YogaAndBackCare - Purusharthas


Purusharthas are the four aims of life according to Yoga tradition. They are Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha

Over the course of your life you want to endeavour to achieve a balance between each of these aims.


Dharma is your duty. It is your duty to your family. It is your duty to your job. It is your duty to your community. It is your duty to your religion.

Dharma comes from a root word that means to make firm, to create structure.

Dharma also carries with it the fundamental ideas of right and wrong.

Your duty is intertwined with your karma, your talents, your position in society. However what ever life sends you, yogic teaching will expect you to keep plodding on, keep getting up in the morning, keep doing your best and keep meeting your responsibilities.

So for some, dharma can be linked to having to study and do homework; for others having to get up in the night to feed the baby, for others having to go to work to get money to feed the baby and later on in life dharma can be linked with looking after elderly parents.

Dharma can also include making a regular commitment to attending church, or to going to the temple or the mosque.

It can include giving to charity on a regular basis.


Artha is prosperity. The word can be defined as abundance, material wealth, success. It is about the things we need, the material things we need. The Hindu god Ganesh is associated with prosperity as well as wisdom and spiritual powers.

Jesus tells us that he came that we may have life in abundance.

We all need security and the security of knowing we have a home, we have heat, we have light, we have food and drink is a basic need.

The question really is how much abundance to we want? A roof over our heads? always food on the table? or are we after a Ferrari or a multi-million apartment over looking the river Thames . When does the desire to have security which is perfectly acceptable turn into greed and avarice? It is a very fine line.

Better perhaps to think "What is really valuable in my life" and if you are lucky enough to have an abundance of wealth to look at what you can do with your wealth to make the world a happier, safer place.


Most people have heard of the Kama Sutra, which is an ancient Hindu text considered to be the standard work on human sexual behaviour in Sanskrit literature. It includes practical advice on sexual intercourse, which is of course why so many people have heard about it.

Kama means pleasure and that includes the pleasure that can be gained by sex in a meaningful relationship but it also includes the pleasure you can get when you dance, when you paint, when you write, when you cook. Anything that you enjoying doing and are passionate about comes under the heading of kama.

Most importantly time spend with your family and friends, playing with your children, just being with those you love counts as kama.

We all need joy in our life and when we search for kama in our lives, we should be looking for the kama that is good, that leaves us feeling enriched and enlivened and in harmony with the world.


Moksha is freedom, liberation and at the highest level reaching Nirvana the highest state of spiritual awareness enabling one to move off the cycle of incarnation according to yogic thought.

It's a feeling of oneness with the universe, a feeling of deep peace and a feeling of freedom. The Christian tradition has long held Communion services where a sense of peace is evoked, the prayers are like mantras, familiar, repeated, in a set pattern; incense is sometimes used to create a prayerful, meditative environment, leading us to discover Christ "In whose service, is perfect freedom"

This is the feeling of moksha and in Iyengar's Light of Yoga he advocates that after we have brought up our families then we should start devoting time to meditation and to the study of spiritual matters.

Find time for all the Purusharthas in your lifetime!