To be totally free, one needs to be totally aware because our bondage is rooted in our unconsciousness; it does not come from outside. Nobody can make you unfree. You can be destroyed, but your freedom cannot be taken away unless you give it away. In the ultimate analysis, it is always your desire to be unfree that makes you unfree. It is your desire to be dependent, your desire to drop the responsibility of being yourself that makes you unfree.

The moment one takes responsibility for oneself… And remember, it is not all roses, there are thorns in it; and it is not all sweet, there are many bitter moments in it. The sweet is always balanced by the bitter; they always come in the same proportion. The roses are balanced by the thorns, the days by the nights, the summers by the winters. Life keeps a balance between polar opposites, so one who is ready to accept the responsibility of being oneself with all its beauties, bitternesses, its joys and agonies, can be free. Only he can be free. Live it in all its agony and all its ecstasy — both are yours. And always remember: ecstasy cannot live without, exist without, death and joy cannot exist without sadness. That’s how things are — nothing can be done about it. That’s the very nature, the very Tao of things.

Accept the responsibility of being yourself as you are, with all that is good and with all that is bad, with all that is beautiful and that which is not beautiful. In that acceptance, transcendence happens and one becomes free.

Freedom means transcendence, going above the duality. Then you are neither ecstasy nor agony; you are just a witness to all that happens to you. That transcendence is real freedom and that makes one enlightened, liberated.