Archive for May 9th, 2014

May 9, 2014

Moksha

Gajendra Moksha

Moksha [mohk-shuh] (Sanskrit: ‘freedom’) is the ultimate goal of personal spiritual development in Hinduism. According to Vedanta (an orthodox school of Hindu philosophy), life is a endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth into a physical universe that is actually an illusion. Hindu scriptures describe Moksha as the spiritual liberation from this cycle and the achievement of an eternal and blissful emptiness that transcends all of the joys, pain, and sorrow of the physical body or corporeal life. It is the goal of Hindu practitioners to achieve Moksha through the practice of Yoga (physical, mental, and spiritual disciplines), such as Jnana Yoga (knowledge), Karma Yoga (work), and Bhakti Yoga (reciting prayers and worshiping God).

Moksha is a Vedic term, dating to 1750-500 BCE, a period in Indian history during which the Indo-Aryans settled into northern India. Scholars disagree about the precise relationship between the Moksha of Vedanta Hinduism and the Nirvana of Buddhism, but there is agreement that they are closely related historically and philosophically. Similarities can be found between Moksha and some concepts found in the Upanishads, a collection of Vedic texts which contain the earliest emergence of some of the central religious concepts of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.