[Advaita-l] Re: A Conversation between Divine Will and Free Will

V. Krishnamurthy profvk at yahoo.com
Mon Mar 14 16:39:19 CST 2005


(Continued from where we left in Post no. 16178
http://www.escribe.com/religion/advaita/m16178.html   )

(A reminder note: DFW stands for ‘Disciple who holds Free
Will is everything’
DDW stands for ‘Disciple who holds Divine Will is
TD stands for the ‘Third Disciple who holds that it is
neither this nor that exclusively’)

DFW: Do you mean then that what is dominant is different at
different times of the life of an individual?

DDW: If I heard TD right, I thought he said: *in the
psychology of the person concerned*

TD:  Yes, when we start moving up the spiritual ladder our
mental make-up changes.

DDW:  Yes, we gradually begin to understand how when a
jnAni is acting, actually he is not doing any action
because he has no identification with his body, mind and
intellect.  But such understanding also generates new
confusions in one’s mind.  The Gita verse which
specifically refers to this ‘inaction in action’ also in
the same breath refers to ‘action in inaction’.  While not
acting how can one do action? 

DFW:  When the train moves, the landscape moves in the
opposite direction. The child thinks that it is the
landscape that is moving and the train is stationary. Even
we adults get this mistaken feeling when two trains are in
adjacent platforms ready to move in opposite directions.
Suddenly we feel that the other train has already moved,
but on examination of the changing  landscape between the
two trains we understand that it is our train that has
started moving and not the other train. This is the
understanding of action in apparent inaction.  To attribute
non-action to the Self which stands still as it were is
only to comprehend it relatively. It is the Self which
permeates everyhere, it is the substratum of everything and
it is the prime mover par excellence. The Self is therefore
the chief agent of action, as it were, though it appears to
be only a silent witness. Thus the wise man sees action in

DDW:  Hey, DFW, Are you not advocating my cause that it is
all God’s will that is taking place?

DFW: Well, TD has said just now that our moods change.
Maybe my mood has changed! But shall we get back to the
earlier trend of the conversation? TD, you said that as we
move up the ladder of spiritual perfection, our factor
levels change. Can you continue that thought a little

TD:  As we move up the ladder of spiritual understanding,
for some of us the first shock arises when we begin to
realise that, in addition to the limitations of parentage,
sex and environment, there are other limitations also. Very
often we blame it on our ill-luck if, after all our
efforts, we don’t achieve what we want to achieve. Slowly
it dawns on us that what and how we will, there is
something else that wills it otherwise.  If we can find a
scapegoat of an earthly person or cause we blame it on
them. But when we don’t find such a cause, we are at a dead
end for explanations. And then it is that the concept of
prArabdha karma seems to make sense. And we realise that
prArabdha could also be  another name for ill-luck. Why ill
luck? Even for luck also, on which we put so much faith,
prArabdha could be the other name!

DFW: But when we reach, as you say, a stage where we look
upward for the hand of God to help us out of our problems,
do we really believe that God can change things for us?

DDW: What else does it mean to look upward for the hand of

TD: I think DFW is asking *Shall we trust God totally? Or
shall we take it that He gives just a hand?*

DDW: That is a dilemma that I have never got through.

TD: I think almost all of us go through this dilemma most
of our lives vacillating between extremes. The intensity of
this vacillation depends on our mood and environment. It
also depends on the company we keep and the amount of
pressure from our peers. 

DDW: Oh yes. It also depends on what somebody just said to
me and walked away.  You allow this DFW to be talking to
you continuously, your mood will change.

DFW: Hey, DDW, it is the same thing with me when you keep
reeling off your quotes from the scriptures!

TD: Well, this is nobody’s fault. It is in our nature. The
company we keep, our kith and kin as well as the attachment
we have to all of them influence largely the opinions we
have and only magnifies the dilemma about whether to
believe in God totally or not.

DFW: In fact, I have a fundamental question in that
connection. If you believe in a supernatural
interventionist God who comes to your help when you pray to
Him, how do you explain the umpteen situations when He does
not intervene? 

DDW: Oh Boy! That is a deep question. May be we should sit
back and think about it.

TD:  I suggest we break now and continue tomorrow.

(To be Continued)
PraNAms to all seekers of Truth.

Prof. V. Krishnamurthy

You are welcome to have a look at any of the following  books on my website:

1. Gems from the Ocean of Hindu Thought Vision & Practice
2. Live Happily, the Gita Way
3. Advaita Dialogue for beginners.
4. Discourses of the Paramacharya on Soundaryalahari.

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