Within a large spectrum of spiritual practices, Hinduism accommodates both material and also spiritual needs. However, as product benefits are temporary, many traditions think about eternal moksha the can be fried goal.

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Hindu texts information four sequential aims – dharma, artha, kama, and also moksha. Dharma proposal righteous and regulated living, so that one is able one to gain wealth, artha. V prosperity one deserve to then reap kama, sensual pleasure. Once one realises the futility of temporary gratification, one at some point seeks moksha (liberation). Some traditions, an especially of the bhakti school, accept moksha, but suggest out the selfishness in also desiring liberation. They point out a 5th goal referred to as prema (love of God) or nitya-lila (eternal love service).

Spiritual emancipation is therefore considered the main goal of life, and other goals are necessary stepping stones towards it. Hinduism thus recommends a balanced life v an can be fried spiritual goal. Liberation usually requires union v God, conceived that in various methods by different traditions. The word for this procedure is yoga, indigenous which we have the right to derive the English native yoke, definition to join.

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

“All performance of dharma is meant for ultimate liberation (moksha). It must not it is in performed for material gain. Furthermore, one who is involved in the ultimate occupational business (dharma) must not usage material gain (artha) simply for sense gratification (karma).”

Bhagavat Purana 1.2.9

Related Values/IssuesPersonal fulfilmentGoal settingPlanning ours livesPersonal ReflectionHow crucial is the for united state to have actually goals in life? What are the outcomes of having actually clear goals?What space the results of having lofty long-term aims but no short-term objectives?Related Practices


Following the device of four ashrams, where product desires room met in a regulated way through the 4 stages of life with emphasis on renunciation towards the finish of life. Only the 2nd ashram, initiated in ~ the wedding ceremony, enables for intimate contact in between men and also women.

Different Paths

There space various types of yoga, also called different margs, (paths). There space three main ones: karma-yoga, the yoga of selfless action; jnana-yoga, the yoga of spirituality knowledge; and also bhakti-yoga, the yoga of loving devotion. Some add a 4th path referred to as raja-yoga or astanga-yoga, the eight-step path, which consists of physical exercises and culminates in meditation on God in ~ the love (for an ext information on these four paths, see 4 Main Paths).

There are different opinions regarding the merits of each. Some say that all space equally valid, prefer parallel paths. Others favour a particular procedure claiming the the various yogas space successive measures on the exact same path. Nearly all Hindus agree the whichever process one chooses it need to be followed according to scriptural injunction quite than whimsically.

Useful Analogy 1

Paths up a mountain – the paths are many however the height is one.

This analogy is favoured by the advaita schoolsAll paths are considered equal and chosen according to an individual inclination

Useful Analogy 2

The yoga ladder – the complete path the yoga is a ladder with progressive steps


This an allegory is supplied by the personalistic bhakti institutions which case that love the God is the can be fried goal.The bottom of the ladder is the start of spirituality life (selfless actions through karma-yoga).The top of the ladder represents love union v God (bhakti).At a certain stage (on one step) one may be recognized by that name (e.g. hatha-yogi) but if she progresses she will certainly ultimately concerned the topmost platform. Anyone who is make progress should not be criticised also if practicing top top a reasonably low level.

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Common Misunderstandings

Bhakti is because that those who are much less intelligent and predominantly ~ above the emotionally levelActually, countless bhakti colleges place an excellent emphasis on knowledge but do hold that over there is no wisdom (realised knowledge) without surrender to God.

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