Freedom from Fear (That Thou Art)
The ‘Clever Northern Winds’… say the Movie Chocolat.
And I found today that the Clever North Wind spoke to me of Love, acceptance of the world, of the people on the streets; as I asked it to tell me about fear and freedom from fear.
It said that I belonged to no one family, or one set of people. For that way I was only constricting myself, shrinking my space, arresting my freedom.
As a teenager, I found that when I used to be very scared, visualizing the big vast sea helped somehow.
Perhaps when I thought of the Sea, its grandness, its expanse, and its no human-barrier characteristic; I could really enter into the true essence of freedom. Even freedom from fear.
Perhaps fear sets in in narrow confines of our Minds. What I mean is, when we constrict ourselves to my house, my family, my town, my locality, my people, even my body- fear sets in. We assume we are responsible for what changes or happens; we hold on to our concepts of how things should be and how people should act, what would be better and worse. So much so, that when things don’t go our way, or when people don’t behave as we would want them to, we are upset and our ‘narrow abodes of fantasy’ are threatened with collapse. That sets us ticking in fear.
Freedom comes from letting things take their course and knowing that one cannot control everything. Allowing things and people to change and have their own course and not being attached to a particular idea of how things/men should be, can set us free from fear.
Again, it is our Mind that is responsible for clinging to the limited, which is the seat of fear.
It is interesting to note the Vedantin point of view in this: You are not the Body, you are not a mere son, friend or lover. You are the vast oceans, the vast seas, the all-pervading Brahma, the decayless and the deathless.
When we can free our minds of constricted identities of the body, family, relations, world and possessions; when we can see ourselves as being a part of the larger whole, we can set ourselves free from fear.
Forget that you are Suresh, forget you are a son, forget you are a lover. They just constrict you. Walk the streets knowing you are not the perishable body. Be with the knowledge that the whole world, universe is your abode, that you are a free spirit. Know that you as a free spirit have no expectation from the world or people. No one is responsible for your happiness and you are not responsible for others. You are free. You are the One (the Brahma). Like the free ocean, the free Northern Wind…
According to me, when Sivananda advises us to contemplate on the all-pervading Brahma (the Hindu concept of Lord), it is quite different from the Western/Christian concept of God.
When I think of Mahavishnu (my favorite image of the God, meant for concentrating the restless mind) when I chant His name (om namo narayanaya) and focus on His beautiful Divine form, I am reminding myself that ‘That am I’ (the central Hindu Concept that I am not the limited mind or body but the Infinite Spirit). It helps me to rise above the narrow ego-identifications of body, family and relationships and visualize myself in that perfect Infinite form (something like when I visualized the sea as a Teenager)
That sets me free.
And as I found the fear dissipating and felt my tense muscles relaxing and my heart opening up, as I walked embracing the wind, greenery and form of the trees, the expanse of the Universe, I found myself breathing deep into my lower belly and then exhaling from my mouth. Repeatedly breathing so helped me relax.
Any idea what is the most dangerous thing on this planet? No, its not the Nuclear bomb. It’s the Human Mind.
Ofcourse it’s a genius. It’s the most sophisticated piece of equipment with Man. It can take us to the Moon, and discover electricity for light.
However it’s the one thing that we need to keep in control. And perhaps Awareness, stillness, and determination to find our way can help us do that.