A Sutra a Day: III-55 – Freedom to Choose Family

Dec 24, 2012 | Community, Philosophy, Wisdom, XSutras, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali | 0 comments

Who doesn’t want to be free?
I, for one, want to be at liberty to go where I want, live in the manner I desire, do work I enjoy (or not work!), and associate with those of my choosing. But, as you know, this sort of freedom is more often than not predicated on fortunate circumstances.
Perhaps at this time of year more than others, rather than feeling free, we fall into behaving in a duty-bound way. There are those obligatory overseas phone calls to family, or, if they are near at hand, then our attendance may be required at the Big Christmas Day Meal and mandatory gift giving. We or our relatives may over indulge, say the wrong thing and bring up a chain of reactions that goes right back to childhood. It’s easy to drop into feeling like a child in the presence of our parents, no matter what our chronological age is.
I live 10,000 miles from my U.S. family, so over the 35 years I’ve lived in Australia, I’ve created my ‘family’ here. Daniel and I will join friends for “the orphans’ Christmas” tomorrow – the group of us disconnected by distance or death from our blood relatives.
In my experience, celebrating with friends, everyone seems more at ease and better behaved than they might be at the family table. We will be on ‘company behaviour’, and that’s a very good thing, too…in the spirit of peace on earth and goodwill.
In this holiday period, may you experience freedom with your family, with friends, or just in your own good company.
Sattvapurusayoh suddhisamye kaivalyam
Freedom is when the mind has complete identity with the Perceiver [and nothing less. Then the mind has no colour or features of its own].*
*Patanjali’s Yogasutras, translation and commentary by T.K.V. Desikachar.


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