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There are 4 Purusarthas ('object of human pursuit' or 'purpose of human being'):

  • Dharma
  • Artha
  • Kama
  • Moksha

And 4 Ashramas (avastha or stages of life):

  • Brahmacharya
  • Grihastha
  • Vanaprastha
  • Sannyasa

Now, my question is Which Purusartha should be achieved in which Ashrama?

This wiki says:

The fourth Ashrama (avstha or stage) Sannyasa must entirely devote to Moksha aided by Dharma, with a complete renunciation of Artha and Kama.

But what about other three Ashramas? The same wiki says:

The life span of a man is one hundred years. Dividing that time, he should attend to three aims of life in such a way that they support, rather than hinder each other. In his youth he should attend to profitable aims (artha) such as learning, in his prime to pleasure (kama), and in his old age to dharma and moksha.

The same wiki further says:

Scholars have attempted to connect the four stages to the four puruṣārthas, however Olivelle dismisses this, as neither ancient nor medieval texts of India state that any of the first three ashramas must devote itself predominantly to one specific goal of life.

One understanding might be as below:

  • Brahmacharya might be to learn about what Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha are and how to achieve them.

  • Grihastha might be to achieve Artha and Kama but in controlled manner. And this stage must focus on Dharma too. And if these three are well balanced then it may lead to Moksha.

  • Vanaprastha might be to devote to Dharma aided by Moksha.

  • Sannyasa might be to devote to Moksha aided by Dharma.

So, is there any mention of mapping between Purusartha and Ashrama?

  • You have mentioned Vanaprastha two times, I edited the second time to address Sanyasa. Check whether the correction doesn't conflict your meaning. – Pandya Oct 25 '18 at 5:12
  • Yes, atleast sanyasi should reject all the first 3 purusarthas. vedabase.com/en/sb/7/15/36 "One who accepts the sannyāsa order gives up the three principles of materialistic activities in which one indulges in the field of household life — namely religion, economic development and sense gratification. One who first accepts sannyāsa but then returns to such materialistic activities is to be called a vāntāśī, or one who eats his own vomit. He is indeed a shameless person." I don't know about other three. And I think , dharma in purusarthas is dharma that leads to kama not parodharma – user16618 Nov 24 '18 at 11:22

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