artha (Sanskrit: अर्थ, "worldly wealth; material facility; the pursuit of wealth and social status") — refers to the idea of material prosperity, not to be understood solely as material assets, but all kinds of wealth including non-tangibles such as knowledge, friendship and love. artha is one of the four goals of life, known as purusharthas. It is considered to be a noble goal as long as it follows the dictates of dharma. The concept includes achieving widespread fame, garnering wealth and having an elevated social standing. It is the second lowest rung on the ladder of purusharthas, above kama (physical or emotional pleasure) but below dharma (righteousness) and moksha (liberation).
Hindu Dharma recognizes the importance of material wealth for the overall happiness and well being of an individual. A house holder requires wealth, because he has to perform many duties to uphold dharma and ensure the welfare and progress of his family and society. A person may have the intention to uphold the dharma, but if he has no money he would not be able to perform his duties and fulfill his dharma. Hindu Dharma therefore rightly places material wealth as the second most important objective in human life.
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