YOGA-ARTICLE: Freedom and responsibility — two sides of one yoga

Freedom is the main purpose of Yoga. However, what kind of freedom is it? Where is the fine line between our own freedom and the freedom of others? What do we owe and to whom? Today we shall contemplate two sides of the same coin: freedom and responsibility. 

The purpose of  Yoga is very high — it is a complete, unconditional freedom from all limitations, even those, we are not aware of yet.

Therefore, we can use the term Yoga only for the system of self-knowledge, which leads a person to the real unconditional freedom by learning about oneself and the Universe.

Yoga says that we should be free even from yoga if it makes us feel constrained. Whatever makes us depressed or obnubilates our mind should be rigorously rejected.

In the philosophical sense, the freedom is the ability to demonstrate our willpower based on awareness of the derivative laws. Meaning that we are the defining cause of our actions, and they are not directly attributable to the interpersonal, individually generic and social factors. Yoga teaches us that the road to freedom begins from the moment when our happiness ceases to depend on anyone’s good or bad deeds in relation to us.

 It is possible to gain the highest degree of freedom only if we:

  • impinge on the freedom of others to a minimum,
  • help others to the best of our abilities to reveal their personal freedom.

Until there are suffering living beings in our Universe, our total freedom remains just in words.

It is impossible to achieve freedom, ignoring the responsibility!

Ethically responsibility is reliability, honesty in respect to oneself and others; it is awareness and willingness to accept that the result, which we get by our actions, is a consequence of these actions. Responsibility includes self-control and ability to act under the code of ethics for the benefit of ourselves and others.

The main instrument, which helps us to define when our personal freedom comes to an end and the freedom of others begins, is our duty. When some people in the past restricted their freedom in order to expand our freedom, we have an unspoken obligation towards them. As an example, it is a duty towards our parents, or a duty to our country, etc.

For various reasons we tend to forget those to whom we owe our current freedom.

If we look at the concept of “duty” over outdated perceptions of its negative sides, it turns out that it is not the anchor that pulls us down but the elegant silk sail, which allows us to “swim between two waters” of freedom and responsibility, and not to be lost in despair.

Therefore, to maximize a personal freedom and to achieve all our goals we must remember to take responsibility for our actions and to fulfill our Duty, which helps us to understand when we break through the freedom of others.

Claiming the freedom don’t forget about responsibility!

Author: Marina Mirra

Editor: М.Sarasvati-Bhavani, Kerigona

Translated by: Tatiana Sugrue

Project curator: Kerigona