Based on my readings, I realized that the concept of integral humanism as a journey from homo-sapiens to homo-nova can be understood in the context of the purushārthas, which are the four pillars of human aspiration in Indian perspective. Homo-sapiens, or modern humans, are seen as the starting point of this journey. However, integral humanism posits that there is still much room for growth and development in the human experience, and that we have the potential to transcend our current state and become something greater. The term “homo-nova” refers to a new form of human being that is more evolved and integrated than our current state. It suggests a future state of humanity that is more in tune with our inner selves, more conscious and aware, and more connected to the world around us. This new form of human being would be characterized by a greater sense of harmony and balance, both within ourselves and with the world around us. purushārthas suggests that individuals are the building blocks of states and societies. Everyone’s pursuit of the purushārthas – dharma, artha, kāma, and moksha – contributes to the overall well-being and prosperity of the society.
Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay’s Approach on Purushārthas
The ancient concept of purushārtha is rooted in Indian philosophy and encompasses four main pillars of human aspiration: dharma (righteousness), artha (material wealth), kāma (pleasure), and moksha (liberation). These four purushārthas are seen as the ultimate goals of human life and are meant to provide a framework for understanding and pursuing a meaningful and fulfilling life. Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya, also developed a concept of purushārtha that differs in some respects from the ancient concept. Upadhyaya ji’s concept of purushārtha is rooted in the idea of integral humanism, which emphasizes the need for a holistic approach to human development that takes into account the individual, society, and the environment.
In Upadhyaya ji’s concept of purushārtha, the focus is on the idea of “Antyodaya,” or the upliftment of the most vulnerable and marginalized sections of society. He believed that the pursuit of dharma, artha, and kāma must be balanced with a sense of social responsibility and a commitment to the well-being of the less fortunate. While the ancient concept of purushārtha emphasizes the pursuit of individual goals and aspirations, Upadhyaya ji’s concept stresses the importance of social welfare and the idea of the “common good.” He believed that society and the individual are interdependent, and that the pursuit of individual goals must be balanced with a sense of duty towards the larger community.
While both the ancient concept of purushārtha and Deendayal Upadhyaya ji’s concept share some similarities, such as the emphasis on dharma and the pursuit of a meaningful life, Upadhyaya’s concept places a greater emphasis on social responsibility and the idea of the common good, reflecting a more modern and inclusive approach to the concept of purushārtha.
Derivation of Equation for Integral Humanism: On the Basis of purushārtha
We have thought of life as integrated not only in the case of collective or social life but also in individual life. The individual and society cannot be separated from each other. The four purushārthas are what the cohesion between the two generates. From this perspective, we can recreate a socio-chemical equation for Integral humanism.
Individual = Body + Heart + Intellect +Soul
Society = Determination + Country +Constitution+ Culture
Properties of Purushārthas = Education + Performance + Sacrifice +Yogakshema
(Nb: Here ‘+’ symbol act as the separation symbol, it doesn’t mean addition.)
If we can abbreviate the above concepts, it will act as a formula of Integral Humanism. So the abbreviations are given below;
Body + Heart + Intellect +Soul = BHIS
(Nb: BHIS , pronounced as ‘Be-His’ it represented as Individual or self)
Determination + Country +Constitution+ Culture = DC3
Education + Performance + Sacrifice +Yogakshema = EPSY
From these abbreviations, instead of
The aggregate of the body, heart, intellect, and soul (BHIS) is what constitutes the individual, and happiness the satisfaction of these four components. Such an individual contains BHIS, similarly society contains Determination, Culture, Constitution and Country (DC3). The well-being, progress and refinement of these four constituents is essential. As in the case of an individual, we should think of all these elements in the case of the group or the collective also possesses them. From the individual to nation, the nation is the largest unit of a collective. Like individual, A nation must have these four components. These two units are connected to each other with the help of four properties or pillars (EPSY) of Purushārthas. Education, Performance, Sacrifice and Yogakshema (EPSY), these four elements linking the individual and society unify the individual and the collectivity. Education flows from the individual to the society due to performance from the individual to the society. Performance and sacrifice go together. In the absence of Performance (karma), society is not able to create wealth. Acquisition and property from the individual to the society and sacrifice, giving again, from the individual to society.
Mechanics of Social Order Cube Efforts:
The concept of Artha (wealth) and Dharma (duty) being interdependent and mutually supportive is a fundamental aspect of Indian thought and is closely tied to the concept of Purushārthas. According to this philosophy, wealth (Artha) and duty (Dharma) are not opposites, but rather they form a complementary relationship. Dharma, which includes religious, moral, and ethical duties, provides the foundation for the creation and sustenance of wealth. It is believed that if individuals perform their duties in society, it will create a harmonious environment that is conducive to the generation of wealth. For example, if farmers perform their duties by cultivating crops and providing food for society, it will lead to the creation of wealth in the form of agricultural produce.
On the other hand, the pursuit of wealth is necessary to fulfill one’s material needs and desires, which is the purushārtha of Artha. The pursuit of wealth, however, must be in accordance with Dharma and ethical principles. Wealth creation through unethical means is not considered desirable and is likely to have negative consequences for individuals and society. Kama (desire) is another purushārtha that is closely related to Artha and Dharma. While Artha can help fulfill our desires, it is important to remember that desire should be kept in check and regulated by Dharma. Excessive consumption or pursuit of material wealth is not considered desirable in Indian philosophy, as it can lead to a loss of balance and harm to oneself and society.
Dharma and Artha form the basis for each other, while Kama and Moksha appear to be contradictory. However, the pursuit of Kama is necessary to fulfill the material desires of an individual, and Moksha is the ultimate goal of human life, representing spiritual liberation or enlightenment. In the cubic model of Integral Humanism, Deendayal Upadhyaya represented the four Purushārthas as four sides of a cube, with each side representing one Purushartha. The cube represents completeness, and all four Purushārthas are necessary for a complete and fulfilling life.
The wise understand that all four Purushārthas are interconnected, and it is essential to keep all four in mind while pursuing any one of them. For example, the pursuit of wealth or Artha must be in accordance with Dharma, and the pursuit of Kama must be regulated by both Dharma and Artha. Ultimately, the ultimate goal of human life is Moksha, or spiritual liberation, which is achieved by balancing all four Purushārthas in life.
The four Purushārthas represent the fundamental desires of human life, and they are interconnected and interdependent. The pursuit of a complete and fulfilling life involves balancing all four Purushārthas, with Moksha as the ultimate goal. The cubic model of Integral Humanism represents this concept and emphasizes the importance of keeping all four Purushārthas in mind while pursuing any one of them.
– Anusree.S.L, Research Associates, Integral Humanism Initiative(IHI), Centre for Human Science, Rishihood University