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Article LXXXIX: Moksha

"As identified with the eternal Brahman which is omniscient, all-pervasive, and the Self of all, he enjoys simultaneously... all the desirable things that are not dependent on all such causes as merit, etc., and that are independent of the organs like the eyes, etc." Shankaracharya in a commentary on Taittiriya Upanishad II.i.1 (Translated by Swami Gambhirananda)

Moksha is freedom, or enlightenment, which occurs when one realizes Brahman, supreme existence-consciousness-bliss (satchitananda). Everyday happiness is related to that ultimate bliss, but that eternal bliss of moksha is beyond the duality of transient happiness or sorrow. Moksha is not without happiness, but reveals the basis for happiness, which is Brahman. Vedanta clearly equates bliss with moksha in the description of Brahman as infinite and eternal existence-consciousness-bliss.

Shankaracharya describes the bliss of moksha as independent from one's accomplishments and independent from one's sensory experiences. Therefore, moksha can only be attained if one is nonattached to actions and the results of actions. Moksha is also beyond the transient material objects of the world, and, therefore, moksha is independent of sensory experiences. As one gradually becomes more nonattached, one gradually approaches moksha, and one gradually experiences greater peace and joy in everyday life. Ultimately, one experiences eternal peace and bliss by attaining moksha, the realization of Brahman. Brahman is ultimately no different than Atman, the Self. Hence, moksha can also be understood as realizing the Self within.

Infinitely many paths to moksha exist, depending on one's tendencies and one's impressions from past action.

East-West Counseling & Meditation -- Modern Psychiatry Integration -- Himalayan Philosophy -- Penn & Stanford Medicine
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