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Chapter 1: From Dependence toward Truth

No - truth is known by only those who are not influenced by doctrines; by those who are prepared to face all eventualities and are willing to break off all shackles for its attainment. The wonder of it is, that truth asks only for the shackles that bind us: “Leave all subjugation, and you will attain me,” it says. But we are not ready to surrender our fetters. We get attached to them: the older they are, the more we are attached, and those that come down from our ancestors are the hardest to give up. The father passes them on to his son and the son to his son for safe custody.

Men die, but the shackles continue from generation to generation, so that they are thousands of years old; so much so that we have forgotten that we are tied to them. But remember that you cannot realize truth as long as you hold on to even one dogma; be it of a theist or an atheist, of a Hindu or Muslim or a Christian, and say: “I consider this doctrine as right.” For where is the sense of any doctrine being correct before attaining truth? Until I attain truth, how can I say which doctrine is correct? If you have seen me and seen pictures of me, you will know which is the real picture, but if you have not seen me, how can you point me out from a number of pictures and say it is mine? Without having seen me, you cannot point at my picture and if you do, it will be false.

Which scripture, which doctrine, which tirthankar, which incarnation, which son of God is the right one. How will you know until you know the truth? You have no knowledge of truth but you have come to know the authenticity of the shastras and dogmas. This is how we are tied to untruths and it is not possible for us to know the truth.

So the first thing to do is to look intently for our mental fetters. That the fetters do not appear as such makes the search immensely difficult. But once what binds one is identified then it is not difficult to break loose. It is not difficult to gather courage.

How are these chains to be broken? We shall think on this later. For today, you just ponder on this: “Am I a slave? Is my mind imprisoned? Have I made any walls around me? Do I hold any doctrine as gospel truth?” It is necessary to be alert and aware. Attachments, if any, are to be broken. Once a person summons courage, a powerful energy gets born within him. Let him dare once, and a great soul is born within; and once he is settled within himself, no force on earth can enslave him. God begins to draw close to the man whose eyes inclined toward the open skies.

The eternal spirit is like the open skies. He who opens his wings and flies, invariably attains him. But alas, souls locked in cages cannot reach. Don’t you ever feel: “Where are my wings?” Don’t you feel the thirst for freedom within your soul? Don’t you feel your slavery at times? With these questions, I close my talk for the day. Keep asking yourself these questions as you leave the hall. Ask again and again, even as you sleep, “Am I a slave? If I am, then am I happy to be one?” Tomorrow I shall talk on the second formula.