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

Mahesh Ursekar mahesh.ursekar at gmail.com
Tue Mar 15 07:22:20 CST 2005


At a restaurant in town, DDW is busy absorbed in a book. 

TD: Hello, there I didn't expect to meet you till tomorrow.
DDW: Maybe, it was God's will! :-)
TD: What are you reading?
DDW: Someone gave me a copy of "I am That" by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
today. By odd coincidence, I happened to chance on the following
conversation which brings out quite nicely what you mentioned about
"action in inaction" in a Jnani. Let me read this snippet:
"Maharaj (M): Neither action, nor feeling, nor thought expresses
reality. There is no such thing as an expression of reality. You are
introducing a duality where there is none. Only reality is, there is
nothing else. The three states of waking, dreaming and sleeping are
not in me and I am not in them. When I die, the world will say - 'Oh,
Maharaj is dead', but to me these words have no meaning...
Questioner (Q): Why live at all? Why all this unnecessary coming and
going, waking and sleeping, eating and digesting?
M: Nothing is done by me, everything just happens. I do not expect, I
do not plan, I just watch events happening, knowing them to be unreal.
Q: Were you always like this from the first moment of enlightenment?
M: The 3 states rotate as usual - there is waking and sleeping and
waking again, but they do not happen to me. They just happen. To me
nothing ever happens. There is something changeless, motionless,
immovable, rock-like, unassailable, a solid mass of pure
being-consciousness-bliss. I am never out of it. Nothing can take me
out of it, no torture, no calamity."
TD: Wow! A real Jnani!
DDW: True, he met his Guru at age 34 and realized by age 37. But, I
was thinking of our conversation as usual and it strikes me that the
thread is taking interesting turns. We talked of free will and divine
will but prayer seems to be a good bridge between them. Though not
really paying much attention to God all their life, most people resort
to prayer in difficult times. It appears to be God's way of making
people remember Him or Her. It would be interesting to hear you views
on "unanswered prayers" but I guess we must bring DFW in this
conversation or else, we miss an important point of view…..

Regards, Mahesh

On Mon, 14 Mar 2005 14:39:19 -0800 (PST), V. Krishnamurthy
<profvk at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Namaste
> (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
> everything'
> 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
> non-action.
> 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
> further?
> 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
> God?
> 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.
> profvk
> Prof. V. Krishnamurthy
> You are welcome to have a look at any of the following  books on my website:
> http://www.geocities.com/profvk
> 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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