Understanding Hinduism Essay

Submitted By mgm176
Words: 600
Pages: 3

Understanding Hinduism

Understanding Hinduism

According to our reading, moksha is the liberation from the limitations of space, time, and matter through realization of the immortal absolute. Many life- times of upward-striving incarnations are required to reach this transcendence of earthly miseries. This desire for liberation from earthly existence is one of the underpinnings of classical Hinduism, and of Buddhism as well.
Hindus believe in reincarnation this a belief that the soul is eternal and lives many lifetimes, in one body after another. The soul is sometimes born in a human body, sometimes in an animal body and sometimes in a plant body, etc. Hindus believe that all forms of life contain a soul, and all souls have the chance to experience life in different forms.
The Sanskrit word samsara means "the repeated passing of souls through different worlds, gross, or subtle." Thus, samsara means going through the cycle of repeated births and deaths. Under the influence of karma, the soul moves upwards and downwards on the wheel of rebirth, the round of birth, death and rebirth undergone by all living beings. It is a cycle of transmigration from one living form into another.
Human birth is therefore a great privilege, for in a human body alone can one attain the supreme goal of life. Thus, in search of eternal happiness and immortality, the apparent soul is born again and again in different bodies, only to discover in the end that immortality can never be attained through fulfillment of desires. The soul then practices discrimination between the real and the unreal, attains desirelessness, and finally realizes its immortal nature.
All worldly existence is subject to the cycle of samsara, which is thought of as having neither beginning nor end. According to Hinduism the goal of human life is to be free or liberated from repeated births and deaths. Such liberation is called moksha or mukti in Sanskrit. Moksha can be attained only through God-realization.
Moksha is the end of the death and rebirth cycle and is classed as the fourth and ultimate artha (goal). It is the transcendence of all arthas. It is achieved by overcoming ignorance and desires. It is a paradox in the sense that overcoming desires also includes overcoming the desire for moksha itself. It can be achieved both in this life and after death. Moksha in Hinduism is not viewed as permanent death but an…