Are We Really Free?
Before I wish a Happy Independence day to everyone… I wanted to as you a question — “Are We Really Free?”
While your Facebook newsfeed gets covered with the Indian tricolour, I wanted to share something relevant and some possibly radical thought… as I was pondering on this subject of freedom?
You might have hoisted a flag in your community, saluted and sung songs of patriotism — which is awesome, but again the big questions are, “is it really helping you?” and “are we really free?”
The greatest gift India has given us is “our culture”.
Unity in diversity. Tolerance and patience from all kinds of external influences — be it the Moguls, the British, and so on.
The DNA of our nation has always been service to humanity, respect for one another — irrespective of background, promotion of peace and prosperity.
Having said that… in the history of the world, the last 3 decades have been quite eventful…
- Innovations in technology — Giant leaps made in transportation — Communication in your finger tips — The influence of Social Media, making the world s smaller place
Having said that… I want to share some thoughts which are the flip side of the coin.
I want to quote Dr. Bob Moorehead (and later on George Carlin) who spoke about the Paradox of our Time. I would like you to deeply ponder over these 38 points:’free
- We have taller buildings, but shorter tempers
- Wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints
- We spend more, but have less
- We buy more, but enjoy it less
- We have bigger houses and smaller families
- More conveniences, but less time
- We have more degrees, but fewer sense
- More knowledge, but less judgment
- More experts, but more problems
- More medicine, but less wellness
- We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get angry too quickly, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too seldom, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.
- We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.
- We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. 1
- We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life
- We’ve added years to life, not life to years
- We’ve (supposedly) been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbour
- We’ve conquered outer space, but not inner space
- We’ve done larger things, but not better things
- We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul
- We’ve split the atom, but not our prejudice
- We write more, but learn less
- We plan more, but accomplish less
- We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait
- We have higher incomes, but lower morals
- We have more food, but less appeasement
- We build more computers to hold more information to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication
- We’ve become long on quantity, but short on quality
- These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion
- Tall men, and short character
- Steep profits, and shallow relationships
- These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare
- More leisure, but less fun
- More kinds of food, but less nutrition
- These are days of two incomes, but more divorce
- Fancier houses, but broken homes
- These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throw away morality, one-night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer to quiet to kill.
- It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stockroom
- A time when technology has brought this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to make a difference, or to just hit delete…
On this independence day… as a Indian, I feel that I have a responsibility make my countrymen think about “freedom fighting” more NOW than ever before…
We are beginning to lose touch of our roots. Wake up!
We’re influenced by materialism and consumerism, our whole lives are based around prestige and self centeredness.
‘Freedom fighting’ is something we have to do daily… and ponder over at every step. Not just hoist a flag, sing the national anthem and go back to living selfish materialistic lives.
What is real freedom?
- Freedom from our negative selves (the Jekyl & Hyde example) — Freedom from society’s norms — Freedom from being narrow minded — Freedom from what others think about us — Freedom from gross material attachments — Freedom from lust, anger, greed, envy, pride & jealousy — Freedom from thinking purely on the bodily concept of life
So the answer to the question, “are we really free” is… We are NOT.
What happened in 1947 was merely one aspect of freedom.
One man’s vision, Mahatma Gandhi, really helped us gain back control.
What came after that was actually more enslavement from a humanity stand point, not just in India, but across the world.
I truly respect our forefathers who fought for India’s freedom but let’s not forget that our real victory would come ONLY when we are able to truly live by the values, culture and traditions laid by our forefathers (specifically the Vedas — which is rooted in the Indian Subcontinent).
Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, The Beatles and many other world leaders have come to India for this ‘jewel’ — deep spiritual knowledge, which is actually non-sectarian and nothing to do with “religion”.
Religion coveys an idea of faith. But faith may change. This is ‘sanatana dharma’ — or topics of our eternal occupational cuties in order to live in a peaceful and prosperous world.
The true jewel of India is it’s culture and heritage which goes beyond faith.
The Bhagavad Gita is purely based on the platform of the soul, and if you only spend some time to open this amazing scripture, read & assimilate it’s message with a completely open mind, you’ll realise and respect every other faith on this planet, as every tradition has a divine messenger of God who’s only mission was to uplift society.
The four pillars of dharma are Austerity, Mercy, Truthfulness and Cleanliness.
- Intoxication kills the quality of Austerity — Slaughtering (both humans & animals) kills the quality Mercy — Gambling kills the quality of Truthfullness — Illict Sex kills the quality of Cleanliness both in body & mind
All these messengers actually represent ‘freedom’, and who’ve sacrificed their lives for the upliftment of society.
On this day of Independence… I want to mention that we are actually “more dependant”, then ever.
So what do we do about it?
It may seem like a paradox, but the ultimate form of freedom is to surrender.
Surrender to your Creator, give up your self-limiting beliefs, give up your vices, get real and live one day at a time freedom fighting from within.
If every human being is able to conquer oneself thru sense control, controlling the monkey mind and focusing on the more important things in life… that’s when society will really be free.
I hope this has conveyed a strong enough point that inspires to you go out there and become that amazing person you were always meant to be. Jai Hind!