kama, true pleasure

I'm not one to dip into the depths of yoga philosophy and extract simple nuggets of wisdom to satisfy our superficial tastes but this time I'll gladly make an exception. The Ishayas' commentary on the Yoga Sutras ('Enlightenment') is a beautifully effortless discussion, so easy to read as it is shared with us by an awakened being.  On discussing the 4 purposes of this human life it is made clear that these are naturally conducive to our final liberation, liberation itself ('moksha') being one of the purposes.

'Kama' is also one of the purposes our our human lives. 'Kama' sometimes translated as pleasure (yes, as in kama-sutra) is not to be confused with the pleasures to be sold, pleasures associated to guilt and to greed but pleasure that is of itself conducive to liberation. Many practitioners are at this level in their yoga. They practice for the pure pleasure of practice. There is no ulterior motive to practice, an asana once performed does not crystallise, it dissolves as soon as it has expressed itself.

I believe most creative pursuits when practiced in this spirit are pure 'kama' and more than worth living for. And when the fruits of our 'kama' are shared they serve to uplift others. If we are distracted in our practice however, if we feel there is somewhere to reach in this physical realm, this world of illusion, then our very purpose falls short. Follow your 'kama' in all you do and see how you get on.