Moksha (or Mukti) is the ultimate peace, knowledge and enlightenment; and this is how Moksha relates to us in today’s world.
If one were to Google the word ‘Moksha’, undoubtedly a myriad of interesting links, web pages, definitions and historical references will pop-up on screen. Moksha is a very relevant term even for those who are non-spiritual or non-religious because we all at some point in our lives struggle with answering age-old questions such as, “Who am I?” “What is the purpose of my life?” and “How do I achieve this?”
According to Wikipedia.org, Moksha can be defined as a “final release [emancipation] from one’s worldly conception of self, the loosening of experiential duality and a realization of one’s own fundamental nature which is the true being, pure consciousness, bliss and experience which…is beyond sensation.”
The concept of Moksha originated in India. The central idea behind the process of Moksha or Mukti is the progression by which the soul is liberated from repeating the cycle of reincarnation (death and re-birth). In this context, the soul becomes free from experiencing pain, suffering, and any limitations involving one’s ‘worldly existence’. The now ‘enlightened’ soul is then able to leave all concepts of ego, power, money, greed, and other earthly passions. It is this struggle of balancing these ‘worldly experiences’ during our lives that can be quite the challenge in attaining Moksha.
Many important journeys have been ignited by this quest for Moksha. But what does this all mean to us in today’s world? Well, it shows us that people have always wondered what their purpose in life is and how this purpose is achieved within reason and balance. To feel at peace and harmony we need to feel love, joy, laughter, happiness and ultimately balance them with feelings and experiences of pain and suffering. Although we would all like to eliminate pain and suffering, without these emotions and experiences we can’t appreciate the positive ones. Otherwise, life would be without meaning and we would not be able to strive to become better human beings.
We can all strive towards Moksha in the form of self-development. By gaining the knowledge of who we truly are; we are constantly improving on ourselves and reducing our negative attributes that are limiting or blocking our abilities to feel secure, happy, loved and balanced.
One might ask, ‘How do I recognize who I truly am and how do I realize this?’ Self-recognition and self-realization as a process in itself can take a lifetime of exploration, experience and knowledge. However, this is an important struggle because it helps you to understand what your individual weaknesses and strengths are. This sense of awareness then helps you associate your past patterns of Karma (or actions) with insight towards your present actions. Awareness and understanding of your past can then positively influence your future.
With the world’s current economic state, we have all had to reassess the priorities in each of our lives. This has meant a huge paradigm shift in thinking about what actually brings us peace, happiness and balance.
Deepak Chopra along with many other prolific leaders in the field of mind-body healing and human empowerment believe that an individual can only experience inner peace and stillness by re-aligning one’s thoughts, emotions and actions. Experts like Chopra advocate for daily meditation, and embracing uncertainty (by focusing less on material consumption and more on our relationships with one another). Like so many others, Chopra also believes that as a society, we have brought false ideas about happiness, well-being and security. Unfortunately, many people equate money with happiness, technology with well-being and war and its weaponry with geographical security; but eternal wisdom has constantly proven otherwise.
Through daily meditation, we can learn to spend time alone and to be still. Inner stillness can fuel the journey of reflection and reconnection within each of us. We can re-assert our journeys, assess the paths we are taking and examine what needs to be done on a daily basis in order to achieve our goals of self-development.
Research is showing that happiness comes from our relationships with others and how we make one another happy. This perhaps is the easiest route to contentment. So if happiness comes from within, how do we achieve this? Perhaps the happiest people are those who find opportunities where others find problems. It has also been proven that some of the poorest countries are happier than more affluent ones.
One simple task for all of us to complete during our day is to spare a few minutes everyday on self-reflection by asking: Who am I? What do I want? What gives me meaning and purpose? What do I look for in a good relationship? And how can I be a better friend? These kinds of questions often help nurture self-development. The beauty behind this is that you never have to know the answer at first glance!
Working towards Moksha is a continuous and life-long process. You will certainly cross the finish line of life’s race by becoming more self-aware and by undergoing your own self-development. It is this constant reflection, re-assessment, and re-adjustment that we all find ourselves undergoing throughout our lives. It is our greatest achievement when our thoughts and actions will bring us all love, joy, laughter, happiness, peace and harmony in our lives.