I've always believed in the mind/body connection and how important it is to create a healthy relationship with the two. I know that what we eat as well as the energy we allow ourselves to be in have an important role in our health. I know that carving time out for ourselves within our busy lives is as necessary as getting the oil changed in your car. What I didn't know is that there is even more to that, I've recently come across an article in Yoga Journal Magazine that taught me about the purusharthas, the four aims of life. Known as dharma, artha, kama and moshka. They are considered the blueprint for human fulfillment according to the Rig Veda.
Dharma, which is responsible for duty and ethics plays the primary role in our human existence. In the spiritual teachings of buddha the meaning of the word is equal to your purpose in life. This can be whatever you feel called to do as well as your duty as a parent, a friend and your contribution to your community.
Artha, defined as material prosperity, wealth and success, Artha is what gives you ease to living comfortably in this world. It teaches you to learn to live with material things in moderation, with the knowing it is not what makes us, yet a part of life.
Kama is pleasure. It is sensuality, it is art, beauty, kindness and more. "To practice kama yogically means to practice being fully present with whatever you're experiencing" says Brooks Kempton.
Lastly, we have moshka, also known as the pursuit of liberation. I know this to be an important one for many people including myself and it is the pinnacle of the purusharthas. According to Kempton, " You can be a good person living a dharmic life, taking care of yourself and your family, enjoying your family life and your career, but all of that will be ultimately unsatisfying unless you are also doing the practices that can lead to moshka." It gives meaning to your dharma.
Knowing this, I intend to apply it to my life and also teach it to my family. It's so important to live a fully balanced life. We can feel sluggish, upset, depressed, sick and unhappy if one area of our life is blocked. Giving attention to our purusharthas can act as a great tool to keeping us on track to being fulfilled on a deeper, spiritual level.
Find the full article in the December issue of Yoga Journal Magazine which has a great little to do list at the end to help you create a more satisfying life.