Scripture doesn’t take away our freedom of choice, but gives us choice of another freedom
People sometimes resent scriptural guidance: “If I am constantly told to do this and to not do that, won’t that take away my freedom of choice?”
Not at all.
The Bhagavad-gita acknowledges our freedom of choice and exhorts us to exercise that freedom. It (18.63) urges us to deliberate deeply on its message and then act according to our desire. So the Gita is not about depriving us of our freedom, but about deliberating before the exercise of freedom. Such deliberation is recommended by thinkers in today’s democratic world; they urge people to thoughtfully evaluate all the candidates before casting their vote.
If we compare life with an election, then we cast our vote at each moment by the way we choose to spend that moment. Significantly, the Gita doesn’t just urge thoughtful evaluation of the available options for our vote; it also introduces to us an option that frequently remains unknown – the spiritual option.
Most people spend their life choosing among various options for material survival and success – options that end in futility because of the temporariness of everything material. The Gita introduces us to spiritual reality and outlines various ways to spiritual growth that culminate in an indestructible, inalienable attainment: spiritual love for Krishna.
A person with eyes gains the freedom to move about confidently, a freedom unavailable to the blind who often grope around, living in fear of bumping into things and being unsure of their progress. Similarly, once we empower ourselves with Gita wisdom and perceive the spiritual dimension of life, it’s like coming out of blindness and seeing life holistically. We gain a new freedom – the freedom to avoid unwanted bumps in the form of self-defeating indulgences and the freedom to march confidently towards life’s supreme attainment.
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