Artha, an Explanation
Artha is a Sanskrit word, properly from Hinduism, which means cause, motif, material prosperity, or simply reasoning.
In Hindu tradition, Artha is a synonymous of life goals. It is one of the four goals, or Purushartas, along with Karma, Dharma and Moksha. Its importance as a purpose is the conquering of the matter or material world in order to realize fully the purpose of the soul. The artha is a virtuous one when it is aligned with a dharmic determination along with a moral code of conduct, being it religious or ethical. The conquering of material possessions is justifiable spiritually if the objective that is to be accomplished is one of noble intentions, such as being active in social and humanitarian causes, or even to provide decent standard of livelihood to one’s family. Artha means the achievement of material wealth as an instrument of spiritual evolution. It is reached when one has possessions but they do not become taken or possessed by them. When there is an internal realization and understanding that the search for material goods should be a pursuit for the love of our Dharma, our spiritual purpose.
Artha is one of the dharmas, or duties, that a person must pursue in the second stage of life, in the householder stage. Through this state, a person must try to accumulate as much wealth as necessary, without being greedy, self-centered, or in search of only material pleasures, but to help and support his family and to be able to give to noble charitable works. To be classified as artha, the pursuit of these means have to be completely legal, honest and ethical. This perception includes achieving widespread fame, garnering wealth and having an elevated social standing, but again with the spiritual intent to be able to use as a support system as means of spiritual evolution and development to a broader range of people.