On Yoga Terms and Philosophy: What is Moksha?

On Yoga Terms and Philosophy: What is Moksha?
[Fifth article in a series]
by Alice Koh

What is Moksha?

Moksha means liberation from the cycle of rebirth or samsara; liberation from your ignorance and bondage; and the union with the supreme consciousness.

Are you still perplexed? Don’t worry. These are textbook-talk. It doesn’t make understanding or assimilation of knowledge any easier for people like you and me.

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar explained Moksha very simply as this:

… After a long journey on a crowded bus, you finally reach your destination. The moment you stand up and stretch your tired, taut and sore body, that freedom of release is Moksha.

... The last day of school examination when your child finishes his last paper, that sigh of relief is his Moksha.

From the day we are born, we inevitably suffer the evolution of life. We grow old, become sick and then die. No one can escape these facets of life. However, through death, there is a continuum of life. That is the paradox. Life is recycled in what is known as reincarnation. Note that everything in this universe is made of energy; energy cannot be destroyed, it can only be recycled. Think of a phosphorus match. Once it is lighted, it goes up in smoke and ashes. Well, that smoke and ashes as it happens is the same match. The match is not destroyed, it only changes form.

Moksha is the attainment of peace. The attainment of freedom.

How to be free from the bondage of life?

The Christian bible, John 8:32 states…

… And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free

But what is this truth?

… That Existence is consciousness

… Consciousness is One

… Existence is One

Existence and Consciousness are one and the same!

It is through the attainment of this Universal Consciousness that True Liberation is obtained.

Now let us come back to the Self.
The Thinker is also the Thought.
The Watcher is also the Watched. There is no distinction between the two. The mountain that is being watched by me becomes me. I touch and become everything I see, everything that I can think of. Everything is touched by me with my eyes, all things touch me with their presence being known to me.

This world is manifested through me; therefore, I am the world; and, I can transcend this world.

But if we seek Liberation. This means that we are in slavery. And what binds us?

Ideas…. Ideas of the self and of the universe bind us. Ideas of time and space. Of life and death. Of knowledge and suffering.

But once you experience Truth; once you know the Truth, this truth liberates you from returning to this place again and again and again.

And what is this Truth?

This Truth is God; Brahma Consciousness, Buddha Consciousness, Christ Consciousness, call it as you wish. But this is the Truth that Liberates or that will set you FREE.

God is not different from you and I. Yet at the same time it is not the same. Think of a worm and a human being: though both having consciousness, both are different.

Think of experiencing the self, outside the self.

The experience of salvation brought about by contemplation of the Universal Self and the understanding and knowing of this Self, this Self which I define as God. This is what brings Moksha, or Liberation.