Lessons - 2

Swami Vishvarupananda omkar at GIASDL01.VSNL.NET.IN
Fri Mar 20 06:15:58 CST 1998

Greg wrote:

>Yes, fulfilling his dharma, this is what is entailed.  There is a
>difference between these two questions:
>   (1) What if there were no free will on the vyavaharika level?
>   (2) What if no one believed in free will on the vyavaharika level?

A difference between these comes in action only when there is free will.

>Mass murderers running around unpunished is more a consequence of (2) than
>of (1).  Who knows what would happen if (2) were true??  As of now, on the
>vyavaharika level, a religious aspirant coming to the conclusion that there
>is no free will will not cause that same person to become a mass murderer.
>Unless it's already his dharma.  A change in the beliefs about this issue
>doesn't cause evil actions.

Dear Greg, aren't you contradicting yourself here? You are talking about the
believe of no free will having an effect on the actions of a person. But
that effect can be there only, if the person does have the freedom of
choice. So you are admiting that freedom.

>Sri Ramakrishna is quoted as having said, "Don't believe in free will, but
>act as though you do."   Like the notion of karma, which Eliot Deutsch has
>supposedly called a "teaching fiction."  There are plenty who DO believe in
>it, as will always be the case.

>From the very sentence of Ramakrishna it is obvious that he did not mean the
jiva has no choice, but that he meant, we should surrender  the ego to God.
If he wanted to say there is no thing as free will on the vyavaharika level,
he could not have said "act as though you do". If he tells us to act in a
certain way, that presupposes that we have a choice in how we want to act.
If there was no such freedom with the jiva, no spiritual teacher would tell
us what we should do or not. If everything was predestined, such talk would
be like, say, telling a flower to grow in a different direction. It has no
power over the direction it grows, no choice, so why would we tell it.

>In the case of the Greg mind/body complex, since the erasure of the belief

>in free will and personal do-ership, there has been more sadhana, more
>study, more love, more devotion, more acceptance of what-is as-it-is, and
>more bliss and joy, than ever before!!

That is wonderful. When the thought of no free will gives you the ability to
surrender to God's will, that is the greatest thing that can happen to you.
However I would say, you are again not really talking of nonexistence of
Obviously the believe in it has and an effect on you, i.e. believing in this
you started to move in a certain way. Imho, if you had no choice, there
should not have been any effect.
I'm not saying, as Gummuluruji pointed out, that we should take credit for
our actions. But it is dangerous (for most) to say, I have no choice. Unless
one is already a great devotee and set firmly on the path, one will use this
as an excuse to follow the dictates of the mind.

>There is no reason that it would go
>this way for everyone, however.  As I mentioned above, this idea can be
>confusing to many.  It's not a teaching for everyone.

Yes, but again this is so, because we have a choice. If there was no choice,
then what difference would it make if one believes or does not believe in

>Isn't this why texts
>such as the Mandukya Up. are taught very late in the sadhaka's path?

But Greg, Mandukya Up. does not say there is no free will.

Greetings and Om,
Swami Vishvarupananda

omkara at geocities.com

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