Freedom

This being just craves for freedom. Not the kind of freedom people in India are celebrating today. I am talking about real freedom. Freedom from the bonds of the world, from this body and mind, from whatever it is that’s limiting this being. It’s not my aim or goal, it’s just a natural desire of whatever it is that runs through this physical being. Something is trapped. No, maybe trap is too extreme or maybe it’s not. All I know it wants to fly. 

When I was little freedom was in play. When I grew older I started searching for it in being good at something, being appreciated, being loved. It would last but not too long. Leaving home to another land felt like a freedom of another kind. But when external factors started taking control, I surrendered and accepted to the way it was going to be. 

Slowly, I found freedom being in nature and connecting with the wonders of the Universe. But I couldn’t always be out in the woods. There were no woods in the city. The city life took over strong. Trapped me in consumerism, giving false hopes of finding freedom in the type of clothes I wear or the way I look. Desires to be better at work, to earn something in this world, desires, never ending desires took hold. But they couldn’t give this being what it really wanted. 

Looking for meaning and fulfillment in work I hoped that it would somehow lead me to my old friend freedom. Yes, it is an old friend now that comes and goes through little moments of life, listening to Kirtan (devotional singing) or Katha (a talk on Sikhi), when that one tuk (line) of Bani, would hit me out of nowhere. It comes and it goes through moments of solitary reflection and through engaging in activities that the being loves. 

While writing this post I had a sudden urge to draw out what I am thinking. The dot is my being (I am referring it to as “this being” because I’m writing and thinking in third person. Also I am separating the thing within me that wants freedom and myself, the self that you see from the outside). The circle is my life, the daily jobs and responsibilities. The blue line is the path I am following. The bumps are those little moments when I am able to cut off from the regularities of life and feel some sensation of being free.

It comes and it goes while the being walks around the circle, the circle of everyday life. And this being is still not free. I know it wants to fly but every time it tries its only for a moment and its voice gets overpowered by everything else there is. The gravity of the circle of life pulls me in each time. It is a fight, an inner fight for freedom. All I can do is just be. Be patient and kind. Be its (the being’s) friend and companion and be devoted.

ਖੋਜਤ ਖੋਜਤ ਤਤੁ ਬੀਚਾਰਿਓ ਦਾਸ ਗੋਵਿੰਦ ਪਰਾਇਣ ॥
ਅਬਿਨਾਸੀ ਖੇਮ ਚਾਹਹਿ ਜੇ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਦਾ ਸਿਮਰਿ ਨਾਰਾਇਣ ॥੨॥੫॥੧੦॥

Searching and searching, the essence is understood and this slave is devoted to the Earth-preserver. 
If you want eternal bliss, O Nanak, forever remember the Divine. 

– Rāg Todi, Guru Arjan Sahib, SGGS Ang 714