I want to know what is Swecchachara. What are the restrictions in the freedom? Please give examples on what is Swecchachara
Svecchachara is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘Path of one’s own will’. It is derived from the words-
‘Sva’ meaning ‘one’s own’
‘Iccha’ meaning ‘wish/will’
‘Chara’ which loosely translates to ‘path’
It is a term used to refer to actions which are done by one’s own will, usually contrary to the injunctions of the Shastras (scriptures).
Examples include Brahmins drinking wine, not following proper methods of worship as per the scriptures, murdering Brahmins, not observing the prescribed fasts, eating rice on the holy Ekadasi day, etc.
Svecchachara (स्वेच्छाचार) is one of the four keywords of the Nath Tradition .
The meaning of original sanskrit word Svecchachara is - "Sveccha" = one’s own wish or free will. And Achara = act or behaviour. And in this there are no restrictions on the freedom of the follower.
In his article ECSTASY, EQUIPOISE, AND ETERNITY Shri Gurudev Mahendranath has mentioned that.
Svecchachara means a way of life where one acts as one wishes and does what is right in one’s own eyes.
So basically it's a philosophy which is completely opposite to Vedic Way of life , the aim of which is to free the mind and body from Karmas, Kleshas, and conditioning and to free ourselves from forever the bondage of births and deaths , to end sansara and freeing the spirit of the real Self to its natural condition of peace, freedom, and happiness. In simple words without caring much about unnecessary moral values imposed , strict laws etc. (amoral philosophy) .
Many Nath Yogi's , Siddhas, Tantrikas ,Sadhu's spend their life in Svecchachara. But this does not means that the person is free to do anything he wishes or likes.
Rather it's a peculiar way of life where one lives or behaves according to his will but keeping secrecy or rather not disclosing much information about the sect , teachings etc. and most importantly without harming or hurting other people , avoiding causing offenses and following instructions of Guru in Nata Sampradaya as described by the author.
In other words, we do our Will but with discretion, not making it too obvious, or to harm or hurt other people. Yet this is also a typical Nathism; a complete reversal of Vedic morals and philosophy.
In the Avadhoota Upanishad this concept of Svecchachara is mentioned .
कृत्याकृत्यात्पुतो भवती ।
एवं विदित्वा स्वेच्छाचार परो भूयादोंसत्यमित्युपनिषद।।
kRRityAkRRityAtpUto bhavati |
viditvA svechChAchAraparo bhUyAdoMsatyamityupaniShat ||
He who studies this also achieves everything to be achieved. He becomes free of the sins of drinking liquor. He becomes free of the sins of stealing gold. He becomes free of the sins of killing a Brahmin. He becomes free of actions, ordained or prohibited. Knowing this, let him wander according to his free will. Om, Truth. Thus (ends) the Upanishad.