Table of contents:
- Illusory reality
- The end of the chain of rebirths
- What is the difference between moksha and nirvana
- Difference of interpretations
- How to achieve moksha
- Where you can read about moksha
The history of the emergence and development of Hinduism takes us back centuries. Having in its origins the sacred oriental scriptures and the Vedas, this doctrine, multifaceted in its basis, was formed approximately five thousand years before the advent of our era, but is still relevant to this day. This religious philosophy includes many abstract concepts, one of which is "moksha". This is a special state of liberation of the soul and its awareness of its original immaculate essence.
According to this teaching, a person, identifying the soul with the body and the material world in which it resides, takes himself for someone who he really is not. Therefore, he is in the power of maya, bound by her chains. This word is translated as “not this”, that is, deception, a misperception of reality. To understand what moksha is in the philosophy of Hinduism, it is necessary to understand the essence of the reality seen by the eyes and perceived by other senses.
The material world is generated by the highest spiritual energy and is only its transformation, that is, a reflection of something real, which is recognized as non-existent. And insteadthe illusory seems more real than the present, although in reality only the unity of the pure spirit with the energy of the deity and the highest perfection is true.
The end of the chain of rebirths
Until the soul (atman) realizes its delusions, it becomes chained to the world of the so-called conditioned existence, passing one after another myriad of painful rebirths and severe painful deaths, that is, it is in the merry-go-round of samsara. She does not understand that the mortal is too far from the true greatness of the beauty and perfection of the kingdom, where free thought rules. Hinduism compares the flesh with fetters, and the perishable, coming, ever-changing and impermanent world - with an unblown flower, whose characteristics can only be hidden and potential.
Captured by their own vices, poisoned by pride, souls reject the laws of divine predestination, although they are born for high joy and boundless grace. They don't really understand what moksha is. The definition of this concept in Hinduism is given unambiguously: the awareness of the essence of the identical unity with Brahman (the Absolute - the source of life), which is expressed in a state of complete bliss (satchidananda).
What is the difference between moksha and nirvana
The end of the series of rebirths comes with the achievement of nirvana. But what is the difference between these two states? The latter is the highest goal of aspiration in Buddhism. This is an Eastern religious doctrine that has deep common roots and similar features with Hinduism, but alsosignificant differences. Buddhism strives for spiritual awakening and enlightenment; there are no gods in it, but only constant self-improvement. In principle, this philosophy, being a hidden atheism, simply cannot believe in the merging of the soul with a higher mind, while this is exactly what moksha implies. The state of nirvana is considered, in fact, the annihilation of suffering and is achieved by attaining the highest perfection. Buddhist texts do not give precise definitions of this concept. On the one hand, it turns out that this is a statement of one's own "I", and on the other hand, it is proof of its complete real non-existence, eternal life and self-destruction at the same time.
Difference of interpretations
Moksha in the philosophy of Hinduism is presented in a variety of interpretations that give different directions of this religious teaching. The most numerous branch of this religion in terms of the number of followers - Vaishnavism - claims that when this state is reached, the soul becomes a devoted and grateful servant of the Supreme Being, which, again, is called differently. She is called Narayana, Rama, Krishna and Bhagavan Vishnu. Another trend - dvaita - teaches that the complete unity of the human soul with the higher energy is generally impossible due to insurmountable differences.
How to achieve moksha
Having found out that moksha is a spiritual rebirth for unity with the Divine essence, it remains only to determine how it is possible to achieve such a state. To do this, you need to free yourself from the chains of karma. This word is translated as "fate", but in fact it means predestination not onlyin one of the lives of a person, but in the whole series of rebirths. Everything seems simple here: bad deeds chain a person to samsara, good deeds connect him with God. However, in Jainism, moksha is the liberation from any karma, whether its effect is positive or negative. It is believed that if such connections with the material world still remain, then their fruits will certainly be felt. Therefore, one has to get rid of not only negative traits, but also all attachments in earthly life.
Where you can read about moksha
Moksha is described in many ancient sacred texts of Hinduism. It is possible to get information about it in the Mahabharata, Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana and many other scriptures of Ancient India. They most often tell that this aspiration is achieved by selfless love for God and devoted service to him. The vishishta-dvaita school teaches that, having attained the highest bliss, a person already resides in the spiritual body, called satchidananda, eternally enjoying a perfect relationship with the supreme deity.