Moksha is the liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth known as samsara. As such, moksha is the ultimate goal of Hindu religious practice. The believer achieves moksha through self-realization. According to the Advaita (non-dual) school of Hindu thought, this self-realization comes through the recognition that one’s atman (self) is one and the same as Brahman—the pure, absolute reality comprising the entire universe. In the Dvaita (dualistic) school of thought, true self-realization comes through attaining a loving union with the Supreme Being, often manifested in the form of a god such as Vishnu, while maintaining one’s own existential uniqueness. Advaita Hindus emphasize meditation and thoughtful action in achieving moksha, while Dvaita Hindus emphasize loving worship and devotion to a deity.
As the goal of all existence, moksha is the ultimate purpose behind Hindu religious beliefs and practices and is conceptually a form of Hindu salvation/liberation. Moksha is an important element in all faith traditions of Indian origin. The Buddhist view of nirvana, the state of liberation from suffering, is similar to moksha, and Hindus view nirvana as the state a person enters into after achieving moksha. Jainism shares the Hindu view of moksha with the caveat that all karmas, even good, must be annihilated prior to attaining moksha since karma necessitates consequences. In Sikhism, moksha is known as mukti and is largely similar to the Hindu Dvaita conception of moksha.