All of us everywhere and anywhere strive for freedom which is the most sought after ideals in the human chronicle. Profound yearning for freedom has got us into the fiercest of protests, struggles, revolutions, civil wars and even world wars. But!! even today after living for so many years amidst free societies, the majority of us still continue to struggle & fight for what we perceive as true freedom. So what exactly is true freedom?
Well!! majority of us are deceived about the true concept of freedom. We can’t realise until we know what freedom is.
To put it in simple words, true freedom is accomplished when all of us are free internally and externally. When we liberate ourselves from hatred, greed, anger, lust, attachment and ego, then there are no bondages of the subtle or gross vices that trap us, also enabling us to free others from the chains of negativity and sorrow, for it is only human beings who are capable of creating so many traps and prisons for themselves as well as for others. These prisons are not the ones that we see in the world, but they are the ones that are subtle and are out of our realization.
The trap of depression created by negative thinking, hopelessness and brooding; the trap of attachment that leads us into co-dependent and destructive relationships, the trap of ego that never allows us to be content, to be simple and humble, the trap of anger that creates conflict in our lives wherever we go, the trap of greed that binds us onto the treadmill of wants, the trap of lust that pulls us away from our original self into bondage with the five sense organs. As a result of all these traps, our body becomes the target of abuse involving the soul. We stoop so low by promoting ourselves for the sake of our senses, thereby creating a spiritual, mental and physical prison for ourselves from where attainable freedom becomes a distant dream.
Our soul longs for freedom but does not realize that it has created its own hell of misery. Our mind needlessly torments and keeps worrying over trivial issues, creating mental insecurity, which in turn leads to mental fatigue. This form of bondage creates a lot of sorrow and at times becomes difficult to escape, especially when there are limited physical resources, as a result of which our mind gets trapped into extremity with devastating effects.
All of us dream about a peaceful society without political or military strife with complete freedom to follow any faith, for speech and choice. However today this dream has turned out to be a scary reality with many countries driven by ideologies of fear & enforcing dictatorship to the point where they create living prisons for their citizens. Whatever may be the reasons for this extremism, the fact remains that these kinds of atrocities create a trail of misery & anguish for people living under such a regime. Likewise, the illusion of freedom, absence of moral standards and indiscipline among youngsters too creates a devastating trail. Hence, without any structure, standards or guidelines, young people flounder in a sea of directionless insecurity & suffer in the prison of wilderness & despair.
True freedom means a balance between the soul and the body. Till we realise for what role we came to this earth & execute same, people continue to feel the suffocation like a prison. When the soul knows itself and the difference between itself and the body, it gets the benefit of true identity. Likewise, when we are aware of the laws of karma & the benefits of virtuous actions, then we save ourselves from the negative consequences of our own actions (karma), thereby making our relationships sweet & without any kind of bondage and dependency. This quality of freedom can be achieved through spirituality. With self-introspection, self-realization and application of divine laws of karma, we can build for ourselves a beautiful world rather than a cage, thereby encouraging others to live in sovereignty.
If one thinks that nirvana is true freedom, then think again, because in the state of nirvana or “liberation”, the soul is free from all the bondages, above the limited physical world, but it is not experiencing the fruits of its good karma either. Hence, to be liberated in life means to enjoy the highest levels of human life whilst in the body, i.e. to be in a free world along with free people, yet at the same time, be within the boundaries of a perfect family, perfect society and pure elements of nature.