Free Will or Determinism?
Which runs the individual’s life?
This is a question that engages all religious thoughts.
Do we have Free Will to do anything?
Or everything is preordained?
In the latter case, one does not accumulate sins because everything is determined.
Equally baffling is the application of Free Will.
Simple analysis of the operation of Free Will in our Lives, without engaging ourselves about Free Will in philosophical terms, would show we are not free.
When we perform an action, choices presented to us are limited.
We do not have access to ALL options.
We act on the basis of choices presented to us at a given point of time.
Hence we have Free Will as well as we are Limited.
kāyena vācā manasendriyair vā
karoti yad yat sakalaṁ parasmai
nārāyaṇāyeti samarpayet tat
Word for word:
kāyena — with the body; vācā — speech; manasā — mind; indriyaiḥ — senses; vā — or; buddhyā — with the intelligence; ātmanā — the purified consciousness; vā — or; anus ta — followed; svabhāvāt — according to one’s conditioned nature; karoti — one does; yat yat — whatever; sakalam — all; parasmai — to the Supreme;nārāyaṇāya iti — thinking, “This is for Nārāyaṇa”; samarpayet — he should offer; tat — that.
In accordance with the particular nature one has acquired in conditioned life, whatever one does with body, words, mind, senses, intelligence or purified consciousness one should offer to the Supreme, thinking, “This is for the pleasure of Lord Nārāyaṇa.”
( Srimad Bhagvtham 11.2.36) explained by Rishaba to Nimi of Rama’s dynasty’
Sri Vaishnava sect (of which I’m a member) uses another verse called the Sattvika Tyaga for much the same purpose:
bhagavan eva svaniyamya sva-śeṣa-bhūtena maya
sva-ārādhana-eka-prayojanāya idam (name of the karma)
svasmai svaprītyai svayam eva karayati |
The auspicious deity, exerting control on himself, using me (his other part) as an instrument, himself effects , with his pleasure/ worship being the only purpose.
In the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna tells Krishna,
‘You assert that the cycle of birth and death is because of one’s action and its repurcussions thereof.
If one were to desist from performing action, is he not freed from the results of action and its reactionKarma Phala?
‘ There is nothing in the world that is not Mine nor does anything take place withiut Me.
There is nothing I desire for everything is Mine.
Yet I am here performing Duties?
It is because of Swabhava, one’s disposition.
Once born , he is impelled by his disposition.
He can not escape from action, it may even be breathing.
Even that is an action and it attracts karma phala’ reaction.
So one is not free.
YET one is endowed with Buddhi, power of discrimination to choose from options available to him’
One has freedom to express himself , impelled by his disposition, which he can not avoid yet he has the choice to perform righteously.
Reference and citation.