- Acharya Mahaprajna
Every man has a right to freedom. In ethics, though, both independence and dependence have relative importance. There can be no absolute independence without dependence of any kind, and complete dependence without any freedom is destructive of life. However independent a man might be, he still seeks someone's patronage, someone in whom he can find refuge. Refuge or retreat means home. A question was posed, In whom should a man seek refuge? After a great deal of thought man arrived at the conclusion that he should seek refuge in the enlightened ones. These can be no greater refuge. Under the patronage of the enlightened ones, all one's problems end, all doubts are resolved and a man becomes fully assured and reliable.
In other words, the man who comprehends his soul, is independent. "I seek refuge in the Enlightened Ones!" means "I seek refuge in my own Soul." When a man seeks the protection of the Soul, all attachment and delusion dissolves.
He who perceives the Enlightened Ones through all material and attributive modes, comprehends the Soul. All delusion then stands resolved.
Today man's delusion has become so strong that he is not able to know himself. Because of the powerful delusion in which he is caught, a man does not comprehend the enlightened Ones and this lack of understanding means that he does not know himself.
The greatest impediment in the way of achieving morality is attachment and delusion. Until a man is free of attachment, he cannot fully dedicate himself to the task of establishing morality. The secret of reducing attachment lies in seeking refuge in one's own soul. The attachment or delusion of a man who seeks refuge in his soul, who seeks the patronage of the Enlightened Ones, can never grow too strong. Seeking refuge in the self means to move in the delusion-transcending consciousness. In such establishment lies the assurance of patronage of the Enlightened Ones and the achievement of a life permeated by virtue. He who thus achieves a moral life, himself becomes enlightened in course of time.