Dancing with Śiva

How Do Hindus Understand Moksha?

ŚLOKA 30

The destiny of all souls is moksha, liberation from rebirth on the physical plane. Our soul then continues evolving in the Antarloka and Śivaloka, and finally merges with Śiva like water returning to the sea. Aum Namaḥ Śivāya.

BHĀSHYA

Moksha comes when earthly kar­­ma has been resolved, dhar­ma well per­formed and God fully realized. Each soul must have performed well through many lives the varṇa dharmas, or four castes, and lived through life’s varied experiences in ­order to not be pulled back to physical birth by a deed left un­done. All souls are destined to achieve moksha, but not necessarily in this life. Hindus know this and do not delude themselves that this life is the last. While seeking and attaining profound re­aliz­ations, they know there is much to be done in fulfilling life’s other goals (purush­ār­thas): dharma, righteousness; artha, wealth; and kāma, pleasure. Old souls re­nounce worldly ambitions and take up sannyāsa in quest of Par­aśiva, even at a young age. Toward life’s end, all Hin­dus strive for Self Re­al­iz­ation, the gateway to liberation. After moksha, subtle kar­mas are made in in­ner realms and swiftly resolved, like writing on water. At the end of each soul’s evolution comes viś­vagrāsa, total ab­sorp­tion in Śiva. The Vedas say, “If here one is able to re­­alize Him before the death of the body, he will be lib­er­at­­­ed from the bondage of the world.” Aum Namaḥ Śivāya.