[Advaita-l] Confusion about free will.

Vishesh Bhat visheshlives at gmail.com
Thu May 19 04:31:10 EDT 2022

Dhanyavaada Praveenji,

Your answer is very convincing. But I have two last questions, if you don't
mind and I would greatly appreciate your answer for the same.

What about KAmyakarma, where 'homa' and 'yagna' are carried out to ward off
poorva papa or dosha, probably based off astrological predictions. Do these
also work the same way as Bhakti, although we do appease other Gods here
such as Indra, Navagrahas and so on. What is the meaning behind these acts
suggested by the Vedas? And what of the age of a Jiva in a given life, is
this based on our previous lives' Karma, or can it be altered through our
present free will?But some babies die at birth which means this is not
always possible.

Lastly, if the present lives' Karma is governed by our acts of free-will in
previous lives, then what about the very first life of a Jiva??  As such a
soul has had no previous lives at all, there can be no Karma accumulated.
Then there must be absolute free-will. Am I interpreting this rightly?


On Thu, 19 May 2022 at 10:42, Praveen R. Bhat via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Namaste Vishesh ji,
> First off, a general answer to your earlier Q. Although how exactly the law
> of karma works is impossible to understand, the general fact is that
> prArabdha earned by a person using freewill in earlier life/ lives decides
> the circumstances and the freewill used in current life can be used to work
> with or against those circumstances.
> Rest inline...
> On Thu, May 19, 2022 at 10:17 AM Vishesh Bhat via Advaita-l <
> advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> > But one question still remains, why then do we pray to the Almighty for
> > deliverance from pain and misery?
> Each such activity is also karma that earns puNya which, when ripe for
> fructification, results in circumstances that reduce sorrow and bring
> happiness.
> > Is such an act merely for mental strength
> > and our own superficial comfort? There also seem to be quite a few
> > instances of great devotees overcoming bad fates. If God is merely the
> > dispenser of fruits, then what is the truth value of these stories of
> > Bhakti?
> >
> Since bhakti can be expressed with mental, verbal and/ or physical
> activities, it also accumulates puNya and Ishvara dispenses results for
> those. We need that "mere dispenser of fruits" who is *unbiased*.
> > I can sort of see the value in rituals as being means to eradicate our
> > 'rina or debt' to nature which we incur on a daily basis.
> That is for nityakarma which like RiNa when unpaid brings adverse
> situations leading to sorrow. To avoid those, we have to pay such debt.
> > But what about
> > Bhakti?
> As explained earlier.
> > I apologise if this seems to be an illposed question.
> >
> There are no ill-posed questions when the intention is right. Best wishes.
> gurupAdukAbhyAm,
> --Praveen R. Bhat
> /* येनेदं सर्वं विजानाति, तं केन विजानीयात्। Through what should one know
> That, owing to which all this is known! [Br.Up. 4.5.15] */
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