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What's a "Free Spirit" ???

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Hare Krishna. :)

This week I had an interesting comment from someone about being a Free Spirit.

I was told by this person, that them, a friend of ours, and I, all got along very well because we were all "free spirits"....

Now, this really was funny to me, because I don't have any idea what they mean when they say "free spirit".

So, I told them:
"Well, thank you. I'm so glad that we all get along so well" :)
"Now, will you please tell me, what is a free spirit" ???
"What do you mean when you say "free spirit" ???????

We all have different definitions of things, depending on who we are and what country we are living in, etc. and what frame of reference we are using.

It often causes a lot of misunderstandings that are not really there, we just think they are because we don't always understand each others frame of reference.

We don't understand the use of the words, or what those words mean to the person who's speaking them, or the person who's hearing them.

This happens even with people living in the same town, or even under the same roof, what to speak of people from different countries! :) :) :)

So, I think it's always a good idea to really take the time to find out what people mean when they say these sorts of things... or any sort of thing.....

If I don't understand, I ask. lol :)

Of course a lot of times people get very frustrated with me, because they think I should know what they mean....

'Well, a free spirit is a free spirit! What else do you need to know'................ :)

There are some things that retain their real definition regardless of who's saying them, and that is Absolute Knowledge.

From this perspective there is only one definition of a "free spirit" and that is someone who's "spirit" (or soul, or self) is Free from the conditions of material existence .... i.e. a Liberated Soul.

That's the true meaning of "Free Spirit". : )

(and of course that means that I am not one! lol )

Love To All,
Navasi Devi Dasi

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Comments
Thu, 12/13/2007 - 14:38 — vijaynanduri
vijaynanduri's picture
About Free Spirit as per my knowledge... :)

Dear Frnds and Maaji....
Hare Krishna.
Please let me try to answer the question..."FREE SPIRIT".

I believe everyone is doing NAMJAP everyday and trying to be with more Bhakti everyday (Compare to previous day), by which we are trying to be in Bliss/Ecstacy/krishna consciousness.
Overall we are trying to think and utter the name or to be with .... "KRISHNA", just because our belief is that Krishna will make us a "Free Spirit".

The "Krishna" is himself a Free Spirit and we are trying to attain him to make ourselves a "Freespirit".

Here usage of Free tends to: Freeing ourselve(Spirit) from Wordly consciousness or Materialistic consciousness and dumping ourself(Spirit) into Krishna Consciousness by means of namjap and Bhakti cultivation (I Think this is one of the Philosophies we had).

Everday we all become a FREE SPIRIT for a while by being in Bliss/Bhakti/Krishna Consciousness and again bond ourselves to world again & again due to mere attachements. Which doesn't mean Freespirit

FREENESS comes only in CONTINUITY of Bliss/Krishna Consciousness{ like Sri Radha Rani, Sri Meera, Sri Narad muni, Sri Chatanya maha prabhu, Sri A C Prabhupadula and others had}.

So, I would like to conclude that being/spending our time/living in Krishna Consciousness is known as FREE SPIRIT (As we all know)... :)

Your Divine Friend..!!.. :)

Thanks & Regards...
Vijay Kumar Nanduri

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Thu, 12/13/2007 - 15:26 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
Continuity! :)

Hare Krishna, Dear Vijay,
This is so wonderful, all that you've written here! :)
Thank you so much for sharing this with us all!
Yes, you are completely correct!
We get our consciousness on Krishna while we are chanting etc.. and then again, we fall back into material consciousness when we stop and begin doing all the material things we do....
So, you are right, we have to work on continuity, keeping our minds and hearts on Krishna even while we are engaged in all the things we must do in our lives.
Then, our Spirits Will Truly Be Free! :)
Excellent Comments Vijay! Very Inspiring!
Hare Krishna!!! :)
Love,
Navasi

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Sat, 12/08/2007 - 12:34 — Krishnaowned
Krishnaowned's picture
What they really mean ...

My mother is always calling me a "free spirit", and I take it as a compliment, most definitely! Although up until right now, I never really thought about what that means!

I think the term "free spirit" in the material world refers to how a person's ego (or personality) behaves. I don't think that's always bad, not in the least! But then again, it can be ... such is the dualistic nature of material reality! But the fact that it IS a material condition contradicts the whole notion of true freedom!

As Material "free spirits", we used our intelligence to inquire into Krishna consciousness -- that's a step closer to true freedom than, say, reading the latest Harlequin romance novel!

When talking with people, one never knows what one's gonna hear next! Just this morning I had a wonderful surprise from one of my group home co-workers. One of the residents got out the George Harrison CD I gave her for her birthday, and we were listening to My Sweet Lord just as I was getting ready to leave. As I walked out the door, I said "Always remember, Hare Krishna is every bit as important as Hallelujah". My co-worker, who I don't know very well, said "That's right!"

One never knows, does one?! :)

But ... whether she knew what I meant by that comment or not, I'll never know since she didn't ask! If anyone DOES ever ask, I'll most certainly tell! But, I don't try too hard. I offer bits and pieces to see who responds to what (like my kids in school the other day!) You are SO right about words and how they can be used, mis-used, misinterpreted, misrepresented ... and sometimes, understood exactly as they were intended!

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Sat, 12/08/2007 - 13:19 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
More Meanings

Hare Krishna, Dear Dach,
Well this is just so cool!
"such is the dualistic nature of material reality".... awesome!
Are you sure you haven't been a devotee all your life???
Hard to believe you're so new to all this! lol :)
Yes, love what you said about "one never knows"
I had an experience like this recently .....
I was in an online classroom, something that I am studying, and it's not devotees there....
Just people, right? Well, one of my fellow class mates started talking about the Bhagavad Gita, and suddenly he's typing out the entire Hare Krishna Maha Mantra on the screen!!!
Amazing, I'd say!
He was asking me if I'd read Bhagavad Gita, and he has Prabhupad's Bhagavad Gita too! I told him I did read it, do read it, etc..
So, now when ever he 'sees' me, he 'chants' online!!!! :)
So, you just never know who's going to get what meaning from things... here's this person who doesn't know much, hasn't even actually read the Bhagavad Gita, he just liked the pictures, but he already is somehow aware of the importance of the Maha Mantra!
I also so much appreciate that you understood what I was saying about how words get misinterpreted, etc....
Thanks again for the great comments, Dach!
Love,
Navasi

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Sat, 12/08/2007 - 13:31 — Krishnaowned
Krishnaowned's picture
On a Lighter Note, Totally Off Topic ... Sorta!

I just had one of my flash memories ...
There was this Monty Python sketch where a TV announcer goes off on this tangent:
"What do I mean by the word "mean"? What do I mean by the word "word"? What do I mean by "What do I mean"? What do I mean by wasting your time like this?" Lol, lol, lol! I've DEFINITELY been a life long Python devotee ... :D

And sometimes, I wonder ... where DO I get these ideas, and why do they come so naturally? What if I were a lifelong "Closet Krishna" as G. Harrison put it, and never knew it? Is there such a thing as being a Latent Devotee??!

Whatever it is, to use one more irrelevent quote, "I'm lovin' it!"

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Mon, 12/10/2007 - 12:57 — Radhikesh
Radhikesh's picture
Freedom is the main pivot

Haribol Krishnaowned. Wow! It is really nice to read what you have written. As Navasi Mataji had said you must be practicing Krishna consciousness for a long time. Yes, there is such a thing as latent devotee.

Actually every individual soul has Krsna consciousness latent in them. It sprouts out by the process of hearing and chanting about Krishna.

And what you say is perfect: "As Material "free spirits", we used our intelligence to inquire into Krishna consciousness -- that's a step closer to true freedom". Yes, Krishna consciousness is true freedom. Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport to Bhagavatam 1.6.37:

"Every living being is anxious for full freedom because that is his transcendental nature. And this freedom is obtained only through the transcendental service of the Lord. Illusioned by the external energy, everyone thinks that he is free, but actually he is bound up by the laws of nature. ....Therefore, in all spheres of devotional service, freedom is the main pivot. Without freedom there is no execution of devotional service."

So when one becomes fully Krsna conscious then he attains full freedom. And the method to attain that is also freedom as Prabhupada explains in Bhagavad gita 2.64:

"... a person free from all attachment and aversion and able to control his senses through regulative principles of freedom can obtain the complete mercy of the Lord."

Some people consider that the rules and regulations are restrictive. But Prabhupada calls them "regulative principles of freedom", because it gives one complete freedom of devotional service.

Thus as Navasi had said this is the real meaning of free spirit.

Radhikesh dasa

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Mon, 12/10/2007 - 17:54 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
Freedom

Hare Krishna, Dear Radhikesh dasa,
This is really wonderful, everything you've written here.
I especially love the part about:
"regulative principles of freedom".
I think sometimes we don't realize what a blessing it is to be able to follow these rules and regulations, we only think in terms of them being restrictions, as you said.
But, they are not restrictions in reality, only in our conditioned concept of things.
They are the keys and the tools of our attaining actual freedom, and the benediction of being able to engage in devotional service, which, of course is the real freedom, as you have so clearly pointed out.
Thank you so much for your comments here.
Love,
Navasi

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Sat, 12/08/2007 - 13:52 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
LOL :)

Oh, Dach, I'm really laughing now...
This is hysterical! :)
It's reminding me of the whole Clinton thing too.....
'depends on what your definition of Is is' lol
Yes, I think you are right on target with the "latent devotee" concept...
Actually we take up where we left off if we have made some spiritual advancement in a past life....
So, not that I would know, but it sure seems to me like you've "been there done that" to some extent, because otherwise how would you understand all this?
It's of course in the philosophy that any advancement on this path is never lost. You just take up from where you left off and continue.....
You're continuing nicely Dach :) :) :)
Navasi

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Sat, 12/08/2007 - 06:21 — Jai Srila Prabhupada
Jai Srila Prabhupada's picture
This relates to my life too :)

Hare Krishna, Dearest Mataji,

This is a very intelligent post. It needs a good devotional attitude to understand this which I presently lack. I personally have faced the same problem. I keep making fun of people telling them that they have nothing to do with the material bodies as they all are spirit souls thus they should not be interested in material desires though its a different thing that I am myself am full of material desires lol. Now I have realized that we all are conditioned in this material bodies, and though we have nothing to do with material life but due to our present state we are forced to act in that way. You made me realize one of my biggest mistake which I incur while communicating with people. :) :)

Love,
Mihir

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Sat, 12/08/2007 - 09:39 — Karnamrita.das
Karnamrita.das's picture
Stages of realization

Most every devotee goes through the stage of sharing Krishna consciousness in an impractical, unrealized way. Especially when we are young in years and new to KC---and perhaps living the ideal in an ashram, it seems all very black and what. It is like we think if we just tell people they are not the body they will suddenly say, "O my God, you are right. So now I will live the life of the soul the way you do." Ah, if only it were that easy. We have heard many things, and like what we hear, and we may even think we realized so many things. Well, all is tested in time.

When I was 20 years old, I thought, "Brahmacari or die!" I laugh at my ignorance now, but at the time I was serious. When I took my initiation vows also at 20, I couldn't imagine there would be any problem strictly following forever. I had no idea at the time what having a guru was really about, or what a difficult commitment I was making. O the folly of youth---but had I not had it, perhaps I never would have taken the plunge.

Some people disqualify themselves in their mind, their whole life and never think they are ready to accept a guru. Of course in a sense we ARE never qualified to accept a guru and receive the mercy of Lord Chaitanya, yet that is precisely WHY we should---we need the mercy! We have to come to a stage when we say, "I MUST take a guru". Usually we take it as a law when we read the scriptural statements----YOU MUST DO IT to perfect your life, but it is really a law of your necessity and feeling, I MUST DO IT, because I appreciate the value of it, and I am so inspired by my guru and want to be like him, or her.

So my friend, LIVE, LEARN, GROW, and develop an intense necessity to be Krishna conscious, so it will be THE burning necessity in your life!

Your friend in Krishna,
Karnamrita

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Mon, 12/10/2007 - 06:25 — Jai Srila Prabhupada
Jai Srila Prabhupada's picture
Perfect realization :)

Hare Krishn Dear Prabhu, I am very happy to learn so much from you. You said it so perfectly that we think if we tell people that they are not the body and are spirit souls then they will follow it. I am really very shocked at the accuracy of your words as I am exactly like the person you are talking about. After reading the gita I try to tell my well wishers sometimes even critcizing them that they are not their body and should not waste their time. Though I am myself not following the philosophy but still I keep telling them to atleast accept what Krishna has said. I do this in the expectation that they will accept the gita and thus not criticize me for what I have accepted. These people read the gita daily but at the same time they say that 90% of it is not to be followed as we humans are meant to enjoy the material life. Thus they completely contaminate my heart.

Your Servant,
Mihir

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Sat, 12/08/2007 - 10:51 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
Good Humor! :)

Hare Krishna, Dear Karnamrita Prabhu,
Well, you said this before about good humor, now I have to say it to you....
It's really making me laugh what you are saying here about how we think people will suddenly say:
"oh my God, you are right. So now I will live the life of the soul the way you do".
Isn't that just the truth! I remember being in that state of mind myself in the early days of being a devotee, just so certain that if they only just "heard the truth", one time, that would be that.
Well, it doesn't work that way at all, does it?
I really agree about taking the initiation vows at a young age when we didn't realize the seriousness and depth of the commitment we were making.
I was 15 when I took mine.... what did I know about anything???
Well, that's easy, I only knew that I wanted to follow Prabhupad and love Krishna.....
I found out along the way that it takes a whole lot more to actually do it!
But, like you, I am very grateful also for the "folly of youth" because I "got the mercy".... :) :) :)
So, now I have to just do my best to live up to that commitment....
Thanks for your comments here.
Love,
Navasi

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Sat, 12/08/2007 - 08:47 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
Relating To Life

Hare Krishna, Dearest Mihir,

Yes, we are all conditioned souls here....
So, there's no reason to make fun of each other ... :)
The relating to life part is good ...
We can all realize that we are certainly conditioned by our own senses and the bodies we are in.
At the same time, we can endeavor to become free of our conditioning by chanting the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra. :)

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare
:) :) :)
Love,
Navasi

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