What is your idea of Freedom among the given options?
Are we Free As yet?
We are born to be free. If we are born to become free, it means that right now we are still struggling for freedom. Our entire journey through life is towards the attaining of that all-elusive freedom. It becomes important to spell out the aspects of freedom, since stating them clearly shall bring clarity towards understanding the purpose of life and working towards relieving ourselves from binding factors. Let us consider some fundamental factors that inhibit freedom.
What Binds and Manipulates Us?
Our habits, our thoughts and opinions which we express and expound as an expression of our inner freedom are the very things that contribute towards bondage. Our bondage has more to do with our compulsive daily habits, our biases and impressions about situations, people and places. The more we get biased and opinionated, the more we are restricted to thought patterns and emotions that drive us towards a lifestyle which is restrictive. If we develop aversion towards people who do not endorse our views and opinions, we tend to look at them with suspicion and their presence can intimidate us. This means that we are being managed by external circumstances and people, thereby we lose control and give the reigns of our life-situations to external factors. If some behavior irks us, such behaviors can be used by the external world to manipulate us and get us to do certain things that can turn us into victims of situations. Our responses or reactions to time, place and circumstances start getting driven by external situations thereby getting us into unfavorable conditions that can highly restrict our freedom to live the life that we desire.
Traps of Inner Desire and Tendencies
The other areas that can get us highly restricted is a lack of control of our innate tendencies and desires. If we are driven by lust and greed, it is natural that these tendencies can deter us from higher goals. For example if I am preparing for a public examination for a high position in government services, it is natural that I have to pay attention to my preparation for these examinations. Yet, if, during the process, I get interested in the opposite sex and spend my time in their company, it shall mar my chances of performing well in the examinations. My undue greed can make me inclined towards earning wealth through unfair means, where I ignore the repercussions of immoral practices or conduct. I may be driven by greed, desire and selfishness to such a level, that I forget the very purpose of life and waste a major portion of life, indulging in petty practices and politics. The questions is, where is life heading towards? What is the purpose of such a life after all? I started life with a motive to become happy and free and instead I have headed in a completely wrong direction which has bound me to such an extent that I cannot dream of becoming free. My greed has cornered me such that I have huge debts which cannot be cleared easily. I would have lost the support of family members and friends, who were important and loving once, but owing to my greed, lust and selfishness, they have lost faith on me and I am stranded without help. There are so many situations that have been created by my own doing which have further bound me. What can I do now, to become free and head in the right direction?
Experience cannot make us Free
Unless children are trained towards understanding the value of life and its purpose, probably every child shall only grow towards heavy bondage that will take the toll on one’s health and get the individual to unpleasant situations that will worsen with passing time. By the time there is some relief, one would have become old to such an extent that other than bad experiences, there is nothing else to share. Even if the person has understood the mistakes one had committed during the course of one’s lifetime, can this old man now know freedom at all? The answer is No. You may have understood your mistakes and errors, but there may be no inner realization of the bondage that you had gone through, because there is no action that has been taken during the entire course of your lifetime to know freedom and to realize it. Without deliberation, practice and realization, one cannot be free from the bondages of material life although one may have understood the impact of the mistakes that one may have committed during the course of a lifetime. It becomes pertinent and of utmost value to take up the journey towards freedom, right from childhood. Unless specific practices and training is undertaken no freedom is possible.
Repurposing through Spiritual Education and Practice
Spiritual Education and Practice is essential to understand the nature of freedom. The purpose of life has to be redefined. One has to free oneself first from the grip of the views of society and delve deep into what the scriptures of Sanatana Dharma have to say. Unless this is deliberated upon with the intention of knowing and realizing the Absolute Truth, there can be no freedom, no release from the compulsive practices of Life that has already got its noose around every neck. Thus, it becomes essential that Parents have to re-school in redefining and repurposing their current lives. Only if they realize their true purpose, understand the meaning of freedom, can they relieve their wards of the unnecessary stress and compulsions of modern living. The steps are drastic and unless there is deep realization of freedom within one’s heart, even the first step towards freedom can be an extremely daunting task. What is required is not a change in society. One need not worry about bringing change in the education system or redefine the way that we conduct lives today right away. One should have the intention and deep desire of wanting freedom, understanding it in the right perspective and ready to surrender oneself to the repurposing process to such an extent that one advances on the path with utmost confidence and surety. Only then can real change come about within one’s life. If one is committed, one’s children shall follow, looking at the example, appreciating the lifestyle that parents have set for themselves thereby influencing their wards positively towards accepting that very path. It may be well possible that only you and your family is walking alone on that path and the entire world is working in a totally different direction. However if one has initiated the process of self-reformation and one depends on the fundamental values of Sanatana Dharma, success and freedom is more than assured.