Within a large spectrum of spiritual practices, Hinduism accommodates both material and spiritual needs. However, as material benefits space temporary, most traditions consider eternal moksha the can be fried goal.

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Hindu texts detail four sequential intends – dharma, artha, kama, and moksha. Dharma recommends righteous and regulated living, so the one is able one to gain wealth, artha. V prosperity one have the right to then enjoy kama, sensual pleasure. As soon as one realises the futility of temporary gratification, one at some point seeks moksha (liberation). Some traditions, particularly of the bhakti school, expropriate moksha, but allude out the selfishness in also desiring liberation. They mention a 5th goal referred to as prema (love of God) or nitya-lila (eternal loving service).

Spiritual emancipation is thus considered the key goal that life, and other objectives are important stepping stones towards it. Hinduism hence recommends a well balanced life through an can be fried spiritual goal. Liberation usually involves union v God, conceived of in various methods by various traditions. Words for this procedure is yoga, native which we can derive the English indigenous yoke, definition to join.

Key PointsHindu bibles say there are four goals in civilised spiritual life:dharma – righteousnessartha – financial developmentkama – sensual enjoymentmoksha – liberation, the ultimate goal.Moksha is accomplished through union v God (yoga).Scriptural Passages

“All power of dharma is supposed for can be fried liberation (moksha). It must not be performed for product gain. Furthermore, one that is engaged in the can be fried occupational company (dharma) need to not usage material get (artha) simply for feeling gratification (karma).”

Bhagavat Purana 1.2.9

Related Values/IssuesPersonal fulfilmentGoal settingPlanning our livesPersonal ReflectionHow vital is it for us to have goals in life? What room the results of having clear goals?What room the after-effects of having actually lofty long-term intends but no momentary objectives?Related Practices


Following the system of 4 ashrams, where material desires room met in a regulated method through the 4 stages that life with emphasis on renunciation in the direction of the finish of life. Just the second ashram, initiated in ~ the wedding ceremony, enables for intimate contact between men and also women.

Different Paths

There are various species of yoga, also called various margs, (paths). There room three key ones: karma-yoga, the yoga that selfless action; jnana-yoga, the yoga of spiritual knowledge; and bhakti-yoga, the yoga of loving devotion. Some add a fourth path dubbed raja-yoga or astanga-yoga, the eight-step path, which includes physical exercises and also culminates in meditation top top God within the heart (for an ext information top top these four paths, see four Main Paths).

There are various opinions as to the merits that each. Some say that all are equally valid, favor parallel paths. Rather favour a particular process claiming the the miscellaneous yogas space successive actions on the exact same path. Virtually all Hindus agree that whichever procedure one chooses it should be adhered to according to scriptural injunction fairly than whimsically.

Useful Analogy 1

Paths up a mountain – the courses are many yet the height is one.

This analogy is favoured by the advaita schoolsAll courses are thought about equal and chosen follow to personal inclination

Useful Analogy 2

The yoga ladder – the finish path the yoga is a ladder with steady steps


This an allegory is used by the personalistic bhakti schools which claim that love the God is the ultimate goal.The bottom of the ladder is the start of spiritual life (selfless actions through karma-yoga).The top of the ladder represents loving union v God (bhakti).At a specific stage (on one step) one may be recognized by the name (e.g. hatha-yogi) yet if she progresses she will ultimately involved the topmost platform. Anyone who is do progress should not be criticised also if practicing top top a reasonably low level.

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Common Misunderstandings

Bhakti is for those that are less intelligent and also predominantly top top the emotional levelActually, countless bhakti institutions place good emphasis ~ above knowledge but do host that over there is no wisdom (realised knowledge) without surrender to God.

Key PointsThere are four main paths/steps to achieve yoga (union v God)karma-yoga – selfless actionjnana-yoga – spiritual knowledgeraja (astanga) yoga – meditationbhakti-yoga – (devotional service)