Fri | Mar 24, 2023

The true meaning of independence

Published:Sunday | January 29, 2023 | 12:20 AM

We celebrate independence day to recognise our nation’s liberation from foreign rule. However, does independence of a nation free every individual? We may be free in many ways, but are we mentally and emotionally free? Let us understand this.

There are various types of barriers that we encounter around us. Some of us are slaves of our food habits and some are slaves of drugs and medications. Some are glued their gadgets, and some are slaves of their emotions. Some are imprisoned in their past and others are caught up with their future.

It is important to understand dependency and slavery.

Anything that affects a stable state of mind and brings fluctuations in the original state of being is dependency. True independence is when your mind listens to only your decisions. Slavery is much a worse state than dependency. Slavery is when you want to do something, or vice versa, and still not able to accomplish it. For example, I really want to stop smoking, yet my wanting to stop is overpowered by old habits. I don’t want to feel hurt. I still felt hurt because of others’ words or behaviours. We are not imprisoned physically, yet we all are in self-created emotional jails.


No external rule is over our nation, but the whole world is ruling over our minds be it news, social media, or past memories. To be truly independent ,we need to free ourselves of some old beliefs. Some negative beliefs like ‘people make us happy or sad’; ‘good and bad are part of life’; ‘anger is natural or ego is necessary,’ etc. These beliefs do not let you be free of external influences. These are such vicious loops that exiting them needs great inner strength. As long as your mind gets stuck, you are a slave.

Let us come together to free ourselves from any type of slavery. For this, we need one important weapon, and that is realising that my state of mind is solely my responsibility. Write your own constitution for yourself and bring true independence by freeing yourself from all external influences. Your slogan is “as you are, so shall the world be” and not the opposite. Never accept slavery on any level or make anyone suffer slavery. Each one deserves to be his own master.

Courtesy: Rajyoga Meditation Center, Kingston (meditation courses and counselling are offered free of charge). Email: Or follow on Instagram: rajyoga_meditation_jamaica