For many people, learning to have true personal freedom seems like an impossibility. This is because they are confined or trapped through their focus on the material world. They see reality as their physical body and the material elements in the world around them. They think that be having more “things” they can find freedom, but in fact, and according to the lessons of the Bhagavad Gita, it is really the opposite.
Our focus, as revealed to Arjuna by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita, is not our bodies and material possessions. These are not our true identity but rather they are the appearance that we present to the world. Our true identity is our soul and, unlike our bodies, it does not change and alter over time, it remains eternal.
The Freedom of the Soul
In the Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna addresses the concern that Arjuna has about the death that will occur on the battle field if he does his duty rather than leave and avoid the conflict. Lord Krishna talks to Arjuna, and to all who read the Bhagavad Gita, about the eternal nature of the soul. As the soul continues on through cycles of birth and death it never dies, only the physical body can actually die.
This is summarized in the following verse:
Verse 2.13: As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. A sober person is not bewildered by such a change.
It is important to see yourself as a soul that is contained within a body and not, as many people believe, a body that just happens to have a soul.
The Freedom from Fear of Death
Once a person is able to embrace the concept of an eternal soul, death and dying ceases to be a fear that prevents us from truly being free and finding peace and happiness. When we do not fear death we are able to focus on doing our duty, gaining wisdom and understanding and truly living our lives to the fullest.
Reading and contemplating the lessons and truths presented in the Bhagavad Gita allows us to gain insight into every aspect of our lives, including the eternal natural of our souls. It also allows us to see the interconnection of all things and the ways that the Divine exists in the world around us.