Have we gained real Independence?
The real meaning of Independence!
Independence is one word which has got profound meaning. People celebrate the Independence Day when their country gained independence from foreign yoke. But the real question is “Have we gained ‘independence’ in the real sense? When we talk about a country, it is not the geographical area we talk about. It is the people of the land, we discuss. Hence we can boast to have gained independence only when we got independence from the internal foes that pester us always. The real enemy is only inside. When we conquer our baser instincts like the lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride and jealously, then only we can be called independent people. Second thing the word teaches is “self-reliance’ or self-rule. First we must rely on our Self alone and not on others. Here the Self denotes the indestructible spirit within all beings. Yes, the bodies come and go but the spirit within is “Immortal”. The spirit exists forever. There was no time, the spirit was not. There is no space devoid of the spirit. Everything is caused only by the spirit. In fact, the bodies are really instruments for the invisible spirit. The spirit acts through the multitudes of bodies on earth. The fallacy is that we identify the spirit with the body!
This is known as fundamental ignorance. We are not what we assume to be; the perishable body and evanescent mind. We are the Self within and that is the fundamental Truth of all beings in the world! This is the philosophy called “Advaita’ meaning “no two’. In English, the philosophy is known as ‘Monism’. Many sages and saints practiced this philosophy in their day to day life and ever remained in Bliss. For them, the world is like a paper flower which is not real. Clouds gather in the sky due to evaporation of surface water of the ocean. These clouds are similar to worldly life. Clouds gather and pass away in a moment due to the actions of wind. Our life is also similar to the passing clouds. Visible at some time and pass away in the sky. Many call it a ‘passing show’. Just observe the happenings around you as well as in your mind. Like the clouds, thoughts arise in the mind and pass through it. We are not aware, how it arise, wherefrom it arise, and where it goes. It can be best compared to a cinema show. In the cinema hall, the screen is fixed and the pictures are moving. Because of the fixed screen only, we are able to watch the cinema show. Likewise, our consciousness acts as a screen for the cinema called life. All the thoughts and feelings, all the happenings are witnessed by the consciousness. Yet, the consciousness never undergoes any movements or never affected by the happenings of life. In the cinema, there may be floods and fire, war and strife but the screen is absolutely unaffected. Our inner consciousness too is similar. The individual may undergo any kind of troubles and travails but the consciousness is always in Bliss. It is the myness or the ego which suffers or enjoys but the Self or the Consciousness is really in eternal Bliss.
In conclusion we are not really independent. It is an outer celebration to remember the day when the country achieved Independence. Hence strive to become independent by conquering the inner foes or vices!