As I sat under this Banyan Tree this morning meditating and trying to “feel the freedom” on this Independence Day, as one of my friends wished this morning – my thoughts went deeper into the meaning of freedom and its importance in one’s life.
It is important to know who or what we should be free from and why? If we do earn that freedom consciously, then the next responsibility is what are we doing with that freedom. We need to take charge of it and make sure we are better off. Otherwise, the whole exercise is wasted. Are you with me?
This is applicable at all levels. If we talk about country earning its freedom from foreign rule, it was a conscious fight with specific reasons why we wanted Swaraj or our own rule and why we needed to get the foreigners away from our land and these are the reasons that got many people together to do their bit and even give up their very lives for the purpose. We achieved this hard earned freedom or independence in India 72 years ago and we are celebrating that achievement and remembering with gratitude all those lives sacrificed so that we can be enjoying our freedom every moment for all these 72 years! But this is not going to be enough. We need to review how we have dealt with what we have been gifted with. Have we gone on the path for which or freedom fighters fought for freedom and are we managing our own land the way they wished, hoped and dreamt of? 
I am not saying we have done a bad job at all. We have made a lot of progress but still is this our best? Of course not. We need to review where have we fared well and celebrate, where do we need to focus and do better and zoom in with a concrete plan to achieve success in that in the near future. 
For example, we can be a lot better if we even just realised what an amazing nation we were and the fact that we are the spiritual capital of the entire Universe!! Inspite of greedy people from within and outside trying to rob us of our spiritual treasures, they have not been able to. It is fortunately something that cannot be robbed. We are gifted with this wealth from the creator himself. We are the centre of the spiritual world! But this comes with some responsibility on us as well. While the wealth is still around, what those robbers have managed to steal is our intelligence and brain wash us quite successfully with their nonsense about our own tradition, culture and spiritual wealth so that we stop valuing that and act like beggars even if we are the wealthiest of all. Our brains are still not free from the contamination that has been infested into us. We have lost our understanding and pride in who we really are. Time to wake up folks. 
I really believe that, for example, our traditional Gurukul System of education, that led to us being the education capital of the world, can help us get back to being the best. Please don’t judge my statement based on any opinion you may have on the Gurukul system. If you differ in your opinion, I respect that. But let us debate. Write to me and let us share our views and come to understand it in the greater interest of our own community. 
Somehow, many of us, especially the so called educated class, have become almost allergic to terms that remind us of our great tradition as if it is something like taking us backward. Behold, it is the reverse. Even science is yet to “discover” a fraction of what has been recorded in some of our vedic scriptures with precision many thousands of years ago. What is our problem in acknowledging that? I think the problem is that we don’t want to make any effort to know about anything before making a judgement. We have been brain washed to believe in some things to be seeming ‘so called modern’ and trendy in this society and fit into the system. But we are not realising that the more we ‘fit into this system’ our system is getting rotten and dying!! 
That is why many times we find ourselves being the most hypocritical society. We have a traditional value system embedded in us and then we have superficially adopted something that we don’t even understand and make big statements like ‘ “There is no God”, “There is no use of Religion” or “There is no need for a Guru” without even getting into the subject. Sometimes, when I hear someone say these and the likes, in my curiosity as to how they can be so confident of this conclusion in their lives, end up asking ” How do you know?” and they just don’t have any statement to offer which shows that they have invested any time or energy in even researching the subject. It just seemed more convenient and comfortable for them to lead their lives and hence they say so!! And worst of all, this comes from our top most leaders, educationists etc. Come on Indians, we can be better, seriously 🙂 
If we can wake up to our spiritual wealth and become realised citizens, we will be world leaders in every other aspect. We don’t need to own anything else, we can be the advisors to the world who can bring world peace and economic development. After all, there was a sound reasoning why even the mightiest of the Kings had their spiritual master as their advisor. 
We were under foreign rule where we were not allowed to follow our traditional values, our spiritual values, we were looked down upon, we were made to believe we were slaves. But now, we have SWARAJ – our own administration – then where is the problem now? Why are we still continuing with the very same education system, administrative system, economic system and social system that we fought against? Why are we still producing slaves for the same rulers? Have we really become free or have we just managed to fool ourselves into believing that and still serve our rulers sitting outside of our land but still ruling us? I will leave you with these thoughts this morning to ponder upon as responsible citizens.
Before I conclude, a bit about what I think we really need to free ourselves from so that we are capable individuals who can perform at our peak. We need to free ourselves from FEAR, INSECURITY, ANGER, NEGATIVITY and then replace these with GRATITUDE, LOVE, COMPASSION AND POSITIVITY. Once we have all of the right ingredients, we can be the best version of ourselves, we can be the best team, best community and best country. These were my humble realisations under the Banyan Tree this morning. What say you?