Sustainable consumption as a means to self-realization: a Hindu perspective on when enough is enough

Narayanan, Yamini 2010, Sustainable consumption as a means to self-realization: a Hindu perspective on when enough is enough, Sustainable development, vol. 18, no. 5, pp. 252-259.

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Title Sustainable consumption as a means to self-realization: a Hindu perspective on when enough is enough
Author(s) Narayanan, Yamini
Journal name Sustainable development
Volume number 18
Issue number 5
Start page 252
End page 259
Total pages 8
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Place of publication Chichester, England
Publication date 2010
ISSN 0968-0802
1099-1719
Keyword(s) sustainable development
consumption
religious self-actualization
Hinduism
Purusharthas
Summary In this paper, I investigate the religious notion of self-realization or self-actualization in the context of sustainability, and argue that sustainability is the means to this end. I am particularly interested in Hindu perspectives on self-realization or the Purusharthas. The Purusharthas provide an interesting sustainability critique because they consider the satisfaction of material want as an important step to self-actualization; the reconciliation of want and need is a fundamental sustainability tension. The issue of growing want is doubtless an important one, given the rapidly growing middle classes in the developing world that aspire to Western material dreams, as illustrated by the case of Delhi. The Purusharthas may be seen to give consumption legitimacy; however, I argue that it is the selective understanding and institutionalization of the religious message that causes the sustainability problem. Viewed in their entirety, the Purusharthas provide the correct prescriptions for the sustainable enjoyment of want, and take the adherent beyond sustainability into greater transcendence or self- awareness.
Language eng
Field of Research 169999 Studies in Human Society not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 950404 Religion and Society
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2010, Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30057838

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Humanities and Social Sciences
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Created: Wed, 13 Nov 2013, 20:23:11 EST by Yamini Narayanan

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