Why is everyone looking for Moksha? Doesn’t it contradict god’s will?

Moksha is an idea found predominantly in Indian philosophy. And Indian philosophy is largely atheistic — it has very little to do with god.

Let us define Moksha. It is the idea that an individual’s consciousness survives death and takes physical shape again and again until all our dealings with the physical plane are over. When a soul is no longer required to take physical form, it disappears into a greater consciousness — the Paramatma. This release from the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, is known as attaining Moksha or Nirvana.

If we are going to wrestle with the idea of Moksha, we might start by throwing god (and his will) out of the window. We have thus solved half the problem. Nobody is going against god’s will by “looking for Moksha”. The greater consciousness that the individual soul is said to disappear into is not a person. It is, at best, the idea of an impersonal god who does not care about the happenings on the physical plane.

But is anyone really “looking for Moksha”?

I am not. And I am reasonably sure most people aren’t. We are all just going about our lives, buying stuff, eating, writing angry tweets, proving each other wrong, celebrating existence, and occasionally passing out after drinking too much. Freedom from the physical plane isn’t high on anyone’s priority list.

Except for priests and monks — people who have made Moksha and its attainment their life’s work. If you ask them, many will ask you to read the scriptures, the Bhagwad Gita in particular.

Reading the Gita is not a bad idea.

In the Gita, Krishna tells Arjuna that all people everywhere are on their way to the same end — becoming one with the universe. All paths lead to this same destination. If we take an atheistic view of the Gita, discount the mythological aspect of this narrative, and see Krishna as simply a personification of the universe (a character created to express a philosophic world view), we might interpret Moksha as death. After death, we all do become part of the universe — our conscious self dissolves and we decompose and become part of nature.

So Moksha is not something you need to look for. It is something that will happen to you inevitably. You can look, but you don’t have to.

#atheism, #karma, #moksha, #nirvana, #rebirth