Freedom is your intrinsic nature – swabhav. It is your very nature; you don’t have to attain it. You don’t have to make any effort for it. You don’t need even to desire or long for it – it is already there.
You are born free, but you are living in chains. Those chains you have accepted, and you have accepted them very willingly, very joyously, because those chains are made of gold. Those chains are made of power, prestige, respectability; they are covered with beautiful flowers. So not only have you accepted them, you go on desiring more and more because you think they are ornaments. You think they are the very aim of your life, the very meaning and significance.
This is the trouble: freedom is not a problem such that you have to achieve it; the problem is how to get rid of the chains. And the first thing you have to encounter is to recognize chains as chains not as ornaments, a prison as a prison not as a home, a marriage as a bondage and not love. And there are a thousand and one chains all around you.
You are dragging them; your life has become a drag, a burden, somehow hoping to reach to the graveyard. Each moment seems to be so long, one wants relief and rest. And it seems in this world you can find relief and rest only in the grave – anywhere else you will find yourself again in the chains, in the prisons. The names will be different, the shape of the chains may be different, the forms may be different, almost opposite to what you used to have…. A Christian becomes a Hindu, a Hindu becomes a Christian; they only change jails – nothing changes, no transformation in being and no freedom of the soul. They have only changed old chains for new chains.
And remember: new chains are more dangerous than the old, because the old can be broken more easily than the new. The new are more sophisticated, more technologically perfect. The old were not so perfect, they had loopholes; you could have easily slipped out of them. But the new, the imprisoners who are your parasites, have closed all possibilities, all windows, all doors. Even the small cracks from where you can see the open sky…everything seems to be absolutely closed. And you go on suffering.
It is so strange to think that man, who is born to celebrate, lives only to suffer. Even trees are more fortunate, wild animals are more blissful, birds in the sky are more ecstatic. Only man goes on dragging his heavy chains, and every day the load goes on becoming more and more heavy.
Freedom is not the problem at all.
Don’t ask how to attain freedom; that will give you a wrong direction. You will start thinking what efforts to make for freedom – you are asking from a wrong direction. Ask how we have lost our freedom. You were born free – then how did you become a slave? You were born just as a human being – then how did you become a Mohammedan or a Hindu or a Christian?