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Freedom From Fetters

Freedom in its complete sense would be liberation from the past as well as the future.

A short story relates the binding nature of attachments owing to one's alternated dwelling in the past and the future, ignoring the present which, postpones freedom.

An old man was on his death bed. His four sons who were very wealthy rushed to his side. Instead of attending to their dying father or thinking about how to work on the diminishing possibility of meeting each other after their father's death, they started discussing about how to transport the old man's body to the graveyard, once he was dead.

The youngest of the four suggested that the body of his father may be moved to the graveyard in a Rolls Royce as his father always wanted to own one. Since he could not have one for himself during his lifetime, they could bring one for him at least to transport him to the graveyard when dead.

The second son claimed that the youngest son was still young and knew not how to deal with money. He said, “the question is not about buying a Rolls Royce but only about hiring one. It could better be a cheap truck!" He pointed out that the dead father anyway would not be aware of whether he was moved in a Rolls Royce or a truck.

The third accused of the second son to be immature and said that since their father would not be aware of how he is transported when dead, pointed out how it would matter if he is moved in a municipal truck which carries dead bodies free of cost. “You just have to put him out on the road and he would be given a free ride!"

The father suddenly opened his eyes and asked the sons for his shoes. When the sons asked him why he needed his shoes when he was about to die any moment. The father replied, “I am still breathing and can walk my way to the graveyard!" He chided his sons for being spend thrifts and their irresponsibility in handling money!

Osho says that wealth, prestige and other things that we are attached to are fetters and we are all in the process of making better chains. He points out that a chain does not lose its binding property even if it is made of gold. Attachment in different forms is a chain that keeps freedom at bay.

Freedom obviously does not go with fetters. It is an individual issue. Once when one stops dwelling in the past and future, desires are automatically curbed. This paves way for total freedom beyond all limitations

Story first published: Tuesday, February 2, 2010, 15:53 [IST]
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