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Moksha in Ancient Indian Beliefs

‘Moksha’ is the term used in Indian Philosophy which signifies salvation or liberation. It means to become free from the continuous chain of Birth and Death. ‘Vimoksha’, ‘Vimukti’ and ‘mukti’ are similar terms used to denote Moksha.

The highest state of self-realisation or the union of a creator with creation is called Moksha. Moksha is a Sanskrit word and the literal meaning is to achieve freedom from samsara or the world. Here, Why we are stressing so much upon freedom? It is because human life is said to be in bondage. Our body is said to be a prison in which our soul resides as a prisoner. Once the Soul leaves this body, it is considered as free. So, basically, Hindu religion does believe in life after death. Death is a term which means complete destruction of the body. Death is termed as a complete cessation from all kinds of sufferings.


The Upanishads theorise that Moksha is so beautiful that it can’t be described in words, it could only be explained in symbols. While liberation is a negative term to explain moksha, the positive definition is the attainment of individuals purpose or goals.

Moksha is called as the highest goal of life. The other important goals are Dharma( duties), Artha( material satisfaction) and Kama(sensual gratification).

Liberation or moksha is regarded as freedom from all kinds of pleasure and pain. In Nyaya- Vaishesika Philosophy, the self is seen as a conscious being, attached from the body. So, Moksha could be reached by getting freedom from all forms that body perceive. Prabhakara defined Moksha as the realization of moral goals. Kumarila-Bhatta sees liberation as a soul’s intrinsic happiness with complete cessation of all kinds of misery.

Therefore, the real world is seemed to be unreal. Liberation is something which is beyond reality. Many saints and philosophers have tried to define the path following which we can attain Moksha. Some give this the name of the meditative technique, and some called it an intuitive technique.


Charvaka philosophy doesn’t believe in soul and they don’t regard the life after death concept. They believe in spending a materialistic life because once the body is destructed, nothing remains.

Philosophy of Jaina, Buddha and Vedanta teaches moral values, a spiritual realisation so as to reach the path of liberation. Buddhist teaches the four noble truth and the eight-fold path so as to attain the path of liberation. Buddha says ‘Sarvam Dukha’. As a result, Moksha is said as coming out of the path of suffering and attain liberation.

Jaina believes liberation as an eradication of karmic particles from the soul. These karmic particles are formed as a result of unseen potency of passion and vibrations. It is due to karma that soul acquires conditions of nescience or not knowing anything.

Vidyananda Swami says that Right attitude, Right Knowledge and Right conduct is the technique to attain the path of liberation.

Bhagavad Gita says Moksha could be reached by following three paths: Jnana( the vision of reality), Bhakti( total surrender to the Lord) and Karma( involving in action). Moksha can be achieved through Nishkama karma( i.e., selfless action). Ahamkara(egoism) is caused by Karma(action). This Ahamkara is generated because of avidya( or ignorance). Once we have the proper knowledge of self, we can free ourselves from ahamkara. Self Knowledge is called as Atma-Vidya.


According to Samkhya, Moksha means ascetical practices and meditative intuitions. But Geeta sees it differently. In the famous conversations of Shri Krishna and Arjuna, when Arjuna was distracted from all the crisis happenings around the world. Lord Krishna doesn’t ask Arjuna to run away from circumstances and practice meditation to realise self and attain Moksha instead he guided him to fight in the battlefield and fulfil his Dharma or duties.

Advaitins believe in ”Brahma Satyam Jagan Mithya, Jivo Brahmaiva Na Parah”. This means the Brahama is real, the world is illusory and the self is not different from Brahman. Avidya creates a difference between Jagat and Brahman, but this distinction could be erased by embracing the right kind of knowledge.

In yoga, freedom is regarded as absolute isolation of matter from the soul.

When Jiva attains freedom, it rises higher and higher and gets assembled with the ultimate creator. This is the basic idea of liberation or Moksha explained in different schools of Indian Philosophy.

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