Spirit : Artha - Material Values, Wealth and Prosperity

Continuing this half-term's study of the Purusharthas, the four aims of human existence which can help create a balanced and meaningful life, we now take a look at the second one - Artha.

Artha concerns the material things we need to live comfortably in the world. Although this is a challenge in our culture of consumerism, we must manage the resources we use - both our own personal wealth and prosperity and also our use of the natural resources which, as we know, are not finite. When we can do this well we can be comfortable in life, provide for ourselves and our families and enjoy ourselves but be free from attachment to money and the pull of our 'spend, spend, spend and this will make you feel better' society. With awareness we can find balance so that we don't have too little, as this can lead to stress and turmoil, or too much as this can lead to avarice and many other difficulties.

Culturally, it's interesting (but depressing) to see the imbalance of Artha in the UK getting greater with the cost of living crisis and the excessive profits that the oil companies have made this year!

The four Purusharthas are connected to each other abd Dharma (life purpose) guides Artha. We can ask ourselves if how we earn our money and how we spend it are in line with our Dharma.

Some questions concerning Artha that you could ponder on...

- what do I want right now?
- what do I really need right now?
- do I have enough?
- what am I grateful for?