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A lot of people are talking about following their passion and living the life they dream of. Living the life of freedom. That makes complete sense to me as one should live life rather than making it count. Just want to know if it is accepted in Hinduism.

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It depends on what my passions/dreams are.

The Sanatana Dharma speaks of four 'Purushartha'-s as the four types of fulfillment of life. They are : Dharma (Rightousness),Artha(Wealth), Kama (Desires) and Moksha (Liberation). For most people, the first three constitute the goals and hence the term 'Trivarga' is also used.

If Artha and Kama that we have passion for or dream of does not contradict Dharma, they are never condemned,In fact they are encouraged. All are not to lead a purely Spiritual Life. One can worship God for the fulfillment of the desires also, who is termed as 'Artharthi' in the Gita.

Please see the following verse of the Gita:

7.16 O Arjuna, foremost of the Bharata dynasty, four classes of people of virtuous deeds adore Me: the afflicted, the seeker of Knowledge, the seeker of wealth and the man of Knowledge.

A seeker of Wealth is 'Virtuouss' according to Sri Krishna, if he/she adores God even for acquiring wealth.

The following sloka of the Gita is also relevant here:

10.36 Of the fraudulent I am the gambling; I am the irresistible and of the mighty. I am excellene, I am effort, I am the sattva quality of those possessed of sattva.

So efforts and excellences are also expressions of the Lord. Also, He says in the Gita (7.11)

Among creatures I am desire which is not contrary to righteousness, O scion of the Bharata dyansty.

We get all the above from the lips of the Lord Himself.

To conclude:

Just our passions or dreams must not be against 'Dharma' ---that's all.

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Leading a life as per one's own wishes, with complete disregard for the scriptural injunctions, is never recommended in Hinduism. Because it will ultimately lead to misery and destruction.

People belonging to the different classes and orders of life who are steadfastly devoted to the Laws proper to them enjoy the fruits of their deeds after death; and then, with the residue of those fruits, take birth again in a prosperous region, a high caste, and a distinguished family, with a handsome body, long life, deep vedic learning, and virtuous conduct, and with great wealth, happiness, and intelligence. Those who act to the contrary disperse in every direction and perish.

Gautama Smriti 11.31.29,30

So, there are clear merits in following the scriptural instructions while leading our lives and pursuing our goals and there are clear demerits in not doing so.

So, pursuing our dreams is good only if done in accordance with scriptural laws.

Leading a life where there is complete freedom to do anything one wants is called Swecchachara, and which is not recommended at all.

  • I have no intention to harm anyone in any manner. I want to do what I love (my passion), be successful and be kind and helpful with others. But please explain Swecchachara – Karmaisrealman Apr 19 at 8:13
  • Yes I know that you won't do that intentionally but pursuing ur passion may or may not be in accordance with Dharma.. Actually Hinduism won't allow one to act with complete freedom .. there are restraints imposed on everyone in every phase of life.. @Karmaisrealman – Rickross Apr 19 at 14:23
  • @Karmaisrealman Also see the meaning of swecchachara from here: spokensanskrit.org/… – Rickross Apr 19 at 14:29
  • Doing what one likes in accordance with dharma... Is allowed right? – Karmaisrealman Apr 20 at 7:40
  • @Karmaisrealman Yes allowed .. also allowed is not the correct word here .. recommended is .. Hinduism never forces one ..it just shows that this is right and that is wrong .. and now one can choose what to do – Rickross Apr 20 at 9:11
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Human intellect (बुद्धि) is most of the time covered with desires that please the senses. So, being under the control of senses is the state of intellect (बुद्धि) of an average person.

For an average person, who is slave of senses, all dreams and passion are merely the projections of desires of senses. His free will is the will of senses, in disguise.
For example, one's desire to apply deodorant is cultivated by desire to have girls around one (cultivated by TV advertisements). Or, one might develop a passion for smoking, thinking it to be "cool".

Therefore, Hindu shaastras ask for clean and conquered mind (चित्त-निरोध) as a prerequisite for any practice (साधना).
Only after abandoning external stimuli and cultivators, you will be able to actually take a decision, that would be truly yours.

Now answering to your question, NO, not every person is qualifed/eligible to follow his passions or dreams.
Only after clean and conquered mind, one should develop a passion or dream (because only then his dream/passion would be truly his).

Extension (beyond answer) :-
A person is called "व्यक्ति" (vyakti) in Sanskrit, which etymologically means "expression".
Notice that a person is technically defined as an expression. So, it is the very nature of human being to express himself/herself. Passions/dreams/will all are instruments of expression.
A clean and conquered mind is the qualification that you require to have a true passion/dream/will, that is not a projection of your senses, but rather projection of your innate nature.

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    After regular meditation for 1-2 months I really found out my passion and yeah lot of misconceptions were removed. So I think I am pretty sure then. – Karmaisrealman Apr 19 at 9:05
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    @Karmaisrealman. that's good. Go ahead then. Also please read my extended answer. – spkakkar Apr 19 at 9:08
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Hinduism teaches freedom from the senses, not freedom of the senses. Sri Krishna says in the Gita 16.23-24 (Swami Nikhilananda translator):

  1. He who discards the injunctions of the scriptures and acts upon the impulse of desires attains neither perfection nor happiness nor the Supreme Goal.

  2. Therefore let the scriptures be your authority in determining what ought to be done and what ought not to be done. Having learnt the injunctions of the scriptures, you should do your work in the world.

Chapter 16 goes into detail as to what actions are for benefit and which are not.

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As per your dreams and passion, your way of life might come under the category of Tamsik or Rajsik pravatti (Way of life), but it is acceptable and allowed. Unless it is unlawful or illegal or criminal (you don't commit murder and call it your passion).

There are broadly 3 types of lifestyles or behaviors:

Satvik: a life spent for god, for the betterment of the community, or simple life without anger, hatred and too much joy.

Rajsik: a life spent on personal goals, worshipping gods for one's own desires, a materialistic life.

Tamsik: a life spent for greed, no regard for concepts of a god, possibly creating problems in society.

But all three are allowed.

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