(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 8 February 2013, Bhaktiloka, Bratislava, Slovak)
In 1997, I received the order of sannyasa in the Bhaktivedanta Manor, UK. Well, the renounced order of life, is a life meant to be where one gives up all independent ideas and dedicates his whole life to following the revealed scripture. So that is a little difficult because the mind wants independence. Everyone’s mind wants some independence! And that’s alright but still we have to accept that when it comes to understanding the purpose of life, we have to turn to higher knowledge.
So that day, there was also a television crew present and there was a nice ceremony. You know, the sannyasi comes in with his old clothes and then, in the back, he has to change dress and he comes out in his new dress! The cameras were filming like anything and at the end, they wanted to interview me. They asked, “So how do you feel now? Do you feel any different?” I’d just taken a big vow, to give my whole life to Krsna and only Krsna. So, you know, after taking such a vow, do you feel any different? Well, a little bit, maybe!? It’s like when you get married, some of you may remember, when you get married, once you’ve done it, do you feel any different? Is there anyone who remembers?
Someone from crowd, “Troška.” (Translation: a little bit)
And how was it “troška” different?
Someone from crowd, “Troška more tired.” (crowd laughs)
Yeah, of course, the answer is yes. There is a difference because one has accepted responsibility! So this is an interesting paradox that the road to freedom is about accepting responsibility. One might be thinking that the road to freedom means giving up all responsibility!!! But then what happens?
Srila Prabhupada was in America, in Chicago, meeting with ladies from the liberated women’s movement. There was a chairperson, a lady of the society. Prabhupada said that a women cannot have freedom. He said, “Either she will have one man when she is married or in the name of freedom, she is not married and then she will have a hundred men. So where is the freedom?”
The same can be said for men. Where is the freedom? Freedom is not so easy to find because we are not free in our hearts. There are so many things that we cannot live without. What if I have a fear of crowds? And I feel suffocated if I sit in the middle of many people. Then I’m forced to go. Even if the lecture is interesting. I admit there are nights that I think, “Hmmm, now I’m going into my bed.“ But mostly I don’t like it. Mostly I think, “Oh God, already the day is finished. Again I have to sleep”.
So freedom is not just doing what you want. Because what we want is just coming of reactions on what we see and what we perceive through our senses. “Ice-cream, now I want,” see, with the speed of mind, we have just gone to ice-cream. So like this, so many desires awaken in us and just fulfilling these desires is not freedom because you can never satisfy them.