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Spiritual Freedom From Lower Freedoms

Though the goal of a seeker is spiritual freedom (moksha) he must remember that unless a series of 'lower' freedoms (Freedom from body, freedom from mind, freedom from intellect)are achieved, he cannot get spiritual freedom. The 'lower' freedoms are the means, the spiritual freedom is the end.


Swami Vivekananda said that 'one of the greatest lessons' he learnt in life was 'to pay as much attention to the means of work as to its end.'

He added:"I have been always learning great lessons from that one principle, and it appears to me that all the secret of success is there: to pay as much attention to the means as to the end"

Why is it that success eludes us often? Swamiji (Swami Vivekananda) explains:

"Our great defect in life is that we are so much drawn to the ideal, the goal is so much more enchanting, so much more alluring, so much bigger in our mental horizon, that we lose sight of the details altogether.''

Analyse your failure critically, Swamiji (Swami Vivekananda) says, and you will find that it was because you did not pay attention to the means"

He continues: "Proper attention to the finishing, strengthening, of the means is what we need. With the means all right, the end must come"


We forget that it is the cause that produces the effect; the effect cannot come by itself; and unless the causes are exact, proper, and powerful the effect will not be produced. Once the ideal is chosen and the means determined, we may almost let go the ideal, because we are sure it will be there when the means are perfected. When the cause is there, there is no more difficulty about the effect, the effect is bound to come. If we take care of the cause, the effect will take care of itself. The realization of the ideal is the effect. The means are the cause: attention to the means, therefore, is the one secret of life.

Those who aspire for spiritual freedom without first achieving the 'lower' freedoms described earlier, are like the convict who has plans ready to get out of the jail without having the least idea of how to free his hands and feet from the chains that bind him.

About the author

Swami Tyagananda

Swami Tyagananda in this write up which is an excerpt from 'Degrees of Freedom' points out the Spiritual Freedomcan be sought only by attaining the other lower forms of freedom like freedom from body, freedom from mind and freedom from intellect.

Story first published: Thursday, September 23, 2010, 17:25 [IST]
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