The 20th century saw colonialism, imperialism, monarchy in some states/ countries giving in…. to ‘freedom’ – a long cherished goal by the people in these countries.
India got its freedom in the year 1947, after several years of oppression by the British. It is a real unforgettable moment for all those who lived during this period! And it was the need – A driving force to be ‘free’ that catapulted the process…to get a free world, a free society where one could think freely, act freely and lead a free life.
But, this is not what I want to write about. Are we really free in our lives .. . especially when our minds are conditioned by external forces? Right from infancy, we seek freedom by making iterative efforts to walk and to speak!
There is lot of enthusiasm to learn from the unknown world…a world full of mystery, opportunity, threats. We want to know how we can be physically free..quickly. Many attributes are considered like freedom of expression, experience of love from others, qualities in nature, and what not? As we get older…money becomes a means to freedom, choices, options… so much so…. that it grows into a bondage ! From that moment, we have ceased to be free ! Our lives are governed by external forces/ events like schooling, college education, professional career, marriage or married life, parenthood, old age and emotional dependence on our children. Pursuit of freedom in our ignorance leads us into bondage! Ironical, right?
True freedom … is…. freedom from ego and ignorance. We identify ourselves with a false notion of reality that is bound to our Ego. Of course, it is difficult to define Ego. What is Ego? It is a summary of our experiences in the past! We are so helpless that we do not realize till quite long time…that we are mere subjects of Nature. We are nothing but accumulation of external objects/ experiences into our possessed body and mind.
We are white colored if we live in a climate that makes us white and same is the case if we are black or brown colored. So, are we colorless otherwise? We develop height, size depending on what we eat or what we inherit genetically. Where are we free? We think we are but are we? We are ignorant!!
I meet a 50 year old man when I am at a particular bus stop everyday ….a blind man (… blind since childhood as a result of small pox) who is earning a handsome salary by working in Govt. owned telephone co on Gokhale Road, Thane.
He was a stranger but I made friends with him because I help him getting into the right bus whenever I meet him. He has a wife – one without any physical shortcomings and she loves him…takes care of him and their teenager child who studies in a local college in Thane.
Why do I want to help him? Is it because of Universal consciousness or bonding? Though he cannot see me, we both converse well….only for a short time till he boards the respective bus to take him home. There is no ego…we are both humbled and brought together by nature! We are not ignorant but are philosophical and thankful to God for what He has provided us. We are contented, happy and praise God in unison.
Let us accept that we are just a part of the Whole…which I say often! Let us realize we are nothing by ourselves till we are graced by God.
And nothing belongs to us…definitely not the physical body we adore or the money we cannot use more than what we need …. believe me, this life is only gifted to us to know Him, our relations are merely coincidental in their existence to help us in the process, and our energy that we are born with is only finite!
If we know all these .. That is freedom from Ego and Ignorance.