[Advaita-l] Disccussion on Free-will

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Wed May 20 06:07:09 CDT 2009

PraNAms to all

Interestingly this topic keeps coming back again and again and appearing in the both the lists at this time.

I am not going to discuss this issue - other than restate a statement I have made before: Free will is there until I am free from will. 

Here is a beautiful sloka from Bhagavaan Ramana in Sat DarShaNam in the text we are taking in the coming Memorial Day weekend camp, related to this topic, and it may be of interest to some. He says, as always in his characteristic style of brevity: 

vidheH prayatnasya ca ko2pivaadaH
tayor dvayor muulamajaanataam syaat|
vidheH prayatnasya ca muulavastu
sanjaanataam naiva vidhirna yatnaH|| - sloka 21

Vidhi stands for fate and prayatna stands for freewill. He says the debate of fate and freewill is a universal and unending debate. Some say it is fate and some say it is freewill that controls. Efforts determine our fate and fate determines your freewill. What I have is fate and what I do with what I have is free will. I have at anytime these two things simultaneously since I have no choice but to choose - kartum shakyam akarturm shakyam, anyathaa kartum shakyam - to do, not to do or to do another way - these choice-less choices is there because of the present situation to deal with due my fate. At any time I am faced with these two. Now which comes first - is it fate or free will. That question is invalid because the ignorance is anaadi - beginning less. The birth, sustenance and death are cyclic and no beginning and no end until I get out of this punarapi jananam punarapi maranam cycle. How do I get out of it?

Bhagavaan Ramana says -this discussion is there only because one does not understand - tayor dvayoH muulam - here moolam is the adhiShTaanam or the substantive of both the freewill and the fate - both arise with the notion of ahankaara - the notion that I am an individual separate from the jagat the universe and hence separate from Iswara, the creator of this universe. 

Hence Bhagavaan recommends not to indulge in this useless discussion of is it freewill or fate which is final, what is final is the substantive of both - the very existence-consciousness that I am - where both jiiva, jagat and Iswara resolve into one and where both freewill and fate get transcended. 

Hence he says, vidheH prayatnasya ca muulavastu samjaanataam - for those who know the substantive of both the fate and free will - the very existence-consciousness because of which both seems to exist and because of which one is aware of both, that muula vastu or that absolute reality - one who knows that for him naiva vidhiH na yatnaH - there is no freewill or fate.

A beautiful teaching indeed. My prostrations to that sage of Arunaachala.

Hari Om!

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