Within a broad spectrum of spiritual practices, Hinduism accommodates both material and also spiritual needs. However, as product benefits are temporary, many traditions take into consideration eternal moksha the ultimate goal.

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Hindu texts detail four sequential intends – dharma, artha, kama, and moksha. Dharma proposal righteous and also regulated living, so that one is may be one to obtain wealth, artha. V prosperity one have the right to then gain kama, sensual pleasure. As soon as one realises the futility of short-term gratification, one ultimately seeks moksha (liberation). Part traditions, specifically of the bhakti school, accept moksha, but point out the selfishness in even desiring liberation. They cite a fifth goal called prema (love of God) or nitya-lila (eternal love service).

Spiritual emancipation is as such considered the key goal that life, and also other objectives are vital stepping stones in the direction of it. Hinduism thus recommends a balanced life with an can be fried spiritual goal. Liberation usually involves union v God, conceived that in various ways by various traditions. The word for this process is yoga, native which we have the right to derive the English native yoke, an interpretation to join.

Key PointsHindu bibles say over there are four goals in civilised spiritual life:dharma – righteousnessartha – economic developmentkama – sensual enjoymentmoksha – liberation, the can be fried goal.Moksha is accomplished through union with God (yoga).Scriptural Passages

“All power of dharma is supposed for can be fried liberation (moksha). It have to not it is in performed for product gain. Furthermore, one that is engaged in the ultimate occupational service (dharma) should not use material obtain (artha) merely for feeling gratification (karma).”

Bhagavat Purana 1.2.9

Related Values/IssuesPersonal fulfilmentGoal settingPlanning our livesPersonal ReflectionHow crucial is that for us to have actually goals in life? What are the results of having clear goals?What are the aftermath of having lofty long-term aims but no short-term objectives?Related Practices


Following the system of four ashrams, where material desires space met in a regulated way through the four stages the life with focus on renunciation in the direction of the end of life. Only the second ashram, initiated at the wedding ceremony, allows for intimate contact between men and also women.

Different Paths

There are various varieties of yoga, additionally called different margs, (paths). There room three main ones: karma-yoga, the yoga of selfless action; jnana-yoga, the yoga of spiritual knowledge; and bhakti-yoga, the yoga of love devotion. Some add a fourth path called raja-yoga or astanga-yoga, the eight-step path, which contains physical exercises and culminates in meditation top top God in ~ the love (for more information top top these four paths, see four Main Paths).

There are various opinions regarding the merits the each. Part say the all space equally valid, favor parallel paths. Others favour a particular process claiming the the miscellaneous yogas room successive actions on the very same path. Nearly all Hindus agree the whichever procedure one choose it must be followed according to scriptural injunction rather than whimsically.

Useful Analogy 1

Paths up a mountain – the paths are many yet the top is one.

This analogy is favoured by the advaita schoolsAll routes are considered equal and chosen according to personal inclination

Useful Analogy 2

The yoga ladder – the complete path that yoga is a ladder with gradual steps


This metaphor is supplied by the personalistic bhakti colleges which claim that love of God is the can be fried goal.The bottom of the ladder is the beginning of spiritual life (selfless actions through karma-yoga).The height of the ladder represents loving union with God (bhakti).At a details stage (on one step) one might be known by the name (e.g. hatha-yogi) yet if she progresses she will certainly ultimately come to the topmost platform. Anyone that is making progress have to not it is in criticised even if practicing on a reasonably low level.

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Common Misunderstandings

Bhakti is because that those that are less intelligent and predominantly on the emotional levelActually, numerous bhakti institutions place an excellent emphasis ~ above knowledge yet do hold that there is no wisdom (realised knowledge) without surrender to God.

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