We often approach the concept of freedom from the perspective of a being oppressed. Let’s say you live in a country where the government doesn’t take proper care of its people; the people in that country, including you, will likely feel oppressed. You may recall William Wallace’s powerful desire to be free in the famous line Mel Gibson shouted to the army in the movie Braveheart, “They may take our lives, but they’ll never take our …freedom!” The definition of the word freedom gives food for thought as well: The power and or right to be without hinderance. Freedom means deliverance, liberty, emancipation, non-confinement, release.” In every way liberty is associated with happiness.
But how does all of this relate with Yoga? On a yogic level, freedom means to experience and live in the reality what you truly are beyond the body and mind. Many times the seeker is told hold to your higher Self. The promise being that when she does this, the experience of jīvanmukti will manifest in her heart. jīvanmukti is a powerful term for describing yogic freedom. Jīva means the embodied one and mukti is the state of yogic freedom. The ‘n’ connected with jīva, making it jīvan, is a grammatical element, which you will learn more about when you study Sanskrit (hyperlink: www.sanskritstudies.org ). For now, think of Jīvanmukti as the realization of yogic awareness in this very life.
It’s a lovely concept to spend time considering because the idea in Jīvanmukti is you can transform your ordinary life into something quite extraordinary. Like the yogis and yoginis of old, you too can learn to live daily through the strength of Yogic wisdom.
Photo by Dallas Reedy
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