“Freedom” – Nolini Kanta Gupta

If there is one value that the Mother cherished most, it is undoubtedly freedom. Right from her childhood she fought for freedom: freedom from tradition, freedom from convention, freedom from habit, freedom from Nature, in fact freedom from everything that constrains the evolution of the soul. Even in spiritual matters which are organised ostensibly for the development of the individual in terms of truth, love, harmony, she was most particular that nothing should be done that could interfere with the freedom of the person to grow as he liked.

She was all compassion, all love in responding to calls for help, but she always acted on one unique principle: as she put it, she intervened without interfering. She would not do anything that could in any way interfere with a person’s free exercise of his will. If that meant some avoidable suffering for him, well, that is the way he had to learn. She refused to frame a tight set of rules and regulations for the sadhaks, to impose any kind of stifling external discipline on them. Not that she could not do it, overtly or occultly, but she said that she saw no value in such “good behaviour”. She wanted each one to feel the need for an inner discipline and to act on that basis out of one’s own free will.

This feature may be observed in everything that she wrote, everything that she created. Freedom from fear, freedom from the compulsion of authority, freedom from any type of imposition are what she aimed at, among other things. How far we are true to that spirit, to what extent we reflect the Mother’s consciousness — in our individual lives and in our collective existence — depends upon the measure of this freedom we have realised.

It is from this standpoint that we have to judge the quality of our achievement or failure. Where there is no freedom to function, there we have failed the Mother. Freedom to think, to speak, to feel, to act in a way natural to ourselves, of course keeping in view the truth of a similar freedom for others, should be the hallmark of Mother’s kingdom. My freedom cannot clash with yours when it proceeds from the level of the soul and not from the ego. To arrive at that point, an enabling sadhana is indispensable. And that is why the Mother has created an environment where things are favourable for a natural evolution of the spiritual being in each one. Spiritual growth and freedom are interacting factors; each promotes the other. Where freedom is curtailed or suppressed in the supposed interests of an organisation, the soul cannot blossom. An enforced discipline can only lead to a soulless, mechanical, stultifying order foreign to the innate character of the evolving spirit.

The Mother respected the freedom not only of humans but equally of animals and birds. She never approved of caging birds or enclosing tigers and lions. She had a look of sorrow when such specimens were flaunted before her, though she was too considerate to say so to their proud human captors. For each one his cup of tea.

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