Sanskrit Literary Theory And The Four Goals Of Life

The Structure of Concern Project compares many theoretical models from many disciplines to the Adizes PAEI model, arguing that they must all be reflecting the same underlying phenomenon. One concern structure model is described below.

Traditional Sanskrit literary theory, including the classical text of the Nāţyaśāstra and in some ways culminating in the writings of Ānandavardhana and Abhinavagupta, provide a rich set of literary and psychological insights still of consequence for researchers today (Hogan, 2003).

Borrowing from the larger Hindu tradition concerning the goals of life, the Sanskrit theorists hold that all stories are organized around one of four ends or goals:

P – Artha: Material/political success giving rise to high community standing
A – Dharma: Ethical duty based on your station and role in an orderly cosmos
E – Mokşa: Enlightenment, spiritual release from the material plane
I – Kama: Romantic union, love, sexuality, pleasure

1. Hogan, P. C. (2003). The mind and its stories: narrative universals and human emotion. New York: Cambridge University Press.
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