Within a vast spectrum of religious practices, Hinduism accommodates both material and spiritual needs. However, as material benefits are temporary, most traditions think about eternal moksha the ultimate goal.

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Hindu texts information four sequential aims – dharma, artha, kama, and also moksha. Dharma proposal righteous and also regulated living, so that one is maybe one to obtain wealth, artha. Through prosperity one have the right to then reap kama, sensual pleasure. As soon as one realises the futility of short-lived gratification, one eventually seeks moksha (liberation). Some traditions, particularly of the bhakti school, expropriate moksha, but point out the selfishness in even desiring liberation. They point out a fifth goal called prema (love that God) or nitya-lila (eternal love service).

Spiritual emancipation is as such considered the key goal of life, and other objectives are vital stepping stones in the direction of it. Hinduism thus recommends a balanced life with an ultimate spiritual goal. Liberation usually requires union with God, conceived of in various methods by different traditions. Words for this procedure is yoga, indigenous which we deserve to derive the English native yoke, definition to join.

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

“All power of dharma is expected for ultimate liberation (moksha). It must not it is in performed for material gain. Furthermore, one that is involved in the can be fried occupational organization (dharma) have to not use material gain (artha) simply for feeling gratification (karma).”

Bhagavat Purana 1.2.9

Related Values/IssuesPersonal fulfilmentGoal settingPlanning our livesPersonal ReflectionHow crucial is that for us to have goals in life? What space the outcomes of having clear goals?What room the results of having lofty long-term intends but no temporary objectives?Related Practices


Following the system of four ashrams, where product desires room met in a regulated means through the four stages of life with focus on renunciation towards the finish of life. Just the second ashram, initiated in ~ the wedding ceremony, permits for intimate contact in between men and also women.

Different Paths

There are various species of yoga, likewise called different margs, (paths). There are three main ones: karma-yoga, the yoga the selfless action; jnana-yoga, the yoga of spirituality knowledge; and bhakti-yoga, the yoga of love devotion. Some include a 4th path referred to as raja-yoga or astanga-yoga, the eight-step path, which contains physical exercises and also culminates in meditation ~ above God within the heart (for more information top top these 4 paths, see 4 Main Paths).

There are various opinions as to the merits the each. Some say that all space equally valid, prefer parallel paths. Others favour a particular procedure claiming the the assorted yogas are successive measures on the exact same path. Virtually all Hindus agree the whichever procedure one choose it need to be complied with according come scriptural injunction quite than whimsically.

Useful Analogy 1

Paths increase a hill – the routes are many but the height is one.

This analogy is favoured through the advaita schoolsAll courses are considered equal and also chosen according to an individual inclination

Useful Analogy 2

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


This metaphor is used by the personalistic bhakti colleges which case that love the God is the can be fried goal.The bottom that the ladder is the start of spiritual life (selfless actions v karma-yoga).The peak of the ladder represents love union with God (bhakti).At a certain stage (on one step) one may be well-known by the name (e.g. hatha-yogi) yet if she progresses she will certainly ultimately concerned the topmost platform. Anyone who is do progress have to not be criticised even if practicing on a relatively low level.

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Common Misunderstandings

Bhakti is for those who are much less intelligent and also predominantly on the emotional levelActually, plenty of bhakti institutions place good emphasis top top knowledge but do host that there is no wisdom (realised knowledge) without surrender come God.

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