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Freedom

by Swami Vivekananda

You are the omniscient, omnipresent being of the universe. But of such beings can there be many? Can there be a hundred thousand millions of omnipresent beings? Certainly not. Then, what becomes of us all? You are only one; there is only one such Self, and that One Self is you. Standing behind this little nature is what we call the Soul. There is only One Being, One Existence, the ever-blessed, the omnipresent, the omniscient, the birthless, deathless.

"Through His control the sky expands, through His control the air breathes, through His control the sun shines, and through His control all lives are."

He is the Reality in nature, He is the Soul of your soul - nay more, you are He, you are one with Him. Wherever there are two, there is fear, there is danger, there is conflict, there is strife. When it is all One, who is there to hate, who is there to struggle with? When it is all He, with whom can you fight? This explains the true nature of life; this explains the true nature of being. This is perfection, and this is God. As long as you see the many, you are under delusion.

"In this world of many he who sees the One, in this ever-changing world, he who sees Him who never changes, as the Soul of his own soul, as his own Self - he is free, he is blessed, he has reached the goal."

Therefore know that thou art He; thou art the God of this universe - tat tvam asi - (thou art That).

All these various ideas that I am a man or a woman, or sick or healthy, or strong or weak, or that I hate or I love, or have a little power, are but hallucinations. Away with them! What makes you weak? What makes you fear? You are the One Being in the universe. What frightens you?

Stand up then and be free. Know that every thought and word that weakens you in this world is the only evil that exists. Whatever makes men weak and fear is the only evil that should be shunned. What can frighten you?

If the suns come down, and the moons crumble into dust, and systems after systems are hurled into annihilation, what is that to you? Stand as a rock; you are indestructible. You are the Self, the God of the universe. Say: "I am Existence Absolute, Bliss Absolute, Knowledge Absolute, I am He." And like a lion breaking its cage, break your chain and be free for ever. What frightens you, what holds you down? Only ignorance and delusion; nothing else can bind you.
                 
  Jnana-Yoga, Immortality, Swami Vivekananda, p164

 

For more information about Swami Vivekananda, including an on-line autobiography and the complete works of Swami Vivekananda on-line, visit the website at:

              http://www.ramakrishnavivekananda.info/index.htm