The 'Replies to Integral Humanism' Series
Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha
Does Integral Humanism give an integrated view?
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An examination of the four terms is necessary first

According to Integral Humanism, These are the four needs inherent in man, reaching these needs are the true aim of a man's life. While the separate analysis of these entities helps in understanding them, it doesn't entail a conceptual separation of the same. And while Integral Humanism, claiming to integrate all the four important aspects of a man's life, fails to do an important thing which it says it does. It doesn't integrate.

Let me illustrate my point. Let me quote from the passage; "Modern versus Ancient",
" Here in Bharat, we have placed before ourselves the ideal of the four fold responsibilities, of catering for the needs of body, mind, intellect and soul with a view of achieve the integrated progress of man. Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha are the four kinds of human effort."
So far, so good. Now let's have a look at the definitions of the terms mentioned above.

Dharma:
is innate law.
Artha:
Political and economic policies. Includes justice and punishment also
Kama:
The satisfaction of various natural desires.
Moksha:
salvation from worldly pleasures and material.

The concept of Moksha doesn't fit in the scheme of things

Moksha, by definition implies a dichotomy between body and soul. Moksha is attained after sacrificing one's property, wealth, achievements and by meditation and introspection in a jungle, of the banks of a river. And therefore it stands at conflict with Kama. One cannot 'practise' Kama and attain Moksha at the same time. Political and economic policies are framed and followed in society only to the end that acquisition and wealth to the individual and his progress result. Acquisition of wealth again stands against the principle of attaining Moksha, because wealth only increases man's desire for worldly pleasures and makes him forget his true aims in life. Upadhyaya agree with what I say above...

"...a person who engages in action, while remaining unattached to its fruits, is said to achieve Moksha inevitably and earlier. "

Thus the concept of Moksha is mutually exclusive of Artha and Kama. Where is then, the seed of integration?

Dr.DU also says...
..."...even though Moksha has been considered the highest of these purusharthas, efforts for Moksha alone are not considered to give benefit to the soul."

What is he saying now? Is he saying that 'salvation', 'Moksha' and 'Nirvana' are false concepts? If Moksha, the highest of the purusharthas, is considered the liberation of the soul of man from worldly moorings, how can material things (the worldly moorings themselves) which 'hold back' man from attaining this Moksha, also be important for the same person?

The ancients also saw through these points. There was a realization that Moksha was impossible to attain as it conflicts with material pleasure-Kama. The ideas of Moksha and Kama are based on the body-soul dichotomy found throughout the history of philosophical thought. 'Bharatiya Culture' saw a way around this by saying that a man can pursue worldly pleasures and comforts and salvation at different points of time in his lifetime. Thus arose the concepts of 'Gruhasthashrama' and 'Sanyas' (family-life and 'ascetic life'), a time-bound separation of these two conflicting entities. This only amounts to running away from the problem, not to solving it

If I am now blamed on reading into the meaning of the terms superficially without understanding the deeper implications, let me answer. Since Integral Humanism only states that Bharatiya Culture was the one which realized truly the manifold(fourfold,to be precise) nature of man's aspirations, it should have also been the one to find the 'origin' of such aspirations in man. The answer for that question would be the integrating entity in Integral Humanism, the integrating force behind the coming-together of the concepts of Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha.That answer has not been explicitly stated in Integral Humanism.

Upadhyaya, instead goes off into bouts of braggadocio about the ancient Indians recognizing the fourfold aspects of life, before anyone else.

The essence of a philosophy is absent in Integral Humanism

A man has to live by his value-judgements, his ethics. He will pursue his physical needs and pleasures and work towards his goals in the framework of justice and a sound economic environs. Do we need Integral Humanism to come and tell us this? Do we need a philosophy devoted to exposition of the actual existence of fundamental attributes to man's life? Philosophy's aim is to explicate the the nature of these fundamental attributes of life. To make them explicit. To spell them out. After discovering them within the extent of knowledge available at that time.

But the consistent theme of Integral Humanism has been to the contrary. Upadhyaya will explain in paragraphs, the various attributes and properties of an individual, society, state,the nation and the like. And then go on to state that since he has talked about all aspects of a particular element, he has an integrated view of that element. It is true that for an integrated view of things, one has to consider all attributes and properties pertaining to those things.And then, one has to devise an answer to the original question, to the satisfaction of logic. This is where Integral Humanism is deficient. It only considers the different modes, the different facets of human existence. It stops there. It asks the 'right' questions. It fails to answer them. It fails to address a basic question: the nature of an individual.

Thus one finds Upadhyaya moving around in circles...

"...Dharma cannot be observed if one has no food to eat"
"...It was said that a king should be neither too harsh nor too soft with his people."
"...we should not forget that it is not possible to practice Dharma in the absence of Artha"
"... if a sick person eats food meant for a healthy one and vice-versa, both of them will be at a disadvantage"
"...therefore we are enjoined to see that there is enough wealth created continuously, since wealth also strengthens Dharma"

What is the precondition that will ensure that Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha to survive? Is there a single precondition that will ensure their survival? No answer. Upadhyaya can't answer that question because he didn't even ask that question.
Upadhyaya does concedes that...

"...in order to do this, education, character building, spread of idealism, and suitable economic structures are all necessary"
What exactly will make all this happen? No answer.Question not even considered.

What attitude, what core philosophy will ensure complete progress of man? No answer.

What does one do about all this?

It is true that there is a need for satisfying the ends of the four types of human effort. The recognition of this need is the elucidation of the concepts of Dharma, Artha, Kama, Moksha. But what is that which gives rise to such aspirations in man? What is the need for Dharma? Why should Dharma be practiced at all? Why and how is Moksha superior to the other purusharthas? It is these questions that the sages of Ancient India struggled to answer. And these questions still remain unanswered within the context of 'Bharatiya Culture'. This doesn't mean to say that these questions are answered completely elsewhere. The quest for the truth is a lifelong process for an individual and may take centuries for mankind. So it's time to move on with the quest, with better weapons in one's hands. Let man drop the stone age tools of 'Dharma' and 'Moksha' and pick up the tools of reason and rationality.

The 'replies to Integral Humanism' Series
1. Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha
2. The core of Integral Humanism Part-1
3. The core of Integral Humanism Part-2
4. "We want neither capitalism nor socialism!"
5. The conclusion

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