Artha is the Sanskrit word for “abundance” or “success.” Artha is associated with the householder stage of a Hindu man’s life. This time begins when a man marries and continues until his first grandchild is born. During his time as a householder, a Hindu man is supposed to focus on providing for his family. Artha, to both Hindu men and women, deals with material and monetary abundance. Hindus do not look down at monetary gain or a person’s ethical attempts to increase their own power. That person is merely seeking artha. So long as money or power is pursued in an ethical and virtuous manner, it is acceptable.
The other stages of a Hindu’s life, or ashrama, are student, forest dweller and renunciate. A student is a young person who is responsible for studying and learning the religious texts, especially the Vedas. This stage lasts until a person marries. The householder stage follows the Hindu’s time as a student.
After the birth of a Hindu’s first grandchild, the forest dweller and renunciate stages can begin. These are not stages all Hindus choose to pursue as it requires leaving behind their family and abandoning all personal and sensual pleasures in favor of meditation and contemplation. Hindus who choose to follow the forest dweller and renunciate paths are, however, seen as having a better chance at escaping samsara, the cycle of rebirth.