Srila Prabhupada on Independence

  • In this verse the word svarajyam, which means “complete independence,” is very significant. A conditioned soul does not know what complete independence is. Complete independence means situation in one’s own constitutional position. The real independence of a living entity, who is part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is to remain always dependent on the Supreme Lord, just like a child who plays in complete independence, guided by his parents, who watch over him. The independence of the conditioned soul does not mean to fight with the obstacles offered by maya, but to surrender to Krishna. In the material world, everyone is trying to become completely independent simply by fighting against the obstacles offered by maya. This is called the struggle for existence.Real independence is to be reinstated in the service of the Lord. Anyone who goes to the Vaikuntha planets or Goloka Vrindavan planet is freely offering his service to the Lord. That is complete independence. Just contrary to this is material overlordship, which we wrongly take to be independence. Many great political leaders have tried to establish independence, but due to such so-called independence, the people’s dependence has only increased. The living entity cannot be happy trying to be independent in the material world. One has to surrender, therefore, unto the lotus feet of the Lord and engage in his original, eternal service. (Srimad Bhagavatam 4.9.35 purport)
  • God has given independence to everyone; therefore, if a person desires to have material enjoyment and wants very sincerely to have such facilities from the material demigods, the Supreme Lord, as Supersoul in everyone’s heart, understands and gives facilities to such persons. As the supreme father of all living entities, He does not interfere with their independence, but gives all facilities so that they can fulfill their material desires. Some may ask why the all-powerful God gives facilities to the living entities for enjoying this material world and so lets them fall into the trap of the illusory energy. The answer is that if the Supreme Lord as Supersoul does not give such facilities, then there is no meaning to independence. Therefore He gives everyone full independence—whatever one likes—but His ultimate instruction we find in the Bhagavad-gétä: one should give up all other engagements and fully surrender unto Him. That will make man happy. (Bhagavad Gita 7.21 purport)
srila prabhupada on independence
  • The living entity in his original position is pure spirit. He is just like an atomic particle of the Supreme Spirit. Thus Lord Krishna may be compared to the sun, and the living entities to sunshine. Because the living entities are the marginal energy of Krishna, they have a tendency to be in contact either with the material energy or with the spiritual energy. In other words, the living entity is situated between the two energies of the Lord, and because he belongs to the superior energy of the Lord, he has a particle of independence. By proper use of that independence he comes under the direct order of Kåñëa. Thus he attains his normal condition in the pleasure-giving potency. (Bhagavad Gita 18.78 purport)
  • Every living being is dependent on someone else because he is so made. Actually everyone is dependent on the mercy of the Supreme Lord, but when one forgets his relation with the Lord, he becomes dependent on the conditions of material nature. Renunciation means renouncing ones dependence on the conditions of material nature and thus becoming completely dependent on the mercy of the Lord. Real independence means complete faith in the mercy of the Lord without dependence on the conditions of matter. This paramahaàsa stage is the highest perfectional stage in bhakti-yoga, the process of devotional service to the Supreme Lord. (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.18,22 purport)


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