Hindu sages tried to project these lines of progress that they saw in Nature and the
history of nations into an ideal scheme of society (consisting of the four well-known
Varnas or castes) and an ideal pattern of individual life (consisting of four well
known Ashramas or stages of life) with the purpose of enabling the people to
cultivate both individual and social virtues.
mighty edifice of law which they constructed according to the conditions of their time
almost at the dawn of our history and which they called Varnasrama Dharma maintained its
ground in this country for many centuries, but, owing to vast social and economic changes
in the life of the people, it gradually lost its meaning and in the 20th century,
especially after India gained her Independence, became practically obsolete.
On the other hand, the Hindu view of life is more clearly and
permanently expressed by the well-known formula of Dharma - Artha-Kama-Moksha which is
extensively used in Hindu rituals. Here Dharma means righteousness, Artha means wealth,
Kama means desire and Moksha the liberation of the spirit from the bonds OIL flesh.