Spirit : Kama - enjoying your life

Purushartha No. 3 - Kama

The third of the four goals of life, known in Sanskrit as the Purusharthas, is Kama. It is our experience of enjoyment, pleasure, beauty, sensual and sexual satisfaction, love, delight, creativity - all the good stuff that makes life fun. Far from being thought of as something that should be puritanical and renunciated, the yogic perspective recognises that pleasure is part of having a balanced life. As in everything though, balance is the key - if we have too little pleasure then life can be demovitating, depressing and dull but we must be aware that pleasure doesn't tip into hedonism, overindulgence and addiction.

So how can we have more enjoyment in our lives? Seek out the small pleasures in life - a warm bath after a long day, a delicious meal, a beautiful sunset, laughter with a child and connection with a friend - the little joys are endless and always present but we often forget to notice them and acknowledge them for what they are. Society seems to tell us that pleasure comes from having exciting adventures, champagne and parties, and that life will be better with a certain watch or car - we know deep down that it's not, but somehow we can still get caught up in this desire for more. These sort of pleasures can keep us entertained but unsatisfied but the simple pleasures of life feed the soul and engage us with life on a deeper level.

Knowing our Dharma (life purpose) helps to guide our Artha (material possessions and wealth) and in turn balances in turn our Kama.