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Real Freedom Is Freedom From The Restless Mind

Everyone wants to be free, free to do what one wants to do. No one likes to be fettered in any way. Bondage is sorrow, freedom bliss.

But we can't have absolute freedom. Our freedom to do something shouldn't conflict with other's freedom in any way. We can't act and speak as we like. There are constraints on our freedom. These constraints are in our interest and the interest of the society we live in. Like the traffic lights, they stop our movement temporarily so that all can move safely. We give up part of our freedom in our interest and in the interest of others.

We all want to have the freedom to pursue happiness. We set before ourselves a goal, work towards it and finally achieve it after overcoming several obstacles. When we achieve it, we are happy. But this happiness doesn't last long. So we pursue another object and achieve it after trials and tribulations. The happiness of this achievement is also short lived. It is mainly because nothing outside can give us permanent happiness. Still our pursuit continues. The pursuit of happiness becomes transformed into the happiness of pursuit.

We want to be free and happy because freedom and happiness are our real nature. Real freedom consists not in seeking this or that but in seeking the source of the seeker. So long as there is the sense of individuality, the sense of ego, there cannot be freedom. The mind is forever seeking, forever restless. There is no real freedom so long as we are bothered by the mind. Real freedom is freedom from the restless mind. Total freedom is beyond the mind. It is realised when the chatter of the mind ceases, when there is no seeking of any kind, even of freedom.

"In the state of freedom," says Sri Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi, "there is no sense of doership, there is no sense of enjoyment or of individual will. This state is realised through meditation or surrender".

What is meditation? J. Krishnamurti says: "In meditation, you are not important, you have no place in it; the beauty of it is not you, but in itself. And to this you can add nothing. Don't look out of the window hoping to catch it unawares, or sit in a darkened room waiting for it; It comes when you are not there at all . . . ".  In meditation, the meditator and meditation, the seeker and the sought, the seer and the seen, become one.

Freedom comes into being through surrender also. Sri Bhagavan says: "The other way is to kill the ego by completely surrendering to the Lord, by realising one's helplessness and saying all the time, 'Not I but thou, O Lord', giving up all sense of 'I' and 'mine' and leaving it to the Lord to do what He likes with you. Surrender can never be regarded as complete so long as the devotee wants this or that from Lord. The surrender is love of God for the sake of love and nothing else, not even for the sake of liberation". We shall enjoy the liberty of spirit when we lose our individual freedom, our individual will, when we lose our sense of 'me' and 'mine'. We are totally free when we are His 'captive'.

Source editorial of July 1987 issue of the Mountain Path published by Sri Ramanasramam.