Something happened to me recently that has got me thinking a lot about true freedom.
True freedom is acceptance of life and taking it for what it is. I had no idea that acceptance is directly connected to freedom as well, but it is.
I’m not talking about being free to speak your mind or being financially free. I’m talking about a higher level of freedom, one which actually comes from bondage; bondage to duty. Surprised? Yes, I am too. Let me explain.
I know only one person in the world who is truly free and that is Paramahamsa Vishwananda. He is free because he is fully God realized and a Divine incarnation, so I won’t even try to analyze what makes him free.
There is one other person who demonstrated true freedom to me just the other day and this is my attempt to understand the meaning of freedom through their example.
Before I get into that, I’ll tell you the story of what happened to me recently. Just a couple of days ago, it was my Guruji’s birthday and all his devotees gathered in Germany to celebrate the big day. I had flights, accommodation and tickets booked to go to the celebration well in advance.
But something came up and I couldn’t go, and worst of all, I just couldn’t accept that I couldn’t go. I simply didn’t like that fact that I wasn’t there and a part of me disliked that everyone else was there, having fun and I wasn’t.
As I was getting frustrated, sad and a little resentful about this, I had a conversation with that person who I mentioned earlier. They couldn’t go to the party either and when I asked why, they simply said that there were other duties to be done so it didn’t even occur to them to skip the duties to go to the party.
The fact that this person was wholeheartedly bound to their duty made them free of liking or disliking the fact that they weren’t going to go to the party. This person was totally free! They didn’t feel bad at all. They were happy as always.
I was speechless. I mean, who would voluntarily miss the chance to celebrate the birthday of their Guru, who is the most beloved thing to a devotee, to perform a duty that needs to be done?
True Freedom in the Gita
Finally, today, as I was reading the Bhagavad Gita commentary by Paramahamsa Vishwannada, I was given a clue about the lesson this whole experience was trying to teach me. The lesson was about freedom: true freedom.
“No matter what happens, they are fully centered in the Divine: they are free. They are free firstly from the sense of like and dislike. They are renounced from within.” – Paramahamsa Vishwananda’s commentary on the Bhagavad Gita, pg. 194, Chapter 2, verse 65
You will be truly free
You will be truly free when how you feel, act and are won’t be so affected by what you like and dislike. This is not easy at all. What if something really bad happened to you? How do you not let that make you feel upset, angry, sad or distressed? It’s not easy at all.
But one day when you do get to that state through your spiritual practice, meditation and dedication and when you get the Grace of your Guru and God to achieve that state, then you can be truly free no matter what happens to you on the outside.
It won’t be an easy path because the tests will get harder and harder so you can see how much of things that you dislike you can transcend. With a spiritual practice such as Atma Kriya Yoga, and with the guidance of a Guru, you can get there in this life.
After all, I’m banking on that myself.