On the advent of Buddhism , Dharma was entirely neglected, and the path of Moksha alone became predominant.
The ultimate goal of human life is to attain spiritual perfection (moksha), or freedom from transmigration of the atman . The social existence of an individual is means for attaining this supreme goal. Since an individual cannot attain moksha without fulfilling his (her) individual and social duties, responsibilities and obligations, Hindu social philosophy...includes the essential social principles and practices, goals of human life: dharma (moral law), artha (wealth), kama (pleasure), and moksha (spiritual perfection, the ultimate goal).
Hinduism takes a comprehensive view of the human condition and classifies all the things people seek in the world and beyond into four broad categories called purushaarthas, kama , artha, dharma and moksha.
To attain moksha while alive, the individual consciousness must become non-existent because then there is nothing left in the mind . Then, due to the attainment of moksha, he becomes immersed forever in Pure Consciousness and the Liberated. One must live out his Dharma for the sake of others.
Man, the period of whose life is one hundred years, should practise Dharma , Artha, and Kama at different times and in such a manner that they may harmonize, and not clash in any way. He should acquire learning in his childhood; in his youth and middle age he should attend to Artha and Kama, and in his old age he should perform Dharma, and thus seek to gain moksha , that is, release from further transmigration.
The Hindu theory of reincarnation is based upon four basic principles: permanence of the atman , existence of maya (the original ignorance ), liberation ( moksha ) of the atman from samsara and the law of Karma .
moksha or Emancipation is not a product or effect of any action. That which is the product of anything is bound to be non-permanent ( anitya ) and as moksha is permanent and eternal , it cannot be supposed to be the resultant of anything; it is the realization of the self as it is by its nature, and this becomes possible only when the Karma of the Jiva has been exhausted.
Although there are various views among the Hindu thinkers regarding the content of moksha, all systems agree that moksha is the liberation of the soul from the bondage of flesh and the limitations of the finite body .
The fourth goal of life is moksha, which means “release” from life, particularly from the cycle of death and rebirth . This goal is best practiced in the retirement and renouncer stages of life, although it can be sought in all stages of life, particularly in the two paths of deeds and devotion .
The highest goal to be achieved by any human being is moksha, which means liberation from bondage . Bondage means that state where one always thinks in terms of ‘I’ and ‘mine’. In this state of ‘I’ and ‘mine’ one experiences worries , misery , lack of peace, a feeling of lacking something and a feeling of utter failure or worthlessness.
Some of the analogous words used to mean moksha are mukti, Nirvana, Turiya, Kaivalya, Apavarga, Nihsreyasa etc.
The term moksha primarily is in the description of purusharthas and is in classical as well as modem usage, and secondarily in a generic sense to denote all that is common to its variety of usages.
The word moksha does not occur in any of the Vedas though the base (root) MUC - is part of the vocabulary of the first Veda where it means 'to release, to let go'. But it occurs in the Brahmanas and is frequent in classical language.
Two hypotheses have been formulated to the concept of moksha: One is the fear of death that might have given rise to the concept of moksha and the other is the unjust state of affairs.
moksha does not mean any actual change in the nature of the self, but it means a change in standpoint. In other words, moksha is not merely knowing brahman , rather, it is being brahman. This being brahman is moksha in its positive sense.
In its negative sense, moksha means moksha from bondage...this moksha from bondage is to be attained through knowledge .
Before reaching this final means to moksha, the person wanting moksha has to fulfil a number of qualifications. The Vedantins in general admit this and they suggest a whole scheme of discipline , divided into karma-yoga and jnana-yoga.
The second concept of moksha is taken from Buddhism , one of the unorthodox systems.
In most schools of Indian philosophy, the state moksha is conceived of in such a way that either there is no object left to be known, or if any object is allowed at all, no relationship of any kind, is permitted.
If we die , shall we cease to live ? The widespread belief in the immortality of soul and therefore the belief in moksha are problematic for the philosopher .
The ideal of moksha was achieved in India as early as the Upanishadic and Buddhist times, whereas, philosophic reflection has not stopped with it; it has continued till today.
There are many philosophers and schools of philosophy in India that have literally nothing to do with moksha. The Nyaya , the Vaisesika, and the Mimamsa are predominant in this group. And, even those who are partly concerned with moksha, are concerned with it primarily in a philosophical manner only.
The term moksha is also used in Buddhism and Jainism, and is similar in concept of nirvana in Buddhism. Ancient materialistic schools denied the concept of moksha, while the twentieth century philosopher Sri Aurobindo believed that the goal of life was not moksha, but evolution to a higher state.
moksha is not just freedom from the cycle of rebirths , as is often misunderstood.
moksha or freedom is the Swabhava, the inherent constitution and essence of the soul and is not to be supposed as generated in the Soul through the action of anything else.
The concept of moksha in Indian thought represents an extreme form of the urge to get away from fact.
The only route to moksha is through dharma , since freedom is seen, on this view, not as presupposition of action but as the culmination of life . It requires a switch in thinking to be able to regard freedom as in opposition to responsibility – freedom being attained after responsibilities are over (on the extreme form of the theory as against jivanmukti form)
According to Buddhist world view, moksha consists in overcoming the causes of suffering and ultimately in freeing oneself from the process of rebirth. How to do it? This is to be done through meditative introspection and by following the eightfold path ( marga ) of ethics .
moksha is described as the positive state of absolute bliss, the state of absolute absence of pain , the state of neither pleasure nor pain, communion with God or the company of God, the realization of the true nature of the self, an experience obtainable even in our embodied state, obtainable only after our physical death, etc.
moksha represents an ideal state of cognitive attainment.