17. Freedom from Limitation
(Darshan given on February 10th, 1996.)
A visitor: Liberation means that we are liberated from the mind, but does it also mean that the mind itself is liberated?
Swamiji: Liberated from what? Liberation means freedom from something, but what is that something from which you want freedom?
Visitor: From limitation.
Swamiji: What kind of limitation? Tell me. Physical, sociological, psychological, financial, political – what kind of freedom do you want?
Visitor: Freedom from the psychological, mostly.
Swamiji: By psychological, you mean freedom from the mind itself? This is what you mean?
Visitor: Yes, I think so. Yes.
Swamiji: If the mind is eliminated completely, then what remains in you? You are thinking that you are existing because of the mind operating, so if the mind is eliminated completely, then what exists afterwards? You cannot say that you are existing, because the mind has gone; therefore, it is that you are virtually not existing. Hence, can you consider it as freedom when you are yourself abolished completely and don't exist because the mind has gone? Any person whose mind has gone doesn't exist practically, so are you thinking that kind of thing?
Visitor: When you put it like that, it would make no sense to be free…
Swamiji: So that is meaningless. It is not freedom from the mind that you are wanting. You want freedom from limitation, you said. The existence of other people, the existence of the world outside, is a limitation on your freedom. The world sits on your head and has such an impact upon you that it will not allow you to do whatever you like. If you walk over the water, it will drown you, if you touch fire it will burn you, if the wind blows you will go up, so you have no freedom from any of these things. And you also cannot have full freedom in society because other people are there who will restrict your freedom. That is to say, no freedom is possible in this world as long as other things are there. The existence of another is the cause of limitation. You don't like another sitting near you because that person limits your existence. So you want freedom from limitation in the sense of not being limited by anything outside you. There should not be anything outside you at all. Then only you are free.
Now, how will you achieve this condition where there is nothing outside you? What did your Guru tell you in answer to this question?
Visitor: Well, I think, by understanding his teachings, that liberation is not drawing any conclusions about oneself by what we think and what we feel.
Swamiji: Okay. You have come to a point where you want freedom and liberation but you are caught in a mess when I ask you: “Freedom from what?” You can't answer this question.
Visitor: Yes. [laughs]
Swamiji: You cannot have freedom in the sense of there being nothing outside, limiting you. If nothing outside exists, even the world does not exist, people don't exist, and the sun, moon and stars don't exist. Then you are free. But that is not possible. You cannot say that people should not exist, and the world should not exist, the sun, moon and stars should not exist. But you can find out the way of being free from the limitations imposed on you by these things by becoming identical with them. You become identical with everybody, the whole world, the sun, moon, stars, space, time, and then the whole universe. This is liberation, sir. Don't forget this point.
Visitor: I will try not to forget.
Another visitor: How can we win the war against the ego?
Swamiji: I have told you the same thing. When you become everything, the so-called individuality vanishes. You become the Universal I, and the Universal I cannot be called an ego because an ego is that affirmation which excludes others from itself. That is ego. But when you have become all the egos, then you are a kind of Universal ego. So your question is answered.
Another visitor: Swamiji, yesterday you pointed out that we must be one with everything and with everybody. This is my weakness, about which I have been thinking for the last ten years. I have changed my outward life, made my words and actions different, but inside there is no change. It is getting worse because I go to the other extreme. I don't like to talk; I don't like to see people. If I speak, I speak too much. If I see people, I see too many people.
Swamiji: I was speaking just now, and you are repeating the same thing in another way. “I don't like to see people.” That is what you said. But you have to be one with people. Now, this is like a contradiction. When you become one with people, you do not see people, so that is the contradiction. When you see people, you are not one with them.
Visitor: How can I get to that stage where I don't see people anymore?
Swamiji: When you are the people, you will not see the people. When you see the people, you are not the people. It is simple to understand. You cannot see a thing which you yourself are; but when you are not that, you can see them. It is a simple thing that I am saying; the only thing is you have to affirm it in meditation. There is a person sitting near you, whom you are seeing. But if you yourself are that person, you will not see them. This logic will extend to everything, even to the trees and the mountains, and the sun, moon and stars. You cannot see them because you yourself are that. You don't like to see your own self. You see another thing, other than you. This requires deep affirmation and meditation. There is no contradiction. Only you have to reverse your process of thinking.
Therefore, your liking or not liking has no meaning; you are not supposed to like or not like others because in meditation they are only yourself, so you cannot say you like or don't like them. Both these statements are not correct. When you like them, they are outside you. When you dislike them, they are outside you. But when they are you yourself, there is no question of liking or not liking them. That is the real, profound condition, into which you have to enter by deep meditation. The question of liking or not liking does not arise because that is a kind of relationship that you are establishing positively or negatively in respect of another, which you consider as outside you. But when you yourself are them, then what is the problem? Then you will see a great miracle take place in your life.