Freedom is lifeabracad, · Categories: externally authored, purpose
By Lt. Col RK Langar
Freedom is the object of human life. We all love freedom of whatever kind it may be. At our average state of consciousness we do not like to be tied down – not even to the law of land. But how do we define freedom. Does freedom has the same meaning for an enlightened and an unenlightened person. There are some of the questions which we have to answer while discussing freedom. An ignorant person feels that he is ever free to act the way he wants without bothering whether his actions could prove harmful to others. On the other land for a wise person freedom means freedom from ignorance when his actions are based on knowledge. For a man of wisdom it is not freedom for anything but freedom in the midst of everything.
Swami Vivekananda says that freedom is the goal of human life and it is to be attained by perfect unselfishness in thoughts, words and deeds. He emphasizes that unselfishness is the key to freedom. If our goal is to attain freedom then we must struggle for it. Real freedom is when one has the knowledge that he is free from all forms of limitations irrespective of time and space, when one understands that he is free from all doubts and compulsions. Such freedom is only possible when we try to raise our state of consciousness to the highest state to manifest inherent divinity inside us. In this state our freedom is such that we have no fear of any kind, not even of death. We become free while living, rising above both good and evil. We have no, anxiety, no unhappiness whatsoever. We are completely non-dependent lacking nothing and asking for nothing. We also acquire the ability to choose what is true and beneficial and reject what is harmful and false.
There are two aspects of freedom-inner and the outer freedom. To ensure our freedom is everlasting and not dependent on outer conditions, the inner freedom must precede outer freedom. Inner freedom means full awareness of self, inner freedom means being conscious of one self that one is free. In Ashtavakra Gita it is stated that he who considers himself is free indeed. He who considers himself bound remains bound. So much depends on your own thought and Quality of thinking. Spiritual freedom which once acquired is never lost and gives us outer freedom as well. Self regulation and living a disciplined life is the foundation on which we build our inner freedom. More discipline we are, more free we would be. No legislation can make us free unless we make sincere effort to free ourselves by self evolution. Freedom and discipline might look opposite of each other but in actual fact they are not so as they compliment each other. More disciplined you are more free you would be. For being disciplined we have to put up with all sorts restraints in the beginning. Again if we live truthfully we unload ourselves of falsity that we generally carry. As Jesus says know the truth and truth shall make you free.
Fear robs us of freedom. At an ordinary level of understanding we are surrounded by different fears, some of those are self created. When we remain stuck with the body idea in the sense that I am the body and nothing else, we remain fearful. But when we raise ourselves and enter the spiritual kingdom, fearlessness starts coming our way giving us freedom. For countering fear we must develop deep faith in God. When we surrender to God and resign to His will we start tasting freedom. The other thing which curtails our freedom is anxiety which could be about our future, health, prosperity and the like. If we gear ourselves up to live in present and devote full attention to it, our mind shall not turn towards anxiety of unknown. Even if we face some adversity while living in present we can face it with full vigour and concentration. Freedom also means accepting every change that takes place in the society even if the change is not favourable to us.
The Law of karma pulsates with the message of freedom. Man has free will to act as he likes. Freedom does not mean that what you say is always right. True freedom is freedom from your own thoughts, beliefs and conviction. You should not be attached to your ideas and allow other ideas to enter your mind. When there is attachment there is desire and when there is desire there can be no freedom. There is interconnectivity amongst all living beings and we have to accept and live accordingly with what others say.
Another thing which becomes an obstacle to attain freedom is the little I or our own ego. The ego is our limitation and we must break free from it. Our Ego is to be replaced by real I in us that is the universal spirit or the Atma. True freedom lies in merging our limited conscience with universal conscience which enlarges our vision giving freedom. Expansion is freedom whereas contraction is bondage. As regards freedom of words it has to be ensured that freedom of expression has to be within the limits of courtesy and considerations for other. One of the steps to be taken for attaining freedom is to recognize your own limitations and taking corrective steps to eliminate them.
Freedom also means freedom from sense pleasures. The Gita says that wise man finds no delight in sense pleasures and they are source of suffering only. Freedom from worldly life does not mean breaking worldly ties. It only means staying in world without being affected by it. At the same time freedom means not alonging our divine status which requires man to remains in constant tough with God. It is the bondage to wisdom that gives us total freedom. Man is free in the real sense when he acts from the higher level of his personality. Freedom breaks all the walls that separate us from other beings. Freedom means being borderless.
Filed in: externally authored, purpose