The importance of ethics

Even if in many Hindu philosophies the ultimate goal of life is moksha (release, liberation), for many people that goal is something to be achieved in a future life, or perhaps to be addressed later on in this one. Meanwhile, especially for those who are adults with responsibilities of work and family, the other purusharthas (goals of human life) are more immediate: artha (wealth, power) needed in order to look after the family and others, kama (pleasure, aesthetics), the appreciation of the many good things about embodied existence, creativity and the beauty of nature, and dharma (duty, righteousness). Although ethical action by itself will only result in a better reincarnation, the path of selfless action (karma-yoga), is distinguished by the motive for acting ethically (see Human nature and destiny). Accordingly, it may be seen as a way, or a necessary part of the way, towards the ultimate aim of moksha. So it is often understood that artha, kama, dharma and moksha, pursued together, constitute the good life in balancing this-worldly and other-worldly concerns.

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Hindu Worldview Traditions


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