This puts the fate of each individual Hindu is his or her own hands.
The significance of this is that Hindus are proactive when it comes to seeking spiritual release. They do not wait for salvation, and understand that it will not come to them. They must seek it out, or be stuck in samsara forever. While the journey is understood to take several lifetimes, the acquisition of good karma must take place consistently throughout the souls journey through samsara before moksha can be attained.
Moksha is the liberation from samsara. Because Hindus believe samsara to be essentially painful, moksha is one of the key goals that a Hindu strives to achieve over his/her lifetimes. It involves the freedom from the laws of karma and union with the Supreme Being. Moksha often implies the eradication of the souls false sense of identity. The soul is not seen as a complete being in the same sense that the Supreme Being is. Many Hindu traditions view the Supreme Being and the soul as being one and the same, but the soul does not yet understand its true nature. To attain that understanding is to attain moksha. At that point, karma ceases.
Moksha is prevalent in Hindus tradition of asceticism, in that liberation from samsara requires Hindus to remove their attachment to the world and its pleasures. Many daily habits and rituals are driven by the desire for moksha, as it also requires control over both body and mind. Some of these rituals have become codified in the yogas.
Yogas are paths or practices by which a soul can move towards moksha. Yogas are a sacred part of Hinduism because they are the means to which a soul can achieve its most important end, that of moksha.
Yogas are undertaken to help silence the mind, which in turn helps the mind to accurately reflect on objective reality. Each yoga, or path, is to be followed according to scripture, in order to achieve the goals of dharma, karma, and moksha. Union with God is said to be achieved in many different ways, each represented by a different yoga. The different yoga paths are important in the structuring of Hindu life, as they incorporate elements of devotion, charity, exercise and wisdom. The structure provided by the yogas allows Hindus the opportunity to move towards moksha by providing a path for them to follow. A Hindu would take much more time to attain moksha if he or she lived his/her life without this guidance.
These five sacred elements – dharma, samsara, karma, moksha and yogas – combine to outline the Hindu understanding of the nature of the world, the goal of Hinduism and the path taken to reach that goal. Most of Hinduisms daily rituals, activities and traditions derive from these sacred beliefs.
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