Awake Living + the 4 Aims of Life

Awake Living + the 4 Aims of Life

What is awake living anyway? Are you in it? Do you want it? I take about 14 minutes to talk about what I've found on this ayur-yoga-enlightenment path. I think the tantric yogis out there will like the flip of the chart around 1/2 way through – a few lightbulbs went off in the room. The convo is a quick dive into an innovative practical interactive approach to the 4 Aims of life teaching – the purusharthas: dharma (duty, ethics), artha (prosperity, wealth), kama (pleasure, sensual gratification), and moksha (the pursuit of liberation).



I love what Douglas Brooks, a Tantric scholar extraordinaire has to say about it, “What the Rig Veda suggests is that the purusharthas are the inherent values of the universe. The cosmos is considered a living being, and the issues of law, prosperity, desire, and freedom belong to it. These are not just human concerns or psychological concepts. When we engage them as human beings, we are aligning the microcosm with the macrocosm. The cosmos is all laid out for you; your job is to get with the program.”

Are you with the program? Are you in accordance with your universal design? Are you using the 4 aims as a progressive and ever-evolving checklist based on your current life circumstances? Check out this video – and get yourself in the middle of  the conversation.

What does the term Awakened Living mean from a Yogic Perspective and in particular, how does it relate to the Four Aims of Life outlined in the Yogic Scriptures?

4 AIMS + Awake Living

The Yogic Scriptures set out Four Aims of Life and if each are followed, and equally importantly balanced, we find that we are living a fulfilled or Awakened Life.

The Yogic Scriptures set out Four Aims of Life and if each are followed, and equally importantly balanced, we find that we are living a fulfilled or Awakened Life. The crucial question we can periodically entertain is, “Are these aims balanced and expanding or are we pursuing one at the expense of others?”

awake living course

Yogic philosophy supports the view that these aims are also the aims of the universe and therefore by practicing them, and ensuring that they are in balance, we are aligning ourselves with the aims of the universe.  Moksha is the path of liberation, it is freedom in the broadest sense. It is the evolutionary impulse which will cause the three other aims to expand. Moksha can be seen as the container but each of the four aims relate one another.

Dharma has traditionally been viewed as duty but it may be more helpful to consider it as purpose. The traditional ethical aspect can be viewed as integrity. Are we being true/ doing right, by ourselves and those we are in relationship with.

Kama is pleasure and is often thought of in terms of sexual gratification (think kama sutra) but it really is pleasure/ joy in the broadest sense. Anything which brings joy to our lives such as being completely present, is Kama. Are you tuned into pleasure? Are you tuned into your senses? Are you tuned into the “enoughness” of the NOW? These are good questions for Kama.

Artha is material wealth and abundance but it includes our health as well as our wealth. Access to material wealth can be a boon to dharma, as you can mobile resources quickly. Of course, there are many boon to dharma, but making sure Artha is helping not hurting is worth an investigation.

Steady State of Personal + Universal Expansion

All 4 aims interweave and affect one another but the key is balance we must have all four in right relationship. And that relationship changes. Watch the video and check in. Let me know how it goes. And if you want a longer investigation and upgrade in any of the 4 aims – check out the Awake Living Course. If we get that the universe is expansive, than we get that all 4 aims expand. Our capacity should expand.  All 4 aims urge us to be in a constant state of expansion.  With urge, we tap into the urgency of evolution here. Given that we are aligning ourselves with  the Universe that created us, when we do so we are in a field of perpetual growth and self-expansion. Buyah.

Cate Stillman
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