Friday, 15 January 2016

How much free will do we have ?


The  Gita  revisited .
How  much  free will  do  we  have  ?

               Some  people  believe  that  they  are  absolutely  free  to  do  what  they  like   and  some  others  have  an  opposite  view  that  whatever  they do  is  all  already  predetermined  by  God  . Free will  verses  destiny  is  a  very  serious  topic  that  has  been  troubling  mankind  since  beginningless  time. . Scriptures  give  us  four  purusharthas  (  dharma,  artha  ,  kama  and  moksha  )  which  are  to  be  attained  by  our  own  self-effort . . The  fact  that  scriptures  show  us  four  goals  and   give  us  the  freedom  to  choose  any  of  the  goals , only  goes  to  show  that  we  are  indeed  blessed  with  enough  free will  to  choose  any  of  them  as  our  goal in life and  progress  spiritually.   In  the  Kathopanishad  ,  Lord  Yama   tells  Nachiketas  , the  nine  year  old  boy , that  there  are  two  paths  -shreyas,the  path  of  the  good  and  preyas ,  the  path of  the  pleasant  . That   these  two  paths  are  thrown  open  to  us , only  goes  to  show  that  we  do  have  free will  to  pursue  any  of  them  .

            But  it   is  also  clear  that  God  has  not  given  us  absolute  freedom  to  do  what  we  feel  like  doing. . At  each  moment  of  our  life, choices  appear  in  front  of  us  .  The  Lord  is  not  watching  us  like  a  policeman  to  see  what  we  choose .  What  we  choose  to  follow  depends  on  many  factors  such  as  our  own  temperaments  ( vasanas )  and    our  pre conditionings   So  in  this  sense  we  do  not  have  absolute  freedom  . . We  do  not  enjoy  complete  and  unlimited  freedom  over  the  external  circumstances  but  we  are  indeed  given  limited  freedom  to  be  either  good  or  wicked  while  facing  each  and  every  moment  of  our  life's   situations. . Even  with  this  limited  freedom  ,it  is  then  up to  us  to  reach  perfection   and  become  free  from  bondage.  A cow is  tied  by a  rope  to a  post.  The  cow  has  only  limited  freedom  to  move  around  only  within  a  short  distance  ,depending  upon  the  length  of  the  rope.  But  the  cow  by  using  its  strength  can  free itself  from  the  post  to which  it is  tied.   Similarly  ,even  with  all  the  limited  freedom  that  we  are  blessed  with,   we  can  still  gain  freedom  from  bondage   by  our  self  effort   and  with  the  blessings  of  God  and  Guru. 


No comments:

Post a Comment