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I And Mine: [02.17] - A Religious Revolution - Liberation

Published: 18.11.2005
Updated: 06.08.2008

One of the Sanskrit poets says that through the world is full of innumerable bonds; none is stronger than the bond of love. A beetle can pierce a hole in wood but remains helpless in the tender embrace of a lotus flower.

A lotus flower was unfolding with the rising sun. It blossomed fully at noon. Just then came a beetle and got captivated by its pollen. It kept revolving around it and finally settled down right in its middle. Evening came, yet the beetle did not leave it. The petals of the lotus flower closed and the beetle became a captive. Who has not been captivated by love?

Love for others binds, while love of one' s Self liberates. Bondage means love directed at others; liberation means love directed at one' s own Self. The latter does not imply narrow selfishness. It is natural self-restraint. One who loves the own Self can never hold others in bondage. Only those people hold others in bondage, who are indifferent towards their own Selves.

It is for his entertainment that a man imprisons a parrot within a cage. Why were zoos created? Man is not in love with his own self, that is why he entertains himself by holding others captive.

Once a man kicked up a row with one of his neighbours. He developed an angry ‘fixation' towards the latter. His eyes became bloodshot with anger whenever he saw the latter. It is the bondage of hatred.

Another story relates to an old woman. She began becoming more and more lean and thin. Her son said, 'Mother, are you ill?' She said, 'No, my son, I have no illness.' 'Then why are you becoming so lean and thin?' asked the son. She replied, ‘Son, curd-churning takes place daily in the neighbour's house and that gives me untold agony. The churning rod does not strike the curd but my chest. That's what is making me thin.' This is bondage of jealousy.

Then there was a king. He said, 'Feed the she-goat heartily, but she should not grow physically.' The villagers puzzled. Rohak found a way out. He took the she-goat near the cage of lion and tied it there. She was plentifully fed but her body showed no signs of the strength of nourishment. Every time the lion roared, she lost all the strength she had gained. This is bondage of fear.

Once a man went to a wealthy merchant. There a wedding was being celebrated. He wanted to take a few things from the merchant. When asked to give them, the merchant pleaded inability and asked him to wait since there was no man there. After half an hour he was again asked to give the things and he gave the same reply. When asked a third time, he again replied that there was no man there. Then the visitor said, 'I came to ask you to give me the things thinking that you were indeed a man,' It is bondage of evaluating criterion.

Not to speak of external bonds, there are so many inner bonds, without tackling them, tackling the external bonds is as good as impossible.

I like liberation; you too like it; everyone likes it. But can we remain liberated without giving up the mentality of keeping others in bondage? I captivate those smaller than me; it means I open the way for those bigger than me to keep in bondage. Not to be under bondage should mean not to keep others in bondage. Bondage begets bondage and liberation begets liberation. To get librated from external bonds it is vitally necessary first to get mentally liberated; to get internally liberated.

  • I And Mine by Acharya Mahaprajna
  • Edited by Muni Dulahraj ji
  • Translated by R.P. Bhatnagar, formerly Prof. Dept. of English at Jaipur University
  • Published by Jain Vishva Bharati Institute, Ladnun, India, 1st Edition, 1995

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