Mammoth Memory

Four aims of life – the four goals that Hindus are encouraged to pursue

Note: The four aims are: dharma (ethical living), artha (seeking material prosperity), kama (seeking pleasure) and moksha (seeking liberation).

To remember the meaning of the Hindu term Four aims of life, use the following mnemonic:

The four of them had great aims in life (four aims of life): the first wanted to do drama (dharma); the second wanted to solve the mysteries of King Arthur (artha); the third wanted a calmer (kama) world; and the fourth wanted to mock sham (moksha) religions.

The four of them had great aims in life (four aims of life)

Here's Mammoth Memory's quick guide to the four aims:

  • Dharma is about an individual’s true purpose: the duties and actions the person takes. Each person is believed to have their own personal dharma. To end samsara (the cycle of death and rebirth), Hindus try to make morally right decisions to achieve good karma.
  • Kama: Hindus aim to achieve pleasure in many ways. This includes sporting and cultural interests. However, kama is also gained from sexual pleasure, so Hindus believe kama to be important in their personal lives. This sexual aspect of kama is considered a natural part of human instinct.
  • Artha is about prosperity, which means the pursuit of wealth. It is of utmost importance to most Hindus that they attain material wealth as part of their efforts to achieve moksha. They must not, however, become attached to this wealth, and there is recognition that there are some individuals for whom pursuit of wealth is inappropriate, for instance spiritual leaders.
  • Moksha is the ultimate aim of Hindus. Achieving moksha means they break free from the cycle of samsara. This happens through gaining good karma by performing kind actions and deeds. All the actions of a person's previous lives and the actions of their life today count towards the breaking of the cycle of samsara, which is what each individual Hindu is working towards.

Here's Mammoth Memory's quick guide to the four aims:

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