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What are the ultimate objectives in Hinduism?

Is Moksha the only ultimate objective?

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No, moksha is not the ultimate objective for all Hindus. Moksha is the goal for Advaita Vedanta. Vaishnava objective is Vaikutha where a Vaishnava will enjoy bliss with Krishna or Narayana eternally.

People who follow Purva Mimamsa want to go to heaven at least until the merit due to Yajnas are exhausted. People who follow Samkhya probably want to be Prakritilina which will allow them to be controller of nature at least for one cycle.

The objective of Yoga is Kaivalya which is a state of permanent cessation of the Gunas which work as cause and effect.

  • Are there people who follow Purva Mimaamsa or Saankhya even today? – sv. Nov 20 '16 at 14:29
  • Yes, there are followers even today. A famous Sankhya-yogacharya was the late Swami Hariharananda Aranya who wrote a famous Bengali translation of Patanjali's Yoga Sutra. This book 'Yoga Philosophy of Patanjali' has been translated into English by P. N. Mukerji and published by State University of New York Press, Albany. – Pradip Gangopadhyay Nov 20 '16 at 15:01
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    @sv. No, there is no one who follows either Purva Mimamsa or atheistic Samkhya today. But there are many people, particularly Advaitins, who practice Patanjali Yoga, which is a based on theistic version of Samkhya. But even those would reject the philosophical teachings of the Patanjali's Yoga school, like the notion that Ishwara is the efficient cause of the Universe but not the material cause. Pretty much only ones who accept the full philosophy of Patanjali's Yoga school today are followers of the Shaiva Agamas, like the Shaiva Siddhanta sect. – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 20 '16 at 21:47
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The ultimate objective in Hinduism depends upon what school of thought or philosophy you are following. But the common thing in all of them is the same, liberation from this material mode of existence. So getting rid of Samsara is the ultimate objective. But while staying on this material plane for a proper living many other things are required. Hence, taking those into account Hinduism lays out four objectives in life known as chatruvarga or the four purusarthas. They are:

  1. Dharma (this is the first priority, evey other objective must be done abiding to dharma)
  2. Artha (earning money for a sustainable living in the right way)
  3. Kama (creating progeny with wife for continuation of the race)
  4. Moksha (renouncing worldly activities and focusing on liberation from this material existence of repeated birth and death)

While these are the common objectives for a human here as per Hinudism, different philosophical systems layout their different objectives. For example, in the path of bhkati the first three are called bhukti (enjoymnet) and moksha is called mukti (permanent liberation into the absolute). And a devotee renounces both for eternal association with God. For them Bhkati is the supreme most dharma:

sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje
ahaituky apratihatā yayātmā suprasīdati
[SB - 1.2.6]

Meaning
The supreme occupation [dharma] for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self.

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Moksha is only a purushartha (1 out of 4) - a duty according to the Hindu philosophy.

The main goal is not just attaining Moksha but to serve the Creator of this universe, the Bramha (not lord Bramha). Everyone has his own jeevana karya out of which the primary goal is to be united with the ultimate God (Moksha).

The most important of all goals is to be a Human as vedas say manurbhava (be human).

Also there are varying definitions for Moksha for every other pantha, but most important is that be a manushya and serve god as manushya.

  • What is a pantha? – sv. Oct 9 '15 at 14:55
  • panth is a something like a sect or category of believers it is a post Vedic period and early medival term for e.g. kabir panth – Yogi Oct 9 '15 at 14:58
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    The quote "Manurbhava" from the Rig Veda is taken completely out of context. The quote is originally from Rig Veda Book 10 Hymn 53 Verse 6: sacred-texts.com/hin/rigveda/rv10053.htm The context of this hymn is that Agni once quit his job of carrying Yagna offerings to the gods, and he hid himself in the water. The gods eventually found him and convinced him to do his job again. Hymn 53 is a dialogue between the gods and Agni after he returned to Devaloka to resume his role as bearer of Yagna offerings. – Keshav Srinivasan Oct 9 '15 at 20:34
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    In verse 6, the gods are telling him "be like Manu", i.e. just as Swayambhuva Manu gave birth to many human offspring, Agni should give birth to lot of divine offspring. And Sayana's commentary on this verse says "Become Manu: be deserving of praise; manu =mantavya stutya". Either way, this verse has nothing to do with instructing humans to be humans; it's not even addressed to a human being! The Samhitas of the Vedas generally don't contain instructions on what you should do; that's reserved for the Brahmanas and Aranyakas of the Vedas. – Keshav Srinivasan Oct 9 '15 at 20:40
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It is my personal belief and thoughts:

There is no scripture Hindus have mentioning the word Hindu or Hinduism. Only the recent scriptures might include that for referring the people. but only when necessary.

from what I see, it is all about the knowledge. you pick Gita, Upanishad, Vachanamrut. In all these scripture all we have is the ultimate knowledge.

You open any scriptures of Hinduism what you find is Student asking the question about the different things, things we don't even understand these days.

Now to answering your question: There are four types of Purusharth mentioned (Dharma, Eartha, Kama & Moksha). It totally depends on the person or its spiritual level, he leans towards one of the Purusharth (if you see near you might easily notice that).

Moksha is not ultimate objective, it is the best objective.

Ultimate objective from what I understand is...

To gain knowledge of Atma and Paramatma. Knowledge of one who experience all the surroundings and the one who gives those experiences and surroundings.

Ultimate objective of life is... stay near to the saint (good saint) who has this knowledge.

Jay Swaminarayan.

  • what is vachanamrut? – Yogi Oct 9 '15 at 20:58
  • @Yogi It's the main scripture of the Swaminarayan sect: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vachanamrut – Keshav Srinivasan Oct 9 '15 at 21:12
  • Is swaminarayan sects vachanamrut authentic hindu scripture or is just another medieval scripture – Yogi Oct 9 '15 at 21:32
  • @Yogi The Vachanamrut was written by Swaminarayan in the 1800's, so it's even newer than Medieval times. – Keshav Srinivasan Oct 10 '15 at 0:51
  • @Yogi I have no right to say of its authenticity as me being a follower of Swaminarayan Sect, but things described in Vachnamrut has an artistic manner of explaining the knowledge, If you read it you'll know it. The voice in the Vachamrut is Special. It is been spoken in a way that he know and understand and it is in his experience. You'll understand what I am trying to convey here, once you read it. – Nixit Patel Oct 10 '15 at 6:59

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