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Freedom and Misery

Dancing with Ganesha
Episode No. 58

What does freedom of expression look like and how do our karmas interrupt our ability to live freely and express ourselves? A podcast from Satsang with Shambhavi.


Tonight I thought I would talk a little bit about freedom. It’s a word that’s very important in this tradition. In the tradition of Trika Shaivism, there’s a word for it: svatantrya. Svatantrya means freedom of self-expression. It’s said that Lord Shiva, or this reality, has total freedom of self-expression, sva tantrya. Now, what do we need, what are the requirements for experiencing that? My idea of freedom from our perspective of not totally enlightened beings is a kind of radical ease that allows you to respond and make choices in any particular moment without fear about what is going to happen and without being conditioned by what has happened in the past.

What we can hope for as practitioners in human bodies is that we can get to a point where we feel so easeful in life, so unobstructed by concern for small self survival that we can be aware in each moment and be responding without fear of the outcome of our actions, without projecting our karmic realm visions onto possible outcomes. When people say, “I’m thinking of doing thus and such,” and then they come up with sort of an octopus of possible outcomes, all the arms of the octopus are around their neck, holding onto their hands and their feet, tying them down from actually doing anything that has any wisdom involved at all. But when we have this kind of radical ease that comes from an experience of how reality actually is, then we can be in that presence, sensing things, and we can take action and make decisions, make choices, and respond to our circumstance without referring to what has happened in the past and without projecting our karmic realm visions, AKA our tensions and fears, onto these scenarios of what might happen in the future.