Articles By H H Maa Purnananda Ji

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Who Does Not Like Freedom?

By H H Maa Purnananda

“Yagnyaarthaatkarmanoanyatra Lokoayam Karmbandhanah; Tadartham Karm Kaunteya Muktsangah Samaachara.” (Sreemad Bhagawad Geeta – 3/9)

Every being wants and therefore strives and struggles for freedom. But what is freedom? Can discipline be considered as bondage and therefore indiscipline as freedom? Can lawfulness be called as bondage and hence lawlessness as freedom? Can following rules and regulations be taken as imposition and therefore violating them all is to be taken as freedom? Can human customs, culture and traditions be felt like binding and so, breaking them all to be felt like freedom?

“Not to do what you feel like doing is freedom.”- says Gurudev Swami Chinmayanandaji. Therefore, for the benefit and well-being of human society, it is important to understand the actual and deeper import of the word ‘freedom’.

In the given Shlok, Sreemad Bhagawad Geeta says that all acts, apart from the acts that are performed with the attitude of sacrifice, bring bondage to the doer. Sacrifice here in its deeper import truly means the sacrifice of the little ‘I’ in us, which expresses as ‘doer-ship’, by sacrificing which, the ‘enjoyer-ship’ too is given up by the performer. This surely indicates that all such acts, which are unselfish and are carried out giving priority to the larger interest, having a greater cause, and therefore are beneficial to humanity; lead the performer to “freedom”. It is imperative that all selfish acts are binding to the doer because the doer does it for self-enjoyment, self-gratification and self-aggrandizing. So, it justifies what Sree Gurudev mentions in His quote given here. When I do whatever I feel like doing, disregarding the norms and rules of a civilized human society, am I not being a slave to my own mind? Yes, to fulfil my desires indiscriminately, to act irresponsibly for satisfying my greed and to enjoy undue freedom, is truly sheer slavery to my own mind and such acts rather lead to endless bondage. Can this be called “freedom”?

Such false notion about “freedom” really needs to be abandoned so that I could lead myself to actual “freedom”. Wisdom says that one should make the best use of the precious mind-intellect equipment, which is the special advantage of humans. I can use this equipment only if it is in my hands and not if I am a slave to it! My wants, desires, likes and dislikes make me a slave to this very equipment and I lose my own freedom! I am carried away by the floods of my own emotions and I drown my rationale into it, ultimately, harming my wisdom, my family, my career, my social standing, my earnings and what not! I find myself completely bound by self-created shackles of endless troubles, disasters, problems and soon I find myself to be all alone in my troubled times.

Adi Shankaraachaarya says in one of His ‘eye-opener’ works “Moh Mudgar” – “Yaavadvittopaarjan Saktah Taavannijaparivaaro Raktah; Pashchajjeevati Jarjardehey Vartam Koapi Na Prichchhati Gehey.” As long as one is capable, all are with him; after he is unable to earn due to health issues and old age, even his own family does not want to look-after him anymore! This has always been the fact of life. So then, why don’t people strive and struggle to liberate themselves from their self-created shackles of emotionalism and egoism, and enjoy true “freedom”? Human beings have the advantage of having developed the “power-of-discrimination” (Vivek Shakti). And yet, not utilizing this special ability to discriminate between false and the Real, so that he may get freedom from his own ignorance that has led him to misapprehensions, is the plight of mankind indeed.

Therefore, the Wisdom advises and encourages us to be committed to strive and struggle for true freedom; and now that we know how to do so, it would indeed be advisable and beneficial to always remember and act with the attitude of true sacrifice. May the Divine within never be forgotten, overlooked or neglected by us!