Economics Of Mahavira ► 09 ► [09.09] Livelihood with Religion. Limits to Desires - Determination of Essentiality

Posted: 11.05.2006

According to Economics, the determination of necessities, comforts and luxuries is achieved by the categorization of needs based on the criterion whether by its consumption, happiness is derived and by its non-consumption, unhappiness is created.

If by consuming a product, a person gets only a little happiness and, by not consuming it, experiences a considerable unhappiness or suffering, then the subject product is considered a necessity or an essential.

If by consuming a product a person gets a considerable amount of happiness, but by not consuming it he gets only a little unhappiness, then i t falls into the category of a comfort.

If by consuming a product a person experiences a great deal of happiness, and by not consuming it he does not experience any unhappiness (except when a person is addicted to its consumption), it falls into the category of luxuries. If by consuming a product one gets momentary happiness and by not consuming it one experiences considerable suffering, it is called dhanotsargik (addictive product.)

The categorization of needs on the basis of happiness and unhappiness can be depicted in the form as shown in what follows:

The Impact of Happiness and Unhappiness of Man

Category of Consumption

Impact on Consumption

Impact on Non-Consumption


Brings only a little happiness

Produces unhappiness/suffering


Brings some more happiness

Produces a little unhappiness


Brings considerable happiness

No happiness is experienced

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