Thursday, 14 August 2014

Freedom in the broader sense


Practical  steps to spirituality- section 6 part  99

The  Gita  revisited  

Freedom in the  broader sense  of the  term 

                  Today  ,we, Indians,   are celebrating our independence day.    We  became  a  free  nation  , free  from  British  rule   on 15th AUGUST  1947. Eternal  vigilance is the price  of  liberty. We  have  to  be ever alert  in safeguarding  our country from any foreign  attack  and  internally  it also  means  freedom  from  hunger, poverty  and  disease  and  freedom to live our lives with dignity and  to  fulfill  all our aspirations .

                    On  a  deeper  note  , what  does  freedom  signify  ?  The  individual  jivatma  is  struggling  in  samsara  and  is  trying  to free  himself   from  bondage  that  he   himself has   created  through  ignorance  of  his   own  divine  nature. He   has  chained  himself  through  the  identification  with  the  body-mind- intellect  complex  and  has  become  the  doer  of  actions  and  the  enjoyer  of  the  results  of  his  actions. . The  jiva  is  born  again and  again  to  enjoy  the  fruits  of  his  actions  and  in  that  process  ,new  desires  are  created  ,which  prompt  further  actions  and  he  falls  into  the  trap  of  the  endless  chain  of  desires- actions  -results  - impressions-  new desires-  actions  and  so  on. .This  chain  goes  on and  on  life  after  life  and  the  jiva  continues  to  wallow  in  bondage. 

              Our  scriptures  have  given  the  jivatma  a  road  map  to  freedom  from this  self- created  bondage. Start  with  karma  yoga  -  doing  all  actions  as  an  act  of  worship  and  receiving  all  the  results  as  a  prasada  ,helps  in  giving  up  all  his   likes  and  dislikes  and  through  bhakti  yoga  , he  surrenders  to  the  Will  of  God   and  these  together  help  the jiva    remove  all the  impurities  of  the  mind  . His mind ,being free  from impurities ,    is  now  ready  to  approach  a  Guru  and  through  sravana  , manana  and  nidhidyasana    and  absorption  of  the  mind  on  the  Self  ,he  attains  Self  knowledge  , Brahma  Vidya  . So  the  jivatma  who  was  until now    in bondage ' becomes'  a  muktatma. 

            On  a yet  deeper scale  , when  we  start  examining  ,we  ask  ourselves  if  anything  new  was  attained  by  the  jiva  ?Is  there  any  'becoming   free ' now   with   the  gaining   of  Self  knowledge  ?  The   actual  fact   is , there  is  no  ' becoming  '  , there  is  only  ' being  '  what  the  jiva  already  is   and  hence  he  was  never  in  bondage  . . Self  -knowledge  involves  only  'knowing'  who  you  are  and  this  puts  an  end  to  all  ignorance  prompted  doing. . There  is  only  'being  ' what  you already  are  . This  makes  you realize  your  oneness  with  the  infinite  Self. . There  is  no ' becoming free ' for  the  jivatma  , for  he  is  ever  free  . His  ignorance  of  his  real  nature  was  the  cause  of  his  bondage   and  atma-jnana  frees  him once  for  all  from  this  bondage  . He  now  realises  himself  as  the  infinite  muktatma  and  not  the  finite  jivatma  . This  is  freedom  in the  broader  sense  of  the  term  .

to  be  continued.....

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