Finding Fabulous Freedom
Busting out can feel really good when you’ve been confined or locked in to somewhere, someone or something for too long.
This could be for example in the context of a job, a relationship, a project or any other potentially restrictive situation that limits your freedom in any way.
It can feel like you finally have room to move and express yourself in a way that feels more authentic to you.
Yes! Fabulous freedom at last!, you shout with delight, because no one likes to be tethered, bound or held hostage.
It is contrary to the nature of being human.
Being bound or tethered does not feel very nice and whoever enforces it on another, is not being very nice at all.
We all know about the wicked despots of our world who have taken away the liberties of many innocent victims over the ages.
But what if that intimidating perpetrator is your own mind?
What if your mind is the menacing dictator that makes your every moment seem like the torment of prison with no escape?
Not only that, but along with the ball and chain of prison comes the custom designed torture chamber to cater to your every fear and make you live them out.
Yes, your mind is capable of that.
It is not the pure, innocent bystander that it sometimes makes itself out to be.
Your mind can be your worst tormenter and cruelest prison warden at times.
However, your mind can also be your best friend.
This dualistic nature of the mind is explained in the Bhagavad Gita As It Is, an ancient, timeless and sacred Bhakti Yoga text whose title is translated as ‘The Song of God’.
It mentions that your mind can be your worst enemy or your best friend.
The exact translation of verse 6.6 from the Sanskrit is:
“For him who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, his mind will remain the greatest enemy.”
Friend or Foe?
If you have conquered your mind, lucky you!
You have a great best friend that can ensure you peace and happiness for the rest of your days.
However, if you are like the majority of us, you are yet to conquer that fearful foe, and thus instead you have yourself a formidable enemy.
Most people battle with their mind at least some of the time.
However, despair not.
Coming to your aid is a heroic agent of good, whose only function is to rescue you from the potential dreaded enemy of your mind and release you from it’s limiting shackles once and for all.
Those shackles can look a bit like fear, procrastination, criticism, hostility, anger, intolerance, denial… and the list goes on.
How can you be the best you when you are confined to a prison like that?
According to the Bhagavad Gita As It Is, the superhero agent of good that can untie you from the traintracks of your mind, is the philosophy and practice of Bhakti Yoga.
Within its substance is contained the secrets to reigning in the wild horses of your senses which are under the control of the fickle mind.
The mind is restless, flickering and wayward just like a child.
Just like a wayward child does best with structured direction and discipline, so does the mind.
It needs constant attention and guidance which, when appropriately received, calms it into a receptive state of friendliness.
Yes! Fabulous freedom at last! You again shout with delight.
And you would be right, because controlling your mind is the ultimate freedom.
However, there is a process to it - a skill that requires practice.
After all, it is usually through some kind of discipline that any real freedom worth having, is achieved.
The discipline of Bhakti Yoga, rather than being another source of restriction (like our mind) is the key to this freedom.
Its discipline is actually a joyful lifestyle which most of us at first, may not be used to.
Like with any established habit that we want to change in our lives, some kind of practice and perseverance is required until the new thing becomes second nature.
Bhakti Yoga is such a practice.
The keystone of the Bhakti Yoga practice is Sacred Mantra Meditation.
No matter whether the chains of your life are made from iron, silver or gold, the freedom of Bhakti Yoga breaks through all of them and this meditation is the key.
Your life and the world become stepping stones to a more authentic reality, rather than being simply bricks around your neck.
But remember…..while you are happily being liberated through your Bhakti Yoga practice, your life may look much the same - but it is anything but.
Work, love and life may seem to go on as usual, but at your core there has been a dynamic turn of internal events.
Seismic shifts of mind and heart are happening, to reveal the true nature of your soul.
Profound transformations are occurring at the level of consciousness even though ‘all’ you have done to your life is add Bhakti Yoga.
Boy will you feel different!
In fact, even if the ground below you is shaking and the sky is falling, there is something now within you that remains untouchable and unchanged.
Your individual soul now reconnected to the Supreme Soul through regular spiritual practice comes alive and this anchor is unshakable.
The blissful discipline of Bhakti Yoga transforms your mind and the resulting freedom reveals your soul to yourself.
It’s called self realisation.
That may sound lofty or even a bit mystical, but believe it or not it's yours to claim.
The best thing of all is that the discipline to achieve this does not have to be painful!
The Bhakti Yoga path can be started at any point in the philosophy, culture, lifestyle and practice that it offers.
It’s music, food, literature, poetry, prayer, chanting, association and service at so many levels is enticing in its richness and beauty.
Victory is already had because the journey to freedom has begun.
The bird of your soul can at last fly free.
No more being at the mercy of the merciless mind.
Not to forget that we also have physical bodies which we can’t readily ignore, but we have to remember that we are so much more than the bodies we inhabit.
Yes we are all human and we need to attend to the body and that tricky mind, but it doesn’t end there.
Most of us go about daily life anyway and care for the needs of our bodies, but there comes a critical point in our spiritual evolution when that is no longer enough.
There comes a point when we start thinking about the needs of our soul , because when the soul is dissatisfied we sure get to know about it, because we feel dissatisfied.
However, thanks to your regular spiritual practice, your mind, now your best friend, is speaking in loving conversation with your heart, which is no longer cowering under the oppression of the minds tyranny.
Mind and heart together, under the guidance of your broadened intelligence, work to give your soul wings.
You have found fabulous freedom.
But take note: there are no limits - this is just the beginning. There is a lot, lot more.
It’s time to celebrate by doing more Bhakti Yoga!
Feel free to check out my other blogs for more information.
You can find out a lot more concise information by checking out my videos containing secrets of the ancient, timeless knowledge of Bhakti Yoga - literally at your fingertips.
The Bookshelf is also a good place to start the Bhakti Yoga magic.
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A fabulous way to connect to similar minds and hearts is to find an international Bhakti Yoga Centre near you (Branches of ISKCON - The International Society of Krishna Consciousness), where you can speak to an experienced yoga practitioner and receive personal guidance.
If you would like to explore how you can incorporate Bhakti Yoga into your life in a balanced and harmonious way, and feel you would benefit from one on one support, you are welcome to book a Discovery Session with me, Rasika Manjari to see if we can work together to help you achieve your spiritual goals.
See you at the New World.