What’s Freedom? Probably not setting up the alarm in the night and not worrying about the clock ticking in the morning; stuffing up your favourite dishes without giving a damn to calories or pounds; spending without having to think twice about the bank balance and so on. But these things are too trivial, in fact insignificant to define a deep and profound concept of “Freedom”.
Freedom is a subjective concept with varied dimensions – physical, emotional, spiritual.
We are all born free and moving in this world freely. That’s the physical dimension of freedom we are talking about. The era of slavery is gone so physical bondage is done away with. This is superficial in every possible sense we can think of because that’s not absolute. At every step we are bound by many restrictions by the rules and laws framed by family, society, authorities. And since human is a social animal he is invariably bound by these boundaries. And when those rules are surpassed there is a possibility that you even lose your Physical Freedom, we call that “Prison“.
Talking about the second dimension – Emotional. When we talk about this facet of Freedom the radius sizes down from society to family (talking on micro level). Let me give you an example from our own lives (includes me as well): a mother is emotionally bound by her children, her decisions are never “free” of care/fear for them; a husband always puts the future of his family first to take decisions, seldom he would put his “free” will, albeit he would endanger their secured future; a wife gives her family’s (read in-laws 😂) wishes the first preference. The list goes on. One important question here: Are Emotions A Bondage? Definitely they are. Our emotional connect drives us to take decisions we make, an out-and-out direct correlation. A petty example from our history (a piece from Ramayana), sage Valmiki, who wrote the epic Ramayana was once a dacoit before he had his enlightenment, looting people of their valuables and reason driving his actions was his love and responsibility towards his family and he could only think of this way to feed them. The moment we break from the shackles of emotions we breathe free, putting ourselves in our own focus – plain but hard truth.
Note: irresponsible people / rebels are also emotionally free ironically.
Coming to the top of the pyramid of freedom, Spiritual Freedom. This is a heavyweight word, let me replace that with “Real” freedom. This is that state of mind when happiness or sorrow have equal to negligent to no effect on us, the ability to see things without being judgemental because judgements evoke emotions and emotions do bound us. We can safely say that the journey towards real freedom commences if one is able to break free, cut loose from emotional attachments. It’s a prerequisite put simply. As I mentioned that once our emotional quotient for others take a back seat, “I, ME, MY, MYSELF ” are in driver’s seat. There’s always an impending danger that we are self-absorbed and deviate from the path leading to the freedom. Meditation, regular self introspection, prayers (if one is not atheist), righteous (not just good) company helps a person clamp back on the right path leading to salvation, where mind if free from Fear of any sort.
What Fears I am talking about: When we are emotionally engaged with someone or something we are bogged down by various emotional facets like love, anger, sadness, greed, jealousy, ego. We are entrapped in a constant fear of “Losing” – losing friends, losing family, losing property, losing wealth, losing position and finally the fear of losing life ensues. This fear of losing is so powerful that we are not noticing that we are actually on a losing spree. Our virtues – the ability to speak out the truth, the benevolence to give, the courage to accept, the integrity, the purity of conscience – we have been losing them for so long that they are almost extinct now.
March towards freedom isn’t easy. It demands great perseverance and determination. For people like us who are greatly driven by our emotions and materialism its difficult to get a foothold on this path. But nevertheless we can start with baby steps like:
- Stay away from gossip mongers and gossiping. Gossip serves no one except for maligning the atmosphere.
- Listen and read to a great extent about what is righteous and spiritual. Nothing to do with the religion.
- Meditate more (you can meditate in own your way), speak less yet sensitive.
- Learn to appreciate what you have.
- Learn to forgive ( most difficult and important).
Let’s embark on this journey and embrace the Real Freedom.