This paper seeks to investigate how Kāma as a Puruṣārtha has been conceptualized in Hindu philosophy.
Dharmic texts do not recognize the modern bifurcation of mere sexual intercourse vs. marriage. Instead, it perceives sexual intercourse, which happens out of love and sexual desire as a form of marriage and calls it Gandharva marriage.
In Part 3 of the series we will try to answer the question central to any discussion on abortion: When does the Jiva enter the fetus?
The second part of the series looks into the importance attached to the human life and why giving birth to a child is considered a very noble activity in the Dharmic tradition.
Sanatana Dharma extensively deals with the issue of abortion. However, to have a proper understanding, it is vital to understand how Dharma perceives life itself and the process of birth.
Conceptual frameworks of Indian civilization can pay the way to effectively negotiate with the challenges of the modern world- ethical or otherwise- that are arising out of the rapid march of technology.
Adi Shankaracharya in his famous introduction to Gita Bhashya, speaks about how Vedas expound two-fold Dharma for people: Pravritti Dharma or the path of action for those with desire and Nivritti Dharma or the path of knowledge and dispassion, for those who have turned away from desire. In other words, Pravritti and Nivritti Dharmas form the two-fold essence of Veda.
Bhakti is not mere faith, it is not mere chanting of bhajans or listening to Satsang. Bhakti in its primary sense refers to the highest love which is of the nature of modification of the melted mind directed continuously and uninterruptedly towards Ishwara.
Dharma refers to righteous duties, which acts as a link between Artha and Kama, on the one hand, and Moksha, on the other, and facilitates attainment of Artha and Kama, all the while also leading one towards dispassion and Moksha.
Bhakti is the “Parama-Purushartha” or the ultimate goal of life