By Chaitanya Charan Das
We long to be free. And we long for love. Yet love and freedom don’t seem to go together.
Why? Because love apparently restricts freedom. We are finite beings with finite resources such as time, energy and emotions. When we love someone, we have to focus on developing a connection with them. And this focus decreases the resources available for us to connect with others. Moreover, to connect with anyone, we need to do the things that please them and avoid doing the things that displease them. Thus, love limits our freedom to connect with multiple people and to do whatever we like.
Significantly however, the limitation arising from love is not depriving – it is fulfilling. Why? Because that limitation helps us connect deeper with our beloved, thereby establishing a meaningful and enriching relationship.
Ultimately, why do we want freedom? Not just to do anything we like, but primarily to do that which is most fulfilling. And nothing is as fulfilling as love.
While any loving relationship can provide us some fulfillment, we can find the supreme fulfillment in a loving relationship with the Supreme Being: the all-attractive personal absolute, Krishna. Here’s why?
Gita wisdom explains that we are immortal souls. Krishna is the whole, and we all are his parts. When we connect with him, we connect with everyone through him. Moreover, because he is unlimited, connecting with him is unlimitedly fulfilling.
In this scriptural light, let’s revisit the Bhagavad-gita’s concluding call (18.66) to become devote to Krishna, giving up everything that impedes such devotion. This call seems to limit our freedom. But it limits to liberate – it comprises a well-defined channel to offer our love to Krishna, thereby providing us entry into the universe of unlimited, unending love.
The freedom to relish that eternal love is life’s supreme fulfillment.
Verse 18.66 – “Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.”
Think it over:
How does love limit freedom?
How is the limitation of love fulfilling, not depriving?
How is love for Krishna supremely fulfilling?