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Note that this is not a dup of this question, since the answers I expect are not from the Upanishads.

I have two questions based on my (poor) understanding of a few posts in this site. They are related and hence asking in one post.

For the matter of this post, I define a Vedantic scripture to be all of the Upanishads, The BrahmaSutra and the Bhagavad Gita (of Krishna) combined.

  1. Is there a Vedic (non-Vedantic) scripture that talks about the concept of Moksha (the attainment of status equal/identical to Brahman)? I am not referring to the MahaMrtyunjaya stotram which means something slightly different (IMHO based on my reading of Sanskrit).

  2. If there is none, what is the purely Vedic (non-Vedantic) thought about what happens after death?

I would greatly appreciate references to the scriptures with locations so that I can read up the verses and understand as much as I can.

(I am curious to know what is there in the Vedas, when Nachiketa (who has a few important Vedic rituals assigned to him) needed to ask this to Yama as related in the Kathopanishad. If there was a clear reference, Yama would not have mentioned it as a secret knowledge (IMHO)).

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    Thanks @SwiftPushkar, will take a look and close if it's so – user1952500 Dec 20 '17 at 7:09
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    Possibly dupe of this one: hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/19378/… – Rickross Dec 20 '17 at 10:34
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    Isha Upanishad is a part of Shukla Yajurveda Samhita. There are only 18 verses. Check if it answers your question. – Paṇḍyā Dec 20 '17 at 14:27
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    @RakeshJoshi Isha Upanishad mantra 11 says mṛtyuṁ tīrtvā vidyayāmṛtam aśnute vedabase.com/en/iso/11 and mantra 14 says mṛtyuṁ tīrtvā sambhūtyāmṛtam aśnute vedabase.com/en/iso/14 ... mṛtyum — death; tīrtvā — surpassing; ... amṛtam — deathlessness; aśnute — enjoys. Those two verses talk about the state of moksha. – brahma jijnasa Dec 24 '17 at 7:06
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    @RakeshJoshi Yes, Vaikuntha or personal abode of Lord Vishnu is the only eternal world that exists, it's the world of eternal moksha. It is said that Sadashivaloka is also a part (at the beginning) of Vaikuntha, and Goloka is at the top of Vaikuntha. Contrary to that, all material existence including this earth and material heavens above this earth (such as Indra's heaven) are all temporary, and perish at the end, and you can live there until you exhaust your karma or until Shiva destroys the universe. – brahma jijnasa Dec 28 '17 at 10:46
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There are several things which can be interpreted as to mean Moksha/ Mukti. For eg. In the famous Purusha Suktam of Vedas, Vajasaneyi Samhita 31.18:

वेदाहमेतं पुरुषं महान्त-
         मादित्यवर्णं तमसः परस्तात् ।
तमेव विदित्वातिमृत्युमेति
         नान्यः पन्था विद्यतेऽयनाय ॥

vedāham etaṃ puruṣaṃ mahāntam ādityavarṇaṃ tamasaḥ parastāt /
tam eva viditvāti mṛtyum eti nānyaḥ panthā vidyate 'yanāya //

I know the great Purusha, who is luminous, like the sun and beyond darkness. Only by knowing Him does one pass over death; there is no other way to the Supreme Goal.

This verse of Veda Samhita is used in Upanishads like Svetasvatara Upanishad 3.8.

Similarly in RigVeda 8.48.3 it is stated that Realizing Soma one attains immortality:

अपाम सोमममृता अभूमागन्मु ज्योतिरविदाम् देवान्|
कि नूनमस्कान्कृणवदराति: किमु धृर्तिरमृत मर्त्यस्य।।

We have taken Soma, We have become Immortal, We have get that divine light (Jyoti), What can any enemy, any mortal do to us now.

The above verse has also been used by AtharvaSiras Upanishad.

  • Did you make your post into Community Wiki by accident? Do you want me to reverse that for you? – Keshav Srinivasan Dec 20 '17 at 11:40
  • @Keshav Srinivasan No, I made it intentionally as most parts of it is already answered by Rickross here hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/19378/… ... and also question seems to be duplicate of several other answered questions... – Tejaswee Dec 20 '17 at 11:44
  • Oh ok. In any case, if you think it's a duplicate of something, you may want to cast a close vote. – Keshav Srinivasan Dec 20 '17 at 11:57
  • Is immortality the same as Moksha? In Moksha you need to die at least once, right? – user1952500 Dec 20 '17 at 17:40
  • The PS verse is valid and it was in the linked Q in the post. However I am hoping for more such verses for such an important topic. – user1952500 Dec 20 '17 at 17:42
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Atharva Veda 10.8.44 says:

akāmō dhīrō amr̥taḥ svayambhū rasēna tr̥ptō na kutaś canōnaḥ | tam ēva vidvān na bibhāya mr̥tyōr ātmānaṁ dhīram ajaraṁ yuvānam

Desireless, serene, immortal, Self-existent, contented with the essence, lacking nothing, is He. One has no fear of death who has known Him, the atman—serene, ageless, youthful.

One who has realized paramatma has no fear of death anymore because he becomes immortal, ie he gets moksha or liberation from samsara of repeated births and deaths. This is the meaning of the verse.

Rig Veda 9.113.7 says:

9.113.07a yátra jyótir ájasraṃ
9.113.07b yásmim̐ loké súvar hitám
9.113.07c tásmin mā́ṃ dhehi pavamāna
9.113.07d amŕ̥te loké ákṣita
9.113.07e índrāyendo pári srava

O Pavamana, place me in that deathless, undecaying world
Wherein the light of heaven is set, and everlasting lustre shines.

The significant thing about this verse is that "undecaying world" and "everlasting lustre shines" indicate that the world referred to in the verse is not a material world because this material world decays or perish, ie it is destroyed in the end. And "everlasting luster shines" also indicates the same because in the perishable world no luster can shine eternally. So the verse is referring to some other world which is imperishable and eternal in existence.
Another significant thing is that it says "place me in that deathless ..." which means that the speaker of the verse wants to achieve that imperishable world in which there is no death, ie there the life is deathless. All this is clear indication that the verse is talking about the state of moksha.

I think that Vaishnava commentators of Vedanta would say that the verse is referring to the world which is known as Vaikuntha in the Puranas. It is said that Vaikuntha is the world of Lord Vishnu, it is imperishable or eternal world and souls living there are deathless or immortal living in moksha forever.

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Whether it be the Vedas or the Upanishads or any other text, moksha means freedom. Freedom is attained when we get out of the thaldrom of body-mind complex and view the omnipresent supreme conscious.

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