What is Moksha?
Moksha means absolute freedom!

If someone scolds or abuses you, would you feel some suffering? That’s called bondage. When someone borrows some money from us and later doesn’t return it to us, we feel miserable, isn’t it? That again is bondage. If some death, accident or illness occurs at home, or some theft, burglary or insult happens to us - whatever in the world causes us suffering, they are all worldly bondages.
And without changing any external circumstances, internally if no suffering remains; attaining such a state is called moksha!

Moksha means liberation from all kinds of suffering.
In this very world, in this very body, amidst these very family members and friends, when no kind of suffering crops up within, that is indeed moksha. Thus, when external situations remain the same but the internal suffering goes away, that’s when the state of moksha is said to have been attained.

But how does this happen? Let’s understand...
The root cause of any suffering experienced in this world is: Ignorance.
And what is this ignorance of? It’s the ignorance of the Self.

Are you really John? Or is your name John?
To realize ‘Who am I’ is called knowledge, the real knowledge.And this knowledge (Self-Realization) can be gained from Gnani, the Enlightened One!!!
On attaining Self-Realization, as ignorance leaves and knowledge dawns, now difficulties may arise in John’s life; but since you are now separated from John, these difficulties do not touch you anymore. This is how Self-realization marks the beginning of moksha. And when all our karmas finish, the ultimate moksha happens.

Moksha happens in two stages:
1.Liberation from all suffering: This happens when although we are seen staying in this world fulfilling our worldly duties, yet inside we feel that, “I am totally free from all of this”; we feel, “I am separate from this mind, body and speech. I am a Pure Soul.” We experience this here only, while we are in this worldly life. This implies that for moksha, it is not the worldly life that gets in our way; but it’s the ignorance of the Self.

Param Pujya Dadashri, an enlightened being assures: “It is possible to attain Self Realization even while living with your wife and your children. You can attain Self Realization while living the worldly life and fulfilling all your duties. I, who am living a worldly life too, can make this happen for you. You will have the freedom to do whatever you wish. Go to the cinema. Get your children married. Wear beautiful clothes, etc. What other guarantee do you need?”

When the Gnani, having the divine spiritual energies, graces us with the awareness of the Self (Self-Realization), the separation between the body and the Soul is established. Thereafter, we (the Self) are able to remain in our own nature and John, our worldly self, stays in its nature. The two are indeed separate entities and hence they function separately.

2.Liberation from all karmas: After Self-Realization, as we progress towards having the total and complete experience of the Self (the Absolute Soul), there comes a point when all the deluding karmas are destroyed and we attain the stage of Absolute Soul. This is the second and the ultimate stage of moksha, which is attained when we become free from all our karmas i.e. not a single karmic atom remains attached to our Soul then.

This happens in our last life, after which we do not have to undergo the pain of rebirth any more. We leave this world and directly go to Siddha Kshetra, the permanent abode of the absolutely liberated Souls and remain in the infinite bliss of the Self (the Soul) forever.

Salvation means ultimate liberation i.e. absolute freedom
This second stage of moksha implies ultimate liberation. Here, one attains absolute freedom from all kinds of bondages, and it is also known as salvation. Hence, salvation and the second stage of moksha mean one and the same thing.

Meaning and Significance of Moksha in Different Cultures
Moksha originates from the Sanskrit word ‘moksa’ which means ‘freedom’.

Moksha is the ultimate goal of one’s spiritual development. Most Christians believe that people can achieve salvation by following God's law. In Hinduism and Jainism, Moksha means to get liberated from the cycle of birth and death impelled by the law of karma. It is the equivalent of Nirvana in Buddhism. It is the transcendent state attained as a result of being released from the cycle of rebirth.

Moksha means permanent happiness. Hindu texts explain the Moksha as Sat-Chit-Anand i.e. the eternal bliss of the Soul, experienced when the Soul is separated from the physical body by practicing spirituality.

Thus,
Countless circumstances come together to give us worldly happiness and they dissipate thereafter. However, meeting Gnani Purush, who can liberate us from wandering life after life, is an extremely rare circumstance, which when arrives in our life, gives us Moksha, the permanent happiness that remains with us forever!!! May you meet this circumstance soon

Author's Bio: 

Ambalal M. Patel was a civil contractor by profession. In June 1958, spontaneous Self-Realization occurred within Ambalal M. Patel. From this point on, Ambalal became a Gnani Purush, and the Lord that manifest within him became known as Dada Bhagwan. A Gnani Purush is One who has realized the Self and is able help others do the same. Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan used to go from town to town and country-to-country to give satsang (spiritual discourse) and impart the knowledge of the Self, as well as knowledge of harmonious worldly interactions to everyone who came to meet him. This spiritual science, known as Akram Vignan, is the step-less path to Self-realization.