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

Mahesh Ursekar mahesh.ursekar at gmail.com
Thu Mar 17 12:09:34 CST 2005

Pranams Prof Krishnamurthy:

Me (since the other three were too busy thinking): Sir, the last two
episodes were by far the best! Bravo! Bravo! Clap! Clap! Super! But
dear me, TD says: "We shall now have to go to the next level of
spiritual evolution. That, I think, will make matters clearer." Higher
than this? Where would he lead us? Feels like the movie - "Journey to
the center of the Earth" - are we to enter Brahman's abode now? I
don't know about the rest of you, but that I have my seat belt
fastened is all I can tell you.

With respects, Mahesh

On Thu, 17 Mar 2005 05:18:41 -0800 (PST), V. Krishnamurthy
<profvk at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Namaste.
> Continued from where we left at
> http://www.escribe.com/religion/advaita/m16202.html
> DDW: We were raising the doubt whether the Free Will that
> is enjoined to obey God's injunctions through the vedas, is
> itself under the influence of the Divine Will.
> DFW:  I was thinking of this problem last night and I have
> a fundamental doubt before you all proceed further in this
> discussion. The philosophy of advaita that we all adhere to
> claims that there is only one absolute brahman and
> everything else is only an appearance that comes and goes.
> If that is so, where is the question of a divine will?
> Does brahman, the attributeless, have a will for Itself?
> DDW:  Hey! Where do you get all these questions? They cut
> the ground under my feet!
> TD: But it is a legitimate question. I suggest we take it
> up first.
> DFW:  I feel if you grant that the attributeless brahman is
> the only Absolute Truth, then there can be no divine will.
> If you want to have divine will as an entity, then advaita
> is contradicted.
> DDW. But if  you grant free will absolutely, then that
> means there are choices to choose from. All this means
> Duality and multiplicity, which is against advaita.
> TD:  May I correct your qualification 'asolutely'? Even if
> there is one instance of free will, that is enough to imply
> duality.
> DFW:  If there is only one Consciousness  everywhere and
> all the time, where is the question of free will? Free will
> of whom? Free from what?
> TD:  The problem comes because we are making the standard
> mistake of mixing up two different levels of our awareness.
> If we want to stay at the level of the Absolute brahman,
> then there is nothing else to talk about. Only Silence.
> Remember Dakshinamurti concept. But the moment we think of
> God or Ishvara, we have descended to the level of the mAyic
> world and in this vyAvahArika world, there is God,
> -- who is now nothing but Saguna brahman, i.e., brahman on
> whom we have superposed several attributes -- there are
> creations, there can be talk of free will, divine will etc.
> DDW:  I see.  It is really a subtle point.
> TD. This subtlety is usually missed in arguments. Now let
> us come back to the question of  whether free will itself
> is under the influence of the divine will.
> DFW: In fact that is exactly where I have another question.
> I  would like here to come down to the ordinary  concept of
> bhakti or devotion rather than the abstract injunctions of
> satyam vada and dharmam chara. Now all religion says "Be
> devoted to God. Pray to Him".  This is bhakti. If God, your
> saguna brahman,  is the Almighty that He is supposed to be,
> why not He Himself grant me, by a wave of His magic, that
> bhakti which I find it difficult to cultivate by my free
> will?
> DDW: Good question! I appreciate you, DFW, for the way you
> articulate your questions. But God does grant you that
> bhakti. Only you have to receive it. The rain may pour, but
> if a vessel is upside down no water will collect in it.
> TD:  Well said. Our minds are free. So by our own free will
> we have to decide to receive what God gives us. By our own
> volition we must decide to trust in God and surrender to
> Him.
> DDW: If by supplanting our will, God has to give us what we
> need, then there need be no creation, no existence of the
> universe.
> TD: That is the mystery of God's leelA, sport or play of
> creation. Creation is where God allows beings to have the
> feeling of separateness from Him and then waits and waits
> until the beings that have emerged from Him come back to
> Him.  If they don't want to come back to Him, He allows
> them to go their own way and take their own time to
> discover that that is the Want which will rid them of all
> other wants.
> DDW: This is what Sathya Sai Baba calls 'The agony of God'
> in this great cycle of creation. His anguish is that beings
> do not want to get out of this cycle. So sometimes He gives
> them all the petty things they want, so that in due time
> they would want what He wants to give them.
> TD: As Sri Ramakrishna said: 'Breeze of Grace is always
> blowing, but you have to set your sail to catch that
> breeze'.  In other words He allows us to go our ways and
> learn by our own experience and come to Him by our own
> volition.
> DFW: Then is this experience ours or is it given by Him?
> TD: He does not give us these experiences. Because, we have
> already programmed it for ourselves by our own past
> actions.
> DDW: The one thing He assures us however, is that once we
> take even a minor step towards Him He comes forth with both
> hands to receive us, as would a mother in welcoming a lost
> child. As Sathya Sai Baba would say: 'You take one step
> towards Me; I will take ten steps towards you'!
> DFW: So let us come back to the question of whether Free
> Will itself is under the influence of Divine Will or not.
> TD: I am happy you are recognising the existence of Divine
> Will to that extent. When we say that everything happens
> according to the Will of God, are we specifically referring
> to Nature and Nature's doings?
> DFW: When an event happens to a human being and this is
> referred to as God's Will, is this not just another way of
> saying  that it is one's past karma that has brought about
> this event?
> DDW: But the average psychology is different. When a bad
> thing happens to somebody we rush to say it is God's Will.
> When a good thing happens to us we would rather ascribe it
> to our own effort.
> TD: That is where the teaching of religion is important.
> Either learn to accept both as God's Will, or in the
> alternative, learn to take responsibility for both. Don't
> blame only unpleasant things on God.
> DFW. That is why I say, we should take responsibility for
> every one of our actions. It is all our free will.
> DDW: You are going back to your old refrain.
> TD: We shall now have to go to the next level of spiritual
> evolution. That, I think, will make matters clearer.
> DDW. That means we are breaking now.
> 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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