[Advaita-l] FREE WILL AND/OR DESTINY?
kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Mon Jan 8 22:52:33 EST 2018
PraNAms to everybody. The Following article was written at the request of the Souvenir Committee of Shree Siva Vishnu Temple, Lahnam, MD, and was published few of years ago. I am posting it in four parts for those who are interested, as the article is lengthy. I am aware that many are familiar with what is discussed here.
Free-Will and/or Destiny – part 1
I find myself in this world, definitely not by my free will. I have no knowledge of where I came from or where I am heading after death. I did not have any choice in terms of where I should be born, who should be my parents, male or female, and even who should be my siblings. I am here now, and that is a fact. One day I am destined to die, whether I like it or not. These are truths. Whatever is born has to die, says Krishna, jatasyahi dRivomRityuH. When someone dies, people say, ‘ He is dead and gone’, ‘mar-gaya’ in Hindi, with similar statements in all languages, implying that there was someone else who was living in the body and now left, as the current body appears to be no more useful for his transactions. The one who left does not seem to die and he seems to be eternal, therefore must not have born too, echoes Krishna – najaayate mRiyateva kadaachit. In essence, everybody dies but nobody dies, forms the foundation of Krishna’s Geetopadesa.
We do not know what that ‘LIFE’ is- yet everybody claims that they are living. Some say, ‘Life is very precious’, but ready to destroy other life-forms to fill their stomachs. Doctors have no clue what Life is, yet ready to certify if someone is alive or not, based only on physiological functions. We all know that these functions are only expressions of Life, but not Life itself. The objective scientist has no tools to investigate LIFE. Yet he is ready to deny that which cannot be objectified, using his objective tools.
Everyone feels that their life is very important, and yet, in the end, everyone seems to disappear into the oblivion, without leaving any trace. Life continues independently of anybody’s opinion of it, including this one. It looks like the drama of life will go on forever. In a cemetery, one finds engraved on the stone, a date of birth and a date of death, with a dash in between, indicating that there nothing more to say. It looks like everybody is dashing from birth to death, making as much noise in between. Of billions that lived, we only remember those that make a mark in the History, by their good or bad deeds. One day, we will also become history, with some rare ones leaving a line or two in the books of history, for those who care to read. It looks like what counts in the final analysis, is only quality of our deeds, while we are living.
There are billions of people living on this face of the earth; what for, God only knows. Scriptures say God created this world? Don’t know why? Some say, it is a play of the Lord or ‘leela vibhuti’. He can have His play, but not at my expense – questions a rational intellect. Of course, sitting in heaven, God only smiles, and being God, He (or She) need not have to answer. Some others say, the firstborn, Mr. Adam, eat an apple against God’s command, using his Free-Will, and thus he sinned; and that is why we are all born. The question `Why should I be born since someone ate an apple’ is not asked or perhaps is not allowed to be asked as they do not have an answer. Of course, the recommended solution is that you have to follow their faith so that you will be granted eternal happiness that you are longing for; however, not here but in Heaven.
Unfortunately, no one has returned to tell us that he is in eternal heaven or an eternal hell by following or not following a particular religion, declares a pragmatist. He wants eternal happiness here and now, as these are the only ones that count and not promises that will be fulfilled in future. These are dogmas, claims an atheist. He wants an objective proof using objective tools, without recognizing the subject ‘I” cannot be objectified. Why bother with all this, let us make best out of the present, says a practical-minded person. However, a rational intellect in me cannot but ask – why me?
Why does an apple fall down? – asked one scientist. Any irritated bystander perhaps might have responded – Why bother with your silly questions? Thank God, these apples are always falling down from beginning-less time; just eat and enjoy and rest in peace. Well, being a human, I cannot but ask, why I was created or the world for that matter. Curiosity to know the cause of everything is inborn for humans; some rare ones pursue these questions till the end.
To be continued.
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