It is that kama
which is sinful and which is contrary to the dictates of one's conscience or of dharma
that is condemned by Indian thinkers. Hence they have viewed kama or the joy of life as one of the legitimate aspirations of man.
By artha is meant wealth. In its general connotation it may include all material comforts
economic welfare and security. The acquisition of wealth may well, therefore, be regarded
as the primary purpose of life, as without it, human existence itself is impossible. One
has to live before one can live well. Artha is the foundation upon which the whole
structure of life has been built and all the other purusharthas can be achieved only by
the fulfilment of this primary purpose in life.
The word Artha has a very wide significance as in
the Artha Sastra, the Science of Polity for the political and economic structure of a
State. But the meaning of the word, when used in the context of the purushartha of the
individual is that which I have already indicated, acquisition of wealth for livelihood
and material comforts. Indian thinkers have always regarded the economic factor as an
essential element of human life.