In Indian religions, moksha (Sanskrit: मोक्ष mokṣa) or mukti (Sanskrit: मुक्ति), literally “release” (both from a root muc “to let loose, let go”), is the liberation from samsara and the concomitant suffering involved in being subject to the cycle of repeated death and reincarnation.
It is highly probable that the concept of moksha was first developed in India by non-Aryan people outside of the caste system whose spiritual ideas greatly influenced later Indian religious thought. Buddhism and Jainism are continuations of this tradition, and the early Upanishadic movement was influenced by it. Reincarnation was likely adopted from this religious culture by Brahmin orthodoxy. Brahmins wrote the earliest recorded scriptures containing these ideas in the early Upanishads
In Dvaita (dualism) and Vishistadvaita (qualified monism) schools of Vaishnava traditions, moksha is defined as the loving, eternal union with God (Ishvara) and considered the highest perfection of existence. The bhakta (devotee) attains the abode of the Supreme Lord in a perfected state but maintains his or her individual identity, with a spiritual form, personality, tastes, pastimes, and so on.
In Hinduism, atma-jnana (self-realization) is the key to obtaining moksha. The Hindu is one who practices one or more forms of Yoga – Bhakti, Karma, Jnana, Raja – knowing that God is unlimited and exists in many different forms, both personal and impersonal.
There are believed to be four Yogas (disciplines) or margas (paths) for the attainment of moksha. These are: working for the Supreme (Karma Yoga), realizing the Supreme (Jnana Yoga), meditating on the Supreme (Raja Yoga) and serving the Supreme in loving devotion (Bhakti Yoga). Different schools of Hinduism place varying emphasis on one path or other, some of the most famous being the tantric and yogic practices developed in Hinduism.
Vedanta approaches are split between strict non-duality (advaita), non-duality with qualifications (such as vishishtadvaita), and duality (dvaita). The central means to moksha advocated in these three branches vary.
Advaita Vedanta emphasizes Jnana Yoga as the ultimate means of achieving moksha, and other yogas (such as Bhakti Yoga) are means to the knowledge, by which moksha is achieved. It focuses on the knowledge of Brahman provided by traditional vedanta literature and the teachings of its founder, Adi Shankara. Through discernment of the real and the unreal, the sadhak (practitioner) would unravel the maya and come to an understanding that the observable world is unreal and impermanent, and that consciousness is the only true existence. This intellectual understanding was moksha, this was atman and Brahman realized as the substance and void of existential duality.
The impersonalist schools of Hinduism also worship various deities, but only as a means of coming to this understanding – both the worshiped and worshiper lose their individual identities.
Non-dualist schools sees God as the most worshippable object of love, for example, a personified monotheistic conception of Shiva or Vishnu. Unlike Abrahamic traditions, Advaita/Smartha Hinduism does not prevent worship of other aspects of God, as they are all seen as rays from a single source. The concept is essentially of devotional service in love, since the ideal nature of being is seen as that of harmony, euphony, its manifest essence being love. By immersing oneself in the love of God, one’s karmas (good or bad, regardless) slough off, one’s illusions about beings decay and ‘truth’ is soon known and lived. Both the worshiped and worshiper gradually lose their illusory sense of separation and only One beyond all names remains.
One must achieve moksha on his or her own under the guidance of a Guru. A guru or a siddha inspires but does not intervene.
In the state of moksha or mukti, lies ultimate peace (shanti), ultimate knowledge (viveka), and ultimate enlightenment (kaivalya). Paradise (svarga) is believed to be a place of temporal attractions to be avoided by the seeker in order to pursue the ultimate goal of union / yoking with God through Yoga. In fact, even acquiring intermediate spiritual powers (siddhis) is to be avoided as they can turn out to be stumbling blocks in the path towards ultimate liberation, mukti. The Bhagavad Gita says that it is imposible to get out of Moksha once achieved. The Blessed Lord states: “Because you trust me, Arjuna, I will tell you what wisdom is, the secret of life: Know it and be free of suffering forever. -Bhagavad Gita Chapter 9, verse 1
The word moksha (MOKE-shah) is an ancient Sanskrit sutra that means freedom, liberation, or release. The sutra has been used for thousands of years by millions of people to transform negative energy into a higher state of awareness.
Whenever you feel stressed, anxious, or out of balance, imagine that you are pure, unlimited consciousness, free of whatever situation has thrown you off course. In a comfortable, seated position, close your eyes and silently repeat the words “Moksha. I am emotionally free.” Keep repeating the sutra for several minutes, letting it resonate deep within you.
Sutra meditation is a powerful practice for focusing your intentions and allowing them to unfold with effortless ease.