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Two Hindu sadhus near Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, Nepal. Usually sadhus live by themselves, on the fringes of society, and spend their days in their pursuit of moksha.

In Indian religions and Indian philosophy, moksha ( mokṣa), also called vimoksha, vimukti and mukti,<ref>The Soka Gakkai Dictionary of Buddhism, vimoksha</ref> means emancipation, liberation or release.<ref>John Bowker, The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0192139658, pp. 650</ref> In the soteriological and eschatological sense, it connotes freedom from saṃsāra, the cycle of death and rebirth.{{#invoke:Footnotes|sfn}} In the epistemological and psychological sense, moksha connotes freedom, self-realization and self-knowledge.<ref>See:

  • E. Deutsch, The self in Advaita Vedanta, in Roy Perrett (Editor), Indian philosophy: metaphysics, Volume 3, ISBN 0-8153-3608-X, Taylor and Francis, pp 343-360;
  • T. Chatterjee (2003), Knowledge and Freedom in Indian Philosophy, ISBN 978-0739106921, pp 89-102; Quote - "Moksa means freedom"; "Moksa is founded on atmajnana, which is the knowledge of the self.";
  • Jorge Ferrer, Transpersonal knowledge, in Transpersonal Knowing: Exploring the Horizon of Consciousness (editors: Hart et al.), ISBN 978-0791446157, State University of New York Press, Chapter 10</ref>

In Hindu traditions, moksha is a central concept<ref>John Tomer (2002), Human well-being: a new approach based on overall and ordinary functionings, Review of Social Economy, 60(1), pp 23-45; Quote - "The ultimate aim of Hindus is self-liberation or self-realization (moksha)."</ref> 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).<ref>See:

  • A. Sharma (1982), The Puruṣārthas: a study in Hindu axiology, Michigan State University, ISBN 9789993624318, pp 9-12; See review by Frank Whaling in Numen, Vol. 31, 1 (Jul., 1984), pp. 140-142;
  • A. Sharma (1999), The Puruṣārthas: An Axiological Exploration of Hinduism, The Journal of Religious Ethics, Vol. 27, No. 2 (Summer, 1999), pp. 223-256;
  • Chris Bartley (2001), Encyclopedia of Asian Philosophy, Editor: Oliver Learman, ISBN 0-415-17281-0, Routledge, Article on Purushartha, pp 443;
  • The Hindu Kama Shastra Society (1925), The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana, University of Toronto Archives, pp. 8</ref> Together, these four aims of life are called Puruṣārtha in Hinduism.<ref>See:
  • Gavin Flood (1996), The meaning and context of the Purusarthas, in Julius Lipner (Editor) - The Fruits of Our Desiring, ISBN 978-1896209302, pp 11-21;
  • Karl H. Potter (2002), Presuppositions of India's Philosophies, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120807792, pp. 1-29</ref>

The concept of moksha is found in Jainism, Buddhism and Hinduism. 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.<ref>The Soka Gakkai Dictionary of Buddhism: "Vimoksha [解脱] (Skt.; Jpn. gedatsu). Emancipation, release, or liberation. The Sanskrit words vimukti, mukti, and moksha also have the same meaning. Vimoksha means release from the bonds of earthly desires, delusion, suffering, and transmigration. While Buddhism sets forth various kinds and stages of emancipation, or enlightenment, the supreme emancipation is nirvana, a state of perfect quietude, freedom, and deliverance. See The Soka Gakkai Dictionary of Buddhism, vimoksha</ref> However, terms such as moksha and nirvana differ and mean different states between various schools of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.<ref name=dltc>See:

  • Loy, David (1982), Enlightenment in Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta: Are Nirvana and Moksha the Same?, International Philosophical Quarterly, 23 (1), pp 65–74;
  • T. Chatterjea (2003), Knowledge and Freedom in Indian Philosophy, ISBN 978-0739106921, pp 89; Quote - "In different philosophical systems moksa appears in different names, such as apavarga, nihsreyasa, nirvana, kaivalya, mukti, etc. These concepts differ from one another in detail."</ref> The term nirvana is more common in Buddhism,<ref>Peter Harvey (2013), An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices, ISBN 978-0521859424, Cambridge University Press</ref> while moksha is more prevalent in Hinduism.<ref>Knut Jacobsen, in The Continuum Companion to Hindu Studies (Editor: Jessica Frazier), ISBN 978-0-8264-9966-0, pp 74-83</ref>

Moksha sections
Intro   Etymology    Definition and meanings    History    Moksha, nirvana and kaivalya    Hinduism    Buddhism    Jainism    Sikhism    See also    Notes    References    Sources   

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