Are You Truly Independent? Three Ways To Understand Independence

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As adults we seek independence, in the way we think, in our actions and in your decisions. We seek independence from any kind of imposition or bondage. But rising a little higher, what does independence truly mean for a spiritual seeker or an aspirant of spiritual freedom? For example, how do you deal with criticism from a dear one? Can you smile through it? To answer, here is a rich, insightful commentary on the true nature of independence from the global spiritual Master and humanitarian who is widely known for bringing a happiness revolution across the world through love and wisdom- Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder of The International Association For Human Values.

“The body is dependent on the whole creation. In society, somebody has to make clothes, produce electricity, drill for oil. The body cannot be independent of the world. For the body, dependency is absolute. Somebody had to lift you up, change your diapers, wash you, feed you, bathe you, and put you to bed. When you die you are not going to cremate your own body. When you are sick somebody has to attend to you. You cannot be your own doctor.

Moving from within

Money gives you a false notion that you are independent. Just the fact that you pay them some bills, it doesn’t mean you have become independent. You are just getting it done as an exchange. You may have money, but what if nobody wants money, then you are dependent. You may think financially you are independent, but if you cannot endure criticism or certain derogatory remarks from people; you are not truly independent. Independence cannot be achieved unless you start moving from within. When you move within, you discover that you are interdependent. Individual Self/Soul/Jeeva is interdependence and in fact every wise person knows that everything is interdependent and that there is nothing like independence.

When seeking independence becomes miserable

But when the Spirit identifies with the body, then it gets pinched and looks for independence. Mind, intellect, ego – they all look for independence. In looking for independence often you get stuck in the ego and become more miserable. Most people are not aware of their dependency. When they become aware of their limitations and dependency, the desire for independence arises.

The illusion of dependence

On one level dependency is a harsh reality. On another level, it is an illusion because there is nothing else but the Self. It’s only when you don’t feel oneness, belongingness that you want independence. The Self being non-dual, there is no question of dependence or independence. When the sense of belongingness is not well founded, then there is a volatile state in the life of a seeker. Then the ego finds some excuse to revert to smallness of mind. It is not yet totally soaked in the totality of knowledge. As it is not used to it, the mind finds every little excuse to revert back to the ego and to be aloof and independent and separate and it would find any small fault and blow it out of proportion. Be aware of these tendencies.”

About The Author

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is an international humanitarian leader and a spiritual master who is the global rallying voice of this generation’s collective call for peace.

Named one of the “Seven Most Powerful People in India,” by Forbes, his world-renowned meditation techniques helped end the 60-year conflict in Colombia. He has been credited with bringing opposing parties together to facilitate meditation and peace talks in Iraq, Cote d’Ivoire and India.

Founder of the Art of Living Foundation and International Association for Human Values, Sri Sri is leading the way toward peace and tolerance through meditation and humanitarian efforts. Over 35 years, his programs and initiatives have touched the lives of over 370 million people in over 150 countries.

“Sudarshan Kriya,” the meditation technique introduced by Sri Sri is backed by research and implemented in schools, corporations, prisons, refugee camps and retreat centers around the world. As a spiritual teacher, Sri Sri has rekindled traditions of yoga and meditation that have helped millions of people achieve personal and social transformation by relieving stress and discovering inner peace in daily life.

If you want to live and experience what peace is, even if for a few minutes in your day, here is a short guided meditation led by Gurudev, for just the right start of your day or may be the mid-day boost of Prana (life force) that you need for your day.

 

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Shankara Editorial Team

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