Michael Shepherd michael at shepherd87.fsnet.co.uk
Tue May 19 18:43:41 CDT 2009

I treasure the declaration of the headmistress of a junior school in Pune to
an erring pupil :

'We give you the freedom to be responsible..'

What a magnificent standpoint !


-----Original Message-----
From: advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
[mailto:advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org]On Behalf Of
Sundaresan, Vidyasankar (GE Infra,Water)
Sent: 19 May 2009 22:48
To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] REQUEST FOR GUIDANCE

>Ah, pity. I was awaiting with baited breath for a succinct answer to
>last question, just like Jaldhar gave to the previous ones! The article
>posted tacitly assumes that free will exists. No justification is given
>the same.

Please note that Swami Chandrasekhara Bharati of Sringeri probably
never used English in his conversations with Indian disciples. Most
likely, the words used would have been icchA/kAma or svatantra vs.
paratantra, or the south Indian language equivalents of these terms,
which have come to be translated as "free will" in English.

Personally, in an advaita vedAnta context, I would like to detach the
adjective "free" and just talk of "will". Human beings, especially in
our contemporary educated population, like to think we have "free
will", whereas we always operate under constraints - personal,
cultural, social, political, historical and geographical. An older
generation probably looked too much towards destiny and didn't
give themselves enough credit for their ability to change their

The message that the revered Swami is giving us is timeless though.
There is will, which is not so free as people would like it to be, and
there is destiny, which is not so cumbersome as people take it to be!
You can use your relatively "free" will to change your destiny and you
can take advantage of where destiny has placed you, in order to operate
your will rightly.

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