Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Artha - Kama Purusharthas

That which gives you any kind of security — emotional, economical, or social, is called  ARTHA in Sanskrit. ARTHA may be in the form of cash or liquid assets, stocks, real estate, relationships, a home, a good name, a title, recognition, influence, or power of any kind. Such accomplishments boost one's ego and therefore also provide some security for the ego. And although each person seeks various forms of security at a given time, that he or she is seeking security is common to all.


Seeking pleasure is called KAMA in Sanskrit. It, too, takes many forms. For instance, sensory pleasures may be anything from seafood or ice cream onwards. Examples of intellectual pleasures are those derived from playing certain games, solving puzzles or riddles, and studying certain bodies of knowledge. Thus, we have varieties of pleasures.


Anything that satisfies your senses, that pleases your mind, that touches your heart and evokes in you a certain appreciation, is KAMA. Any form of pleasure you derive from your home, for example, or from a relationship is KAMA. Music and travel are also KAMA, not ARTHA; because, by pursuing them, you are seeking pleasure, not security.  In fact, you lose some security, in the form of money, when you go to these places. Because you happen to have some money, you travel for pleasure, not for security.


There is another form of pleasure derived from seeing the stars on a beautiful night, enjoying the sunrise, a flower, a playing child, or a beautiful painting, for example. Because this pleasure is neither sensory nor intellectual, I will call it aesthetic pleasure. Even though such pleasures go beyond one's senses and intellect, they are still KAMA.