Kama (Sanskrit, Pali, Devanagari: काम; IAST: kāma) means “desire, wish, longing” in Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain literature. Kama often connotes sensual pleasure, sexual desire, and longing both in religious and secular Hindu and Buddhist literature, as well as contemporary Indian literature, but the concept more broadly refers to any desire, wish, passion, longing, pleasure of the senses, desire for, longing to and after, the aesthetic enjoyment of life, affection, or love, enjoyment of love is particularly with or without enjoyment of sexual, sensual and erotic desire, and may be without sexual connotations.
Kama is one of the four goals of human life and is also contemplated as one of the primary needs to fulfill during the stages of life according to the Hindu tradition. It is considered an essential and healthy goal of human life when pursued without sacrificing the other three goals: Dharma (virtuous, proper, moral life), Artha (material prosperity, income security, means of life) and Moksha (liberation, release, self-actualization). Together, these four aims of life are called Puruṣārtha.