Freedom of Choice - or - Freedom *from* Choice?

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Mon Mar 30 21:36:33 CST 1998

On Tue, 10 Mar 1998, Frank Maiello wrote:

> Jaldhar H. Vyas wrote:
> >
> > On Tue, 3 Mar 1998, Frank Maiello wrote:
> >
> > > The Universal Script unfolds inexorably, authored by the Ordainer,
> > > Isvara.
> > > The acts performed by the myraid jivas conform utterly to--are literally
> > > created *by*--this Script.  As such, there is no karma made or created
> > > by
> > > any individual jiva.  The jiva cannot be the free-choice doer.
> >
> > This is completely backwards.  It is the jiva which creates and performs
> > karma and Ishwar just impartially metes out the rewards and punishments
> > based on that karma.  This is all explained in the Brahmasutrabhasya.
> > There is no point in denying free will it doesn't buy Brahman anything and
> > _does_ exist for the Jiva.
> >
> Doership as well as non-doership are merely ideas supporting one
> approach or another.

Then why make the post you did?

> As such, they themselves are arbitrary and
> ultimately empty.  The important thing is how effective they are
> in accomplishing the neutralization of the limiting ego.  If they're
> clung to with stubborn obsession, they're affecting the opposite end.

So if it the utilitarian view which is to be taken what is the point of
denying free will which is not the experience of the vast majority of
people?  (I don't know any people who think their every action is
controlled by some invisible puppetmaster at any rate.)

My view is that denying free will buys one nothing and is
potentially quite harmful at the vyvaharic level.  At the Paramarthic
level Brahman cannot be impeded by any obstacle.  If that isn't freedom
the distinction is overly subtle.

I see there is a long thread on free will which I am still reading
through but one thing that I noticed was the issue of Bhakti.  One cannot
wriggle out of free will by invoking God either as the essence of Bhakti
is the surrender or tyaga of actions, words, and thoughts to Bhagawan.
One cannot honestly offer that which belongs to another.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

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