What is freedom?


Is it the freedom to get what we want?
Is it the freedom to do what we wish?
Is it the freedom to say what we think?
Is it the freedom to think in darkness?


When craving and rage surges up,
And confusion leads to disaster,
Alas! That freedom is another name for bondage,
Of being torn apart by our own freedom!


When gushing currents of the river of
Emotions and confused thoughts
Toss us around in despair and madness,
Shall we call it the freedom of expression!


In the wish to harm others and benefit self,
Isn’t one’s freedom another’s bondage!
If restrain from harming is painful,
Is that freedom or bondage!


The fire of hatred scorches from within,
The torrent of craving tosses us madly,
The quivers of fear shroud us in darkness.
Come on! Let us break into the cool trails of wisdom.


That genuine freedom, the Buddha showed,
Freedom from the bondage of emotions,
Freedom not to experience suffering,
Freedom to find happiness everywhere.


Freedom to wake up from the slumber of ignorance,
Freedom to see the pathways of benefit.
In the state of that supreme freedom
Benefiting others is so joyous!


In the freedom that knows no bounds
Peace and bliss are unhindered.
Fetters of emotions turn into a play of joyous compassion!
Clouds of confusion dissolve in the clear expanse!


Let our thoughts be the play of that true freedom!
Let our speech be the song of that true freedom!
Let our deeds be the dance of benefiting others!
After waking up, let us see this world again.


May there be freedom of expression and tolerance in our society, and may there be a deeper freedom within to complement it and harmonize it.
-Yogi Prabodha Jnana


For a discourse on this poem, please read Free Thoughts – of a Bound Person. It explains how inner freedom makes freethinking, ‘freedom of expression’, and ‘the freedom to live the life the way we wish’, etc. meaningful.


About the picture above: Freedom – the two ways

Left side: Expressing the inner turmoil. Is this freedom?

Right side: With inner freedom and peace, extending a helping arm to the world of turmoil.

Yogi Prabodha Jnana
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