Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A(Sociology, Philosophy) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph. D Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V.(P.G) College, Roorkee,
India In Indian religions moksha (Sanskrit: मोक्ष mokṣa “liberation”) or mukti (Sanskrit: मुक्ति “release”) is the liberation from samsara, the [[cycle of deat] and rebirth]
The concept of Moksa is perhaps the biggest idea in man’s quest of happiness. Sri Ramashankar Bhattacharya says that the science of Moksa is an experimental science of mental power. The history of human existence is a history of endless effort to eliminate sorrow and attain happiness. This is human nature. But we do not get what we want. We are a miserable lot. Death alone is the full-stop to our sufferings. But if we accept this idea of death, it would mean a tragic blow to the sense of human adventure, freedom and effort. We cannot be satisfied with less than immortality. More than that, Immortality must be accompanied by joy. This state of eternal joy bereft of all sufferings is regarded as Moksa or liberation. This liberation in itself seems to be a purely negative idea; but since the search for absolute freedom involves the search for ultimate purpose of the life of the individual (Parama Purusartha), there is a positive aspect also.
As the goal of all existence, moksha is the ultimate purpose behind Hindu religious beliefs and practices and is conceptually a form of Hindu salvation/liberation. Moksha is an important element in all faith traditions of Indian origin. The Buddhist view of nirvana, the state of liberation from suffering, is similar to moksha, and Hindus view nirvana as the state a person enters into after achieving moksha. Jainism shares the Hindu view of moksha with the caveat that all karmas, even good, must be annihilated prior to attaining moksha since karma necessitates consequences. Hindu Dvaita conception of moksha.
Right from the time we are born as human beings and till the time we die, all of us remain chained to our deeds and, therefore, to sorrow. Moksha is liberation from all sorrow and attainment of enlightenment. Moksha has been talked in Hindu religion as the final goal of life. Moksha is liberation from all sorrow and attainment of enlightenment Moksha in Hindu religion refers to liberation from the cycle of births and deaths as human life is believed to be one full of pains and sufferings
It means liberation from the cycle of births and deaths to escape from the harsh realities of life that is full of sorrows. It is through truth alone that man can attain liberation from reincarnation and all the pain and suffering that every human being is subjected to in all his lives. It is when a human soul realizes that it is just a part of the larger soul or is being that an individual attains liberation or Moksha. The soul of an individual is referred to as atman while the soul of the Supreme Being is referred to as paramatman. It is when atman vanishes into paramatman that one is said to have attained Moksha.
Moksha is the liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth known as samsara. As such, moksha is the ultimate goal of Hindu religious practice. The believer achieves moksha through self-realization. It is the highest pursuit (Moksa eva paramapurusartha). The genesis of the idea of Moksa is traced in “the endeavor of man to find out ways and means by which he could become happy or at least be free from misery”, as in the state of `sound sleep’.
In Hindu traditions, moksha is a central concept and included as one of the four aspects and goals of human life; the other three goals are dharma (virtuous, proper, moral life), artha (material prosperity, income security, means of life), and kama (pleasure, sensuality, emotional fulfillment). Together, these four aims of life are called Puruṣārtha in Hinduism.
Moksha is the liberation from rebirth or samsara.This liberation can be attained while one is on earth (jivanmukti) or eschatologically (karmamukti).The idea of samsara originated with new religious movements in the first millenniumBCE. These new movements saw human life as bondage to a repeated process of rebirth.
In some schools of Indian religions, moksha is considered equivalent to and used interchangeably with other terms such as vimoksha, vimukti, kaivalya, apavarga, mukti, nihsreyasa and nirvana. However, terms such as moksha and nirvana differ and mean different states between various schools of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. The term nirvana is more common in Buddhism, while moksha is more prevalent in Hinduism.
Liberation. In Indian religions and Indian philosophy, moksha, also called vimoksha, vimukti and mukti, means emancipation, liberation or release. In the soteriological and eschatological sense, it connotes freedom from saṃsāra, the cycle of death and rebirth. In the epistemological and psychological sense, moksha connotes freedom, self-realization and self-knowledge.
Some similar words
Mokugyo A wooden fish, also known as a Chinese temple block is a wooden percussion instrument. The wooden fish is used by monks and lay people in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition. A wooden drum carved from one piece, usually in the form of a fish, also known as a Chinese temple block or Mokugyo, is a wooden percussion instrument. It is often used during rituals usually involving the recitation of sutras, mantras, or other Buddhist texts. The wooden fish is mainly used by Buddhist disciples in China, Japan, Korea, and other East Asian countries where the practice of Mahayana, such as the ceremonious reciting of sutras, is prevalent. In most Zen/Ch’an Buddhist traditions, the wooden fish serves to keep the rhythm during sutra chanting. In Pure Land Buddhism, it is used when chanting the name of Amitabha. The Taoist clergy has also adapted the wooden fish into their rituals. Mondo In Zen, a short dialogue between teacher and student. The Mondō is a recorded collection of dialogues between a pupil and a Rōshi (a Zen Buddhist teacher). Zen tradition values direct experience and communication over scriptures. (Some teachers go so far as to instruct their pupils to tear up their scriptures.) However, sometimes the mondō acts as a guide on the method of instruction. One example of a non-Buddhist mondō is the Sokuratesu-no-mondō, the Japanese translation of the “Socratic method”, whereby Socrates asked his students questions in order to elicit the innate truth from assumed facts.
Nirvana Nirvana is a concept in Buddhism that is believed to be the end of all sufferings.Nirvana in Buddhism is believed to be a state of mind that is attained when one reaches enlightenment. It is a state of mind when human emotions become stable, and the feelings or emotions get dissolved. It is also called enlightenment as the founder of the religion himself attained. Nirvana is the highest individual attainment in the life of an individual and a state of mind where all pain, hatred, greed, desire etc. melt and dissolve. These are the feelings or emotions that are believed to be at the root of all the pain and suffering that a human being goes through. It is when there is inner awakening the individual realizes what reality is. This is when a person has become a Buddha, the enlightened one.
Concept of Moksha in Indian Philosophy
The theoretical rationale behind the concept of mukti is based on two basic ideas. First God is the giver of salvation to the worshipper if the worshipper obeys his commandment & surrender.
The other idea is man by own effort attains to salvation by his good works. “Ramanuj’s marjar theory. Where the off spring is taken to a different place by the mother cat (self surrender). Other is markat theory (were monkey the off spring stick to mothers stomach to be carried to another place. Man by his own good work attains to heaven this is also what the natural religious propagate against revealed religions.
Not only we have two different theories one based on faith of surrender and other based on self effort but what is Moksha is also very differently defined by some of our schools of philosophy.
“The nature of moksha differs widely, as conceived in the various systems. It may generally be represented as achieving self-perfection, and it will suffice for the present to draw attention to but one point about it.
While some Indian thinkers maintained that could be achieved in this very life (jivanmukti). This distinction persists in the age of the systems also. But whether here or elsewhere, the ideal of moksha is assumed in all the systems to be actually attainable. It may, or course, be held that a goal like self-perfection is never actually reached, but is significant only in so far as its deliberate choosing and its persistent pursuit are concerned.
Broadly, there are two different approaches to the conception of liberation in Indian Philosophy :
(1) The Materialistic Conception of Moksa of the Carvakas, and
(2) The Non-materialistic Conception :
(a) Positive Conception – Vedanta & Jainism.
Salokya – Residing in the world of God (Vaikuntha) = Ramanuijists.
Sampya – Blessed fellowship = Madhva, Nimbarka, Vallabha, Caitanya etc.
Sarupya – Becoming like God in Nature and Form = Gita.
Sayujya – Becoming one with God = Advaita Vedanta.
(b) Negative Conception : Buddhism
. Nirodha – Cessation of suffering = Nyaya-Vaisesikas & Mimamsakas.
Uccheda – Nihilism = Madhyamika Buddhism.
(c) Neutralistic Conception :
Yoga. But some of the Buddhists texts, and some Naiyayikas and Mimasakas go so far as to prove a positivistic conception of liberation
. CONCEPT OF MOKSHA IN VEDAS
The Vedas are ancient Sanskrit texts of Hinduism. The Vedas are a large body of religious texts originating in the ancient Indian subcontinent. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism. Hindus consider the Vedas to be apaurueya, which means “not of a man, superhuman” and “impersonal, authorless” The Vedas are a collection of hymns and other ancient religious texts written in India between about 1500 and 1000 BCE. It includes elements such as liturgical material as well as mythological accounts, poems, prayers, and formulas considered to be sacred by the Vedic religion. Vedas are also called Shruti (“what is heard”) literature, distinguishing them from other religious texts, which are called Smirti (“what is remembered”). The Veda, for orthodox Indian theologians, are considered revelations seen by ancient sages after intense meditation, and texts that have been more carefully preserved since ancient times In the Hindu Epic the Mahabharata, the creation of Vedas is credited to Brahma. The Vedic hymns themselves assert that they were skillfully created by Rishis (sages), after inspired creativity, just as a carpenter builds a chariot.
In Vedas it is clearly shown that the “Atman” and “Brahmann” are two synonyms terms. If we see fou mahavakyas (important quotes) of Vedas, they are “Ahm bramhasmi”, “Ayamatma Brahmann” “Tattvamasi” and “Pragyanam Bramhan, they all Indicates knowing pure form of Atman as Brahman is the chief aim of human life. “The diversity given in everyday experience may only be an appearance of Brahmann and therefore false, as different school of thought interpreters it differently.
According to one school, it is not the whole of truth, unity also is equally real. And yet it appears to be the sole truth, owing to an inveterate habit of our mind which should be traced to our ignorance (avidya) of the ultimate reality. This is what is meant by Maya-the power or the principle that conceals from us the true character of reality. When maya functions it hide bramhan and it presents what is not real. If ignorance is the cause of birth and rebirth than Jnan is the only way to obtain moksha. The ignorance may be regarded as negative, as it gives rise to a misapprehension, making us see the manifold world where there is Brahmann and only Brahmann.”
The goal of life is to overcome this congenital ignorance, by attaining full enlightenment or jnan. The enlightened state is called release or moksha. It is attaining one’s true selfhood in Brahmann “Moksha is infinite peace, freedom from sorrow, eternal bliss. Extinction of desire is extinction of sorrow. Realization of the Atman extinguishes sorrow.
Moksha is merging of the individual soul in Brahmann”. The central theme of Vedas is soul+bramhan is one. one+one=1. (As two drop of water unites with another two drop ,is still be one drop ) Bramhan+Atman= Bramhan. moksha here means achieving which is already there and leaving which is not there. “The self (Atman) is spoken of in one place as the essence of the world, and when we trace the idea in the Brahmanns and the Aranyakas we see that Atman has begun the mean the supreme essence in man as well as in the universe, and has thus approached the great Atman , “we are all divinities”
The self transcends both the knower and the known. As it cannot be differenced from anything else , it is infinite like space, but as it is without dimensions, it may equally well be called a point. This lay behind all successional existence, and the realization of union with it brought deliverance from the samsara”. “Observation of the physical world suggested cycles of origin and decay; the dawn was reborn daily, and this rebirth (punarbhava) was the mythological statement of the maxim that whatever has a beginning in time must also have an end. Connection with material form (however refined) thus involved production and dissolution, where re-death (punarmrityu) corresponded to rebirth.
As Vedas consist of two parts poorva mimansa (Karmkand) & Uttarmimansa. (jnankand). Vedas are more concerned about karma. The continuity of the product of a man’s life is explained in the doctrine of the ‘deed’ (karma). Every deed was regarded as producing something; it had a value, and this value remained even when the physical form of the agent and the external content of the action disappeared.
Accordingly it was laid down that ‘the deed does not perish’ (karma na kshiyate, )Death conveyed each person into a new environment of happiness or suffering suitable to Bramhasmi, Tattvamasi etc. It means, I am that- that I am, realizing it is moksha. In the Rig Veda, we find the concept of Maya which is – which is not.
The ignorance is the cause of births and rebirths. When with the help of ‘Tap’ the ajnan is destroyed and jnan shines, that is moksha. “Moksha is infinite peace, freedom from sorrow, eternal bliss. Extinction of desire is extinction of sorrow. Realization of the Atman extinguishes sorrow. Moksha is merging of the individual soul in him, which dispels avidya and appearance of the world ,In some books like Ramayan and Mahabharat even the god’s are under the law of karma therefore the law of karma is supreme.
CONCEPT OF MOKSHA IN UPANISHADS
The Upanishads a part of the Vedas, are ancient Sanskrit texts that contain some of the central philosophical concepts and ideas of Hinduism. Etymologically, the name Upanishad is composed of the terms upa (near) and shad (to sit), meaning something like “sitting down near”. The name is inspired by the action of sitting at the feet of an illuminated teacher to engage in a session of spiritual instructions, as aspirants still do in India today. The Upanishads are a collection of texts of religious and philosophical nature, written in India probably between c. 800 BCE and c. 500 BCE, during a time when Indian society started to question the traditional Vedic religious order. More than 200 Upanishads are known, only 14 are considered to be the most important. The names of these Upanishads are: Isa, Kena, Katha, Prasna, Mundaka, Mandukya, Taittiriya, Aitareya, Chandogya, Brhadaranyaka, Svetasvatara, Kausitaki, Mahanarayana and the Maitri of which the first dozen or so are the oldest and most important and are referred to as the principal or main (mukhya) Upanishads. The mukhya Upanishads are found mostly in the concluding part of the Brahmanas and Aranyakas
The early Upanishads all predate the Common Era, in all likelihood pre-Buddhist (6th century BCE),down to the Maurya period. Of the remainder, 95 Upanishads are part of the Muktika canon, composed from about the last centuries of 1st-millennium BCE through about 15th-century CE. New Upanishads, beyond the 108 in the Muktika canon, continued to be composed through the early modern and modern era, though often dealing with subjects which are unconnected to the Vedas.
In Upanishad teachings knowing the true nature of self or Atman as bramhan is moksha. Moksha in Upanishads is freedom from bondage. Avidya is bondage vidya is moksha. Vidya is knowledge of Brahman and Atman as one and in all creatures, moksha is becoming bramha (Bramha Bhavna) becoming all (sarva bhavna) vision of the self of the universe (ek atma darsana) it is complete autonomy (svarajya) or freedom (ananda).
It is clearly mentioned in Upanishads that knowing ourselves as bramhan is the only way of liberation or moksha .It is said in Shevatashvar “He who knows Brahman becomes Brahman. This is the secret teaching. Only by knowing it can one cross the ocean of birth and death; there is no other way of liberation.” It is said in Mundaka “The eye does not go there, nor does speech, nor does mind we cannot know it. We cannot teach it. Also just as rivers, leaving their names and forms, merge in the ocean, so a wise man, arising above name and form, becomes one with the absolute.
In the Chhandogya Upanishad there is a dialogue between Uddalak and Svetketu. The father teaches his sons Svetketu in the beginning sat alone was without a second. Sat thought “may I be many” then it evolved itself in to this manifold world, thou, O Svetaketu! art that, tat tvam asi, Svetketu. This teaching blends the subject with the object the inhabitable with the infinite the microcosm with the macrocosm, the self with the not self, None of them can be taken as independent and separate both are relative terms and like the two sides of the same coin, both are manifestations of the same sat
CONCEPT OF MOKSHA IN GITA
The Bhagavad Gita bhagavad-gita, lit. “The Song of God”, often referred to as the Gita, is a 700-verse Hindu scripture in Sanskrit that is part of the Hindu epic Mahabharata (chapters 23–40 of the 6th book of Mahabharata).The Bhagavad Gita is an ancient Indian text that became an important work of Hindu tradition in terms of both literature and philosophy. Although it is normally edited as an independent text, the Bhagavad Gita became a section of a massive Indian epic named “The Mahabharata”, the longest Indian epic, consisting of 18 brief chapters and about 700 verses: this is the section known as the Bhagavad Gita. The Gita is set in a narrative framework of a dialogue between Pandava prince Arjuna and his guide and charioteer Krishna.
Gita teaches that by fulfilling his class function to the best of his ability, with devotion to God and without personal ambition, a man can find salvation, whatever his class. The teachings of the Bhagavad-Gita are summed up in the maxim ‘your business is with deed and not with the result’
. In the, Gita, we find that the status of souls is that of different fragments or sparks of God; hence Moksa must be the unity with Purusottam-indeed a blissful state. However, it must be sameness of nature (Sadharmya) with God, and not Identity (Sarupya).
But in the Upandisads, as in the Advait Vedanta, the realization of Oneness with God is the ideal of man, which is a state of ecstasy and rapture, a joyous expansion of the soul. The supreme experience is freedom, and the word jnana is employed to refer to both the goal of the adventure as well as the path leading to it.
On account of this confusion some have been led to think that jnana as a path is superior to the other methods of approach, and that cognition alone persists, while the other elements of emotion and will fall out in the supreme state of freedom. There does not seem to be any justification for such an opinion. Freedom or moksa is unity with the supreme self. The freed soul is beyond all good and evil. Virtue is transcended in perfection. The mukta rises above any mere ethical rule of living to the light, largeness and power of spiritual life. Even if he should have committed any evicts which would in ordinary circumstances necessitate another birth on earth no such thing is necessary. He is freed from ordinary rules and regulations.
CONCEPT OF MOKSHA IN JAINISM
Jainism, founded about the 6th century bce by Vardhamana Mahavira, the 24th in a succession of religious leaders known either as Tirthankaras(Saviours) or as Jinas (Conquerors), rejects the idea of God as the creator of the world but teaches the perfectibility of humanity, to be accomplished through the strictly moral and ascetic life. In Jainism, moksa and nirvana are one and the same.When a soul (atman) achieves moksa, it is released from the cycle of births and deaths, and achieves its pure self. It then becomes a siddha (literally means one who has accomplished his ultimate objective).Attaining Moksa requires annihilation of all karmas, good and bad, because if karma is left, it must bear fruit.
The ultimate goal of Jainism is for the soul to achieve liberation through understanding and realization. This is accomplished through the supreme ideals in the Jain religion of nonviolence, equal kindness, reverence for all forms of life, nonpossessiveness, and through the philosophy of non-absolutism (Anekäntväd).
Jains believe in the philosophy of karma, reincarnation of worldly soul, hell and heaven as a punishment or reward for one’s deeds, and liberation (Nirvän or Moksha) of the self from life’s misery of birth and death in a way similar to the Hindu and Buddhist beliefs .
The Jain philosophy believes that the universe and all its entities such as soul and matter are eternal (there is no beginning or end), no one has created them and no one can destroy them. Jains do not believe that there is a supernatural power who does favor to us if we please him. Jains rely a great deal on self-efforts and self-initiative, for both – their worldly requirements and their salvation. Jains believe that from eternity, the soul is bounded by karma and is ignorant of its true nature. It is due to karma soul migrates from one life cycle to another and continues to attract new karma, and the ignorant soul continues to bind with new karma.
To overcome the sufferings, Jainism addresses the path of liberation in a rational way. It states that the proper Knowledge of reality, when combined with right Faith and right Conduct leads the worldly soul to liberation (Moksha or Nirvän). One can detach from karma and attain liberation by following the path of Right Faith (Samyak-darshan), Right Knowledge (Samyak-jnän), and Right Conduct (Samyak-chäritra) Moksa, the last of the Jaina moral categories, is the gist of Karma-phenomenology and its relation to the Science of the Soul.
Mukti is total deliverance of the Soul from karmic-veil – Sarvavarnavimuktirmuktih. As Umasvami says, Moksa is the total and final freedom from all Karmic-matter; in other words, the non-existence of the cause of bondage and the shedding of all the Karmas. Asrava is the influx of the Karma-particles into the Soul. This influx is caused by the actions of the body, speech and mind.
As the Karmic inflow is the principle of bondage and its stoppage is a condition of Moksa, so Samvara is opposite to Asrava. Samvara literally means controlling. But Samvara only arrests fresh-flow of karma-particles. What we require is not only stoppage of the fresh-flow, but also dissipation of the old one.
This shedding or dissipation called Nirjara is possible by austerities. Umasvami has used two prefixes – VI (Visesarupena), PRA (Prakrstarupena) in defining Moksa, meaning thereby that Moksa is the total and exhaustive dissolution of all karmic particles, which is the condition of omniscience. The Agamic verse “sukhamatyantikarm yatra” etc. admits the experience of eternal bliss in the state of Mukti. “It is the safe, happy and quiet place which is reached by the great sages.” Jaina claim for attaining a state of eternal happiness in the state of Moksa faces a serious dilemma. If it is a product (of spiritual Sadhana), it is non-eternal, and if it is not such a product, it must be conceded that either it is constitutional and inherent or at least impossible of attainment.
So the very conception of Jaina Self and bondage makes the enjoyment of eternal happiness well-nigh impossible. This might be a logical objection. But the Jaina idea of Moksa is one of Infinite Bliss, which follows from the Doctrine of Four-fold Infinities of the Soul.
The Doctrine of Constitutional Freedom and Four-fold Infinities holds that the Jivas possess four-infinities (ananta catustaya) inherently, which are obscured by the veil of four Ghatia (destructive) Karmas. but the Jaina doctrine of Constitutional Freedom of the Soul and the Four Infinities presents a difficulty. All the doctrines, of Moksa-Sadhana then seem to be quite meaningless. Bondage and Moksa are both phenomenal, not real.
As Samkhya-Karika says – “Of certainity, therefore, not any (Spirit) is bound or liberated.” We think that the Soul is constitutionally free. But this freedom cannot be manifested without spiritual discipline. This is in consonance with the Jaina doctrine of Satkaryavada which makes a distinction between the Manifest and the unmanifest. The Jainas work out a scheme of `manifestation’. The logic is simple. If what is non-existent cannot be produced, the effect is existent even before the operation of the cause. Jivan-Mukti and Videha-Mukti : The Jainas, recognize the existence of Jivana-Mukti together with Videha-Mukti. Jainas, believe in release through the dawn of wisdom and the annulement of nescience, Jivana-Mukti is the one and only legitimate concept.
Mukti refers to the soul, not to the body; and the dissolution of the body is neither an inevitable pre-condition nor an integral feature of Mukti.” Mosha literally means `release’, release of the soul from eternal fetters of Karma. Nirvana (Buddhist) is derived from the Pali root `nibuttu’, which means `blowing out’. However, instead of taking it in a metaphorical sense of `blowing out’ of passions etc., it is taken in the literal sense of extinction.
The Jiva attains Moksa when he is free from the snares of Karma (Karma-phala-vinirmuktah moksa). The Moksa is either Bhava (Objective) or Dravya (Subjective). When the soul is free from four Ghatiya Karmas (Jnanavaraniya), Darsnavaraniya, Mohaniya, Vedaniya), it is Bhava Moksa; and when it is free from Aghatiya Karmas (Nama, Ayu, Gotra, Antaraya), it is Dravya-Moksa. After freedom from Aghatiya Karmas (action-currents of non-injury), the Soul attains a state of never ending beatitude. A person attains the state of Omniscience when Mohaniya (Deluding), Jnanavaraniya (Knowledge-obscuring), Darsanavaraniya (Faith-obscuring) and Antaraya (Obstructive) karmas are destroyed. After the attainment of Kevala-Jnana a person is free from all kinds of Karmas and attains final liberation.
The Soul comes into its own and regains infinite knowledge, infinite bliss and infinite power. When the Jiva attains freedom, it rises higher and higher and reaches the summit of Lokakasa which is called Siddha-Sila (Region of the Free and Liberated). It may be pointed out that this is a new conception. Jaina concept of Dharma and Adharama (Medium of motion and rest), present in each object, leads us to think that there must be a fixed state where the motion must stop. Moksa in Jainism is not something new. It is a rediscovery of man himself through self-realization.
True happiness lies within. `Look within’ is what Jainism says. “Self-realization is the ideal of systems such as Nyaya-Vaisesikas and the Samkhya too.” Advaita-Vedanta also is a philosophy of self-realization par-excellence. The Karma-phenomenology of the Jainas is the realistic and the externalistic approach.
Constitutional freedom of the soul is a logical necessity. This is simple Satkaryavada. Madhavacharya commenting on Jainism concept of Moksha, writes in his book Sarvadharma Sangrih:- “Asrava is the source of bondage and the thing which covers it is sanvar. Infiltration of karma is bondage and separating from them is moksha, when eight type of karmas destroyed one attains moksha.
By the jain philosophy it seems that evil exists somewhere outside man and soul draws evil. Like a peace of iron drawn to itself by peace of magnet. Some people collects good karma (Punya) in their inner feelings (sanvar) and some destroys bad karmas (Pap) nirjara. Person who gets four things jnan, darshan, Veerya and sukkha is not bound and soul whose eight karmas are destroyed gets infallible liberation”.
CONCEPT OF MOKSHA IN BUDDHISM
Buddhism is a religion based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, He came to be called “the Buddha,” which means “awakened one,” after he experienced a profound realization of the nature of life, death and existence. He taught that awakening comes through one’s own direct experience, not through beliefs and dogmas. Instead of teaching doctrines to be memorized and believed, the Buddha taught how we can realize truth for ourselves. The focus of Buddhism is on practice rather than belief. The major outline of Buddhist practice is the Eightfold Path. The Buddha discouraged his followers from indulging in intellectual disputation for its own sake, which is fruitless, and distracting from true awakening. Nevertheless, the delivered sayings of the Buddha contain a philosophical component, in its teachings on the working of the mind, and its criticisms of the philosophies of his contemporaries. According to the scriptures, during his lifetime the Buddha remained silent when asked several metaphysical questions. These regarded issues such as whether the universe is eternal or non-eternal (or whether it is finite or infinite), the unity or separation of the body and the self, the complete inexistence of a person after Nirvana and death, and others.
In Buddhism the concept of liberation is Nirvana.It is referred to as “the highest happiness” and is the goal of the Theravada-Buddhist path, while in the Mahayana it is seen as a secondary effect of becoming a fully enlightened Buddha (Samyaksambuddha).
Buddhism nirvana means “going out” i.e. to mean complete nothingness. Nirvaan is often compared with the extinction of the flam of a lamp. As oil of lamp consumed the flame of lamp ends. Similarly when the desires and the passions consumed a person obtains nirvana.
According to Buddha’s third and fourth Nobel truths are (iii) there is cessation of suffering & (iv) there is a way leading to this cessation of suffering this state is called Nirvaan. In the state of nirvana, False individuality that disappeared while the true being remains as the rainbow is a mixture of fact and imagination, so is individuality a combination of being and non being.
“Buddha does not attempt to define nirvaan, since it is the root principle of all and so is indefinable. It is said that in nirvana, which is compared to deep sleep, the soul loses its individuality and lapses into the objective whole”, “The individual consciousness enters into a state where all relative existence is dissolved. It is the silent beyond. In one sense it is self extinction in another absolute freedom”. According to fourth nobel truth right knowledge is the means of removing evil. Avidya or false knowledge is accepted as cause of evils as we have seen in upanisiadic philosophy also.
Buddha does not believe in existence of soul, then Nirvaan only means going out of the chain of births & rebirths and ending in to nothingness or going out of existence. Buddha has rightly used the world nirvaan which means blowing out”. The Buddhist notion of nirvana is not annihilation as some scholars described it. In the Therarada tradition it is realization of the state of perfect peace and in the Mahayana it is realization of perfect bliss. It is described as “amatapadam.” Nirvana is deliverance from suffering and suffering is symbolic representation of imperfection of life.
“According to Buddha cessation of avidya (false knowledge) & its works happen not of “Nirvaan” or “Mukta”. In the Upanishads the adjectives which sages have used for Atman (pure self), Buddha has used for nirvaan. Atman is neti-neti, Nirvaan is also defined by negative terms. Atman & nirvaan are beyond the range of senses & intellect and it is anirvachniya (unelectable). Neti-Neti negates matters related with Atman, not of Atman, negative terms negates matters related with Nirvaan not of nirvaan. Atman & nirvaan both are calm. Complete cessation of avidya is accepted in both Atman & Nirvaan”.
In Buddhism the main thrust is on universal salvation rather than individual. For example Buddha preach “O Monks, move around for the well being of every one, for the happiness of every one showering compaction on the entire world, for the good for the welfare, for the happiness of divine and human.18 Buddha insisted on sangha jivan. He prescribed the practice of bramhaam vihars and advocated yog sutra of patanjali. He advocated the pursuit of pragyan and practice of sila some time Buddha says Nirvaan is freedom from psychophysical wants and mundane existence.
CONCEPT OF MOKSHA IN SAMKHYA DARSHAN
Samkhya, also Sankhya, Sāṃkhya, or Sāṅkhya (Sanskrit: सांख्य, : sāṃkhya – ‘enumeration’) is one of the six schools of classical Indian philosophy. Sage Kapila is traditionally considered as the founder of the Samkhya school, although no historical verification is possible. It is regarded as one of the oldest philosophical systems in India.This is the most significant system of philosophy that India has produced.” Professor Garbe, who devoted a large part of his life to the study of the Sankhya, consoled himself with the thought that “in Kapila’s doctrine, for the first time in the history of the world, the complete independence and freedom of the human mind, its full confidence in its own powers, were exhibited When we study sankhya we don’t find concept of moksha as stated in other schools of Indian philosophy. According to sankhya salvation is only phenomenal since bondage does not belong to purush. Bondage and release refers to the conjunction and the disjunction of purusha and prakriti resulting from non-discrimination and discrimination. Prakriti does not bind the purusha but itself in various shapes. Kapila is once a realist and a scholastic. He begins almost medically by laying it down, in his first aphorism, that “the complete cessation of pain … is the complete goal of man.” He rejects as inadequate the at- tempt to elude suffering by physical means; he refutes, with much logical prestidigitation, the views of all and sundry on the matter, and then proceeds to construct, in one unintelligibly abbreviated sutra after another, his own metaphysical system. It derives its name from his enumeration of the twenty-five Realities (Tattivas, “Thatnesses”) which, in Kapila’s judgment, make up the world. Broadly, the Samkhya system classifies all objects as falling into one of the two categories: Purusha and Prakriti.
The Samkhya recognizes only two ultimate entities, Prakriti and Purusha. While the Prakriti is a single entity, the Samkhya admits a plurality of the Purushas. Unintelligent, unmanifest, uncaused, ever-active, imperceptible and eternal Prakriti is alone the final source of the world of objects which is implicitly and potentially contained in its bosom. The Purusha is considered as the intelligent principle, a passive enjoyer (bhokta) and the Prakriti is the enjoyed (bhogya). Samkhya believes that the Purusha cannot be regarded as the source of inanimate world, because an intelligent principle cannot transform itself into the unintelligent world. It is a pluralistic spiritualism, atheistic realism and uncompromising dualism.
To understand the concept of moksha according to Samkhya system oh philosophy we must understand that the Sankhya system is an exponent of an evolutionary theory of matter beginning with primordial matter. In evolution, Prakriti is transformed and differentiated into multiplicity of objects.
Evolution is followed by dissolution. In dissolution the physical existence, all the worldly objects mingle back into Prakriti, which now remains as the undifferentiated, primordial substance. This is how the cycles of evolution and dissolution follow each other. Tis concept provides the base of mukti which accordingly is the final stage of evolution. Sankhya theorizes that Prakriti is the source of the world of becoming. It is pure potentiality that evolves itself successively into twenty four tattvas or principles.
The evolution itself is possible because Prakriti is always in a state of tension among its constituent strands -
* Sattva – a template of balance or equilibrium;
* Rajas – a template of expansion or activity;
* Tamas – a template of inertia or resistance to action.
The Mukti obeys causality relationships, with primal Nature itself being the material cause of all physical creation. The cause and effect theory of Sankhya is called Satkaarya-vaada (theory of existent causes), and holds that nothing can really be created from or destroyed into nothingness – all evolution is simply the transformation of primal Nature from one form to another. The evolution of matter occurs when the relative strengths of the attributes change. The evolution ceases when the spirit realizes that it is distinct from primal Nature and thus cannot evolve. This destroys the purpose of evolution, thus stopping Prakrti from evolving for Purusha. Same may raise a question about jivanmukta that when he had attain moksha why he has to suffer for his bad deeds? The writer of the Sankhya Karika has explained it that as the wheel of the pot maker continues to move after the potter has taken away the completed pot because of its previous speed and stops automatically after some time. According to samkhya philosophy complete cessation of suffering is liberation of moksha.
According to Samkhys, consciousness is not a mere quality but the soul’s very essence. The soul is pure, eternal and immutable. Hence it is not blissful consciousness (ananda svarupa) or stream of consciousness (caitanya pravaha) or material consciousness (caitanya-deha-visita). The Self (Purusa) of Samkhya remains untouched either by joy or sorrow, migration, bondage and liberation.
Bondage and liberation are phenomenal. The latter requires the formal and final cessation of all the three kinds of sufferings without a possibility of return. This neutral and colorless state of Kaivalya is again an unattractive picture with no appeal to the aspirant.
THE CONCEPT OF MOKSHA IN YOGA DARSHAN
Yoga is Practice of Meditation and Samadhi for Renunciation, Self Discipline for Self Realization The Yoga system of philosophy was founded by Patanjali. He authored the Yoga Sutras or the aphorisms of Yoga. This system explains the practical process of heart purification which may qualify the individual to experience the absolute Divine. Yoga is literally, a yoke: not so much a yoking or union of the soul with the Supreme Being, as the yoke of ascetic discipline and abstinence which the aspirant puts upon himself in order to cleanse his spirit of all material limitations, and achieve supernatural intelligence and powers. The word Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root yug, which meant “TO UNITE“. The yoga system provides a methodology for linking up individual consiousness with the Supreme Being. Various schools of yoga systems are: Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Karma yoga, Ashtanga Yoga (practical application of Sankhya Philosophy), etc. The Yoga system of philosophy accepts three fundamental realities, namely, Ishwara, Purusha and Prakriti or the primordial matter. Patanjali says that scriptures are the sources of the existence of Ishwara. Ishwara is omniscient and is free from the qualities inherent in Prakriti. Patanjali defines Yoga as ‘Chittavriitinirodha’. Yoga is the restraint of the mental operations. Patanjali names some obstacles to the path of Yoga. Explain the practical process of heart purification which may qualify the individual to experience the absolute Divine. The word Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root yug, which meant “TO UNITE“. The yoga system provides a methodology for linking up individual consiousness with the Supreme Being. Various schools of yoga systems are: Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Karma yoga, Ashtanga Yoga (practical application of Sankhya Philosophy), etc.
The Yoga system of philosophy accepts three fundamental realities, namely, Ishwara, Purusha and Prakriti or the primordial matter. Patanjali says that scriptures are the sources of the existence of Ishwara. Ishwara is omniscient and is free from the qualities inherent in Prakriti. Patanjali defines Yoga as ‘Chittavriitinirodha’.
Yoga is the restraint of the mental operations. Patanjali names some obstacles to the path of Yoga. They are called ‘Antarayas’ and they include:
styana (apathy), Samsaya (doubt),
Pramada (inadvertence), Alasya (laziness),
Avirati (incontinence), Bhrantidarshana (wrong understanding)
, Alabdha Bhumikatva (non-attainment of mental plane)
In addition to the obstacles mentioned above, Patanjali accepts five more obstacles called: 1) Dukha (pain),
2) Daurmanasya (frustration,
3) Angamejayatva (fickle limbs),
4) Svasa (spasmodic breathing in)
5) Prasvasa (spasmodic breathing out).
Patanjali speaks about Jatyantara Parinama or the phenomenon of the evolution of one species or genus into another species or genus. Matter is the root of ignorance and suffering; therefore Yoga seeks to free the soul from all sense phenomena and all bodily attachment; it is an attempt to attain supreme enlightenment and salvation in one life by atoning in one existence for all the sins of the soul’s past incarnations.
Such enlightenment cannot be won at a stroke; the aspirant must move towards it step by step, and no stage of the process can be understood by anyone who has not passed through the stages before it; one comes to Yoga only by long and patient study and self-discipline. The stages of Yoga are eight:
I. Yama, or the death of desire; here the soul accepts the restraints of ahmsa and Brahmacharia, abandons all self-seeking, emancipates itself from all material interests and pursuits, and wishes well to all things.
II. Niyama, a faithful observance of certain preliminary rules for Yoga: cleanliness, content, purification, study, and piety.
III. Asana, posture; the aim here is to still all movement as well as all sensation; the best asana for this purpose is to place the right foot upon the left thigh and the left foot upon the right thigh, to cross the hands and grasp the two great toes, to bend the chin upon the chest, and direct the eyes to the tip of the nose.
IV. Pranayama, or regulation of the breath: by these exercises one may forget everything but breathing, and in this way clear his mind for the passive emptiness that must precede absorption; at the same time one may learn to live on a minimum of air, and may let himself, with impunity, be buried in the earth for many days.
V. Pratyahara, abstraction; now the mind controls all the senses, and with- draws itself from all sense objects.
VI. Dharana, or concentration the identification or filling of the mind and the senses with one idea or object to the exclusion of everything else. The fixation of any one object long enough will free the soul of all sensation, all specific thought, and all selfish desire; then the mind, abstracted fromthings, will be left free to feel the immaterial essence of reality .
VII. Dhyana, or meditation: this is an almost hypnotic condition, resulting from Dharana; it may be produced, says Patanjali, by the persistent repetition of the sacred syllable Om.
VIII. Samadhi, or trance contemplation; even the last thought now disappears from the mind; empty, the mind loses consciousness of itself as a separate being; it is merged with totality, and achieves a blissful and god- like comprehension of all things in One.
Nevertheless it is not God, or union with God, that the yogi seeks; in the Yoga philosophy God (Ishvara) is not the creator or preserver of the universe, or the rewarder and punisher of men, but merely one of several objects on which the soul may meditate as a means of achieving concentration and enlightenment. The aim, frankly, is that dissociation of the mind from the body, that removal of all material obstruction from the spirit, which brings with it, in Yoga theory, supernatural understanding and capacity.
In the days of the Upanishads, Yoga was pure mysticism an attempt to realize the identity of the soul with God. In Hindu legend it is said that in ancient days seven Wise Men, or Rishis, acquired, by penance and medi- tation, complete knowledge of all things.
In the later history of India Yoga became corrupted with magic, and thought more of the power of miracles than of the peace of understanding. The Yogi trusts that by Yoga he will be able to anesthetize and control any part of his body by concentrating upon it; he will be able at will to make himself invisible, or to prevent his body from being moved, or to pass in a moment from any part of the earth, or to live as long as he desires, or to know the past and the future, and the most distant stars.
There are four forms of yoga, which can be used to realize supreme reality which leads to moksha:
Yoga explain the practical process of heart purification which may qualify the individual to experience the absolute Divine.
Patanjali say in his yog sutra that cessation of avidhya is moksha or kevalya. By the purusharth (efforts) of man qualities (satva, Rajas & tamas) becomes nil, means, it goes there from where it came (pratiprasav).
Chitishakti (Atman) knows and enjoys its own form is kaivalya. According to patanjali after attaining kaivalya man has no rebirth alike baked seeds as they cannot grow again when they are baked. It is explained by Madhavacharya in his book Sarvadarshan Sangrih,
Kaivalya state is explained as absolute independence. It is not a mere negation but is the eternal life of purusha when it is freed from prakriti.
Avidya is earlier explained as the cause of bondage of purusha. It can be destroyed by true knowledge. When one acquires true knowledge of self, all false notions disappears. In this state it remains untouched by worldly affairs.
In yoga philosophy we get the concept of jivan mukta also. “The disciple in the form of Samadhi remains conscious (as shown by its description as samprajnat) of having attained the discriminative knowledge which is the means to release, but in the next step (asamprajnat) he transcends it and the condition has been described as sleepless sleep. As in sleep, one becomes here oblivious of the world and even of his own existence. As an individual but yet it is not a blank since. Purusha exists then with its effulgence all un obscured.
In this final stage, all operations of the internal organs are suspended and spirit returns to itself, so to speak. The disciple than becomes a jivanmukta. In the stage of jivanmukta the fruit of good and bad actions which has already ripened has to suffer by the sage. It is the cause by the sage when attained true knowledge and is yet suffering mundane life in order to experience the karma that is already ripened. (tisthati samsakaravasat akrabraivaddhrtasarirah).
Similarly, in Yoga, freedom is absolute isolation of Matter from self. It is only when we can effect a cessation of the highest principle of matter (citta = mahat = Buddhi) that the state of absolute isolation and redirection of our consciousness is possible of matter (citta = mahat = Buddhi) that the state of absolute isolation and redirection of our consciousness is possible.
However, there is clear ambivalence in Samkhya doctrine of release in so far as it says “it is the spirit (Purusa) that is to obtain release, and yet the apparently predominant characterization of spirit is such that it is impossible that it should either be bound or released.” Unlike Samkhya-Yoga, the Self in Sankara is not only consciousness but also blissful consciousness.
Unlike Samkhya-Yoga and Nyaya-Vaisesika, what is needed is an intuition of identity instead of an intuition of difference. Unlike Purva-Mimamsa, Moksa in Advaita Vedanta is not only destruction of individual’s relation with the world (Prapanca-sambandhavilaya), but dissolution of the world itself (Prapanca-vilaya). Ramanuja believes that there is both identity and difference between God and Man. Man’s body and soul are real. The soul’s is not pure and impersonal consciousness, but a thinking substance with consciousness as its essential attribute.
Hence, Moksa is not self-annulment in the absolute, but a self-realization through self-surrender and self-effacement – the supreme satisfaction of religious emotion. The liberated soul is not God, but neither is he separated from His all-comprehensive existence. This is Sayujya-bhakti (unitive devotion).
To Madhva, the distinction between God and Self is real. Though the Jiva is absolutely dependent upon God, he is active and dynamic. Hence, Moksa is `blessed fellowship’ and not a mere identification. Thus in the state of Mukti, there is not only the utter absence of pain but also the presence of positive bliss. To Nimbarka, with whom the soul is both different and non-different from God (Bhedabheda), complete submission results in both God-realization and self-realization which is endless joy and bliss.
Suddhadvaita school of Vallabh regards the relation between God and Soul as that of whole and part. Duality and distress go together. The moment the soul is one with God, we get final release which is utter bliss. To other Vaisnavites like Sri Caitanyadeva, Jaideva, Vidyapati, Candidasa etc., to whom the ultimate reality is love and grace, liberation means love through divine grace. Bhakti is Mukti.
THE CONCEPT OF MOKSHA IN NYAYA DARSHAN
Nyaya by Sage Gautam is Logical Quest of Supreme, Phases of Creation, Science of Logical Reasoning The first of the “Brahmanical” systems in the logical order of Indian thought is a body of logical theory extending over two millenniums. Nyaya means an argument, a way of leading the mind to a conclusion. One of the six DARSHANS (orthodox systems) of Indian philosophy, important for its analysis of logic and epistemology and for its detailed model of the reasoning method of inference. Like other darshans, Nyaya is both a philosophy and a religion; its ultimate concern is to bring an end to human suffering, which results from ignorance of reality. It recognizes four valid means of knowledge: perception, inference, comparison, and testimony. It is called Nyaya because it is constituted of five “laws” – Pratijna, Hetu, Udaharana, Upanaya, Nigamana. Nyaya includes formal logic and modes of scientific debate. It explains the logical constructs like antecedent and laws of implying. It expounds various modes of scientific debate and methods for debate, like tarka, vitanda, chala, jalpa and so on. The Nyāya school of Hindu philosophy has had a long and illustrious history, Nyāya went through at least two stages in the history of Indian philosophy. At an earlier, purer stage, proponents of Nyāya sought to elaborate a philosophy that was distinct from contrary darśanas. At a later stage, some Nyāya and Vaiśeṣika authors (such as Śaṅkara-Misra, 15th cent. C.E.) became increasingly syncretistic and viewed their two schools as sister darśanas. As well, at the latter stages of the Nyāya tradition, the philosopher Gaṅgeśa (14th cent. C.E.) narrowed the focus to the epistemological issues discussed by the earlier authors, while leaving off metaphysical matters and so initiated a new school, which came to be known as Navya Nyāya, or “New” Nyāya. Our focus will be mainly on classical, non-syncretic, Nyāya. Its most famous text is the Nyaya Sutra. The sutras are divided into five chapters, each with two sections. , 10 ahnikas and 528 sutras. It accepts 4 pramanas and 16 padarthas. According to Nyaya, midhya jnana (nescience) causes sansara and tatva jnana (gnosis) brings liberation.The work begins with a statement of the subject matter, the purpose, and the relation of the subject matter to the attainment of that purpose.
The ultimate purpose is salvation—i.e., complete freedom from pain—and salvation is attained by knowledge of the 16 categories:
1) means of valid knowledge (pramana);
2) objects of valid knowledge (prameya);
3) doubt (samshaya);
4) purpose (prayojana);
5) example (drishtanta);
6) conclusion (siddhanta);
7) the constituents of a syllogism (avayava)
; argumentation (tarka); 9) ascertainment (nirnaya);
10) debate (vada);
11) disputations (jalpa);
12) destructive criticism (vitanda);
13) fallacy (hetvabhasa);
14) quibble (chala); 15) refutations (jati);
16) points of the opponent’s defeat (nigrahasthana).
Gautama announces, as the purpose of his work, the achievement of Nirvana, or release from the tyranny of desire, here to be reached by clear and consistent thinking; but we suspect that his simple intent was to offer a guide to the perplexed wrestlers in India’s philosophical debates. He formulates for them the principles of argument, exposes the tricks of controversy, and lists the common fallacies of thought. “Upvarg or liberation is absolute cessation of pain and rebirth. Commenting on nyay concept of moksha. “liberation is the complete extinction of the special qualities of the soul viz. cognition, pleasure, pain, desire, aversion, volition, merit, demerit and impression.
The soul is free from cognition in the state of liberation. Cognition is produced by the intercourse of a sense organ with an object, the conjunction of manas with the soul. But the body, the sense organs and manas are destroyed in liberation. So there can be no cognition in it.
In liberation the soul is devoid of merits and demirts and consequently free from pleasure and pain”. According to nyaya Ignorance is the root of all suffering and rebirth and only complete knowledge (jnana) of the true nature of things will bring aparvarga or deliverance. Error is thus seen to be the cause of pain and eradication of error is the goal of man.
Moksha is not the destruction of self but only of bondage In the nyaya philosophy preexistence is proved by the logic that there must be a future where we can experience the fruits of our deeds and past to account for the difference in our lots in the present. According to Vatsayayan. The commentator on nyaya sutra. “The fruition of all one’s act comes about in the last birth preceding release”.
Nyaya philosophy does not accept joy (anand) in the state of liberation it says liberation is release- from pain. Radhakrishan commenting on nyaya view of moksha “It is defined negatively as the cessation of pain and not as the enjoyment of positive pleasure for pleasure is always tainted with pain it is caused as much as pain”.
Uddgotakara another commentator on nyaya sutra urges that if the released soul is to have everlasting body, since experiencing is not possible with out the bodily mechanism. The state of mukti is neither a state of pure knowledge nor of bliss but a state of perfect qualitylessness in which the self remains in itself in its own purity.
The nyay vaishesika tradition uses the terms moksha, upavarg and nihsreyasa to the state of perfection. Upavarg may be understood as going beyond the trivargas of darma, artha and kama comprehending them after their fulfillment nihsreyasa can also be understood in the some way as discussed earlier. Through tatvajnana (knowledge of real) at there is atmalabh (self realization) but divine grace is also helpful. Perhaps this is the first school of philosophy which educates the grace of god and somewhat reflection on the concept of law of karma. “According to nyaya moksha is not self transcendent pain & pleasure but all its specific qualities that is devoid at thought, feeling and will. Moksha thus becomes a condition of perfect gloom from which there will be no reawaking”.
THE CONCEPT OF MOKSHA IN VAISHESHIK DARSHAN
As Gautama is the Aristotle of India, so Kanada is its Democritus. The founder of Vaisheshik philosophy is known to us by the name of his theory “Kanaad” (atom eater, or atom theorist), because he was the first person in the world (460-370 BC) to propound the atomic theory of matter. According to this theory, God has created different substances from several basic atoms of matter. This philosophy is very close to the Nyaaya philosophy. Vaisheshika system was formulated not before 300 B.C., and not after 800 A.D. Its name came from vishesha, meaning particularity: the world, in Kanada’s theory, is full of a number of things, but they are all, in some form, mere combinations of atoms; the forms change, but the atoms remain indestructible. Thoroughly Democritean, Kanada announces that nothing exists but “atoms and the void,” and that the atoms move not according to the will of an intelligent deity, but through an impersonal force or law Adrishta, “the invisible.” Kanada Vaiseshika darsana has 10 chapters, 20 ahnikas, 370 sutras. It accepts 2 pramanas (criteriafor verifiability) and 7 padarthas. Vaiseshika is one of the earliest darsanas hypothesised. According to it, atma-manas contact causes the nine Gunas – buddhi, sukha, dukha, iccha, dvesha, prayatna, dharma, adharma, sanskara. This is the samsara for atman. Realising this and separating mind from atman so that the Gunas get dissolved and do not arise again, is Moksha. This is possible through satkarma, sravana, manana and so on.
According to Vaiseshika darsana, Guna-nasha forever is moksha. According to Vaishashik absolute cessation of all the pain is liberation. Atman does karma due to false knowledge. Karma (action) is the source of all Pap (Sin) and Punya (auspicious). When Atman gets true knowledge it stops action. Now pap, punya & karma worn out then soul separates from body & mind and realizes its own nature. In moksha the liberated soul retain its own peculiar individuality and particularity and remains as it is knowing nothing, feeling nothing, doing nothing.
The concept of moksha in the schools of vaisheshika and nyay is not different. Like, Nyaya, the Self in Vaisesikas has cognitions of things when it is connected with the body. So it is only when the soul is free from the qualities (either pleasure or pain) produced by contact with name and form (atmavisesa gunanama atyantocchedah), or as Sridhara would say navnama atmavisesa gunasnama atyantocchgedah Moksa, that liberation is possible. It is the absolute destruction of nine specific qualities of the Self. To save this view from the charge that Moksa comes perilously near the unconscious condition of a pebble or a piece of stone, the Vaisesikas propound a doctrine of Inherent Felicity in the state of Moksa.
THE CONCEPT OF MOKSHA IN THE PURVA-MIMANSA
Sanskrit mīmāṁsā, literally, reflection, investigation, from manyate he thinks. It is an orthodox Hindu philosophy concerned with the interpretation of Vedic texts and literature and comprising one part dealing with the earlier writings concerned with right practice and another part dealing with the later writings concerned with right thought —called also Purva Mimamsa, . Meemaansaa philosophy is attributed to sage Jaimini (c 350 BC). Its author, Jaimini, protested against the disposition of Kapila and Kanada to ignore, while acknowledging, the authority of the Vedas. The human mind, said Jaimini, is too frail an instrument to solve the problems of metaphysics and theology; reason is a wanton who will serve any desire; it gives us not “science” and “truth,” but merely our own rationalized sensuality and pride. The road to wisdom and peace lies not through the vain labyrinths of logic, but in the modest acceptance of tradition and the humble performance of the rituals prescribed in the Scriptures. Meemaansaa is also basically atheistic.
Mimamsakas, regard the soul as eternal and infinite, with consciousness as its adventitious attribute, dependent upon its relation to the body. It survives death to reap the consequences of action. Since the Mimamsaka school belongs to the ritualistic period of the Vedic culture, the final destiny of an individual is regarded as the attainment of heaven – the usual end of rituals (Svarga kamoyajete). But latter on, the idea of heaven is replaced by the idea of liberation for they realized that we have to fall back to the earth as soon as we exhaust our merit. The concept of heaven was indeed a state of unalloyed bliss (at least temporary).
But the state of liberation is free from pleasure and pain, since consciousness is an adventitious quality of the Soul. It proclaims that the Soul does not die with the body, but passes from the body of the dead to the body of the one to be born.
The purpose of the migration of the Soul is to reap the rewards and punishments of the deeds of the previous lives to which it was attached. An Individual Soul can attain liberation from rebirth by means of knowledge and performance of duties. Knowledge alone will not help attain liberation. It is necessary not only to perform worldly duties, but also to perform religious rituals prescribed by Vedas.
Prabhakara holds that Self itself can only be cognized by mental perception. Or at the time of salvation there being none of the senses nor the manas the self remains in pure existence as the potency of knowledge without any actual expression or manifestation. So the state of salvation is the state in which the self remains. Devoid of any of is not characteristic qualities such as pleasure, pain, knowledge, willing, etc. , for the self itself is not knowledge nor is it bliss or ananda ; but these are generated in it by its energy and the operation of the senses. The self being divested of all its senses at that time, remains as a mere potency of the energy of knowledge, a mere existence. To Prabhakaras, Moksa is the realization of the Moral Imperative as duty (Niyoga-siddhi).
To Kumarila, it is the “Soul’s experience of its own intrinsic happiness with complete cessation of all kinds of misery,” which is very much like the Advaitic conception. The general conception of Bhattas is the realization of intrinsic happiness (atmasaukhyanubhuti). Parthasarathi Misra and Gagabhatta deny this. Narayanabhatta, Bhattasarvajna and Sucaritra Misra clearly admit the element of happiness in the state of Mukti, since to them, Soul is consciousness associated with ignorance (Ajnanopitacaitanyatmavada) during embodied existence.
Moksha is brought about when a man enjoys and suffers the fruits of this good and bad actions and thereby exhausts them and stops the further generation of new effects by refraining from the performance of kamya-karmas (sacrifices etc. performed for the attainment of certain beneficent results) and guarantees himself against the evil effects of sin by assiduously performing the nitya-karmas .This state is characterized by the dissolution of the body and the non-production of any further body or rebirth. Jaimini and Sabara pointed the way to a life in heaven, but not to freedom from samsara.
But according to Prabhakara, liberation consists in the total disappearance of dharma and adharma, whose operation is the cause of rebirth. It is defined as “the absolute cessation of the body, causes by the disappearance of all dharma and adharma. The individual, finding that in samsara pleasures are mixed up with pain, turns his attention to liberation. Mere knowledge cannot give us freedom from bondage, which can be attained only by the exhaustion of action. Knowledge prevents further accumulation of merit and demerit. Evidently the followers of Prabhakara do not regard karma by itself as sufficient for effecting release. Liberation is the cessation of pleasure as well as of pain. It is not a state of bliss, since the attributeless soul cannot have even bliss. Moksa is simply the natural form of the soul.
According to kumarila, moksa is the state of Atman in itself, free form all pain,asserts that liberation cannot be eternal unless it is of a negative character. Parthasarathi also holds that the state of release is one of freedom from pain, and not enjoyment of bless. Kumarila, however regards moksa as a positive state the realization of the Atman, and this comes very near to the Advaita view. He thinks that knowledge is not enough for liberation. He believes that release can be attained through karma combined with jnana.
THE CONCEPT OF MOKSHA IN THE VEDANTA DARSHAN
Sanskrit Vedānta, literally, end of the Veda, from Veda +anta end; akin to Old English ende end First Known Use: 1788. One of the six orthodox systems (darshans) of Indian philosophy and the one that forms the basis of most modern schools of Hinduism. Its three fundamental texts are theUpanishads, the Bhagavadgita, and the Brahma Sutras, which are very brief interpretations of the doctrine of the Upanishads. Several schools of Vedanta have developed, differentiated by their conception of the relationship between the self (atman) and the absolute (Brahman). They share beliefs in samsara and the authority of the Vedas as well as the conviction that Brahman is both the material and instrumental cause of the world and that the atman is the agent of its own acts and therefore the recipient of the consequences of action Vedant philosophy was first expounded by Baadaraayan in c 650 BC. In his book Vedaant Sootra, also called “Brahm Sootra”. Baadaraayan claims that he has not put anything new – all was only the summary of Upanishadik teachings – but the claim does not seem to be totally justified.. There are three main approaches in Vedanta:
Shankara’s strict non-duality (advaita)
non-duality with qualifications (such as Ramanuja’s vishishtadvaita)
duality (Madhva’s dvaita) Each contain their own view on the concept of moksa, or liberation, that is consistent with their philosophies; however, all three schools remain loyal to the overall understanding and worship of Brahman, and claim to hold the truths in reference to the Upanishads.
THE CONCEPT OF MOKSHA IN ADVAIT VEDANTA DARSHAN
According to the Advaita (non-dual) school of Hindu thought, this self-realization comes through the recognition that one’s atman (self) is one and the same as Brahman—the pure, absolute reality comprising the entire universe. In the Dvaita (dualistic) school of thought, true self-realization comes through attaining a loving union with the Supreme Being, often manifested in the form of a god such as Vishnu, while maintaining one’s own existential uniqueness. Advaita Hindus emphasize meditation and thoughtful action in achieving moksha, while Dvaita Hindus emphasize loving worship and devotion to a deity.
According to the Advaita-tradition moksha is achieved by removing avidya (ignorance) regarding our misidentification with the five koshasand mayad comes to an understanding that the observable world is unreal and impermanent, and that atman or consciousness is the only true existence.
Moksha is seen as a final release from illusion, and the knowledge (anubhava) of one’s own fundamental nature, which is Satcitananda. Advaita holds that Atman, Brahman, and Paramatman are all one and the same – the formless Nirguna Brahman which is beyond the being/non-being distinction, tangibility, and comprehension. Advaita focuses on the knowledge of Brahman provided by traditional Vedanta literature and the teachings of its founder, Adi Shankara.
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. Shankar has given us a theory of concept of maya (illusion) or adhyas (superimposition). According to advait vedant philosophy this world is adhyas of bramha it is not result of world is only illusion is real & changeless. Because of maya or avidhya (false knowledge) jiva comes in bondage. Pure soul or Atman is mixed with beginningless avidhya like milk & water in such away that the natures of both do not appear separate. Mind etc. are maya’s product but jiva believes that these are his attributes. It does not separate itself from it and does not feel its true form.
According to Shankar moksha is realization of one’s own true form which is eternal and which can not be seen because of maya or avidhya. Radhakrishnan commeting on Shankar’s view of avidhya & moksha. Writes “Moksha is a matter of direct realization of some thing which is existent from eternity, though it is hidden from our view when the limitations are removed the soul is liberated”. Avidhya, maya or adhyas is said to be the cause of bondage. Avidhya is beginningless but not eternal. By true knowledge (jnan) avidhya vanishes and one attains moksha according to my view, in shankars philosophy we do not find any state called moksha because knowing your own form is not a different state. “
According to Shankar “the freed soul assumes the form of his true self. Moksha is not the abolition of self but the realization of its infinity and absoluteness by the expansion and illumination of consciousness”.30 In Brahman sutra Shankar declares in many passages that the nature of liberation is as state of oneness with Brahman by moksha world as said earlier as maya or addhyas does not destroys but ones view according to world changes. It can be explained by an example when we watch a play, we know we are not the part of play we are just seer of the play. Same way after attaining jnan of one’s own self one becomes seer of the worldly affairs explained by Shankar as drishta.
Says Hiryanna “The individual self is Brahman itself, and its supposed distinction from it is entirely due to the illusory adjuncts with which it identifies itself”. According to Shankar moksha is oneness with Brahman. Here it means that the identity of the self with is not to be newly attained, it is already there and has only to be realized in one’s own experience.
The main idea of Shankar’s schools of philosophy about moksha is that the ultimate and absolute truth is the self which is one though appearing as many in different individuals. It is said in Upanishads “that art thou” tat-tvam-asi it means that he is truth. It is the state of advait (non-dualism) between and jiva “jivo Brahman aaiv na parah”. According to Shankar moksha means one attains one’s own form, in the state of salvation, the true form of self is “sat, chit, anand” its nature is truth which is unchangeable in all the course of time, which is consciousness and not jad and anandghan.
According to Shankar anand means a state of soul, where except anand no other state or feeling exists. Mandayk Upanishad says A Through knowledge of Brahman one becomes Brahman. Radhakrishna commencing on the Mandukya Upanisad writes, “samkara observes that the turiya or the fourth (intergral experience) is realized by merging the three others (waking, dreaming and dreamless sleep) in it. The highest includes the rest, while transcending them. The phrase used “prapancopasamam” means the sinking of the world in Brahman, and not its denial. We posess faculties capable of responding to orders of truth, the use of which would change the whole character of our universe. When we attain to the state of turiya, we shall have reality from another angle, lit by another light; only this angle and this light are absolute.
THE CONCEPT OF MOKSHA IN DVAITA DARSHAN
In Dvaita (dualism) traditions, moksha is defined as the loving, eternal union with God (Vishnu) 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. Dvaita explains that every soul encounters liberation differently, and each soul requires a different level of satisfaction to reach moksha.Dualist schools (e.g. Gaudiya Vaishnava) see God as the most worshippable object of love, for example, a personified monotheisticconception of Shiva or Vishnu.Unlike Abrahamic traditions,
Dvaita/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 manifestessence 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.
THE CONCEPT OF MOKSHA IN VISISTADAVAITA DARSHAN
Ramanuja’s Vishistadvaita (qualified monism) states that Brahman makes up every being, and to find liberation one must give up his will to the Lord. Here too moksha is defined as the loving, eternal union with God (Vishnu)
Ramanuja insists that the karmas should be performed in an absolutely disinterested manner simply to please God. When the soul performs these actions, it will realize that only this performance con not lead to liberation. Hence it will turn towards the study of the Jnanakanda, the Vedanta, which teaches the nature of God, soul and matter. The soul will now realize that matter and souls qualify god who is their inner ruler, that they form the body of God who is the real soul.
Ramanuja admits that knowledge is the immediate cause of liberation, but this knowledge is real knowledge and not the ordinary verbal knowledge. Otherwise all those who studied Vedanta would obtain liberation. The real knowlege3e is identified by Ramanuja with the highest bhakti or devotion which is obtained by prapatti or self surrender and by constant remembrance of God as the only object of devotion (dhruva smrthi) which remembrance is also called pure meditation (upasana) or dhyana or nididhyasana (concentrated contemplation).
It is very important to note that constant meditaion itself is not the highest bhakti (which is the me thing as real jnana), but only a means to realize it. Enjoined actions (karma) and ordinary knowledge (jnana) are means to realize ordinary bhakti which may be indentified with prapatti or flinging oneself on the absolute mercy of God and with constant remembrance and contemplation of God called smrti, upsana or nidhyasana.
This ordinary bhakti which means prapatti and upasana is itself a means to realize the highest bhakti which is pure jnana or the immediate intuitive knowledge of God which is the direct cause of liberation and which dawns only by the grace (prasada) of God.
Salvation, according to Ramanuja, is not the disappearance of the self, but its release from the limiting barriers. For disappearance of the self will be the destruction of the real self (satyAtmanasa) . One substance cannot pass over into another substance. The released soul attains the nature of God, though not identity with him. It is egoity that is opposed to salvation, and not individuality.
For Ramanuja there is no Jivanmukti. One attains to fellowship with God after exhausting all karma and throwing off the physical body. In the state of release the souls are all of the same type. In the released condition the souls have all the perfections of the Supreme except in two pints. They are atomic in size, while the supreme spirit is all pervading. Though of atomic size, the soul can enter into several bodies and experience different worlds created by the Lord but it has no power over the creative movements of the world, which belong exclusively to Brahmann.
The Vishishtadvaita philosophy distinguishes two classes of the released: those who are intent on service to God on earth and so do it in heaven and those (kaivalins) who are altogether isolated from the rest, since they achieved their end by constant meditation on the real nature of their won soul. The picture of the heaven where the redeemed souls dwell is not much deferent form the usual description. It only differs in details of dress, custom and landscape from the paradise of the popular imagination. In his theory of moksa,Ramanuja does not do justice to the mystics, who thus hunger for becoming one with the supreme.
The most significant point of agreement among the various schools of Indian philosophy is the recognition of liberation or release (Moksha) from the cycle of rebirths as the highest of human ends or values. The Indians generally speak of four values-artha, kama, dharma and moksa. Of these, the first two, which respectively mean “wealth” ahnd “pleasure”, are secular or purely worldly values. The other two, may, in contrast, be described as spiritual.
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