Destiny & Free will

Ravisankar S. Mayavaram aum at UNIX.TAMU.EDU
Sat Jul 12 11:41:23 CDT 1997

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 11 Jul 1997 13:34:15 -0500 (CDT)
From: < <Uday.Thatte at NMB.NORWEST.COM>

Gummuluru Murthy writes :-

"All the troubles come if a person has a mixture of the ingredients of
free will and destiny. For a person who has belief in 100% free will,
the upanishhadic statements quoted above tell the story.For a person who
has belief in 100% destiny (I mean 100% with no semblance of free will)
is, in my view, a jnani."

I seem to agree with this and would like to add that it may be futile to
think of free-will at all because the word seems full of assumptions.
Like, if you believe that you are acting out of your free will it may be
your illusion (or may not be, but how can you be sure?). Secondly the
very possibility of having a free-will and acting by that separates the
atman from the brahman and results in an independent entity capable of
progressing in an entirely unique direction with total disregard to any
other factors or forces. This sounds rather ambitious.

Our ego just represents our continual struggle to find a possibility of
that illusory free-will. And many times we tend to believe that we did
something out of free-will and try to repeat it. However, after a period
of varying experiences we can generally deduce that the chain of causes
and effects resulting in our life or actions has been much more complex
than what we thought. The more we know, the more we understand how less
we know. So, this struggle by the ego is painful and does not yield any
benefit in the ultimate analysis. I think Krishna is trying to explain
this to Arjuna that instead of picturing yourself as the cause of
Kaurava distruction, have faith in me (brahman) that whatever you are
being subjected to or are  being compelled to do must be for some
universal cause and you are just a tool in the process.

At the same time, believing in destiny is not same as passivity (Akarma)
because again you cannot avoid karma as long as your five senses are
alive and your body is functioning. Even thinking about destiny is

However, this is easier said than done and this discussion during the
past couple of weeks has been extremely enjoyable and valuable. I am
thankful to god (or whoever) for allowing me this opportunity.

Uday Thatte.

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