There are many words in Sanatana Dharma that we come across often. Over a while, their meanings have muddled up, causing a ton of confusion to seekers. This is my humble attempt to explain a few of these. Please embrace yourself for a glossary type of post!

Self-Realization

The central theme here is mindfulness, which requires a slowing down of the mind. We tend to make wise choices about life when we live a life of awareness (a synonym of mindfulness in this context). 

Further, we also understand more about ourselves when we’re mindful of our thoughts, speech, and actions. In such pristine mindfulness, we get a different perspective of ourselves and our life. Hence, this is called “Realizing the Self”. 

I have intentionally left out the Sanskrit term for this. It has contextual meanings, and one of them is highly mystical, which confuses seekers unnecessarily.

Moksha 

In Sanskrit, Moha means attachments, and Ksha implies destruction. Moksha is a derivative of these terms, which means the destruction of attachments. In other words, it means becoming non-attached. 

When we function in this world with non-attachment, like a lotus in a marsh, we retain our mental sanity and joy. Additionally, we also emit unconditional love. Hence, Moksha became synonymous with divine joy. 

Mukti

If we develop the ability to drop our thoughts and desires at will, we attain Mukti, which means liberation. Typically, Mukti comes with self-realization and Moksha. Hence, these terms have become interchangeable. As a side note, both Mukti and Moksha are referred to as enlightenment.

When thoughts stop, you feel tranquil. That helps you connect with Nature or the Singular Entity. That’s a basic form of Samadhi, a merger with the Singular Entity. 

Further, our desires trigger rebirth and these also cause our troubles in this life. When we learn to eradicate all our worldly and spiritual desires, we go beyond suffering in this life and stop the cycle of rebirth. 

Samadhi

Sam means a merger, and Adi means the Origin (Singular Entity). Samadhi is an experience where we feel like we’ve merged into the Singular Entity. It can be induced through Bhakti, Raja Yoga, or Sadhana.

In Bhakti, it happens automatically, and we often have no control over it. In Yogic methods, like Raja Yoga and Sadhana, we consciously train the mind to enter into a state of Samadhi

Yogic Samadhi is an optional experience in spirituality. Craving it is a spiritual desire. Desires are desires, whether worldly or spiritual. Many times such spiritual desires caused rebirths. Hence, numerous sages of Sanatana Dharma even advocated against striving for Yogic Samadhi

Conclusively, there are many types and stages of Samadhi. The scriptures provide a massive list of these. However, I’ll stay away from listing those here. Unless you are a researcher of Sanatana Dharma or spirituality, those aren’t required. 

Love,
Devi

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