Bondage is not caused by possessions, but by non-awareness of the Unbounded

Bondage is not caused by possessions, but by non-awareness of the Unbounded [absolute level of life]

Question: “I understand that in the third state of consciousness [waking] we are bound by the effects of our actions and our material possessions. My question is: do material possessions, material ownership, wealth, inhibit our….”

MAHARISHI: “Let me remark at this point, at this stage of your question: We are not bound by material possessions EVER. We are bound by the non-awareness of the Unbounded. As long as we are not aware of the Unbounded, we are bound by EVERYTHING.

We are not bound by our material possessions. Material possessions don’t bind us. What they do is liberate us from the pangs of unfulfilled desires. Our desire is to get this and this and this, and then if we don’t get, we feel miserable. Whatever we have, that is a solace to us in that misery. Material possessions are not a means of bondage. If anything they are a source of solace in our weakness. They do not bind us. If anything, they are a source of solace, contentment, happiness, joy, peace.

Possessions will always be a means of joyfulness. It is the non-possessions that bind us in the craving to get them. Do you see the point? It is something that we don’t possess, that non-possession binds us in the craving to possess it. Possessions are not a bondage. They are a means of joy, happiness.

What is bondage? Lack of awareness of the Unbounded. That means: ignorance, ignorance of our unbounded nature, ignorance that the Self within is unbounded, eternal, infinite, absolute, bliss. Lack of knowledge about this is ignorance, and this ignorance is a bondage to us. Material possessions are never a bondage. They are a means of happiness.”

—Maharishi, Aug. 1970, Humboldt State University, Arcata, USA

(thanks to M.S.)