Photo Credit: The Sentinel Assam

What is True Freedom?

When I was growing up through the seventies and early eighties, I was not dependent on gadgets to help me think. Today we have gadgets for everything — it has gone to the extent that information (information mind you, not knowledge) is available courtesy ‘Google Uncle’ at the click of a button! Whether that information is accurate, motivated, fake or otherwise is a matter for the seeker to decide. In those days we would play outdoors, read voraciously, play the mischief (harmless of course) and generally have a gala time. I had the names, phone numbers and addresses of more than 200 people stored in my brain — today that part of the brain has become useless as mobile devices have more or less taken over the role of the computer, telephone, entertainment — radio as well as video and so on. Life has literally become focused onto a small hand-held device. Children today do not want to read books — they prefer kindle or some digital document — the feel and smell of a good book has gone into the dustbin of history and will linger in the minds of book lovers like me.

So, what gives us real freedom when we are actually tied down by gadgets — we don’t want to play outdoors, mobile games are what we play now, anything physical is considered down-market unless we go ‘gymming’ or dancing or for ‘my yoga class’ — all said by people who have money to burn on paying for being guided in these activities. The pure joy of going out for a long cycling tour, a swim in the ocean, playing soccer, hockey, badminton, running etc is now enjoyed by a very few health-conscious enthusiasts.

Our minds have become chained to and largely influenced by the visual and print media — information is manipulated and served — we do not know the truth and life revolves around the perceptions we create based on ‘information’ served to us. One man’s food thus becomes another’s poison! So, again this begs the question — what is true freedom? And how do we go about achieving it?

Voltaire had said, “Man is free at the moment he wishes to be.” One way to strive for this freedom is to free the mind from the shackles of information overload that it is being subjected to. True freedom can come from good health, freedom to do what we want, the power to think and reflect on things independently — instead of running after wealth, gadgets and acquiring stuff that makes living easy and comfortable. I am not against any of such gadgets, and today they are considered necessary — but we need to ask ourselves whether we are prisoners of these gadgets or we can live without them without losing our mind!

If we learn to reflect quietly, make our mind independent and strive for real happiness and bliss by journeying inwards, we will be in a position to achieve real freedom. The world inside us is far more real than the world outside, which is just an illusion which keeps changing with time. With meditation and mindfulness, we can really achieve true freedom and be liberated from the bonds of the birth-death-rebirth cycle.

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Spirituality ... meditation ... insights ... inner peace ... the journey continues... love and gratitude

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Girish Borkar

Girish Borkar

Spirituality ... meditation ... insights ... inner peace ... the journey continues... love and gratitude

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