Brindala -- Los Angeles -- J.S. Jayaram, M.D. -- Success and Peace from Holistic Living
Menu -- Writing

Article LV: Paths to the Goal

Four major paths are described by Hinduism, which allow one to reach moksha. However, one's ascent to moksha generally includes aspects of all of the paths. Depending on one's vasanas (tendencies, lit: fragrances) and samskaras (impressions from past action), different combinations of paths will be appropriate. The four major margas (paths) are bhakti (devotion), karma (action), jnana (knowledge), and raja (meditation). These terms are often used with the word yoga, which can be translated as joining with the Divine. An infinite number of paths are possible by combining different degrees of each major path. All paths are generally accepted as valid by all Hindus, but different sects will weight each path with varying levels of importance. For example, one sect may assert that knowledge is the only way to reach moskha, but through ultimate devotion or perfect selfless action, one may reach ultimate knowledge and, therefore, moksha. Another sect may assert that devotion is the only way to reach moksha, but through ultimate knowledge or perfect selfless action, one may reach ultimate devotion and, therefore, moksha. Another sect may assert that the only way to moksha is through worship of Shiva, but by ultimate devotion to any other deity, one will ultimately reach Shiva, and, therefore, moskha. Basically, Hindus may disagree on the hierarchy of the paths that lead to moksha, but the ultimate goal is generally the same. Also, in reality, each person may follow his or her own path to moksha by combining aspects of devotion, action, knowledge, meditation, and other virtuous ways, which are limitless.

East-West Counseling & Meditation -- Modern Psychiatry Integration -- Himalayan Philosophy -- Penn & Stanford Medicine
Home About Treatment Appointment Payment Writing FAQ Contact