Trivarga/Caturvarga

Donald R. Davis, Jr. drdj at UMICH.EDU
Tue Dec 3 13:22:08 EST 2002


In preparing a survey paper on the purusarthas, I have come across two
sticking points which I hope list members can clarify for me.

1) I am looking to identify the earliest references to caturvarga in the
sense of the four classic purusarthas (viz, dharma, artha, kama, moksa).  I
have references to caturvarga from the later parts of the Mahabharata, at
least one reference in the Raghuvamsa, and all over the puranas.  Before
this, trivarga is the norm, e.g. Manu, Kautilya, etc.  Does anyone know of
earlier references to caturvarga?

2) Does the medieval (or early) philosophical literature make much of the
purusarthas as a collectivity?  Mimamsa and Vedanta, as far as I can tell,
do not.  Are there substantive discussions of the purusarthas as a group in
other darsanas?

Any help would be most appreciated.

Best,

Don Davis

Dept of Asian Languages & Cultures
University of Michigan



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