Isha Upanishad - Super school - Auroville

Track Running Isha Upanishad 505

Choosing you can't be free, I may have any number of options before me, my hands are tied my feet are tied my purse is tied, isn't it, so merely presentation of options is not enough I should have the power to opt. Even if I have the power, then what do you do there is still a third condition to be fulfilled, if I still choose one and if somebody asked me the question why you chose this one instead of so many others which were present, and if I say it was because it was the right choice. If you say I chose because it was the right choice, if you say this, − it means that you’re not free because the rightness of that compelled you to choose it. If you're in a situation where you can say that this was the right as against that one; you are still not free. Unless you can say that I had several options and each one of which was right and yet I chose this one. Then you can still say that you disregarded others, which were not right and you chose any one of these ones. So at least you had two sets and you chose from one set and not from the other set. So, you're not yet free because you had a reason to choose. Because it is right as against another set in which everything was not right, so still you are not free. Where then does that freedom lie? Now, I come to the last point.

Question: When you renounce completely?

Answer: If you renounce, you are not capable of choice, therefore, you are not free.

You should be capable of choice that’s also a condition of freedom, and you renounce only because you cannot make a choice. Here you are perplexed as to choose that or this even that is not freedom. Freedom is possible only on one condition; you have before you any number of choices, or options, all possible choices that the first condition. Secondly, you should be capable of choosing any one of them. Thirdly, only if all the choices are equally good, if one choice is better than the other then you are bound, only if all the choices that are present are equally good, not better, there is no compulsion to have this or that. You know that you can take this or that, or that but for what reason, no other reason accepting that I want to do this not for any reason, simply because that is the exercise of my freedom, − freedom in itself. It is only in that condition that you can say that you are free. According to this Upanishad such a freedom exists, that is the important doctrine, that is the secret, such a freedom exists. There is a will, which is capable of confronting any possible options. There is a will, which can choose, and choose freely because all options are equally good. That ‘will’ is called the real ‘free will’ and Upanishad says that such a free will exists. Upanishad says that basically each one of us is in this world, as it is because we have freely chosen to be here.

According to the Upanishad, which knows you thoroughly well because this is the Book of knowledge, it has made a good study of each one of us, what is the individual, what is you? It knows our past present and future that's why it's called a Book of knowledge. It’s a book of science, it is not merely conjecture or belief or faith or dogma, − not at all. This Upanishad speaks with a full knowledge of what you are, and says you are here in this world because you have chosen freely to be here. You had a possibility of not being here or being here was equally good. It’s not that being here was better than that, − no. To be here or not, to be here was equally good and yet you chose.

But without the power of choosing, you can't be free. I may have any number of options before me but my hands are tied my feet are tied; my purse is tied, so, merely presentation of options is not enough. I should have the power to opt. Now even if I have the power, then what do you do? There is still a third condition to be fulfilled.

If I still choose one, and if somebody asks me the question, why you chose this one instead of so many others, which were present. And if I say, it was because it was the right choice. If you say, I chose because it was the right choice, if you say this, it means you're not free because the rightness of that attracted and compelled you to choose it. If you're in a situation where you can say as long as you say that this was right as against that one, you are still not free. Unless you can say that I had several options each one of which was right and yet I chose this one, then you can say still that you disregarded others, which were not right and you chose anyone. At least you had two sets and you chose only from one set not from the other set. So you're not yet free, you had a reason to choose because it is right as against another set in which everything was not right. So still you are not free. Where then does that freedom lie?

So now I come to the last point.

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