– Avatar Meher Baba –
25th February, 2023 marks the 129th Birth Anniversary of beloved Avatar Meher Baba. The following is a discourse given by Him on ‘Spiritual Freedom’:
All over the world, the spirit of man is crying out for freedom. Love of freedom and the search for freedom are principal characteristics of humanity. There are few persons, however, who really understand the full implications of true and unqualified freedom. Freedom to live as one wishes is sought in all spheres of life. This imperative demand for freedom usually expresses itself by fastening upon some external conditions of the kind of existence people wish to lead. Hence, those who identify their being with their country seek national or political freedom; those animated by economic purposes seek economic freedom; those inspired by religious aspirations seek freedom of religion; those enthusiastic about sociological / cultural ideology seek freedom of movement and freedom to express the ideals that they cherish and wish to propagate.
There are few who realise that the basic freedom, which alone gives the stamp of true value to any of these different kinds of relative freedom, is Spiritual Freedom. An important condition of spiritual freedom is freedom from all wanting. It is want that fetters life through attachment to conditions that would fulfil that want. Without want, there is no dependence or limitation. Spiritual Freedom brings abiding happiness and unimpaired self-knowledge. In spiritual freedom lies the final ending of sorrow and limitation, where one can live for all and yet be detached in the midst of all activities.
There’s no gift greater than the gift of spiritual freedom and there is no task more important than the task of helping others achieve it. The way to help others attain spiritual freedom is far different from rendering other types of help. For the hungry you can provide food, for the naked you can provide clothes, for the homeless you can provide houses. For those living in agony of spiritual bondage, there’s no ready-made provision that can give them immediate relief. Spiritual freedom has to be won by oneself for oneself through watchful and an unfailing war against the lower self and desires. Soldiers in the cause of Truth have to help all, in launching the thrilling enterprise of attaining victory over themselves, as well as in every step towards that attainment. There is no other way of sharing their burden.
No sacrifice is too big to set man free from spiritual bondage and help him inherit the Truth, which alone shall bring abiding peace and sustain an unassailable sense of universal fellow-hood… cemented by the ungrudging love for all, as expressions of the same Reality. The Eternal Truth that God alone is real has to be clearly understood and unreservedly accepted, and it has to be unequivocally expressed through words and deeds. In the full realisation of the Truth, humanity shall attain spiritual freedom.
(- Avatar Meher Baba Bombay Centre, Mumbai)
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