All week we have been looking at the four aspects of living (purusartha), that cared for together, can constitute a life of meaning and quality. If you want to have the good life according to yoga, you would care for dharma (your spiritual practice and connection to others), artha (gaining sufficient physical means), kama (enjoying what you encounter in life), and finally moksha (liberation).
Derived from the word muc – “to free,” moksha traditionally means that one realizes the truth of ones nature, and the divine within ones self and hence becomes free from the cycle of death and rebirth. In some circles this is seen as truly about actual death and rebirth, and in other groups this is seen metaphorically, and can even refer to the experiences within ones single life. The path to liberation, or freedom can be approached in different ways. Meditation, devotion (Bhakti), the practice of karma yoga (service), or the practice of yoga itself can each lead one to come to understand ones true nature.
The other three aspects of purusartha are meant to provide the person with the ability to look at ones own nature more clearly. Self-realization is set as the main goal of living life, and pursuit of understanding what one is is encouraged as a discipline of high value according to yoga. Looking within and seeing what you find for yourself can truly be a rewarding experience.
The practice for today would include meditation and perhaps some balance poses to support this going within and seeing what you find out about your own true nature. See what it is that arises, whether it is stress, fear, planning, or happiness, and just watch to see as each experience fades what arises as constant, steady about what you are.
Another way to use to today to practice moksha would be to take some time and break free from the usual routine. Stop by a co-worker’s desk or a neighbor’s house and tell a joke, have a little fun. You can take some time and just be free of your idea of what your roles and obligations are. Relax. Have a little fun and spend a little more time doing something meaningful to you, and even sharing that with someone else. See if you can go to the store and have a good time with it. Rather than merely playing the role of “person buying something.” see if you can make 5 people smile. Notice if they are able to play along and how much gratitude and enjoyment can arise within you as you witness them being free and playful, too. Everyone needs moments of joy as well as moments of seriousness. See what you can do to make your moment more than just adhering to the roles and rules.
This weekend, you may want to take time to practice some aspect of each of the 4 purusartha, to see how it feels to live this way.
I hope you have an easeful, peaceful and useful weekend!
Yoga Pose of the Day: Fish Pose – Matsyasana
Yogic Concept of the Day: What am I?