XX - Page 200 Home | Index | Previous | Next

External Freedom and Inner Freedom

As long as you base your life on wealth, property and worldly things, you will never be able to derive any real joy. There are two things which every person has to attain; one is external freedom, the other is inner freedom. External freedom speaks of independence, being free of external bonds and limitations. Inner freedom speaks of liberation from the bondage of the senses, having them under your full control. Every individual should realize both of these freedoms.

In the external world, as long as you are under the control of people who are unsympathetic towards you, such as some foreign king or ruler, you will not be able to get real joy. In the inner world, as long as you are a slave of the senses, then you will also not be able to enjoy real freedom. Even for the outer freedom, sense-control is important. But for becoming master of the inner world, the single most important faculty that you must develop is the control of the senses and thereby gain control over the mind. Once you have control of the mind you will be able to turn it away from the world and towards God. Then you will get real joy, both externally and internally, for then you will see the divinity everywhere.

Control of the mind and control of the senses is the victory that must be won by all human beings. Up to now you have been craving for different types of joys and pleasures; you go on uttering prayers for attaining happiness but you are not making any real effort to discover where that happiness is to be found. Krishna told Arjuna, "You are deluding yourself, believing that you can get happiness and peace in daily life. But, you won't be able to get real joy there. Sense-objects cannot give you the joy that you are seeking. It is only when you control your senses that you will be able to get peace and joy."

Whether you are a believer or a non-believer, you will have to gain control over your senses. Be the master of your senses. Do not allow them to get excited and run after sense-objects. When the senses get excited and you follow them, you will become weak and forget the Lord. Keep your senses under control and keep your mind firmly fixed on the Lord. Follow his teaching and directions. Without his grace your strength will leave you, and you will not be able to undertake any useful work.