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Spirituality

Updated on: Sunday, November 21, 2021, 07:07 PM IST

Guiding Light by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Desire to be free is a blessing

Freedom means breaking free from the patterns of life that cause suffering
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What is freedom? Freedom means breaking free from the patterns of life that cause suffering. One can go through the patterns of life without even being aware of them, just like the animals. That’s why the very desire to be free from the patterns of life itself is a great blessing. If even the slightest desire for freedom has arisen in you, know that you are very lucky. So, what imposes the patterns in you?

The five senses bind you. They make you either against something or for something; be it taste, smell or touch. When you are either for something or against something, you cannot be liberated. If you are against something, know that you have no freedom from it. You are stuck with those whom you despise, whom you are against. Your nature is to move towards something which is life supporting. All the objects of senses which pull you back are like poison. Anything that produces boredom in you is to be dropped just like you would drop poison. But, how?

There are five guiding principles that help you drop it. Kshama or forgiveness; aarjava or sincerity; daya or compassion; tosha or contentment and satya or truth.

Forgiving yourself despite knowing that you have erred is the first principle. Realise that whatever has happened is for the best and do not brood over it. If you cannot forgive yourself, you have tied yourself to the past.

And there is no charm in forgiveness without sincerity. People go on forgiving themselves, but they are not sincere. The wick of sincerity is to be kindled and that is enough to relieve you from bondage. Do not be hard on yourself or on anyone else. Often you go on punishing yourself because you cannot punish somebody. There should be compassion towards all beings. If you are not compassionate, you are bound to get angry.

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A frustrated person cannot be compassionate towards himself or towards others. What are you worried about? Small desires and objects. We live as though we are going to live forever. We forget about the flow of life and we lose sense of time. Just wake up and be contented. Realise that nobody is going to be here forever. Whether people have been good or bad to you, thank them for what they have done to you.

The fifth principle is satya or truth. What is truth? That which exists right now is truth. The whole world is changing; all the people in this world are changing; their minds are changing. Everything is changing, but people grab and hold on to something negative here and there. This knowledge that everything around you is changing makes you so firm and solid that nothing in this world can shake you. Once you are established in this, you are free from bondage.

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Published on: Monday, November 22, 2021, 07:00 AM IST
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