I don't find any mention of lot many people getting Moksha.
Could anyone enlist people in Puranas and Ithihas who got Moksha ?
Hinduism Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for followers of the Hindu religion and those interested in learning more about Hinduism. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
Still, I'm providing here four instances, where people definitely got Mokṣa. Two instances are from Mahā-Purāṇas, and, the other two instances are from Itihāsas - the Mahābhārata & Ādhyātma Rāmāyaṇa.
Here a Brāhmiṇa (turned hunter) - named Satyatapas, and his guru - Āruṇi together get Mokṣa, as they are merged into Viṣṇu. The full story can be read in English, here and in Hindi, here., I'm just giving the relevant verse:-
श्रीवराहपुराणे पर्वाध्यायो नाम अष्टनवतितमोऽध्यायः
उत्तिष्ठ गम्यतां पुत्र मया सार्द्धं परं पदम् । यद्गत्वा न पुनर्जन्म भवतीति न संशयः ॥ ३६ ॥
एवमुक्त्वा तु तौ सिद्धौ उभौ सत्यतपारुणी । ध्यात्वा नारायणं देवं तद्देहे तौ लयं गतौ ॥ ३७ ॥
- Arise, my son, we shall go to 'the Supreme Abode', after reaching which there will be no rebirth.
- Then both of them, Satyatapas and Āruṇi, meditated on god Nārāyaṇa and became merged in him.
Chapter 98 - Mokṣa of Satyatapas.
Translation taken from Motilal Banarasidass Publication
Here, a former prostitute named Piṅgalā, taking advice from Dharma, and gets Mokṣa, as she gets merged in Śiva(lingam).
तस्य तद्वचनं श्रुत्वा धर्मस्य च यशस्विनि । जगाम पिंगला तूर्णं यत्र तल्लिंगमुत्तमम् । ददर्श परया भक्त्या पस्पर्श च पुनःपुनः ॥ ८८ ॥ दर्शनात्तस्य लिंगस्य तस्मिल्लिंगे लयं गता । अत्र चावसरे देवाः प्रोचुस्तत्रैव संस्थिताः ॥ ८९ ॥ अन्यजन्मनि पापिष्ठा मुक्ता त्वं पिंगलेक्षणा ॥ ९० ॥ अतो लोकेषु विख्यातः पिंगलेश्वरसंज्ञकः । भविष्यति न संदेहो महापातकनाशनः ॥ ९१ ॥
- to 91. On hearing the words of Dharma, O lady of renown, Piṅgalā hastened to the place where the excellent Liṅga was present. She devoutly visited it and touched it repeatedly. Due to the visit to that Liṅga, she got merged into that Liṅga. On that occasion the Devas, stationed there itself, said: “Highly sinful in the other birth, O Piṅgalā, you have been liberated instantly. Hence this deity will become well-known in the world by the name Piṅgaleśvara. He will undoubtedly be the destroyer of great sins.
Chapter 81 - Piṅgaleśvara, Section 2 - Caturaśīti-liṅga-māhātmya, Book 5 - Āvantya-khaṇḍa
Translation by G. V. Tagare
Droṇa is liberated from the saṃsāra re-birth cycle, and he gets the Brahmaloka (and thus Mokṣa at the end of this Mahā-kalpa).
Droṇa Parva: Verse 7.165.42 - 45
वयमेव तदाद्राक्ष्म पञ्च मानुषयोनयः । योगयुक्तं महात्मानं गच्छन्तं परमां गतिम् ॥ ४२ ॥ अहं धनंजयः पार्थः कृपः शारद्वतो द्विजः । वासुदेवश्च वार्ष्णेयो धर्मराजश्च पाण्डवः ॥ ४३ ॥ अन्ये तु सर्वे नापश्यन्भारद्वाजस्य धीमतः । महिमानं महाराज योगयुक्तस्य गच्छतः ॥ ४४ ॥ गतिं परमिकां प्राप्तमजानन्तो नृयोनयः । नापश्यन्गच्छमानं हि तं सार्धमृषिपुंगवैः । आचार्यं योगमास्थाय ब्रह्मलोकमरिंदमम् ॥ ४५ ॥ वितुन्नाङ्गं शरशतैर्न्यस्तायुधमसृक्क्षरम् । धिक्कृतः पार्षतस्तं तु सर्वभूतैः परामृशत् ॥ ४६ ॥ तस्य मूर्धानमालम्ब्य गतसत्त्वस्य देहिनः । किंचिदब्रुवतः कायाद्विचकर्तासिना शिरः ॥ ४७ ॥
- When Drona thus ascended to heaven, Dhristadyumna was standing beside him stupified; only we five amongst mortal creatures beheld,
- The illustrious Drona. lost in yoga and meditation, ascend to the highest regions of blessedness. These five were, myself, Pritlia’s son Dhananjaya, Aswathama, the son of Drona,
- & 45. Vasudeva of the Vrisni race, and king Yudhisthira the virtuous son of Pandu. All else could not see the halo of glory that surrounded the intelligent son of Bharadwaja as lie ascended, rapt up in yoga, to the Brahma regions, winch are mysterious even to the gods and which is the highest of all celestial regions.
- & 47. In fact, all human beings were then unaware of the fact that Drona had attained to the highest mode of existence. None of them could then descry the preceptor, that subduer of foes, ascend tp the region of Brahma, devoted to yoga, in company with the best of sages, his body mangled with arrows, and steeped in blood after he had set aside his weapons.
English Translation by M.N. Dutt
The Hindi Translation by S.D. Satwalekar, suggest he indeed gets the Supreme Abode (whatever that be), or at least Brahmaloka, which is as good as Moksha (of course, at the end of a Mahā-kalpa though). Same conclusive Translation we get from the Mahabharta Hindi rendition by Ramanarayanadatta Astri. At least he reaches Brahmaloka as per verse 44 (59 there) & Verse 45 (60 there).
Here the great devotee of Śrī Rāma - Śabri, a mendicant, and a bhilliṇī, attains Mokṣa through the grace of Śrī Rāma.
॥ दशमः सर्गः ॥
इति रामं समामन्त्र्य प्रविवेश हुताशनम् ।
क्षणान्निर्धूय सकलमविद्याकृतबन्धनम् ।
रामप्रसादाच्छबरी मोक्षं प्रापातिदुर्लभम् ॥ ४१ ॥
Making this request to Śrī Rāma, Śabri entered into a well-lit fire. With all shackles of ignorance burnt in a moment, She (Śabri), by Rāma's grace attained Mokṣa, which is very difficult to attain.
English Translation by SringarAshrama Publication
Hindi Translation can be read from here.
The above is not an "exhaustive list" of all those who got Mokṣa, for there are many others listed across our vast literature, as to who got Mokṣa. Having said that, still Mokṣa is rare, and not just anyone & everyone can attain/acquire/realise it.
As for now I only remember Suka Deva the son of Veda Vyasa getting Param Gati (High End) or Moksha.
When Vyasa was grieving his son's death, Lord Shiva told him thus.:
“tam uvāca mahādevaḥ sāntvapūrvam idaṃ vacaḥ | putraśokābhisaṃtaptaṃ kṛṣṇadvaipāyanaṃ tadā | agner bhūmer apāṃ vāyor antarikṣasya caiva ha | vīryeṇa sadṛśaḥ putras tvayā mattaḥ purā vṛtaḥ | sa tathā lakṣaṇo jātas tapasā tava saṃbhṛtaḥ | mama caiva prabhāvena brahmatejomayaḥ śuciḥ | (MBH 12:320:32-34) “Consoling the Island-born Rishi who was burning with grief on account of his son, Mahadeva said these words unto him.–Thou hadst formerly solicited from me a son possessed of the energy of Fire, of Water, of Wind, and of Space; Procreated by thy penances, the son that was born unto thee was of that very kind. Proceeding from my grace, he was pure and full of Brahma-energy”.
“sa gatiṃ paramāṃ prāpto duṣprāpām ajitendriyaiḥ | daivatair api viprarṣe taṃ tvaṃ kim anuśocasi | yāvat sthāsyanti girayo yāvat sthāsyanti sāgarāḥ | tāvat tavākṣayā kīrtiḥ saputrasya bhaviṣyati |” (MBH 12:320:35-36) “He has attained to the highest end–an end which none can win that has not completely subjugated his senses, nor can be won by even any of the deities. Why then, O regenerate Rishi, dost thou grieve for that son? As long as the hills will last, as long as the ocean will last, so long will the fame of thy son endure undiminished!”
I hope this clarifies your queries.
Others have already written wonderful answers. I'll just be adding on a couple of references from Puranas which are on top of my mind right now.
A Brahmana Ascetic named Shankukarna gets Sayujya Mukti by propitiating Shiva with the 'Brahmapaara Stuti'.
स्तुत्वैवं शंकुकर्णोऽपि भगवंतं कपर्दिनम् । पपात दंडवद्भूमौ प्रोच्चरन्प्रणवं परम् ४५। तत्क्षणात्परमं लिंगं प्रादुर्भूतं शिवात्मकम् । ज्ञानमानंदमत्यंतं कोटिज्वालाग्निसन्निभम् ४६। शंकुकर्णोऽथ मुक्तात्मा तदात्मा सर्वगोऽमलः । निलिल्ये विमले लिंगे तदद्भुतमिवाभवत् ४७।
Thus having praised the revered Kapardin, Śaṅkukarṇa also prostrated himself on the ground and uttered the highest (syllable) Om. At that moment only the great Lingam of Śiva appeared there. It was knowledge, joy, and very much like the fire having a crore of flames. Śaṅkukarṇa’s soul was liberated. His pure soul moved everywhere. It merged into that pure Lingam. (Thus) a great wonder took place.
The Above anecdote is also found in the 33rd Chapter in the Purva bhaaga of Kurma Purana.
Rishi Vasishtha gets emancipation after being blessed with Brahma-gyana by Shiva.
लिङ्गमूर्तिं शिवं स्तुत्वा गायत्र्या योगमाप्तवान् ।२१७.००१ निर्वाणं परमं ब्रह्म वसिष्ठोऽन्यश्च शङ्करात्(२) ॥२१७.००१
After having propitiated lord Śiva of the form of the liṅga with Gāyatrī, Vasiṣṭha obtained yoga. Moreover he got the exalted brahman and emancipation from lord Śaṅkara (Śiva).