The Meaning of Life According to Hinduism

In class this past week, we discussed the meaning of life. In this post, I would like to discuss the meaning of life based on Hinduism. According to Hinduism, the meaning (purpose) of life is four-fold: to achieve Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha. The first, dharma, means to act virtuously and righteously. That is, it means to act morally and ethically throughout one’s life. However, dharma also has a secondary aspect; since Hindus believe that they are born in debt to the Gods and other human beings, dharma calls for Hindus to repay this debt. The five different debts are as follows: debt to the Gods for their blessings, debt to parents and teachers, debt to guests, debt to other human beings, and debt to all other living beings. The second meaning of life according to Hinduism is Artha, which refers to the pursuit of wealth and prosperity in one’s life. Importantly, one must stay within the bounds of dharma while pursuing this wealth and prosperity (i.e. one must not step outside moral and ethical grounds in order to do so). The third purpose of a Hindu’s life is to seek Kama. In simple terms, Kama can be defined as obtaining enjoyment from life. The fourth and final meaning of life according to Hinduism is Moksha, enlightenment. By far the most difficult meaning of life to achieve, Moksha may take an individual just one lifetime to accomplish (rarely) or it may take several. However, it is considered the most important meaning of life and offers such rewards as liberation from reincarnation, self-realization, enlightenment, or unity with God.

Having described the meaning of life according to Hinduism, I now briefly offer my thoughts on this subject matter. I feel that religion provides its followers a set of goals to achieve in life, and in doing so, provides a meaning to each follower’s life. Without such guidance, one would likely conclude that life is ultimately meaningless. Therefore, for those individuals in the world who feel that there is no meaning to life, is belief in a religious faith is all that is needed to change their minds?


4,171 thoughts on “The Meaning of Life According to Hinduism

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  19. First of all, I want to say how much I enjoyed reading your article on the meaning of life according to Hinduism. It was such an insightful and thought-provoking piece that shed light on the profound philosophical aspects of this ancient religion. As I was reading, I couldn’t help but get drawn into the fascinating concepts and perspectives you presented.

    Your exploration of the four aims of life, known as Purusharthas, really struck a chord with me. It was intriguing to learn about Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha and how they form the framework for a fulfilling existence. The way you explained the importance of fulfilling one’s duties and responsibilities while also seeking material prosperity and enjoying life’s pleasures was truly eye-opening. It made me reflect on my own life and question whether I am truly balancing these aspects effectively.

    Furthermore, I appreciated your emphasis on Moksha, the ultimate goal of liberation from the cycle of birth and death. The idea that our actions and choices in this life can impact our future lives resonated deeply with me. It made me contemplate the significance of self-realization and spiritual growth in finding true fulfillment and eternal peace. Your writing beautifully conveyed the profound wisdom embedded in Hinduism’s teachings on the meaning of life.

    Overall, thank you for sharing such an enlightening piece. It has inspired me to delve further into Hindu philosophy and explore how its profound insights can be applied to my own life. I look forward to reading more of your work and gaining a deeper understanding of this fascinating subject. Keep up the fantastic work, and may you continue to enlighten and inspire others through your writing!

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