In this world, everyone of us like to be free. A child going to school thinks that he/she can become free once they get out of school. A student going to college, who is taxed by assignments and exams think that he will become free once he gets a job. A person after getting job thinks that he can become free, once he retires. Not just human beings, even birds or animals trapped in cages feels very happy when they are left free. So evey living entity in every stage of life yearns for freedom. But in reality we find that we are never free and infact we are bound up more and more by the clutches of material modes. So when and how can we become free? In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 1.6.37, Suta Goswami very nicely glorifies Narada Muni, the transcendental space man as follows.
evam sambhasya bhagavaan / naarado vaasavi sutam
aamantrya veenaam ranayan / yayau yaadrcchiko munih
Suta Goswami said: “Thus addressing Vyasadeva, Srila Narada Muni took leave of him, and vibrating on his vina instrument, he left to wander at his free will.”
In the above verse the phrase, “yayau yadrcchiko munih” means Narada Muni wandered at his free will. In his wonderful purport to the above verse, His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada very nicely tells us the secret of how we can become free. “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. A conditioned soul cannot freely move from one place to another even on this earth, and what to speak of one planet to another. But a full-fledged free soul like Narada, always engaged in chanting the Lord’s glory, is free to move not only on earth but also in any part of the universe, as well as in any part of the spiritual sky. We can just imagine the extent and unlimitedness of his freedom, which is as good as that of the Supreme Lord. There is no reason or obligation for his traveling, and no one can stop him from his free movement.”
Narada Muni was cursed that he will not be able to stay in any place permanently. Being a great devotee of the Lord, Narada Muni accepted the curse also as a benediction from the Lord and always engaged himself in glorifying the Lord wherever he went and helped many souls in their path of spiritual progress. Pleased by his sincere devotion Lord blessed him with complete freedom to travel anywhere and everywhere in the cosmic manifestation. Utility is the principle. The Lord bestows the freedom to do something, only when He is sure that the recepient will not misuse the freedom. We must also understand that freedom does not mean doing things whimsically and without listening to any authority. But we should bevidheyaatma - one who follows the regulated freedom, ie., stick to the regulative principles as prescribed in the shastras and thereby become free from the inebrieties of life. Lord Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita verse 2.64:
raaga dvesha vimuktais tu / vishayaan indriyaaish caran
aatma vashyair vidheyaatmaa / prasaadam adhigacchati
“But 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.”
When we stick to regulative principles of freedom we can get the complete mercy of the Lord and will be able to hear the directions from the spiritual master and Supreme Lord. Srila Prabhupada very nicely concludes the purport with the following golden statement – “To surrender unto the Lord through the transparent medium of the spiritual master is to attain complete freedom of life.”
Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Sudarshana devi dasi.