What is moksha in Hinduism?

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In the Hindu religion, moksha refers to state of liberation or freedom from the natural cycle of life, death, and rebirth. When a person reaches moksha, he/she is said to be free from earthly influence and reaches closer to the Divine Being. In Hinduism, a person’s soul is said to pass through different life cycles called the “samsara”. For each of this cycle, the beginning will be dependent on “karma” or the way the person chose to live in his/her previous cycle. If this particular person has done good things, then good “karma” will also return to his favor in the next cycle. In the same way when bad choices were made in the so-called previous life or cycle, then bad “karma” is also expected. All these cycles basically represent specific points in a person’s life. From birth to death and then the after-life, one’s soul will be given what is due depending on how life is lived. In the case of moksha, the soul of a person will reach total liberation from worldly concerns. For most Hindus, moksha is like their ultimate goal in life.

The state of moksha can be achieved in one’s life or after a person dies. When a person is still living, moksha can be achieved through full liberation from negative things in the world. The state of moksha is considered free from earthly desires and so people need to live a life that is deeply rooted with the Divine presence. All so-called worldly desires and wants must be overcome and only the desire for soul purity must be retained. In the case of death, many Hindus prefer to die at holy places or in their own homes. Cremation is also preferred by many with the ashes scattered in sacred water like the Ganges River for example. The burnt ashes that are scattered in the river is said to be symbolic of removing life’s polluted ways and therefore at this point in the death cycle, one’s soul will reach moksha.

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