Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore wrote the famous poem at the turn of the twentieth century, ‘Where the mind is without fears’, it was like a prayer to the Almighty about granting freedom to humanity against oppression and forced compulsion. He prayed for people to be truthful from their heart and not just superficial. He also implied on the importance of self-discipline. For him political freedom is not enough, but people must also have the freedom in their thoughts and way of life. He also exhorts people to work hard towards their goals and achieve perfection leading to economic freedom. People should not get tired of working or become lazy to ignore their duties. As can be inferred from the poem, discipline is an essential element of freedom, without which it leads to chaos and disorders.
The need for Clear Thinking and Reasoning
Reasoning or logical thinking is a much wanted quality if we are to achieve something worthwhile overcoming the narrowness of our thoughts. Superstitious beliefs and dead habits are detrimental to progress. These pull down the creativity and enthusiasm which are necessary for a breakthrough invention or discovery.
A disciplined life is one which understands its responsibilities towards others and the society. Only disciplined people can understand the true worth and purpose of freedom. They seek out challenges and responsibilities for themselves. Every great leader has had this approach to their tasks and missions. Their vision was carved out for them which they achieved through rigorous application of discipline in their life.
Freeing Oneself from the Bondages of Prejudice
One needs to free himself from the prejudices which are like deserts that can dry up any stream of clear thoughts. Achieving something extraordinary or unusual requires broadening the narrowness of the mind. Rational thinking should guide the thoughts, and not age-old superstitions. Old and baseless beliefs should be scrutinized with the help of logic and rational thinking. Acquiring a scientific temper helps in getting rid of many superstitious beliefs. Many of these beliefs are unscientific and these divide the humanity instead of uniting them. It takes of lot of courage and initiative to stand up against the prejudices in society and to work for the upliftment of those affected by it. Despite these odds, being free also means bringing freedom to others. There are ample examples of those, including that of Mahatma Gandhi in South Africa and India, that unless a life free from all evils exists, people cannot enjoy their freedom. To enable other to have freedom, one needs to be fearless, truthful, and broad-minded.
Not Being Judgmental about Others
A higher degree of awareness frees us from the petty issues of accusing others with hidden motives. An open-hearted person frees himself from the narrow confines of ascribing motives to other’s action. We ourselves are responsible for creating our own destiny. Making others responsible for our shortcomings and failures means we are still under the influence of being controlled by others. Real freedom means being able to understand that no one can put us down, and it is up to us to make the best of the situation and life.
True freedom does not only mean political freedom or economic freedom. Freedom is a state of mind, where one is fearless to speak out his thoughts and follow the path of life that he thinks most enchanting. Freedom allows people to indulge in their creative pursuit without any duress or being watched and controlled. It symbolizes the ultimate in the evolution of human thought free from any oppression or duress.
Written By: Raj Kumar Hansdah