free will

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Tue Nov 20 22:21:50 CST 2001

On Fri, 16 Nov 2001, Chandrasekaran Venkatraman (NET/MtView) wrote:

> Dear members,
>     I have an unclarity about the definition of free-will and its
> repurcussions on
> one leading a dharmic or adharmic life.
>     If we see Jaya, Vijaya episode: the brothers were given a choice by
> the Lord.
> One choice was to take 1000 (?) good births before returning to
> vaikuNTam. Another
> choice was to take 10 (?) bad births and get killed by the Lord Himself
> before
> returning. The brothers accepted the second choice in order to be able
> to return to
> the Lord soon.

I believe it was three.  But I can't immediately recall which ones they

>    But does this mean that a person taking birth and leading a
> dharmic/adharmic life is predestined. How does free-will come into
> play here?

Jaya and Vijaya committed an offence and through their free will chose the
method of atonement for it.

>    It's often said (or that's the way I understood), that every human
> has a fair share for his free-will to exercise due to which he accrues
> karma. But going by the above episode, it's confusing how one could be
> let to lead a life by his free-will against the pre-destiny.

In their Asuric bodies they were deluded and did not remember the choice
they had made.  Their actions were based on the limited lnowledge theyhad
at hand.  Similiarly we all thorough our actions in this life and previous
ones set the course for future events but we are not mindful of all the
details so we think some magical force called "fate" is responsible.

This is why Vedantic sadhana involves careful scrutiny of ones self and
ones own actions/behavior.  We are naturally enveloped in avidya but the
light of self-knowledge can enable us to break through it.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

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