Real Freedom

by Dr. Pran Rangan

Once, Diogenes - the great Greek philosopher - was caught by some robbers. Diogenes was a mystic. He used to live naked. It is said that he had a beautiful body. In fact, he was a naked fakir; he had nothing other than his glory and his own beauty.

When he was meditating under a tree in a forest, some robbers caught him. They thought:"It is good. We can get a good price for him. He can be sold in a slave market."

But they were afraid because the man looked very strong. The robbers were at least half a dozen, but still, they were afraid. And they approached very cautiously because he could be dangerous. He alone seemed to be enough for six people.

Diogenes looked at them and said:"Don't be afraid. Don't be afraid, I'm not going to fight you. You can come close to me, and you can put your chains on me."

They were surprised. They chained him, they made him a prisoner, and they took him away to the marketplace. On the way, he said:"But why have you chained me? You could have just asked me, and I would have followed. Why make such a fuss about it?" They said:"We cannot believe that somebody is so willing to become a slave!"

And Diogenes laughed and he said:"Because I am a free man, I am not worried about this."

They could not understand. Then, in the marketplace, standing in the middle of the market, Diogenes shouted:"A Master has come to be sold here. Is some slave desirous of purchasing him?"

A Master is a Master. Real freedom is not from bondage, real freedom is beyond bondage.

If you think that freedom is from bondage, you haven't understood it. Unless you go beyond your worldly desires, which shackle you in bondage, you can't have real freedom.

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