Definition - What does Mukti mean?

In Indian philosophy and religion, mukti is another word for moksha, or spiritual liberation. The Sanskrit word comes from the root mukt, which means "liberation," "release" and "emancipation." Together, with dharma (moral life), artha (material security) and kama (sensual and emotional pleasure), it is considered one of the four goals of human life.

The concept of mukti can be found in Jainism, Hinduism and Buddhism. This core concept represents ultimate liberation, combining freedom, self-awareness and self-knowledge. Mukti can be achieved during one lifetime (jivanmukti) or after death (videhamukti). To achieve mukti in this life requires liberation from fears, ignorance and false knowledge. The person who achieves mukti in this life is called a jivanmukta. The Self-realized jivanmukta shows several characteristics, such as always speaking the truth, practicing nonviolence, humbleness and total Self-knowledge.

Yogapedia explains Mukti

It is unclear when exactly the concept of mukti was developed. According to some scholars, it came together with the first yogis in Hinduism. Today, mukti is the key goal on the path of yoga, where it represents liberation and awakening during this lifetime. The Eight Limbs of Yoga outlined by Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras can be interpreted as the steps on the path to attaining mukti.

Historically, there are three forms of mukti: the Vedic form, the yogic form and the bhakti form. In the Vedic times, it was believed that mukti could be achieved through rituals. Later, the yogic form replaced these with a focus on creating self-knowledge, personal development and meditation. These yogic principles were and are still accepted in many schools of Hinduism. In the bhakti form of mukti, the rituals and self-knowledge were replaced with constant devotion and love of God, leading to a perfect union with the Divine.

There is also a Jivanmukti yoga style created in 1984 by Shannon Gannon and David Life. It combines Hatha yoga with principles of scripture, devotion, nonviolence, music and meditation. It emphasizes focus on animal rights, veganism and social activism.

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