Scripture doesn’t deprive us of freedom; it protects us from depriving ourselves in the name of freedom
An intoxicated person with a million dollar check may squander it on something trivial, like a hundred bottles of booze. Naturally, a well-wishing friend will try to restrain the alcoholic from such tragic profligacy.
Scripture is like that well-wishing friend for all of us who are intoxicated by fantasies of worldly pleasures. We have free will that is our most precious asset, akin to a million dollar check. Being indestructible souls, we are meant for eternal happiness in a life of love with Krishna. If we use our free will properly to practice devotional service, we learn to love Krishna and thereby attain eternal life. But due to our worldly inebriations, we tend to squander our precious free will on trivialities. We use our time and energy to seek worldly things that provide fleeting pleasure.
The Bhagavad-gita (18.63) acknowledges our right to our free will (yathecchasi tatha kuru) and urges us to use it prudently by deliberating deeply (vimrishaytad asheshena) on spiritual wisdom. Such conscious deliberation acts as a counter to our default inebriation that goads us to act impulsively and chase after worldly trinkets. When we deliberate on the Gita’s message, we comprehend our potential for attaining everlasting bliss and recognize how our impulsive inebriation deprives us of this supreme attainment.
Unfortunately, our current culture glamorizes the pursuit of trivialities as freedom and demonizes scriptural guidance as deprivation of freedom. Actually, what deprives us is our tragic misunderstanding about the whole issue.
Scripture doesn’t deprive us of freedom; it acknowledges our freedom, urges us to use it judiciously and explains what comprises its best useBBy thus protecting us from depriving ourselves in the name of freedom, scripture frees us from worldly intoxication and frees us for eternal happiness.
"Thus I have explained to you knowledge still more conﬁdential. Deliberate on this fully, and then do what you wish to do."