That is why Shri Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita ‘atmana atmanam udharet’, − by yourself, you should raise yourself. You have a self, which is inclined to the lower but there is a self in you by means of which you can raise that self on higher level. There is something in you by means of which you can choose really, you can make a choice. If this secret is known that there is something in you by which you can really make a choice between so called two compulsions then you begin to experience your true self, true individuality. This is the earliest experience of your true individuality. A true Free–Will exercised between true compulsions – one for the lower, one for the higher. Both are compulsions in you and there is a real tug of war, one compulsion against the other compulsion, in between lies your real choice. This is important, what you may call pin– point freedom in you.
What is that freedom and from where does it come? It comes actually from that supreme freedom of which I spoke. A freedom where thousands of alternatives are before you, each one of which is equally best and in regard to which you can choose all, or many, or some, or any that supreme freedom is somehow present in you. Even in a pin point maybe only this much, why only this much, because all the rest is shadowed by compulsions of various kinds. If there is a spark which is covered by ashes the spark remains. Similarly, your individuality is truly a centration of the Divine. Therefore, all the freedom that exists in the Divine, for the Divine, is your individuality. Because your individuality is nothing but the centration of the Divine, of the infinite but that centration is now covered with all kinds of compulsions – compulsions of ego, compulsion of sattva, Rajas and Tamas and many others because there is a covering of that compulsion. You normally experience only compulsions but if you go deeper, you will find that spark there and the moment you can touch it, you will really experience the real freedom. Even if you don’t experience it, is not abolished it is there, it is present there. Actually it is because of that spark that you feel at all, the sense of freedom because whatever may happen there is still in you a consciousness, it could be otherwise. The sense of it could be otherwise, gives you real sense of choice and real free choice.
The mark of freedom is that whenever you do something, there is a accompanying consciousness that I could do something else. I could have done something else that is a real mark of freedom and in regard to all our moral activities you will find that you always feel that it could have been something else. I could have done something, I become angry, I feel afterwards this was not right, why, because I feel that I could have done otherwise, there is a sense that I could have done otherwise. You did not do it, is another matter but the fact is that you feel inwardly that you could have done otherwise. The more you are near to this spark the greater is the feeling. The nearer you are to this pin–point, the greater is your feeling that it could have been otherwise. There is a very nice sentence of the Mother when she was asked a question she said, ‘all that happens had to happen.’ Because of the conditions and circumstances in which that event occurred and yet it could have been better, this you can say with regard to any event in the world, anything that happens had to happen, yet it could have been better. There was still a possibility of changing it. This you can say even about such a great event like Mahabharata war. If you examine such a big event like Mahabharata war, you can say that it had to happen. Even all the circumstances it had to happen and yet there is a sense in which you can say, it could have been avoided. If it was not avoidable at all then why did Shri Krishna try his best to prevent it? This is also a fact that if Mahabharata war was absolutely something which had to happen, Shri Krishna would have known it; he would not have made any effort to avoid it. He even put himself in a precarious condition of risk by going to Dhuryodhana’s court to plead for peace, − there was a possibility of avoiding it. Shri Krishna could have said at the end that Mahabharata war was to happen, yet it could have been avoided even after its occurrence. It is because something else can happen that we can think that next time I can avoid it. Therefore, when next time the same kinds of conditions arise, I try to avoid it. If this was not there, every time I could have said, ‘what is to happen will happen’. My effort has no meaning because whatever has to happen will happen, but because it could be better, even last time when it happened it had to happen but it could have been better, therefore, next time when it is starting to happen, I can exercise my will and can say freely, it could happen otherwise. That’s why from here a good attitude arises, if something has happened, do not grieve, it had to happen. Realize that it could have been avoided, which you could not avoid because what you were, given the conditions of life, of yourself and of everything, it did not happen. But if you to make a choice, which you did not, if you had to make a choice, a free choice, you could have avoided it therefore, next time when the similar events begin to occur, realize that it could have been changed. Last time also, you could not do it but this time you just exercise your will and it could be different.