Vahiguru ji ka Khalsa, Vahiguru ji ki Fatih!
Freedom is the best of human conditions. It includes the inner freedom of will and the external freedom of the environment. It is a condition where one can engage in the values of truth and beauty and arrive at a juncture where goodness constantly flows.
Who is free?
In the fourteenth stanza of Salok Mahala 9, Guru Teghbahadar Sahib says, for whom praise or slander do not matter, for whom gold and iron are equal, that person alone is free.
The Guru urges us to understand that those not affected by praise or criticism, who see gold and iron as the same, are free individuals.
How to become free?
It is through Remembrance, recognizing the presence of the One, and becoming like IkOankar, the One. When we become indifferent to weighing things as “good” or “bad,” valuable or not, no longer are we concerned about whether someone likes us or doesn’t.
We, humans, do not like to hear criticism. We love being praised. When we are being criticized, can we remain steady?
Praise and slander are both non-virtues. Virtuous living is free-living, where neither affects our consciousness. It’s difficult to be unaffected by both. But when we get to the point, we are free.
When we have gotten to a point where gold and iron mean nothing to us; when their acquisition and loss do not change our behavior; when we understand that these things do not go with us, they are immaterial, then we are free. Then, we are also transitioning from being careless (la-parvah) to carefree (be-parvah), like the One!
May we yearn to be truly free!
May the Wisdom-Guru be with us.
“Everything starts in the Sikh culture from Guru Nanak Sahib. And when Guru Nanak references the word Vai-sakhi, he actually brings it out of nature. Sak is a branch. If you look at humanity as being the tree symbolism..."
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