Moksha, aka: Mokṣa, Moksa, Mokṣā; 8 Definition(s)


Moksha means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

The Sanskrit terms Mokṣa and Mokṣā can be transliterated into English as Moksa or Moksha, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Pāñcarātra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

Mokṣa (मोक्ष) refers to an aspect of nṛsiṃha (‘man-lion’), according to the Vihagendra-saṃhitā 4.17, which mentions seventy-four forms (inlcuding twenty forms of vyūha). He is also known as Mokṣanṛsiṃha or Mokṣanarasiṃha. Nṛsiṃha is a Tantric deity and refers to the furious (ugra) incarnation of Viṣṇu.

The 15th-century Vihagendra-saṃhīta is a canonical text of the Pāñcarātra corpus and, in twenty-four chapters, deals primarely with meditation on mantras and sacrificial oblations.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Pāñcarātra
Pāñcarātra book cover
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Pāñcarātra (पाञ्चरात्र, pancaratra) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Nārāyaṇa is revered and worshipped. Closeley related to Vaiṣnavism, the Pāñcarātra literature includes various Āgamas and tantras incorporating many Vaiṣnava philosophies.


Mokṣa (मोक्ष).—No bondage; three-fold mokṣa; renunciation by knowledge, diminution of rāga and loss of tṛṣṇā;1 dharma of;2 is yogasiddhi;3 salvation, attained at the sacred Benares;4 oneness with Brahmam.5

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 3. 55; Vāyu-purāṇa 23. 81; 102. 76, 78, 80, 93.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 10. 116.
  • 3) Ib. IV. 36. 52; 44. 108.
  • 4) Matsya-purāṇa 180. 52; 183. 36-37; 185. 15; 193. 40.
  • 5) Vāyu-purāṇa 104. 94.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purāṇa book cover
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The Purāṇas (पुराण, purana) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahāpurāṇas total over 400,000 ślokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

Mīmāṃsā (school of philosophy)

Mokṣa (मोक्ष, “liberation”).—Mīmāṃsā suggests that liberation (mokṣa) cannot be achieved by Right Knowledge alone, for the Self must first exhaust its negative and positive potentialities gained through action (karma), as a seed fulfils itself through growth. No amount of contemplation (dhyāna) will enable one to arrive at the ultimate goal of human destiny; therefore, the emphasis is on the ethical aspect of life rather than on the rational. All arguments to support this thesis are based on the premise that the Self by definition is eternal. The actions to be done (karma) and the rewards (phala) that follow are enjoined in the Veda and interpreted by Mīmāṃsā.

(Source): Srimatham: Mīmāṃsa: The Study of Hindu Exegesis
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Mīmāṃsā (मीमांसा, mimamsa) refers to one of the six orthodox Hindu schools of philosophy, emphasizing the nature of dharma and the philosophy of language. The literature in this school is also known for its in-depth study of ritual actions and social duties.

Vaiṣṇavism (Vaiṣṇava dharma)

Mokṣā (मोक्षा) refers to the second of twenty-six ekādaśīs according to the Garga-saṃhitā 4.8.9. Accordingly, “to attain Lord Kṛṣṇa’s mercy you should follow the vow of fasting on ekādaśī. In that way You will make Lord Kṛṣṇa into your submissive servant. Of this there is no doubt”. A person who chants the names of these twenty-six ekādaśīs (eg., Mokṣā) attains the result of following ekādaśī for one year.

(Source): Devotees Vaishnavas: Śrī Garga Saṃhitā
Vaiṣṇavism book cover
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Vaiṣṇava (वैष्णव, vaishnava) or Vaiṣṇavism (vaishnavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Viṣṇu as the supreme Lord. Similair to the Śāktism and Śaivism traditions, Vaiṣṇavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the daśāvatāra (‘ten avatars of Viṣṇu’).

General definition (in Hinduism)

In Indian religions, moksha (mokṣa; 'liberation'), or mukti ('release') is the liberation from samsara, the cycle of death and rebirth. This liberation can be attained while one is on earth (jivanmukti) or eschatologically (karmamukti). Moksha is attained by disidentification with the body and mind, which are temporary and subject to change, and realisation of our true identity.

"Moksha" means "mukti", "eternal freedom from social and natural programming". Moksha and mukti are both from the root muc "to let loose, let go".

(Source): WikiPedia: Hinduism

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Mokṣa (मोक्ष, “liberation”).—What is meant by liberation (mokṣa)? Total separation of karmas from the soul is called mokṣa. Synonyms of moksa are liberation and emancipation. It is the state of pure soul.

(Source): Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 1
General definition book cover
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Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

mōkṣa (मोक्ष).—m (S) Final and eternal happiness; the deliverance of the soul from the body, its exemption from further transmigration, and its absorption into the divine essence. 2 S Liberation, emancipation, act of freeing or freed state.

(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

mōkṣa (मोक्ष).—m Final and eternal happiness. Liberation.

(Source): DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
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Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

Relevant definitions

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Mokṣanarasiṃha (मोक्षनरसिंह) is short for Mokṣa, one of the aspects of nṛsiṃha (‘man-lion’), ac...
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Mokṣanṛsiṃha (मोक्षनृसिंह) is short for Mokṣa, one of the aspects of nṛsiṃha (‘man-lion’), acco...
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