Economics Of Mahavira ► 09 ► [09.01] Livelihood with Religion. Limits to Desires - Determination of Needs by Economic Conditions

Posted: 03.05.2006

Bhagwan Mahavira has observed that "desires are limitless like the sky". This is as true from the point of view of religion as it is from the point of view of economics.
According to Economics, the horizon of needs is wider than that of demands. Demands represent that part of desire of a person for the fulfillment of which he possesses sufficient means and is prepared to use the means. The desires go much beyond human needs. All desires are not needs whereas all needs fulfill desires. In other words, the scope of needs is smaller than that of desires, and the scope of demand is still smaller.


Desires are natural. Needs are determined by a number of factors: geographical environment, social customs, physical conditions and expectations, and religious sentiments.

Determination of Needs by Economic Conditions

The needs of poor people are limited. They are able to satisfy only that part of the needs that are essential for life. The needs of wealthy persons are many more. Their needs are not only essentials of life but are also a source of luxury.

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