Hindu Of Universe

“God’s light is within you, It never leaves you.”

Moksha is one of the fundamental concepts of Hindu philosophy.

It refers to the freedom from all earthly bondage and from the cycle of death and rebirth.

Moksha is one of the basic themes of Hindu philosophy.

The term is found prevalent in Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism, and it refers to the liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth as well as all the sufferings and limitations of worldly existence.

This kind of liberation can be achieved by and accompanied with the complete ending of all material passions.

The beliefs of the Hindu Religion hold that true liberation occurs when the individual soul recognizes itself with the Source of all phenomenal existence known as Brahman.

Moksha is basically forsaking the material and worldly life and establishing oneself as a devoted servant of Lord Vishnu in Vaishnavism, which is the largest branch of Hinduism.

The Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Mahabharata and the Ramayana also emphasize on the personal, devotional type of Moksha which is achieved through the practice of Bhakti Yoga.

Within Moksha, there lies the ultimate peace, the ultimate knowledge, the ultimate enlightenment and the ultimate paradise.

In Buddhism liberation is Nirvana.

This is the goal of the Buddhist path.

In Jainism, when a soul is released from the cycle of births and deaths it achieves Moksha.

Thereafter it becomes a Siddha. In Sikhism it is Jivan Mukti that stands for ultimate reality.

The Mukta becomes the master of sense and self, fearless and devoid of resentment, upright, humble, no desires and clings to nothing.

Kinds of Moksha

The concept of Moksha in the Hindu Religion is mainly of two types.

These are personal and impersonal. Moksha is defined as the loving, eternal union with God and considered the highest perfection of existence.

In Advaita philosophy Moksha is union with the oneness which Advaita advocates.

Path to attain Moksha

In Hinduism self-realization is the key to obtain Moksha.

There are believed to be four Yogas or paths for the attainment of Moksha.

They are the ways of working for the Supreme, realizing the Supreme, meditating on the Supreme and serving the Supreme in loving devotion.

One must achieve Moksha on his or her own under the guidance of a “guru”.

Knowledge required for attaining Moksha

According to Upanishads Jnana is the sole means to Moksha.

One should achieve not mere verbal knowledge but a kind of intensive knowledge which is generated by constant meditation.

The view that knowledge derived by the study of sacred texts leads to upasana has been established on the basis of the Upanishadic teachings.

The knowledge of Brahman generated by the study of the Upanishads thus serves as an aid to nididhyasana or meditation.

What Is Moksha?

For a Hindu, the ultimate triumph is to be freed from the cycle of birth.

The highest level of being is the freedom from an impermanent human life.

At this stage, one has achieved enlightenment and the soul has attained salvation.

Reaching Moksha is the main driving aspect for every deed a Hindu commits.

The liberation from the serfdom of karma, from the vicious cycle of birth and death is enlightenment.

This becomes possible when we establish absolute control over the five senses.

The mind is a mixture of senses; it is a concentrated Indriya. An Indriya is a mind in manifestation.

The mind reaches the stage of Nirvikalpa Samadhi, the stage of nothingness. It is the absolute wisdom.

This is when the soul attains Moksha.

To have a better picture, the concept of Samsara needs to be understood. It is the cycle of life, the passing of the soul from one life to another.

As the soul moves towards its goal, the new incarnation is informed by the deeds of the previous life.

This is Karma.

Exemption from the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth (samsara) is the ultimate goal of life in Hinduism.

There are four goals in Hinduism, collectively called Purusartha, and the fourth and ultimate goal is the attainment of Moksha.

As people move through the first three goals (dharma/ religion, artha/ money, and kama/ deeds), they release attachments to worldly possessions and desires, leading to the goal of achieving Moksha.

What is Moksha?

Moksha is the goal of life.

Every human being’s aim is to be liberated.

What is Liberation? Liberation is escaped from the cycle of birth and death.

It is escaping from misery, suffering and pain.

It is self-realization.

It is freedom or mukti.

Why are we born?

What are all these concepts trying to convey to us? It is very difficult for the common man to think about Moksha, Liberation and Self-Realization because we are not mindful of the truth.

We are so preoccupied and busy with worldly matters that we think we are born to live and to die in pursuit of success, happiness and achievement. We mistake them to be the goals of life.

In fact, anything remotely spiritual switches off our mind. 

Spiritual Enlightenment is not on our agenda.

But what is this Spiritual Enlightenment, this Spiritual Awakening?

Realize the Truth!

Very few people go on a Talaash, a Search to realize the truth, to realize the self.

Very few people go on a quest for Moksha.

Moksha, MuktiLiberation, Salvation, Enlightenment – these are all different words for the same state of mind, the same state of consciousness.

Moksha is self-realization. It is liberation from the body and mind.

We are actually prisoners in a body-mind complex.

We are the Soul, the life energy that is within.

But we mistake ourselves to be the body and mind. 

Moksha or Self-Realization liberates us from this ignorance.

It frees us from the body-mind complex to unite with the Universal Power.

It starts with a quest and then helps us become one with the liberator, the Creator whom we call God.

Yes, Moksha is the goal of humanity.

But very few people, less than 1% of humanity even start a search for Moksha.

Those who realize the truth are liberated.

They do not come back to this world again.

They live a life of joy, peace and bliss.

The Path to Liberation

The first step towards attaining Moksha or Liberation is to realize who we are not.

We are not the body that we wear; we are not the mind that produces about 50,000 thoughts a day, nor are we the ego that entraps us in false beliefs.

Once we realize what we are not, then we evolve to realize who we truly are and we are on the path to Liberation.


Moksha is a term that refers to liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth.

Every person must strive hard and perform good deeds, so that his soul may rest in peace after his death.

A person, who attains Moksha, gets freedom from all sorts of sufferings and pain.

When a person gives away the materialist pleasures of life and gets involved in social activities to serve mankind, he heads his way towards heaven.

Well, Moksha is a very broad term which encompasses numerous aspects like peace, knowledge and enlightenment.

In this article, we will tell you the exact meaning of Moksha.

In this section, we will throw light on various aspects of Moksha, which will enable you to clearly understand as to what is Moksha all about.

How to Attain Moksha

In Hindu religion, self realization is considered to be the best means to achieve Moksha.

The Hindu Dharma preaches the path of Karma and Bhakti.

Well, there can be different ways of achieving salvation.

In totality, there are four paths of attaining liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth, namely, selfless work, self dissolving love, deep meditation and total discernment.

Different schools of Hinduism attach importance to different paths.

Bhakti teaches people self realization, by raising their conscience and making them aware of the power of God lying within them.

To know more about how to attain Moksha, read on.

The Hindu religion teaches people the art of self dissolving love, which paves way for harmony.

You are said to be deeply in love with God, when the depth of your love cannot be measured.

At that point of time, you attain total bliss, as self realization dawns upon you.

When you meditate and try to concentrate on the God, the creator and preserver of this universe, your mind becomes empty.

 At that moment, there are no thoughts in your mind and you can only think of the almighty God.

It directs your way towards attaining salvation.

Another thing of prime importance that will straightaway connect you to God is service to mankind.

Be sensitive, kind and compassionate towards other living beings.

Moksha in Different Religions

Every religion has a different view point about various aspects of life.

Well, in this article, we will talk about how Moksha is viewed by different religions.

In the Hindu religion, Moksha is associated with the concept of self realization, in which an individual understands the purpose why he is being sent on earth.

When a person realizes the power of God and understands his ultimate goal, he strives hard to reach his final destination, i.e.

Moksha or salvation. Among Hindus, Moksha is viewed as the unification of man and God.

To know more about Moksha in different religions, read on…

Self realization makes you aware of the source of all phenomenal existence, as in Brahman.

This in turn brings you closer to God, thereby enabling you to converse with God, the creator and preserver of this Brahman.

Moksha is the stage, when a person tends to let go his worldly conception of self and what he can think of is that, he is just a normal being, who is being sent on earth by God to accomplish a goal.

This goal is nothing but good Karma that an individual must perform for the wellbeing of others.

In the Jain religion, Moksha and nirvana are considered as synonymous concepts.

They are of the opinion that, when a person attains Nirvana, he gets liberation from the cycle of death and birth and then he becomes a Siddha, one who has accomplished the ultimate goal of his life.

The Buddhist religion lays emphasis on individual effort as means to achieve Moksha. The main point of focus in the Buddhism philosophy is Moksha.

It says that the main cause of human sufferings is nothing else but the human beings themselves.

It attributes the increasing and never ending human desire as the main factor that leads to pain and miseries.

Thus, Buddhist philosophy preaches its people to detach themselves from the worldly pleasures and seek Nirvana that will ultimately pave way for salvation.

What does Moksha mean?

Moksha is the concept of ultimate freedom and liberation, central to Indian philosophy and religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism.

Also known as mukti, the term is derived from the Sanskrit word, mukt, meaning “liberation,” “release” and “emancipation.”

It refers to the state of being released from the life-death cycle (samsara) and the limitations of a worldly existence.

According to Indian philosophy, moksha is the ultimate Purusartha, the fourth and final goal for human existence.

Traditionally, moksha is closely tied to the concept of universal consciousness, in which one accepts the Self as at one with all existence.

It is believed that the only way to attain absolute freedom, peace, bliss and oneness with the Divine is to reach the state of moksha.

Although the term is often used interchangeably with the Buddhist concept of nirvana, Hindus believe that nirvana is more specifically the state a person enters into after achieving moksha.

Explains Moksha

Although Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism each have unique perspectives on moksha, the term is most prevalent in Hinduism.

Hindus believe in a cycle of death and rebirth known as samsara, in which the next incarnation is dependent on karma, or actions in the previous life.

Moksha marks the end of this cycle, in which one overcomes all ignorance and desires of a worldly existence to attain ultimate freedom and bliss.

In some schools of Hinduism, moksha has connotations of self-realization and liberation within this life.

Moksha is also central to Indian philosophy in general, comprising one of the four goals in human life known as Purusartha.

The three purusartha prior to moksha are:

  • Dharma – living a virtuous and moral life
  • Artha – attaining the means for wealth, security and prosperity
  • Kama – appreciating sensual pleasures, enjoyment and love

It is believed that as individuals move through these three goals, they slowly begin to release attachment to worldly possessions and desires until they are able to reach moksha.

There is criticism as to the inherent tension between achieving these goals and attaining moksha, which gave rise to the concept of dharma-driven action otherwise known as Nishkam Karma.

This is a central message of the Bhagavad Gita, in which balance between action and renunciation can be found as a means of reaching the ultimate freedom of moksha.

The Eight Limbs of Yoga outlined by Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras can be interpreted as steps on the path to attaining moksha.

In yoga, there are several paths to achieving this freedom; Jnana, Bhakti, Karma and Raja.

A more recent style known as Jivamukti is also centred on the concept of moksha.

Created by Shannon Gannon and David Life in 1984, Jivamukti combines Hatha yoga with principles of scripture, devotion, nonviolence, music and meditation as a means of self-realization and liberation.

Five different types of liberation can be attained

Liberation means freedom from material bondage.

There are five types of liberation which can be achieved by a spiritual seeker.

These are:

  • Sarsti: achieving opulences equal to that of the Lord.
  • Sarupya: having a form like that of the Lord. Residents of the Vaikuntha planet have four handed form like Lord Vishnu.
  • Samipya: living as a personal associate of the Lord.
  • Salokya: living on a Vaikuṇṭha planet.
  • Sayujya: Merging into the Brahman feature of the Lord.

Sayujya is the aspiration of the impersonalists and so is abhorred by the great authorities of Vedic literatures. Devotees of the Lord are ready to accept the other four types of liberation (sarsti, sarupya, samipya and salokya) but they would never accept sayujya liberation.

These liberations can be achieved by those who have developed distaste for frustrating material life and have made a concerted choice to become a part of the God’s abode.

However pure devotees of the Lord do not even want liberation.

For them hell or heaven or even the spiritual world is same.

They remain so absorbed in serving and remembering the Lord that they never think of their own life and desire.

Their love for Lord is so great that even Krishna finds it difficult to understand it; in fact Krishna completely surrenders to them.

It was mother Yashoda’s extraordinary love for Krishna that she was able to bind him by a rope.

The Concept of Moksha in Hinduism

What is Moksha?

Moksha is an important aspect of many world religions, including Buddhism, Jainism, and Hinduism.

So, what is moksha? The definition of moksha is the freedom from the eternal cycle of life, death, and rebirth.

This is the ultimate goal of an individual who practices Hinduism.

Moksha is derived from the Sanskrit word, muc, which means to free.

In Indian culture, the term moksha literally means freedom from samsara.

Moksha is achieved through meditation, self-realization, and living according to the teachings of one’s religion.

What is Samsara in Hinduism?

Samsara refers to the infinite cycle of life, death, and rebirth.

This is a component of the belief system in many world religions, including Hinduism.

So, what is samsara in Hinduism? Followers of Hinduism believe in a concept called reincarnation.

Reincarnation is the idea that, when a person dies, their soul will be reborn in another living thing.

Essentially, while a person’s physical body is destined to die, the soul is believed to be eternal.

An individual’s rebirth is dictated by their karma, or the good and bad deeds they commit during their life.

Good karma is believed to result in more desirable situations to be reincarnated into, whereas bad karma results in less desirable life situations.

What is Moksha in Hinduism?

Hinduism differs from many popular world religions in the belief of an immortal soul, reincarnation, and karma.

Many religions believe in the idea of a soul for human beings, but Hinduism believes in the idea of a soul for all living things.

Because of these differences, moksha is perceived through a different lens within the Hindu religion.

So, what is moksha in Hinduism?

Moksha is a symbol of hope and spiritual perfection within the culture of Hinduism. Moksha can best be described as the freedom of the soul to enter into a state of divine bliss with the Supreme Being.

Moksha is achieved through meditation, achieving one’s dharma, detaching from the material world, and attaining a divine understanding.

Meditation is a key component of Hinduism

Man meditating

Moksha frees the soul from the struggles and pain of the material world, and liberates the soul from the endless cycle of life, death, and rebirth.

How to Achieve Moksha?

Achieving moksha is not an easy task, and requires extreme dedication to Hindu teachings.

First, an individual must detach themselves from the anxieties, desires, and struggles of the material world.

Second, one must acquire a deep understanding of atma and brahma, which refer to knowledge of the soul and universe.

Attaining good karma and achieving one’s dharma is also important in achieving moksha.

Moksha can be achieved either while alive or after death.

Upon achieving moksha, the soul is granted liberation from the cycle of life and death.

Moksha and the Supreme Being

After a soul achieves moksha, they are liberated from the cycle of life, death, and rebirth.

Additionally, they become united with the Supreme Being and enter into an eternal state of divine bliss.

Advaita Vedanta refers to the idea that the Supreme Being’s soul and the human soul are joined together.

Furthermore, the soul is relieved of ego and mortal perspective, as well as its physical body.

A soul that has achieved moksha is free from the struggles of the material world, as well as the chains of karma and reincarnation.

The soul is believed to have achieved true salvation and a divine level of knowledge.

Difference between Moksha and Nirvana

Moksha is commonly compared to the concept of nirvana, which is the ultimate goal in the religion of Buddhism.

The main difference between moksha and nirvana is that nirvana is irrelevant to an individual’s soul, and is moreso a level of understanding that a person strives to achieve while they are living.

Where moksha represents the liberation of the soul from the mortal world altogether, nirvana refers to the freedom of the self from suffering through a state of enlightenment.

Buddhism teaches that suffering is a constant guarantee in life, and the only way to free oneself from this suffering is to follow the eightfold path and ultimately achieve nirvana.

Lesson Summary

This lesson serves as an overview of moksha in Hinduism.

Moksha refers to liberation from the endless cycle of life, death, and rebirth.

Followers of Hinduism believe in reincarnation based off an individual’s karma, or deeds.

Good karma results in a more desirable rebirth, whereas bad karma results in a less desirable rebirth.

Moksha is the ultimate goal of Hinduism, and represents a freedom of the soul from the material, mortal world.

In Hinduism, samsara refers to the cycle of life, death, and rebirth, which followers are trying to escape.

What is Moksha and the Path to Attain It?

Moksha can be translated to the word ‘salvation’ in English.

The majority of Hindus are firm believers in the concept of Karma.

According to this concept, the four main objectives of life are dharma (duty), artha (wealth), kama (desire), and moksha (salvation).

All four of these have the same level of importance, but moksha is said to be the sole purpose of human existence.

The Hindu doctrine states that one can be independent of the endless circle of birth and death by attaining eternal moksha.

That is why it is deemed necessary for every human being to do everything in their power to achieve moksha.

Pure intentions and pure thoughts will

assist one to walk the righteous path to achieve moksha. In this blog, we will delve deeper into the principle of moksha and how one can attain it. 

Moksha Definition 

The principles of moksha have been predominantly derived from the principles of karma and pertaining theories of the human soul.

To understand the meaning of moksha, one should have an understanding of the theory of a human soul.

The idea of a soul is prevalent in all other religions too, but the core concept differs from culture to culture. 

According to Christianity and Judaism, human beings are the only living beings that are blessed with an eternal soul, other creatures and animals simply are not.

Hinduism however, states that all living things in the world have a soul.

From the largest animal to the smallest insect, a soul is what makes everything alive. 

Further, Hindus believe that the human soul can transmigrate; this means that the soul can travel from one physical existence to another.

The Hindu texts state that a soul can neither be killed nor created, it just simply migrates from one being to another. 

The concept of moksha is closely intertwined with the theory of transmigration.

In several cultures around the world, it is believed that the soul can move from one realm of existence to another.

The spirits of our ancestors have been believed to reincarnate as kids or even animals. 

The status of a human soul and the circumstances of rebirth are based on the soul’s past karma.

If good accumulated karma exceeds bad karma, the soul will finally be alleviated from the endless cycle of life and death.

Such liberation of the soul from the eternal cycle of rebirths is known as Moksha. 

Different Levels of Moksha  

The main school of thought bifurcates moksha in 2 distinct stages: Jivanmukti and Vidhemukti.

According to Vedanta texts, a person in Jivanmukti has gained a higher understanding of his own being and the realm surrounding him.

Thus, a jivanmukta can also be referred to as Atma Jnani – one who is aware of his own self, and Brahma Jnani – one who has understood the meaning of the universe.

Towards the end, in the twilight period of their existence, Jivanmuktas achieve paramukti, also known as final liberation. 

As the Jivanmukta propagates the teachings of the universe and self to other people, he is referred to as an Avadhuta.

Some Avadhuta can achieve the feat of superior enlightenment and are called Paramhamsa. Subsequently, this Jivanmukti differs from the theory of Vidhemukti. Videhamukti is experienced only after death, i.e. the soul experiences infinite bliss, power, and knowledge after death while Jivanmukta experiences the same while being alive and after death as well. 

This simply signifies that the soul has been granted freedom from the eternal cycle of life and rebirth by attaining moksha.

Both the yoga and Vedantic schools of thought in Hinduism study the concept of moksha via the stages of jivanmukti and vidhemukti. 

How to Attain Moksha?  

One must understand that to attain moksha, the individual has to let go of everything that ties them down to the material earthly realm.

The individual has to separate himself from the human feelings of fear, anger, frustration, etc.

This sets the path to achieve salvation from the constant process of taking births and rebirths. 

The Vedantic school of thought states that a person can achieve moksha in the current life without having to leave the world.

This can be done by detaching themselves from the negativities that surround them and achieving complete knowledge about the human soul and the realm of existence.  

 Meanwhile, liberation can also be achieved after the human body has passed on.

This is referred to as Vidhamukti, or salvation after death.

The soul can be finally free of the human shackles of suffering and attain eternal joy, bliss, and power.

A jivanmukta person has the privilege of experiencing moksha both during their life and after they have ascended.  

What’s next after attaining moksha?  

Attaining moksha means that the person has to alleviate himself of all material things in life in a bid to achieve a higher understanding.

After you have attained moksha, you will sense a feeling of oneness with a higher power and will be able to elevate yourself from the process of life and rebirth.

The human being will be devoid of any sense of ego and will understand the meaning of the divine understanding.  

Hinduism states that the cycle of births & rebirths is the main source of pain and suffering.

The situations and lessons that you face in your current life are a result of the deeds and actions of your previous life.

This is why it is imperative to carry out good deeds and live life by the guidelines of dharma.

This way, you can ensure that the next existence is without any bad karma.  

The aim of every human life should be to attain moksha so that they can alleviate themselves from the eternal cycle of birth and rebirth.

Once you have broken the chain of constant rebirths, you can gain the ultimate understanding of yourself and enjoy divine bliss.

Once moksha has been attained, the soul discards the human existence and proceeds to the Moksha Loka, which is Lord Vishnu’s realm.

Ancient Hindu texts define Moksha Loka as the place beyond life and death. 

Once any soul attains moksha and enters the Moksha Loka, it does not return to the human realm.

Further, it is very difficult for anyone connected to the human realm to travel to the Moksha realm.

One can only enter the Moksha Loka by attaining freedom of the human soul and leaving the physical form behind.  

The Path to Moksha: Most Important Concepts in Hinduism

Moksha is one of the most important concepts in Hinduism.

Also called Mukti, vimoksha, and vimukti, it is based on the belief in dukkha and samsara and refers to the freedom from these two notions.

Before one can comprehend moksha, one first needs to understand what both dukkha and samsara are.

To put it simply and succinctly, within the Hindu faith, dukkha is related to suffering, sorrow, or distress that one unavoidably experiences in life.

This suffering can be in the form of injury, disease, and ageing, among others.

Dukkha or suffering in life cannot be avoided but can be overcome through personal understanding and enlightenment.

On the other hand, samsara refers to the belief in reincarnation.

It pertains to the cyclical nature of life, where one experiences birth, death, and rebirth. For Hindus, this is a very important concept and one that is related to the idea of karma.

From Death To Birth (Understanding Karma and Reincarnation)

What is Moksha in Hinduism

Hindus believe that the soul passes through a cycle of successive lives (samsara) and its next incarnation is always dependent on how the previous life was lived (karma).

In a lifetime people build up karma, both good and bad, based on their actions within that lifetime.

This karma affects their future lives and existences.

People must take responsibility for their actions either within this life time or the next.

Death is a key part of this cycle and is treated with specific importance.

Death is the last samsara (cycle of life) referred to as the ‘last sacrifice’.

Moksha is the end of the death and rebirth cycle and is classed as the fourth and ultimate artha (goal).

It is the transcendence of all arthas.

It is achieved by overcoming ignorance and desires.

It is a paradox in the sense that overcoming desires also includes overcoming the desire for moksha itself.

It can be achieved both in this life and after death.

What happens after death?

It is preferable for a Hindu to die at home.

Traditionally a candle is lit by the head of the deceased.

The body is then placed in the entranceway of the house with the head facing south.

The body is bathed, anointed with sandalwood, shaved (if male) and wrapped in cloth.

It is preferable for cremation to take place on the day of death.

The body is then carried to the funeral pyre by the male relatives and prayers are said to Yama, the god of death.

Sometimes the name of God (Ram) is chanted.

While doing this the pyre is circled three times anti-clockwise.

This is usually done by the male relatives of the family, lead by the chief mourner.

On the funeral pyre the feet of the body are positioned pointing south in the direction of the realm of Yama and the head positioned north towards the realm of Kubera, the god of wealth.

Traditionally it is the chief mourner who sets light to the pyre.

This is done by accepting flaming kusha twigs from the Doms’ who are part of the Untouchable Hindu caste responsible for tending to funeral pyres.

The body is now an offering to Agni, the god of fire.

After cremation the ashes are collected and usually scattered in water.

The River Ganges is considered the most sacred place to scatter ashes.

Similarly, Benares (the home of Siva, Lord of destruction) is a preferred place of death because it takes the pollution out of death and makes it a positive event.

Anyone who dies here breaks the cycle of life and achieves moksha (enlightenment or release).

It is important to remember that Hinduism is not only a religion but also a cultural way of life.

Some practices and beliefs may not be common to all Hindus as regional differences.

In Hindu traditions, moksha is a central concept and the utmost aim to be attained through three paths during human life; these three paths are dharma (virtuous, proper, moral life), artha or material prosperity, income security, means of life, and kama or pleasure, sensuality.

Moksha is derived from the root , muc, which means free, let go, release, liberate.

In Vedas and early Upanishads, the word , mucyate appears, which means to be set free or release, such as of a horse from its harness.

Eschatological sense: Moksha is a concept associated with samsara (birth-rebirth cycle).

Samsara originated with religious movements in the first millennium BCE.

 These movements such as Buddhism, Jainism and new schools within Hinduism, saw human life as bondage to a repeated process of rebirth.

This bondage to repeated rebirth and life, each life subject to injury, disease and aging, was seen as a cycle of suffering.

By release from this cycle, the suffering involved in this cycle also ended.

This release was called moksha, nirvana, kaivalya, mukti and other terms in various Indian religious traditions.

Ethological ideas evolved in Hinduism.

In earliest Vedic literature, heaven and hell sufficed soteriological curiosities.

Over time, the ancient scholars observed that people vary in the quality of virtuous or sinful life they lead, and began questioning how differences in each person’s punya (merit, good deeds) or pap (demerit, sin) as human beings affected their afterlife.

This question led to the conception of an afterlife where the person stayed in heaven or hell, in proportion to their merit or demerit, then returned to earth and were reborn, the cycle continuing indefinitely.

The rebirth idea ultimately flowered into the ideas of samsara, or transmigration — where one’s balance sheet of karma determined one’s rebirth.

Along with this idea of samsara, the ancient scholars developed the concept of moksha, as a state that released a person from the samsara cycle.

Moksha release in eschatological sense in these ancient literature of Hinduism, suggests that everything comes from self-knowledge and consciousness of oneness of supreme soul.

Epistemological and psychological senses: Scholars provide various explanations of the meaning of moksha in epistemological and psychological senses.

For example, Deutsche sees moksha as transcendental consciousness, the perfect state of being, of self-realization, of freedom and of “realizing the whole universe as the Self”.

Moksha in Hinduism, implies a setting-free of hitherto fettered faculties, a removing of obstacles to an unrestricted life, permitting a person to be more truly a person in the full sense; the concept presumes an unused human potential of creativity, compassion and understanding which had been blocked and shut out.

Moksha is more than liberation from a life-rebirth cycle of suffering (samsara); the Vedantic school separates this into two: jivanmukti (liberation in this life) and videhamukti (liberation after death).

Moksha in this life includes psychological liberation from adhyasa (fears besetting one’s life) and avidya (ignorance or anything that is not true knowledge).

Hinduism: In its historical development, the concept of moksha appears in three forms: Vedic, yogic and bhakti. In the Vedic period, moksha was ritualistic.

Moksha was claimed to result from properly completed rituals such as those before Agni — the fire deity.

The significance of these rituals was to reproduce and recite the cosmic creation event described in the Vedas; the description of knowledge on different levels — adhilokam, adhibhutam, adhiyajnam, adhyatmam — helped the individual transcend to moksha.

Knowledge was the means, the ritual its application.

By the middle to late Upanishadic period, the emphasis shifted to knowledge, and ritual activities were considered irrelevant to the attainment of moksha.

Yogic moksha replaced Vedic rituals with personal development and meditation, with hierarchical creation of the ultimate knowledge in self as the path to moksha.

Yogic moksha principles were accepted in many other schools of Hinduism, albeit with differences.

Balinese Hinduism incorporates moksha as one of five tattwas.

The other four are:

brahman (the one supreme god head,

not to be confused with Brahmin),

atma (soul or spirit),

karma (actions and reciprocity, causality),

samsara (principle of rebirth, reincarnation).

Moksha, in Balinese Hindu belief, is the possibility of unity with the divine; it is sometimes referred to as nirvana.

Among the Samkhya, Yoga and Vedanta schools of Hinduism, liberation and freedom reached within one’s life is referred to as jivanmukti, and the individual who has experienced this state is called jivanmukta (self-realized person).

Dozens of Upanishads, including those from middle Upanishadic period, mention. liberation, jivanmukti.

Some contrast jivanmukti with videhamukti (moksha from samsara after death). Jivanmukti is a state that transforms the nature, attributes and behaviors of an individual, claim these ancient texts of Hindu philosophy.

Ancient literature of different schools of Hinduism sometimes use different phrases for moksha.


Modern literature additionally uses the Buddhist term nirvana interchangeably with moksha of Hinduism.

There is difference between these ideas, as explained elsewhere in this article, but they are all soteriological concepts of various Indian religious traditions.

The six major orthodox schools of Hinduism have had a historic debate, and disagree over whether moksha can be achieved in this life, or only after this life.

Many of the 108 Upanishads discuss amongst other things moksha.

These discussions show the differences between the schools of Hinduism, a lack of consensus, with a few attempting to conflate the contrasting perspectives between various schools.

Yoga, in Hinduism is widely classified into four spiritual approaches.

The first marga Jana Yoga, the way of knowledge, semarga marga is Bhakti Yoga, the way of loving devotion to God.

The third marga is karma Yoga, the way of works.

The fourth marga is Raja Yoga, the way of contemplation and meditation.

These margas are part of different schools in Hinduism, and their definition and methods to moksha.

For example, the Advaita Vedanta school relies on Janna Yoga in its teachings of moksha.

You may have heard people talk about karma and the idea that people’s choices will come back to affect them one way or another in the future.

The Hindu concept of karma is similar to the popular use, but a person’s responsibility for her/his actions, good or bad, is dealt with in the next life, not the current one.