashasbeenalready shown, insteadof being a reasonfor, turns out to be a reasonagainstaccordance Moksathe statusof a purugrtha. to In this paper Kamahasbeeninterpreted asa value meaningfully pursuable only in a social setting and Moksaasa purely or predominantly personalistic value. Therefore, one may askhow mumuksawith the personalisticMoksaas its objective can be accommodated Kama.The answerto this question is in that if it is a fact, as the advocates Moksaclaim that it is, that human of beingshave both personalisticand social desires,there is nothing wrong in sayingthat K&na includes the satisfactionsobtained from the fulfilment of

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both of them. The important problem which would then really ariseis how to solvea possibleconflict betweenthem, what to do when one’s mumuksa conflicts with, or doesnot aBowhim the time and energyneededto fulfi, a social desire,for example, the desirein a JaiprakashNarayan to produce a total revolution. The natural answerwhich the reconstructedtheory of puru@rthascan offer is that in such cases should seekguidancefrom he Dharma,from his moral system;he should do what his Dharmaor morality requireshim to do. One may raisehere a more fundamental question: If there is a conflict betweenDharmaitself and mumuksa,which one of the two should one chooseto follow? In the caturvargatheory the natural answerwould be in favour of Moksa,if one admits the possibility of the conflict, though a traditionalist may rule it out asdefmitionally or quasi-defmitionally impossible.But in the trivarga theory the kind of which is recommended here the conflict cannot defmitionally be ruled out. In a social-ethicaltheory which it is the authority of morality has to be acceptedasabsolute and therefore the logical answeraccording to it would be in favour of Dharma. For any one who admits the absolute authority of the moral system,which Dharmain effect denotes,in the caseof a conflict betweenDharmaand K5ma or Artha, almost defmitionally one has to follow Dharma,since Dharmais invested with an authority superior to that of Artha and KSma. Bather, borrowing a phrasefrom Butler, one can say that Artha and K%ma may sometimesbe superior in power ro Dhurma, but Dharmais always superior to both in authority. To hold such a view is thus to deny that Moksa is the highest puru$Wha while severalupholders of the caturvargahold that it is. But it seems me that the trivarga theory in the form proposedhere to would not be inferior, asfar asits likely impact on or implication for human pursuit of valuesis concerned,to the traditional caturvargatheory. Bather, it may evenbe superior to the latter, sinceit can retain Moksa asa personalisticvalue of a high order, or evenof the highest order, in the realm of personalistic values,and would forbid almost defmitionally the possibility of the mum&u (the Moksaseeker)or the mukta (the liberated) flouting or ignoring morality. Besides, would also possess it greatertheoretical elegance asalready shown. Even the concept of videha mukti (Mok+aattained after physical death) will not poseany seriousproblem to the proposal of conceptually including Moksain KSma.It is not logically impossibleto haveas the object of a certain

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desirea thing which one can obtain only after his physical death, nor is it meaningless say that the object of a certain desirecan be obtained only to after the physical death of the desirer.The desirefor heavenis one such desire,and mumuk@may be another (for those who believein the theory of videha mu&i). The reasonableness otherwise of such a desirewill depend or upon one’smetaphysicsof the self. If he believes that the death of the body is not the death of the self, that evenafter the former somethingcan accrue or happento the self in any manner,his desirefor Moba after death will be quite reasonable, if his belief is true then it may also be fulfrled. In case and he doesnot havethe belief, the desirewill be unreasonable, if he has the and belief but it is false,the fulfilment of the desirewilI be logically impossible. There is nothing intrinsic in Kama to make the inclusion of Moksain it logically discordant. There may be many personalisticgoalsas the objectives of personalisticdesiresand all of them can be included in K-a, sinceKarna can be said to include, ashas beenalready shown, personalisticaswell as non-personalisticgoalsand desires.The requirement that only that kind of Karnais worth pursuing which doesnot conflict with Dharmawill not hurt the prestigeof Moksa,sincethere is nothing obviously wrong in making Moksasubject to the generalcontrol of Dharma.Of course,it will take away the exalted statusgiven to Moksaas the goal of Dharmaby those philosophies which make Dharmaa meansto Moksa.But this is no losseither in terms of theory or in terms of practice. The latter position, we haveseen,is not theoretically satisfying, whereasmaking Moksaa kind of Kama-puru@rtha makesthe theory of puru@thas more coherent. Evenin practice there does not seemto be anything wrong in putting the pursuit of ah personalistic goals,including Moksa,under the generalregulation of Dharma.Such a theory of puru$rthas may not be the sametheory which the ancient Indians held, but it doesseemto be a cogent theory of human goals,a theory more cogent than the ancient theory. To keep the pursuit of Moksaunder the regulation of Dharmawill rule out the possibility of permitting any exception to morality, and the question whether or not the seekeror attainer of Moksais bound to observethe rules of morality will be automatically answerable, explained above,in the as affirmative. The autonomy of morality will thus be ensuredand its subjugation to religion ruled out or at least madeimplausible. That Moksacannot be said to be a (or the) moral goal is obvious because it is odd to say that a man who is not interested in seekingMoksais not

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interested in leading a moral life, or one who is not a mukta (literated) is not a fully moral person. According to someschoolsone can attain Moksaon@ after his bodily death, but morality definitely is a concern of the emobdied, living, social, man. The not-m&a, or one who is not interested in attaining Moksa,may be lacking in somethingvery important but merely on that account he cannot be said to be lacking in morality. Therefore, Moksacannot be included in Dharma. It either has to remain the fourth puru@rtha producing consequentialinelegancein the theory, asI have shown, or to be included in K&ma.The latter proposal seems me to protect the theoretical to eleganceof the theory without doing any violence to its normativity or to that of the concept of Moksa. As a Kama-goalMoksacan be given a spiritual aswell asa non-spiritual interpretation since, theoretically.speaking,one can find personalpeacein various kinds of acquisitions, spiritual and non-spiritual, religious and nonreligious. Therefore, eventhe Carv%ka theory of value can be said to be an exemplification of the theory proposedhere. Dharmawill have to be then given a non-theological, non-other-wordly, interpretation and Moksawill be pleasure,natural pleasure,and not any kind of heavenly, non-bodily, spiritual, bliss. The Car&a theory of value is not antimoralistic; it differs form other theories with regardto the nature of life the moral man should lead, the end or endshe should cherish. Therefore, it doesnot really drop out Dharmaas such from its schemeof values,but only givesto it an earthly, this-wordly, interpretation, and the Dharmait rejectsis the Dharmaasconceivedin some other schools.It cannot also be said to be completely anti-Vedic sincea large number of Vedic versesdepict the final ideal of man in eloquently hedonistic terms. What can be a more earthly, hedonistic, goal than that of leading a prosperouslife, with all bodily and mental powersin their perfect health, for full one hundred years?25It may be not just a wild guessthat originally ‘Moksa’ meant a non-religious, non-spiritual, goal, and its theologisation or spiritualisation wasa later event resulting from the adoption of some theologically biasedview-points. One may regardthe allegedspirituality of Moksa to be a reasonfor its categorial difference from and superiority over Kama and Dharma and on this ground consider its status asthe fourth pun.@rtha indisputable. But there is no reason,ashas been shown, why a spiritual goal cannot conceptually be included in KSmaand why the spiritual must be superior to the moral. In fact, if the spiritual and the moral are categorially different from eachother,

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there cannot be any meaningful comparisonbetweenthe two, and therefore none of them can be said to be higher or lower than the other. Perhapsit was to obviate this difficulty that the advocates the caturvargadeclaredDharma of to be a meansto Mokq But this move, aswe have seen,is fraught with its own problems.There may be many non-moral or amoral goalswhich men seekor ought to seek,and the spiritual Moksamay be one of them. But from this it doesnot follow that eachor any particular one of suchgoalsshould be given a separate statusin a theory of purugrthas.
Indian institute of Technology, Kanpur, India

NOTES * Parts of an earlier version of the paper were delivered as University Grants Commission’s national lectures in Philosophy during the academic year 1977-1978. The author is indebted to the Commission for the award given to him. 1 Hereafter, I shall use ‘Indian ethics’, ‘Indian Philosophy’, and ‘Indian Philosophy of Life to mean classical Indian ethics, classical Indian philosophy, and classical Indian philosophy of life, respectively. 2 A good example of this assumption is found in P. Nagaraja Rao’s 17reFour V&es in Indian Philosophy and Culture, A Study of the Purt+rthas (Prasaranga, University of Mysore, 1970) which is perhaps the only monograph available exclusively on the puru@has. Rao does not raise any theoretical or conceptual question but devotes his work exclusively to defending the superiority of the puru@rthas as a set of human values in a manner which is eloquantly advocatory but least philosophical. Even Radhakri&mm’s The Hindu View of Life (George Allen & Unwin, 1927), which is mainly an expository and defensive account of the Hindu religion, in its discussion, regretably too brief, of the puru@rthas, avoids asking any philosophical question about them, when it is natural for any one to think that a philosopher’s account of the Hindu view of life cannot be complete unless it also includes a satisfactorily detailed philosophical discussion of the theory of puru@rthas. 3 Hiriyanna, M. The Quest After Perfection (Kavyalaya Publishers, Mysore, 1952), pp. 22, 103. 4 Dharmottara, Nytyabindu-TikccT, ed. and translated into Hindi by Srinivasa Sa&i (Sahitya Bhandara, Merut, 1975), p. 22. 5 ‘Moksa’, ‘Kaivalya’, ‘Ni$reyasa’, ‘Nirvana’, etc., several terms have been used to name what is considered by the different classical philosophies to be the highest value, and their conceptions of the highest value are not completely identical. But here only the term ‘Moksa’ is used in a generic senseto denote all that is common to them and also because in the description of purr+has it alone occurs in classical as well as modem usage. 6 Kama, meaning pleasure, or agreeable feeling, resulting out of the satisfaction of a desire, can, at the fast blush of it, be said to be intrinsically good, since it cannot be

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treated as a means to something else. But in the context of the theory of pur@irthas such a position cannot be maintained in an unqualified sense,since the theory prescribes that only such a KPma is to be sought which meets with the approval of, or at least does not conflict with, Dharma. Therefore, though any agreeable feeling is to be considered intrzhsicolly good in the sense that it is sought for its own sake and not for the sake of something else, all agreeable feelings are not to be considered equally good. The theory of puru@rthas has thus available to it a criterion for distinguishing between desirable and undesirable pleasures, and is not forced to identify the desired with the desirable. No such criterion can be available to a hedonistic theory like J. S. MilI’s. I Maw-Sm@, H-224. 8 Wilmiki, Rtimcfyapz, part II (Gita Press,Gorakhpur), Sundara K@da, Canto 49: 17-18, p. 995. 9 Ibid, Part I, Aranyak$la, Canto 9: 30, p. 511. lo In the case of Dharma the element of prescriptiveness seemsto be more emphasized than the actual fact of its being pursued. It is a fact that men do pursue Dharma, i.e., they want to conform to the laws of Dharma, but this impulse may not be as strong or wide-spread as the impulse to seek Artha or K&ma. Hence the need for the emphasis that Dharma has to be, ought to be, followed. In fact, as a result of its distinctive usagein the long history of Indian philosophy of life the concept of Dharma has emerged as one with a built-in prescriptive force. It has become almost deftitional to say that every one is required or obligated to regulate his pursuits of Artha and KIima by Dharma, or that only a life so regulated is truly Dharmic. This is by and large the point of Manu’s (ManuSm@i, 11-13) saying that only he has the true understanding of what Dharma is whose pursuits of Artha and KPma are not totally dominated by infatuation for them, but are rather carried under the guidance of Dharma. r1 Perhaps the reason for not emphasising the importance of class-conflicts in social life is an implicit assumption that a society in which the pursuits of Artha and KIma are regulated by Dharma wiB not have any class-conflict. But this assumption can at the most function as an expression of a hope, and cannot be built into the concept of society or of Dharma. In fact the enunciation of any moral code offers this hope. It seemsto me, on the other hand, that had the importance of classzonBicts been properly taken note of by the classical thinkers, their conception of Dharma might have become richer and more respectful of actual social problems. r2 Chapter II: 31,33. l3 Ibid. III: 35. l4 Ibid. XVIII: 47. Manu-Smrti (Chapter 10: 97) also means by svadharma var+ dharma. l5 V%lmlki, Rhntiyapa, Ayodhy&nQ, Canto 21: 44, p. 249. l6 Ibid., Sundara K&da, Canto 20: 5, p. 915. l7 Maw-Sm+i, chapt. II: 12. ra It is not a functional value because being Mukta (liberated) does not consist in one’s performing welI any set of assigned functions. l9 An&orthodox scholar of Indian philosophy may object to calling Moksa a personalistic value on the ground that one of the characteristics of Moksa is egolessness.But to call it a personalistic value is not to call it an egoistic value. It ls a personalistic value since it is the person, the individual, the self, which is said to be liberated, to have acquired egolessness having acquired Moksa. Even the Buddhist nirvana is something that in occurs to the individual as an individual. In fact, to say that the mukta (liberated) is

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egolessis to say that his apparent, crude, or undesirable ego is effaced or sublimated for the liberation of the genuine, refined, or desirable ego. Even Hiriyarma (77reQuest After Perfection, p. 78), a very sympathetic interpreter of the Mokga doctrine, admits that altruistic service may be required as a means to Mok~a, but Mok+ itself is an individualistic ideal. ‘Moksa’ literally means freedom, and this freedom is variously described as freedom from suffering, from ignorance, from the chain of birth and rebirth, etc., etc. The concept of freedom has built into it a dual nature: freedom-from and freedom-to. But in the descriptions of Moksa the latter, freedom-to, is not adequately emphasized. ‘Freedom-from’ is primarily a personalistic concept. It is freedom-to via which the free individual can be linked with the society since an important kind of freedom-to would be his freedom to initiate and participate in actions leading to social welfare. When Mok+ is said to be a positive state in the sense,for example, that it is not merely freedom from suffering but also a state of eternal bliss, it still remains a personalistic state. My bliss is as much my bliss as my freedom from suffering my freedom from suffering. Only by adding to the conceptual content of Moksa certain types of freedoms-to one can make it a social concept. But we are not told what are the freedoms-to which ‘Mow denotes or connotes. Perhaps the Buddhists and Jainas were conscious of the importance of certain freedoms-to, but even they did not succeed in making them a part of the conceptual content of Moksa. There is a conception of sarva-mukti (liberation of all), but it actually means the liberation of the cosmic soul; the individuals are treated here as only phenomenally, apparently, not really, real. What it means is that only one soul, the cosmic soul, is to be liberated, and all the so-called individual souls are only its partial manifestations. Each one trying for his own liberation (and not for that of society) contributes to the liberation of the cosmic soul (Ibid., pp. 75-76). To work for sarva-mukti is thus not to work for social liberation, i.e., for the liberation of other members of the society. If it is said that a jivanamukta (a person liberated while alive) helps other individuals to be liberated, this TJouldamount to saying that one individual helps other individuals to attain their (individualistic) Moksa. Moreover, he is not abliguted to help others attain Moksa to justify or retain his entitlement to being a jivanamukta. *O The Bhugxdg&i, Chapt. 3: 30,31. *l Hiriyanna, M., i%e Questdffer Perfection (Kavyalaya Publishers, Mysore, 1957), p. 27. ** Sutra 2. 23 For a detailed substantiation of this point see my The Concept of Mok&, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Vol. 31, No. 3, 1971, pp. 381-393. 24 Hiriyarma, Ibid., p. 26. 25 ‘Pabyema ‘saradahitam, jivema hadah ‘satam,imuyama ‘saradahiatam, prabravama ‘saradah&tam, adinah sygma &r&h iatamj Bhriyaica ‘sardahsat&‘. Yujurvede, chapt. 36, mantra 24;$gvedu, manda17, sukta 66, mantra 16;Athantaveoir, K@a 19, mantra 67. (May we have the power of vision for one hundred years! May we live for one hundred years! May we have the power of hearing for one hundred years! May we not be dependent on any one else for one hundred years! Even beyond hundred years may we remain in the same condition!)

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