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Questioner: Sir, you say that we have to see things, we have to analyze and see that the mind is over us, we have to take decisions on our own, but in real world, it will not help us. In our college itself, teachers want to make us do something, but in our inner-selves we don’t want to do that, and if we don’t do that, then we are reprimanded.
Speaker: I will expand and rephrase the question. What Sarthak is trying to say is, that awareness is painful. Do you see this? It’s just convenient to remain dumb and keep following what the system tells us, what the society tells us, what education tells us. The moment we open our eyes, there is the hand of the big brother to put us down. There is some external force wanting to suppress our voice. Right, Sarthak? That’s what we are doing.
Listener 1: In our inner-self, we don’t want to be suppressed. We want to be happy about what we are doing.
Speaker: No one wants to be suppressed, you see. It’s our nature to be free.
Freedom is our very nature.
Who wants to not to be free? There is nobody who does not want to be free. Sarthak has raised such a valid point that what do we do in such a world where all the systems – be it the social system, the education system, the religious system, the political system – everything is intent upon making us a slave. How does one live freely in this world?
And it’s a great question. It is a question that every young human being must ask because you have an entire life to live. How do we live this life in freedom when there are forces of slavery all around us. That’s what the question is.
Listener 2: Sir, we can make our own statement of freedom.
Speaker: How do we live? Appreciate this.
Listener 3: There has to be some set of rules.
Speaker: You see this is a very important question. All of you have something to say about it. And all of you have something to say about this precisely because you don’t want to be enslaved. Even animals do not like slavery. It is the nature of every conscious being to be free. To have a conditioned mind is to be unfree.
How does one live? Let’s understand this.
I ask you all, can you ever be compelled to do anything without your own tacit consent? Answer this honestly. Unless you have given your consent in some form or the other, can you really be pressurized to do something?
See, we are calling it as slavery. We are saying that somebody is dominating me. I have come to see that this is not slavery but trade. You have given away your freedom; you have traded away your freedom in order to get some conveniences. Nobody can dominate you unless you sell away your freedom. Nobody can dominate you unless you want some goodies in life from them. That is how every human being is ever dominated, ever made a slave of. Nobody can make a slave of you without your consent.
If today you feel that the society, the family, or the institution dominates you, it is because you have something at stake. It is because there is something that you fear losing. It is because there is something they give you and can take it. It is because you have created dependencies. You are dependent on somebody for something, naturally he will be able to exercise control over you. Why are you dependent? Because you have ambitions, dreams, and this and that, which again are coming from conditioning. You have been told that if you are dependent on us then we will give you ‘this’, and ‘this’ is supposed to be good. How do you know that ‘this’ is good? It is the the society again that tells you that ‘this’ is good. So, look at the society itself. Look at the entire cycle. The society tells you that this is what makes life worth it – a big house, a big car, a big cheque. Were you born with this knowledge? No, somebody told you this. Somebody has drilled it deep down into your mind that this makes life worth living- reputation, money, acceptability – this is what makes life worth living. When all this is internalized then the society tells you that ‘Come to us, because it’s we who can give you respect and all this‘. So, you look at the cycle, look at the cunningness and the wickedness of the cycle. First of all they tell you that you must be respectable, and then they tell you that we are the only ones that can give you respectability. So come to us and become our slave. When you have become a slave then you wonder, why is life hell?
Why is life a torture? It is a torture because you are not looking at it intelligently. Why have you started believing in their propaganda? Who told you that this is what makes life worth living – a house, a car, and money, and reputation, and all of this. The society itself told you. The education told you that degrees make life worth living. That is what they told you and then they are the ones who control you by telling you that they will give you the degree, the respect, and the reputation, and you fall in the trap, and then you wonder why I am a slave? See through the trap.
Listener 4: But Sir, we don’t have any other option.
Speaker: You don’t need any other option. You are free right now.
Listeners (Together): Sir, we are not free at all. We are not free.
Speaker: This energy itself will be channelized into understanding. Wonderful. Better being a little agitated than dead.
Listener 4: Sir, there were many who were forced to attend the seminar. They had no other option.
Speaker: You see when a slave is hell bent upon remaining a slave, how would you help him? When a slave is intent upon believing deeply into slavery, he has been conditioned into believing that this is the way of life – fun, frolic and entertainment. Anything which brings me to me, anything which shows me what my mind is, anything which sets me free, is dangerous. The slave has been taught that freedom is dangerous. Are you getting it?
The most cruel and deceptive part of conditioning is that it tells you that freedom is dangerous. And don’t you hear it often from the society and other people that better remain a slave, there is safety and security in being a slave? Now, the slave is so deeply conditioned that wherever he sees a possibility of freedom, of an atmosphere that ensures that his mind is liberated, he wants to run away from it, how do you help him? See, this person, this deeply conditioned one will not come directly to a discussion like this because he has no free will. So, in case you want to help him, you will have to exercise an external influence to work upon him because external influence is all that works on him unfortunately.
He has been accustomed to move only when persuaded. He has become so dead, so wooden that he moves only when some external force works upon him. You will leave him to himself to do what he wants, and he will keep on doing the same rubbish all his life. The only way to help a conditioned man is to begin with a little bit of persuasion. That is what is needed.
You will never need persuasion with a free man but then you have to be a free man to deserve freedom. Are we free? So, we deserve persuasion. You have been persuaded to come to freedom, you have not been persuaded to give up freedom. You are being persuaded, alright, but you are being persuaded to come to freedom. The entire movement of the rest of the world is to persuade you, to give up your freedom, to give up your Intelligence.
Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yog’ session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session video: Freedom is your nature but you have forgotten it || Acharya Prashant (2013)
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