Will dis­con­tents due to de­val­u­a­tion of Lak­shmi be more im­por­tant than build­ing a gi­ant statue in Rama’s name? Kau­tilya is very clear on this ques­tion. ‘With­out artha, dharma can­not be prac­tised’

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very clear on this ques­tion. ‘(Some teach­ers say that) the three ob­jec­tives of hu­man en­deav­our (dharma, artha and kama) are in­ter­de­pen­dent and should be pur­sued equally. Kau­tilya, how­ever, says: artha (sound eco­nom­ics) is the most im­por­tant, for dharma and kama are both de­pen­dent on it. With­out artha, dharma can­not be prac­tised, nor kama ob­tained, with­out which sons can­not be born to wor­ship gods and an­ces­tors, and thus mok­sha it­self is in jeop­ardy.’

The Shanti Parva of the Ma­hab­harata,

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