Competitive Exams: Means to achieve Moksha

In Hinduism, atma-jnana (self-realization) is the key to obtaining Moksha. The Hindu is one who practices karma and bhakti, 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. Today, the two major schools of thought are Advaita Vedanta and Bhakti branches.

Bhakti sees God as the most worshippable object of love, for example, a personified monotheistic conception of Vishnu. Unlike in Abrahamic traditions, for example, Smarta Hinduism, this monotheism does not prevent a Hindu from worship of other aspects of God, as they are all seen as rays from a single source. However, it is worthy of note that the Bhagavad Gita discourages the worship of demigods, as it does not lead to Moksha. 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 maintain their identities in a personal, divine loving relationship.

Vedanta finds itself split threefold, though the dualist and modified non-dualist schools are primarily associated with the foregoing thought of Bhakti. The most famous today is Advaita Vedanta, a non-dual (i.e.. No separation between the individual and reality, God etc.) perspective which often played the role of Hindu foil to contemporary Buddhist philosophy. In general, it focused on intense meditation and moral realignment, its bedrock being the Upanishads, Brahma Sutras and the teachings of its putative founder, Adi Shankara. Through discernment of the real and the unreal, as a peeling of the layers of an onion, the sadhak (practitioner) would unravel the maya (illusion) of being and the cosmos to find nothing within, a nothingness which was paradoxically being, and transcendentally beyond both such inadequate descriptions. This 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 with the idea that such worship is ultimately abandoned-both the worshiped and worshiper lose their individual identities.

Moksha in the sacred Hindu temple dance, as in the classical Indian dance too, is symbolized by Shiva raising his right leg, as if freeing himself from the gravitation of the material world.

One must achieve Moksha on his or her own under the guidance of a guru-one who has already achieved success in Moksha. An Arhant or a Siddha inspires but does not intervene.

Components of Moksha

Within Moksha or Mukti, there lies the ultimate peace (Shanti), the ultimate knowledge (Videh), the ultimate enlightenment (kaivalya) and the ultimate paradise (Swarga)