Swift Hinduism

The Basics of Hinduism
in 30 minutes

6. Liberation/Mukti

What does the Soul experience when it gets liberation (also called Mukti / Moksha / Nirvana) from the Material World? What does the Soul experience when it ultimately reaches the Spiritual World?

There are two different beliefs regarding this.

The Dvaita philosophy states this: On reaching the Spiritual World, the Soul keeps it's distinct identity, separate from other Souls and Separate from God.

In this stream of belief, the Soul, on entering the Spiritual World can interact with other Souls. This is just like in the Material World where we interact with other people. But with the following essential differences:

In the Material World, the Soul stays in bodies which are mortal and age with time. These bodies are susceptible to diseases, injury, impairment. These bodies die after a lifetime and then the Soul has to assume a new body in rebirth. (The Soul itself is immortal).

In the Spiritual World the Soul stays in an immortal body, as his own real self. This body never ages with time. It doesn't have diseases, etc like in the Material World. Thus in the Spiritual World, the Soul's body never gets destroyed.

Another difference relates to the quality of life in the Material and Spiritual Worlds.

In the Material World, we undergo suffering in the form of mortality, crime, evil, etc. In the Spiritual World, these Bad things are not present. Instead, in the Spiritual World, the Souls are in their own (ageless) bodies and undertake all kinds of creative and pleasurable activities in beautiful surroundings. It is a place of Supreme Bliss.

In this Dvaita philosophy of Hinduism, God Himself is present in personal forms in the Spiritual World, and the Souls can interact with Him.

On the other hand, the Advaita philosophy states this: When the Soul attains Liberation/Mukti from the Material World, it loses it's own separate identity and merges with God Himself.

Here, God is the infinite, all-pervading, impersonal, consciousness (which is referred to as Brahman).

The Spiritual World itself IS God.

Just like a drop of water loses it's identity in the ocean and it BECOMES the ocean, the Soul loses it's identity in Brahman and BECOMES Brahman and experiences Supreme Bliss.

In Advaita, once in the Spiritual World, as Brahman, the Soul experiences Supreme Bliss characterized by:

  • Sat - means Truth, pure and absolute.
  • Chit - means Consciousness, pure and absolute.
  • Anand - means Bliss, pure and absolute.