Saturday, October 22, 2016

Victor Kannan
(Heartfulness Trainer)

Sincerity, Humility, Courage, Responsibility, Love and Freedom may be considered as the six core values. They are progressive in nature. Sincerity leads to humility; Courage leads to responsibility, and true love shall lead to freedom. One value leading us to the other, making our life holistic and integrated with attitudes and behaviors taking us through goals, accomplishments, and finally, a state of being.

These three pairs of values are also a transformational set – sincerity leading to humility, courage leading to responsibility, and love leading to freedom. It is a simple formula to cultivate humility, responsibility and freedom – a sort of proxy to Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga and Gnana Yoga, in that respective order. It feels like a big jump, but careful thinking would make this parallel clear. We have a similar formula introduced by Daaji; for example, through refined and expanded consciousness, existence becomes bliss.

We also identify the evolution of consciousness in the progressive transformation of its four aspects, viz, mind (Manas), deeper consciousness (Chit), cognition (Budhi), and ego (Ahankar), where Manas or the mind, an instrument of thinking, becomes an instrument of feeling; where Chit or deeper consciousness, an instrument of intuition and awareness, becomes an instrument of wisdom and understanding; where Budhi or cognition, an instrument of reason, becomes an instrument of direct perception of the transcendental truth or knowledge; and the Ahankar, or Ego, which gives power to evolve, embraces humility and creates restlessness towards Self-realization or a state of bliss and whatever comes beyond. Thus, through evolution of consciousness existence becomes a state of pure being, free of all possible holds to a lower level of existence.   

Thus, in this progression, the goal or final state of fulfillment is Freedom. So, what is freedom?

Why is it so valuable? And, what is it we are free to do?

Normally when we think of freedom, we think of freedom from wants, freedom from desires and freedom from suffering.

One may wonder if it is all really possible. One may ask “Why not freedom from disease?” Disease of the body is outside of our mental sphere. While a stronger mind can mitigate the suffering of the body, what is inevitable can only be postponed at best. A physical, mechanical thing is subject to strict physical laws. Hence, expecting freedom from the operations of physical laws is futile.

Freedom of the mind is to think and worship as one chooses. This is quite a freedom. Yet, what we choose may not make us evolve towards a happy state of being. So, this freedom is also limited. On the one hand, mind is a habit-forming machine, and it is possible that we become slaves of our negative habits, and suffer. On the other hand, if we are born into a good family or circumstances and, most importantly, acquire the right knowledge or support, we could form good habits, and these then shape our destiny positively.

Freedom of the spirit is the ultimate freedom we should aim to achieve. A person who is able to experience and enjoy this freedom is the person who is truly living. So, the real freedom is the freedom of the spirit. Hence we call people ‘free-spirited.’ There is a sense of innocence, nobility and beauty in free-spirited people. They are positive people, too. They can be called free-spirited saints living on earth. They are real beings of bliss and beyond. As Babuji says, freedom from freedom is real freedom: freedom from the preoccupations of the body and the mind and achieve the freedom the spirit yearns for.

This state of being is achieved after acquisition of an inner wisdom, which we call gnana or real knowledge. In the post “The Choices We Make” I wrote, “Freedom presupposes knowledge.” To be free, one needs to have the right, or real, knowledge. Such a real knowledge leads one to real and lasting freedom of the soul. This knowledge is acquired while pursuing a practice of meditation for achieving such a goal. In the process of achieving such a goal, we experience inner transformation and expansion of consciousness.

So, let us fly away in that freedom! Let us be free at last.