According to Purusharthas (objectives of human life), the four objectives are Dharma, Artha, Kama, Moksha. Kama includes desire and Moksha requires someone not to have desire. How can they co-exist?

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    The purusharthas' sequence denotes that one must adhere to dharma, achieve artha and kama through dharma and utilize such achievements to gradually progress towards moksha.
    – user1195
    Dec 6, 2015 at 7:33
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    Moksha is just ultimate goal of life. Of course, when someone wants to attain moksha he should abandon kama otherwise it will not be able for him to reach moksha. The general tendency of conditioned souls (souls trapped in the cycle of births and deaths in this world due to karma and desires for sense gratification) is to enjoy life in this world, and this tendency of enjoyment is called kama. To such souls a benefit of Dharma, Artha and Kama is given so that they can enjoy life in this world and not to degrade themselves while doing sense gratification. ... Dec 10, 2015 at 14:53
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    ... But ultimately they are discouraged in pursuing kama or sense gratification because if they continue with sense gratification they will continue with cycle of births and deaths and they will never reach moksha. So to be able to reach moksha one should abandon kama, otherwise he will not be able to reach the state of moksha. Thus moksha is said to be the ultimate goal of life. Dec 10, 2015 at 14:58
  • @brahmajijnasa so kama should not be an objective of life? If so, then should one exclude one of the objective of Purushartha? Dec 11, 2015 at 10:25
  • Kama can be an objective of your life if you want it to be an objective of your life. However if you want to achieve liberation you should abandon it and make moksha or liberation to be the objective of your life. Dec 13, 2015 at 11:38

4 Answers 4


Kama and Moksha coexist in the Self (Atman) not in the human mind. That is to say they are part of Ishwara's divine opulence or divine glory (Satkirti). Attempts to reconcile both of them through the unrealized mind will lead to confusion and is best avoided.

Kama (BG 10.28):

prajanaś cāsmi kandarpaḥ

prajanaḥ — the cause for begetting children; ca — and; asmi — I am; kandarpaḥ — Cupid

Of causes for procreation I am Kandarpa, the god of love.

Moksha (SB 11.16.24):

yogānām ātma-saṁrodho

yogānām — among the eight stages of yoga practice (aṣṭāṅga); ātma-saṁrodhaḥ — the ultimate stage, samādhi, in which the soul is completely separated from illusion;

Among the eight progressive states of yoga I am the final stage, samādhi, in which the soul is completely separated from illusion.


Kama and moksha do not coexist. They are meant for different types of people.

Vyasa said, ‘One that is a Brahmacharin, one that leads a life of domesticity, one that is a forest recluse, and one that leads a life of (religious) mendicancy, all reach the same high end by duly observing the duties of their respective modes of life. Or, if one and the same person, freed from desire and aversion, practises (one after another) all these four modes of life according to the ordinances that have been laid down, he is certainly fitted (by such contact) to understand Brahma. The four modes of life constitute a ladder or flight of steps. That flight is attached to Brahma. By ascending that flight one succeeds in reaching the region of Brahma.

Mahabharata Santi Parva Section CCXLII

Kama is meant for those who live lives of domesticity, i.e., householders. Moksha is the goal of sannyasis.

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    But Moksha is applicable even to householders. What you said here is only for Sanyasis, Brahmacharis and Vanaprastas. May 16, 2018 at 15:28
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    Wrong! Kama and Moksha do exist together. A householder can also attend Moksha.
    – TheLittleNaruto
    May 16, 2018 at 15:59
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    A householder indulging in kama can not attain moksha. The householder has to give up kama and live like a sannyasi to attain moksha. It is not possible to attain moksha without giving up kama. May 16, 2018 at 16:04

Human activity springs from Fears and Desires .Behind every Action(Karma), there is a motive of acquiring the results of Action (Karmaphala).An employee works with the hope of getting a Salary , at the end of a Month or Week or Day.A Student works with the hope of getting a Degree.
The results we want , in return of our Actions , may be of Physical Pleasure (Kama),Economic Benefits(Artha) or/and Wisdom and Elightenment(Dharma).
Finally , we come to understand that we are like Remote Controlled Robots, carrying out the Will of an Invisible Super Power---(Nimitta Matram).
""Ishwara: , sarbabhutanam ,hriddeshe:rjuna tishthati ;Bhramayan sarba bhutani,yantrarudhani Mayaya"---GITA
With this realisation, we lose the motive for action , also the fear of Future.
This is called Mokshya, liberation from all Human Psychological Bondages .
No fear of Present or Future or the Universe,--Nothing to Desire , in the Present or Future or from the Universe.

  • These ideas, I have taken from the teachings of Ramakrishna and Nigamananda..Ramakrishna's teachings , were initially compiled in a book as- "Ramakrshna Kathamrita , later translated into all Indian Languages(Gospels of Ramakrishna--in English)...Swami Nigamanda ( A disciple of Bamakshepa) has writen four books as--Gyani Guru ,Yogi Guru ,Premik Guru and Tantrik Guru.Available in Bengali,Hindi and Assamese.
    – b.sahu
    Dec 9, 2015 at 19:02
  • Thanks for the answer. But I don't think this addresses the question. Dec 10, 2015 at 13:45

The concept of Karma is based on body. When the soul (aatma or jiva) obtains a body he starts doing karma knowingly or unknowingly. As the body is created by nature, the effect of different gunas (Sattva, Rajas and Tamas) make us do the karma.

If the sattva guna is at its prime, it leads us to spiritual way, makes us do good things. When rajo guna increases, the human tends to achieve more "bhog" or becomes materialistic and when tamas guna affects us we get into bad habits.

This is how our soul tends to work when it is in a body (human or other). But when the soul obtains Moksha it means we are no longer obligated to do karma. We don't have a body, only thing we have is peace.

In Hindi: Aatma Jyoti Svarup hai. Meaning: Soul is light and Paramatma (God) is Aanand Svarup (full of joy).

And when we reach that state as God, nothing will exist, there's only aanand.

So the moment we realize we are not the body but the Aatma, the moment we set ourselves above the law of nature and obtain the connection with the Supreme soul (God), that is Moksha.

  • Actually the question is about KAma and not Karma.
    – iammilind
    Mar 16, 2016 at 15:07
  • I know what is the question. Kamna (desire) leads men to do Karma. Mar 16, 2016 at 15:20
  • No. That kaamanaa desire is different thing. Kaama means this- sensual desires (enjoyment of five senses, and sexual and amorous dealings).
    – user9392
    Jun 11, 2017 at 5:13

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