[Advaita-l] Fate Vs Free Will - the most debated subject

latha vidya lathavidya at yahoo.co.in
Fri Mar 19 23:33:19 CST 2004

Hari Om,


There is always so much heated debate going on about Free-will Vs Fate (or God’ Will).

Previous Sringeri Acharya Sri Sri Chandrashekhara Bharathi Swamiji explains this very well:

 What we call ‘Fate’ (or adrishta= that which can not be seen) is nothing but the result of the action that we have committed in the past with our own ‘Freewill’ then. Each action of ours is like a seed sown which when grows into a tree gives us the fruits sometime in the future. (The duration required for the fructification of each action differs – it may be immediate or it may take many births!) If the seed was of a virtuous action, it bears the fruit of happiness. If the seed was of non-virtuous action it bears the fruit of sorrow for us. Either way, we had the freewill to act and choose the kind of fruit it is bearing now.

 Whenever I say that ‘Fate’ is acting in the form of an obstacle in my path of achieving the desired result, I need to understand that it is the result of my own misdeed committed in the past. To uproot that ‘Fate’ I now need to work harder, even more vigorously to nullify the force of that obstacle. Once the current forceful action can nullify the forceful obstacle resulting from the past deed, we can clear the hurdle and progress. 

 Acharya gives an analogy of a hammer and nail:

When a certain nail driven in the past deep into the wall is posing me a problem to drive it out of the wall now, I should not lose my enthusiasm and abandon my attempt saying that Fate is more powerful than me and hence I am not succeeding in my present task. Instead if I can understand that it was my own forceful hammering of the nail in the past which had made it get deeply embedded inside the wall, I now need to use a force which is all the more powerful to pull the nail out of the wall ! 

Any undesirable result of the Prarabhda Karma (Fate or God’s Will) can now be annihilated and overcome by countering it with an exceedingly powerful present deed that is well within my ‘Free Will’!

Hence Fate and Free Will are both Free Will only which differ just in Time perspective.


Latha Vidyaranya


Yahoo! India Insurance Special:  Policies, services, tools and more. Click here.

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list