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Purusharthas: Your Soul's Purpose

May 11, 2021 4 min read

The Soul’s Purpose

The Purusharthas literally translate to “object of human pursuit,” or “the soul’s purpose”. They are found in the ancient Vedic texts and act as a holistic blueprint to achieve fulfillment. By aiming your awareness toward specific values (moral, economic, psychological, spiritual), you are able to reorient yourself if and when you begin to stray. The goal is to eventually readjust until you reach a level of alignment that allows life to flow effortlessly through you. It can be easy to move through life on autopilot without questioning our true needs and desires, but it can also be quite literally soul-crushing.

Dharma: Righteousness; moral values.

It is better to do one’s own dharma imperfectly than another’s perfectly.

One translation of dharma is right action. A moral compass creates boundaries of right and wrong action: be of service, lend a helping hand when you can, and make choices that benefit the greater good instead of solely focusing on the self (with a lowercase s). Another translation of dharma is “soul purpose”. We were each born into this world with unique samskaras (think karmic imprint), and each had an individual upbringing and history. No one has the same story as you, and no one carries the unique gifts you have to offer. Dharma is all about discovering your purpose and expressing it into the universe.

I invite you to reflect on the following:

  • How has your personal upbringing, history, and story shaped you, and what can you share from it?

  • What unique gifts do you carry?

  • Write a list of things you’re good at, and then write a list of things you enjoy doing. Are any of them on both lists?

  • What calls to your soul? Do you listen to it?

    By ignoring the whispers of your soul, you are doing a disservice to yourself and to humanity. You were born to shine your light.☀

Artha: prosperity; economic values.


Cultivating a healthy relationship to material means and wealth can be tricky for those on the spiritual path. A lot of people fall under the misconception that to be spiritual you must renounce all worldly things. You may find yourself thinking, “If I were truly spiritual, I wouldn’t be wanting material possessions. I have everything I need within me.” Although to an extent this is true, on a spiritual level we do have everything we need within us, we also live in the physical realm which means we are all subject to material needs. Many of us have houses, cars, and families to take care of. From a holistic perspective, financial security is fundamental to liberation. You deserve a life of abundance! Because we live in a consumer-oriented society, where we are constantly being told to buy the next best thing in order to achieve health and happiness, it is important to build inner strength and discernment in order to identify what it is we truly do need.

I invite you to reflect on the following:

  • What are your economic goals? What will make you feel comfortable and at ease?

  • Is there any place you spend your money that may not serve your greater good?

  • What are some beliefs your carry around money? Do you think people with money are evil or bad? Do you think money is hard to come by?

  • Do you deserve a prosperous life?

Kama: pleasure; psychological values.


Kama translates to pleasure or desire, not just sexually but sensually. Literally - what brings pleasure to your senses? It is a life filled with beauty and abundance - friendships, adventure, solitude, affection, intimacy, love. When we follow pleasure, we discover what lights up our soul (which can then lead to dharma and the effortless flow of artha). However, we have to make sure it is coming from our highest Selves. If we follow desire blindly without thought or question it could lead to addiction, lust, greed, and overindulgence (hence the term “guilty pleasures”). Misuse of the senses is one of the main causes of dis-ease in the body, so developing a healthy relationship around them is essential.

I invite you to reflect on the following:

  • In what ways do you experience pleasure?

  • Do you feel like your desires are coming from your Highest Self or your ego?

  • What ignites your passion and makes you feel alive? Do you allow yourself to do these things?

  • What stands in the way of you and pleasure?

Moksha: liberation; spiritual values.


Moksha translates to liberation. Most often, this is the main goal on the spiritual path: union with the Divine/God/Source. To be free from suffering. To break free from the cycles of birth and death. Moksha is to experience your true nature as Spirit - infinite, loving, whole, fulfilled. When you have a solid economical foundation (artha), are enthralled by life (kama), and practice right action (dharma), you are able to live from your true nature as an infinite being of love (moksha). Life is a constant balancing act; the more you live from a place aligned with your Higher Self instead of your ego, the closer you become to experiencing liberation.

I invite you to reflect on the following:

  • What does liberation mean to you?

  • Have you ever felt connected to Source? Where did it reside in your body? What did it feel like?

  • Do you have any blocks in your spiritual practice? If so, what are they and where do you think they stem from?

  • What would your life look like if all four pillars were aligned?


You deserve to feel abundant, joyful, and free.🌈

Erica Beaty
Erica Beaty

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