The true key to independence, Sadhguru explains, lies not in drawing borders, but in breaking free from all boundaries, both outside and within ourselves.
Sadhguru: India’s Independence Day is historically significant because we became politically free and began to build the idea of nationhood in people’s minds and hearts. Otherwise, people would just think in terms of their caste, community, religion, etc. However, this pride of being Indian was built on just a line that was drawn around a geographical space. The entire pride of India is not in its borders but in its culture, spiritual ethos and its universality.
India is the spiritual capital of the world. Protected by oceans on three sides and one side by the Himalayan mountain range, it became a haven of stable living. People lived here for millennia without any kind of major strife, unlike much of the rest of the world. When you're living in a strife-like situation, survival becomes the foremost focus in life. Only when people live in stable societies, the longing to go beyond survival arises. So, India was one place where over a long stretch of time, stable societies evolved, and as a result spiritual processes developed in a huge way.
Today you will see a phenomenal spiritual longing in the United States because after three to four generations of stable economic situations, suddenly people are longing to know something more. This happened to India a few thousand years ago, and it is unbelievable in how many ways we approached spirituality. No culture on the planet has looked at the fundamentals of what a human being is as profoundly as we have. This is the USP of this nation—that we know how human mechanism functions, what we can do with it, how we can take it to its ultimate potential. We should make use of it because only by building great human beings, will you build a great nation and a great world.
True Independence – Going Beyond Borders
But now, people are taking pride in geographical boundaries. Before the British came, this whole land was just clusters of many kingdoms. Now, we have made it into one nation, and for some disastrous reasons, it got split up into three pieces. But if humanity matures, even if boundaries are there, they will not be of much consequence. Right now they are of immense consequence. For example, India and Pakistan are not really two countries—in terms of culture, ethnicity and language, they are very much connected. But just see the impact that one Line of Control has.
True freedom will happen when we become free even from the need to have a certain identity of a nation. If in a few hundred years, we can celebrate a day when the world is free from all boundaries and distinctions, that would be a tremendous Independence Day.
The true key for an Independence Day lies in breaking the boundaries, not just in terms of political borders, but also in breaking the barriers that we have created within ourselves. Unless one becomes free from his own bondage of anger, prejudice, hatred, jealousy and other limitations, there can be no independence and no freedom as such. The inner technologies to break these bondage have always been available in the cultural heritage of this nation. It is time to make use of these tools of freedom and offer them to the world.
Editor’s Note: This article was first published in The Week magazine.