--> Skip to main content

Parama Purushartha In Hinduism

Parama Purushartha in Hinduism is moksha and it is the liberation from birth-death cycle. There are four purusharthas (righteousness, wealth, enjoyment and liberation).

Of the four purusharthas, liberation is termed parama purushartha. It is supreme because one transcends all bondages and becomes free on its attainment. While the first three purusharthas are transient, moksha is permanent and envisages no difference. Whoever is liberated will have the same blissful state. Advaita holds the state of liberation as recognizing one’s own state of ever-conscious, ever-free nature in the present life itself. It is an absolute condition of ananda (bliss).

According to Advaita, liberation is not the result of any action. The atman, being eternal, immutable, all pervasive and ever pure, cannot be the result of any action. Hence it is attained only on the removal of avidya (ignorance) covering of Brahman. Such knowledge through inquiry comes as the grace of an already liberated self.

According Adi Shankaracharya, moksha is attained only through spiritual knowledge, jnana jnanatevatu kailvalyam. It is state of self realization whereby the individual attains the state of perfection of the Absolute.

The other schools of philosophy, Visistadvaita and Dvaita, do not accept the Atman Brahman identity but attach great importance to the grace of Narayana. The individual self remains separate but partakes of the qualities of Narayana, who is Brahman.

In the Samkhya Yoga system of philosophy, moksha is neither identity with Brahman nor reaming in a state of ananda in proximity to God. It is a state of isolation of the self solely in the self. It does not admit an Absolute in which the temporal and the eternal are reconciled  - the individual self, with the removal of avidya, realizing its real identity as nothing but a being with the Supreme Being in the Absolute Realm of consciousness and bliss, satchidananda. It does not provide for an all knowing eternal God with all the auspicious qualities – kalyana guna. It considers moksha as the desolation of the individual self within its own ‘eternal and timeless essence.”

The epic Mahabharata also contains endless descriptions or moksha. The conception of moksha set forth in the Mahabharata differs both from the monistic and theistic as wel the Samkhya Yoga views.