The Fourth Aim: Moksha

The Wood Gatherer by Jules Bastian LePage

Our investigation of the four Purusharthas, or aims of life in the Vedic tradition, concludes with Moksha, which means release, liberation or self-realization. The harmonious interactions of the first three aims, Dharma, Artha and Kama, are the essential steps that lead to Moksha. Moksha is the inner realization that the individual is the same as the Higher Self that dwells in all. The balanced expression of the four Purusharthas creates a deep fulfillment of purpose for any individual lifetime.

Paramhansa Yogananda taught that, “You must long for freedom as the drowning man longs for air.” But freedom from what? Ideally, we long for freedom from our own ignorance, fear, anger, doubt, confusion and attachments. With effort we overcome obstacles, the slavery of the senses, the bondage of karma, and the illusory nature of the world. The ultimate goal is to cease to seek happiness outside of ourselves.

According to Vedic Astrology, three houses are Moksha houses. In an individual birth chart the fourth house is the house of home. Influences on this house will show how one experiences the place within where true inner peace dwells. The eighth house is the house of change. Here we can see how unforeseen challenges and catastrophe become fodder for self-transformation. The twelfth and final house is the house of loss. The ease with which an individual can surrender and let go can be seen here. Painfully few actually reach the state of enlightenment, but we can all aspire to make progress with the time we have left here on Earth.