Saturday, 7 January 2012

Four Stages Of Life and The Four Goals Of Life (7)

The Hindu society has followed the four stages of life since ancient times, the four stages are the outline for the ideal Hindu life. Each stage is different and has its own set of duties. The four stages are traditionally for men.

First Stage: The Student- Boy hits puberty, must study the sacred texts such as the Vedas, this stage lasts until marriage.

Second Stage: Householder – Focuses on pursuing a careers and raising a family. Women are involved in this stage along with their husbands. The birth of their first grandchild marks the beginning of the third stage.

Third Stage: Forest Dweller- The man leaves his family, job, and home to retreats to the forest to pray, his wife is allowed to accompany him. During this stage no contact with the outside world is aloud. 
Fourth Stage Wandering Ascetic- The man is totally devoted to God, he is  sannyasin. He has no home, no attachments, he has renounced all desires, fears, hopes, and duties. The goal is to attain Moksha, this is a very difficult stage because you have to be away from your family therefore many Hindu men find this stage of becoming a complete ascetic extremely difficult.

The Four Goals Of Life 

Four Goals of Life: (K.A.D.M.)

The four goals of life, help Hindus seek desire and ultimately liberation. In Hinduism the four goals of life are called purusharthas. In Hindu tradition these four goals explain what life is for. The four goals of life for Hindu's are Kama, Artha, Dharma and Moksha. Each stage is meant to end before reaching the ultimate goal of Moksha.

Kama: Is seeking sensual pleasure either physical or emotional but within the limits of dharma. Kama has a limit, after fulfillment found in love a new yearning arises.

Artha: This new yearning is Artha; Artha means thing or object. During this goal of life you want to achieve material success and the social power that comes with it. After a while the pursuit of money becomes unfulfilling which leads to the third goal. 

Dharma: The third goal of life comes with age and maturity it is living in harmony with dharma (ethical duty).

Moksha: Is the final stage it is the ultimate goal of life, achieving liberation.

What You Should Now Know

The Four Stages of Life in the Hindu faith are the outline of the ideal lifestyle and bring you one step closer to achieving Moksha. The four stages are Student, Householder, Forest Dweller and Wandering Ascetic stage. 

The Four Goals of life focus on what a person desires throughout a life time, it begins
with Kama (Sensual Pleasure), leads to Artha which is material success and then matures by focusing on harmony with Dhrama and finally the bliss of Moksha, achieving the ultimate goal that all Hindu's strive for. 


  1. I enjoyed this life changing blog post about Life Goals. It is inspiring and informative.

  2. can only the males experience this? Or is it for both sexes?

  3. Im studying various religions in my World Religions course in college!
    What are the three paths for Hindu?