#111 Freeing Ourself

#111 Freeing Ourself

Neither bondage nor liberation for me. Those terrified of these concepts should see them as images of the mind, just like the image of the sun in water. This is the ultimate understanding.Verse 135, Vigyan Bhairava Tantra

When you understand this verse, you lose all your fears. Bondage and liberation are only concepts of the mind. In truth, none of them exist. We are always free, we are always a part of God. We have only forgotten our Real Identity. Those terrified of these concepts should see them as images of the mind, just like the image of the sun in water: When you look at an image of the sun in water, the image is sometimes clear and sometimes distorted, depending on the condition of the water. If the water is still, we see a clear image of the sun. If there are ripples in the water, we see a distorted image. If the water is muddy, we may not see any image at all. If we were to form .an opinion about the sun by looking at its reflection in water, we would think that the sun is something that could change, get distorted, and even be destroyed. In actual fact, the sun never gets distorted or destroyed. It remains shinning brilliantly. We think the sun gets destroyed, because we see it through water. By seeing the sun through an intermediary (water), we are getting an inaccurate picture about the sun. Similarly, by seeing ourselves through our mind (an intermediary), we get an inaccurate picture about ourselves. It is the mind that gives us a separate identity, the ego. We then think that this ego-self of ours is subject to bondage or freedom. In truth, the ego does not exist. It is something unreal, like a shadow. We are never separate, we are always a part of God. We were never bound, and we are neither liberated. We have only forgotten our true identity. To remember our true self, we need to put the mind aside. If we wanted to see the real sun, we would need to stop looking at its image in water, and look up and see the sun directly. In the same way, we need to put the mind (our ego) aside. Then, we will directly “see” our true nature. In non-dualism, there is only God, and nothing else. There will always be only God and nothing else. What is subject to bondage and liberation? God? No, that is not possible. God is forever free. We think of ourselves as our ego, and we think that this ego is subject to bondage and liberation. In actual fact, our ego or mind-body complex is not real. We are always a part of God. Therefore, we are not bound nor liberated. We are always free.

Law Of Karma

Some of the philosophical systems of India take the Law of Karma to an extreme. They say that all our actions bind us. They build up a debt that has to be paid in future lives. It is only when we perform actions without attachment to the results, are we no longer bound by actions. In these philosophies, we spend lives struggling to “pay off” past debts, acquired through our past actions, and struggle to prevent new ones from building up. This verse and the philosophy of non-dualism says that all this is inaccurate. No debts or karmas are transferred from life to life. Which self or entity of ours builds up debts? We have only two selves – our ego and our soul. Our soul is the part of God that is within us. It is the witness in us that observes all the events of our lives. Our ego is not real, and in any case, it does not survive the death of our bodies. Our Real Self is our soul or God, and our soul is always free. It is not bound or affected by any actions taken by our bodies. You practice this verse by believing you are free. What you believe is what you become. When you believe and understand that you are always free, you become free. This verse also shows us that there is nothing we have to do, we are forever free. When you understand this, you fully embrace the present moment.

Stopping thoughts about future

You stop thinking about the future, and your mind falls silent. You stop thinking about the future because you realize that you are perfect and free right here, right now. The present circumstances of your life are perfect. It is not necessary to “go” anywhere, or “get” anywhere, or achieve anything. You are already wherever you wanted to go. You then live life fully in the present, from moment to moment, accepting whatever comes into your life, knowing that it all leads you to God. The irony here is that after giving us so many methods and meditations for liberation, we are now given one where we have to do nothing. In most meditation practices, we have to do something. We are at a particular stage of our evolution and we have to “get” to a place called liberated. This verse turns this logic on its head. It says there is nothing we have to do, we are already where we want to go – we are free this very moment. When you understand this truth, you forget all about the past and the future, and live in the present moment. Verse 135 has given us a very simple and easy way to be liberated. If you understand the truth it is conveying, you may be liberated within a few minutes. However, if it does not work for you, then you will have to “do” something. You will have to practice some other meditation, or choose another path to God.

The body and its fears are false. Heaven and hell, freedom and bondage are all inventions of the mind. It then goes on to say: In the ocean of being There is only one. There was and there will be Only one. You are already fulfilled . . How can you be bound or free? Wherever you go, Be happy.THE ASHTAVAKRA GITA