The Forum dedicated to Arunachala and Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

Ramana Maharshi => The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi => Topic started by: Subramanian.R on May 11, 2013, 06:30:53 PM

Title: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Subramanian.R on May 11, 2013, 06:30:53 PM

Sri Ramana's view on free will vis-a-vis  predetermination are so astounding that it behoves us to explore the issue. 
According to Sri Ramana, at the level of an ordinary person, (ajnani), individuals, from birth to death, will experience a
series of preordained activities and experiences, all of which are the consequences of previous acts and thoughts.
The only freedom which exists, if one does, is to realize that, in actuality, no one is acting and no one is experiencing.
If the Self is realized, then the words 'freedom' and 'predestination' lose all value, for, the Self neither acts nor experiences,
is neither free nor bound.  For the Self, 'nothing has ever happened,'  and thus all words and concepts lose their meaning.

Are human beings victims of an inescapable fate, or do we really have the power to create our own destiny?  That is the
age-old question that has plagued philosophers, theologians, and even the common person on the street.  According to
Sri Ramana, the question of free will or predetermination does not at all arise from the point of view of non duality.
Individuality itself is illusory.  However, so long as one imagines that one has a separate individuality, so long does one
imagine that one has or does not have free will.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                   
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: deepa on May 11, 2013, 10:39:15 PM

Dear Subramanian-sir,
This is somewhat confusing in day-to-day life. If interpreted wrongly, it can lead to inaction and laziness :(

I do believe that our destiny is a combination of our prarabdha and our agami karmas, so we do need to act in a selfless manner (ishawarpitham na ichchaya kritham, chiththa shodhakam mukthi sadhakam)

In your post and some of the other posts, many views are given from point of view of a gnani. When we reach that level, we will know crystal-clear that no one is acting.

For me, that is still theoretical knowledge. In my current role/life, I still have to function through my ego using my BMI. The fact is all of us are getting a desire to act, and proceed to use our BMI to act. Even posting in this thread is driven by our ego :)

From what I understand, we need to act on our sankalpa to act which comes from a selfless state out of a calm mind. Right now, most f us act only based on our raga/dveshas.

It is because of all this confusion that Kanchi periyava (and BG) advises us to focus on conducting swadharma believing us to be an instrument.
Deepa
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: sanjaya_ganesh on May 12, 2013, 07:48:13 AM
Dear Deepa

Quote
When we reach that level, we will know crystal-clear that no one is acting

The fundamental problem for all of us lies in this need to "reach that level" :) - there is no level to reach. All we need to do is accept that there is no level to reach. As long as we try to reach a level - we will only make it more confusing and miserable. I am not denying what you are saying as differing view points. But my point is that Self is already not acting. We just need to do vichaara and see whom we are referring as "We" and 'I" in all these sentences. That is all is needed.

There is no harm in conducting swadarma considering us as "instrument" as long as it leads us to the fact that there is no instrument and no doer. Else ego finds it very easy to take solace in the fact that I am an instrument and so can do what comes to my mind. The fundamental nature of self enquiry is to negate this - shift this ego / body centric I to the real I - "Who am I?".

-Sanjay.
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Subramanian.R on May 12, 2013, 08:00:22 AM
Dear deepa,

If you totally trust that 'your sankalpa' is only Iswara's Will, you can perform actions with your body, mind and intellect
and such actions will be conducted through the same Iswara's Will.  Sri Bhagavan said:  Nin ishtam, en ishtam.  Your Will
is my will (sankalpa).  Of course this is possible only when you have reached the highest standard of bhakti.  Saint
Tirunavukkarasar said:  Your (Siva's) job is to protect me and my job will be to do 'your work.'

Nin kadan adiyenaiyum thAnguthal; en kadan paNi seithy kidappathe.

The saint said, paNi seithu kidappathe, that is after doing such work, remain restful (leaving the fruits to God).
   
Arunachala siva.,     

Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: deepa on May 12, 2013, 08:29:04 AM

The fundamental problem for all of us lies in this need to "reach that level" :) - there is no level to reach. All we need to do is accept that there is no level to reach. As long as we try to reach a level - we will only make it more confusing and miserable. I am not denying what you are saying as differing view points. But my point is that Self is already not acting. We just need to do vichaara and see whom we are referring as "We" and 'I" in all these sentences. That is all is needed.

There is no harm in conducting swadarma considering us as "instrument" as long as it leads us to the fact that there is no instrument and no doer. Else ego finds it very easy to take solace in the fact that I am an instrument and so can do what comes to my mind. The fundamental nature of self enquiry is to negate this - shift this ego / body centric I to the real I - "Who am I?".

-Sanjay.

Sanjayji
I have to confess that I am still only operating from a ego level - yes, I am trying to cleanse my ego to be rid of negative thoughts and build chittha-shuddi. This requires conscious effort/contemplation as well as some form of surrender to guru. This contemplation/surrender has become part of me now. Still, self-enquiry for me is still only a theoretical way - even if I sit for 30-40 minutes, all I achieve is some quietness of mind and a short thoughtless state.

Saying there is "nothing to realize" is also only theoretical for me.
So, until I "reach"/realize or whatever you call it, we do need a attitude towards life/work. I am trying to follow the 5 step process per BG chapter 15. Accepting what happens as ishwara prasada, surrender to God/Guru, expanding love beyond family, nishkama/paropakara karma, etc. 

Subramanian-ji, I agree with you. With guru in mind, the sankalpa comes automatically. I only pray that I continue this every second of life.
Deepa
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Subramanian.R on May 12, 2013, 09:48:08 AM

continues....

To set the stage, look at two quotes from Arthur Osborne:

Sri Bhagavan was uncompromising in His teaching that whatever is to happen will happen, while at the same time, He
taught that whatever happens is due to prarabdha, a man's balance sheet of destiny acting according to so rigorous
a law of cause and effect that even the word 'justice' seems too sentimental to express it.  He refused ever to be
entangled in a discussion on free will and predestination, for such theories, although contradictory on the mental plane,
may both reflect aspects of truth.  He would say, 'Find out who it is who is predestined or has free will.  (Ramana Maharshi
and the Path of Self Knowledge, Arthur Osborne, Ch. 5).

Actually, however, the question of free will or predestination does not arise at all from the point of view of non duality.  It is
as though a group of people who had never heard of a radio were to stand around a wireless set arguing whether the man in
the box has to sing what the transmitting station tells him  to or whether he can change parts of the songs.  The answer is
that there is no man in the box and therefore the question itself does not arise.  Similarly, the answer to the question whether
the ego has free will or not is that there is no ego and therefore the question does not arise.  Therefore, Sri Bhagavan's usual
response to the question would be to bid the questioner to find out who it is that has free will or predestination.  (The Teachings
of Sri Ramana Maharshi in His Own Words, Ch. 1).

Ok. But what about at the level of individuality -- what happens there, where ordinary individuals live and experience the
world?  What are we to make of Ramana's own words in the light of a person's everyday experience of cause and effect
in the physical world?

Arthur Osborne himself asked Sri Ramana:

'Are only important events in a man's life such as his main occupation or profession, predetermined, or are trifling acts also,
such as taking a cup of water or moving from one part of the room to another?'  Sri Ramana replied:  'Everything is predetermined.'
Osborne said, 'Then what responsibility, what free will has man?'  Sri Ramana replied, 'Why does the body come into existence?
It is designed for various things that are marked out for it in this life..... As for freedom, a man is always free not to identify
himself with the body and not to be affected by the pleasures and pains consequent on its activities.'  (ibid. Ch. 2).

On another occasion, in a remarkably similar manner, Sri Ramana was asked, 'I can understand that the outstanding events
in a man's life such as his country, nationality, family, career or profession, marriage, death etc., are all predestined by karma,
but can it be that all the details of his life, down to the minutest, have already been predetermined?  Now, for instance, I put
this fan that is in my hand down on the floor here.  Can it be that it was already decided that on such and such a day, at
such and such a hour., I should move the fan like this and put it down here?'  Sri Ramana replied, 'Certainly.  Whatever this
body is to do and whatever experiences it is to pass through was already decided when it came into existence. '  (Day by
Day with Bhagavan by Devaraja Mudaliar).

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.       
                           
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: atmavichar100 on May 12, 2013, 10:03:32 AM
Quote
I have to confess that I am still only operating from a ego level - yes, I am trying to cleanse my ego to be rid of negative thoughts and build chittha-shuddi. This requires conscious effort/contemplation as well as some form of surrender to guru. This contemplation/surrender has become part of me now. Still, self-enquiry for me is still only a theoretical way - even if I sit for 30-40 minutes, all I achieve is some quietness of mind and a short thoughtless state.

Deepaji

All we can do is to bring in more amount of Sattva in to our lives through various forms of Sadhana like Japa , Parayana , Puja , Study of scriptures , Satsangha , control of diet etc .Rest is grace of God and Guru to take us to the next stage .
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Anand on May 12, 2013, 04:28:13 PM
So Sir,
Subramanian Sir.Please help to summarise this as under .(pl modify or add if anything more needs to be added).
.Everything truly is predesitined.:
.Hence there is no point in being agitated over anything since everything is in line with the divine will.
.Earlier this awareness was not available to us but with this awareness we should use it to be at peace - an aid to self enquiry.
.However though everything is predestined since we do not know upfront what is our future,we continue to act as if we have free will but with the knowledge at the back of our mind that ultimately we will be putting into action what is already the divine will.
Is that it ?
THanks and Regards,
Anand .
.
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Subramanian.R on May 12, 2013, 04:39:20 PM
Dear Anand,

Everything is predestined.  There is no free will for human beings.  If one has to overcome the predestiny, one should only
find out for whom these discussions are there and realize that it is ego which speaks about it.  So kill the ego and realize the
Self.  Then there is neither destiny nor free will but only the Self, the one without a second.

Arunachala Siva.   
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Subramanian.R on May 12, 2013, 05:10:44 PM
Dear Deepa, Ananda Sundaram, Sanjaya Ganesh and atmavichar,

Sri Bhagavan has succinctly given the answer to this question.  He says in Verse 19 of Ulladu Napadu: 

The debate, 'Does the free will prevail or fate?' is only for those who do not know the root of both.  Those who have
known the Self, the common source of both free will and fate, have passed beyond them both and will not return to them.

(Tr. Prof. K. Swaminathan)

Arunachala Siva.   
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: sanjaya_ganesh on May 12, 2013, 08:55:04 PM
Subramanian sir

Yes :) and this is also known as typical Brahmastra of Bhagawan. Enquire the root.

Sanjay
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Subramanian.R on May 13, 2013, 09:26:56 AM

continues......

Finally, there is Sri Ramana's reply to His Mother when she came to visit Him in Tiruvannamalai for the first time.  She had
come in the hope of taking Him back to Madurai:

'The Creator, remaining everywhere, makes each one play his role in life according to their past deeds (prarabdha karma).
Whatever  not destined to happen will not happen, --- try how hard you may.  Whatever is destined to happen, will happen,
do what you may to stop it.  This is certain.  Therefore, the best course is for one to remain silent.'
(Bhagavan Ramana and Mother)

So what is one to make of this?  Sri Ramana in His own words, from the empirical perspective, seems to uphold a doctrine
of predetermination which, on the face of it, seems almost shocking so counter intuitive, rather disconcerting and astounding
in its total thoroughness. 'All the activities that the body is to go through are determined when it first comes into existence. It
does not rest with you to accept or reject them.  The only freedom you have is to turn your mind inward and renounce activities
there.'  (Day by Day with Bhagavan, Devaraja Mudaliar).

The consequences of this are not lost on any intelligent person.  One's next question becomes, if this is the case, then what
responsibility does a person have?  Where is the scope for bettering oneself, let alone for liberation?  To  this, Sri Ramana
replied:  'Why does the body come into existence?  It is designed for the various things that are marked out for it in this
life.'  (ibid. ).

Then again, on  a different occasion, to a questioner with perhaps different needs, Sri Ramana replied:  'Free will exists
together with the individuality.  As long as the individuality lasts, so long is there free will.  All the scriptures are based on
this fact, and advise directing the free will in the right channel.  Find out who it is who has free will or predestination and
abide in that state.  Then both are transcended.  That is the only purpose in discussing these questions.  To whom do such
questions present themselves?  Discover that and be at peace.  (The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi in His Own Words).

There appears to be no contradiction here.  According to Sri Ramana, individuality has only an illusory existence.  However,
as long as a person imagines that he or she has a separate individuality, so long do they also imagine they have free will.
These two, individuality and free will exist together inexorably and inevitably.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.               
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: sanjaya_ganesh on May 13, 2013, 09:53:02 AM
Quote
'The Creator, remaining everywhere, makes each one play his role in life according to their past deeds (prarabdha karma).
Whatever  not destined to happen will not happen, --- try how hard you may.  Whatever is destined to happen, will happen,
do what you may to stop it.  This is certain.  Therefore, the best course is for one to remain silent.'
(Bhagavan Ramana and Mother)

I also heard in some satsang (not sure it was Nochur Acharya or somewhere else) that this was the first sentence in the form of Upadesha that Bhagawan spoke after years in Samadhi - and so is considered his foremost Upadesha among all - this from Bhagawan to his mother.

-Sanjay
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Subramanian.R on May 13, 2013, 09:59:32 AM
Dear Sanjaya,

Yes. When Mother Azhagamma came to Tiruvannamalai for the first time, (Her Liberation Day, Maha Puja falls on 2.06.2013),
Sri Bhagavan gave this upadesa to her.  She had to return home disappointed.  Only during her fourth visit, when her eldest
son Nagasami had also died and she was desolate, Sri Bhagavan agreed for her stay with Him permanently.

Arunachala Siva.   
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Subramanian.R on May 14, 2013, 10:28:49 AM

continues......

Stated differently, the problem of free will, according to theologians, places God, the Creator, between the horns of
dilemma. If God gave human beings free will, then God is neither omnipotent nor omniscient.  If humans have free will,
then God does not know what will happen because what happens will depend on the free will of what people decide.
God will not have control of everything, because humans will have the power to change things.  On the other hand, if
God is omniscient and omnipotent and does control everything, while humans have no free will or possibility to do things
other than as they happen, then such a God is unbelievably cruel and capricious.  People are advised by sages and
scriptures to be good; yet, if they have no ability to change their fate, then that is just cruel.

For example, in a movie that has been filmed, each actor plays his or her part and that part is written out beforehand and
cannot be changed after the film is made.  Each actor plays a role and yet remains unaffected by their actions, because they
know it is a role that they play.  When an actor is born or dies on the screen, the person playing the role is neither born or dies.
When fire burns or water wets, the screen remains unaffected.  Or again for example, if one acts a part in a play, the whole
part is written beforehand and one acts faithfully, whether one is Caesar who is stabbed by Brutus who stabs.  The actor is
unaffected by events on the stage because he is playing a role and not 'real'. 

In the same way, that person who realizes his identity with the deathless Self, his part on the human stage without fear or
anxiety, hope or regret, not being touched by the part played.  If one were to ask what reality one has when all one's actions
are determined, it would lead only to the question: Who, then, am I?  If the ego that thinks it and makes distinctions is not real,
and yet I know that I exist, what is the reality in me?  This is but a preparatory, mental version of the Quest that Sri Ramana
prescribed, but it is an excellent preparation for the real Quest.  'Others are not responsible for what happens to us.  They
are only instruments of what would happen to us some way or other,'  (Conscious Immortality - Paul Brunton and Munagala
Venkataramiah.)

concluded.

Arunachala Siva,                             
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: sanjaya_ganesh on May 14, 2013, 02:08:32 PM
This is a very good article. In Gita, Chapter 18 Sloka 63 Bhagawan says

Idi they Jnanamakyatam Guhyat Guhyataram Maya
Vimrishaitadaseshana Yadechasi Tada Kuru

this can roughly be translated as

You have been advised the most esoteric knowledge and its various ways. Apply your mind and see for yourself whether it is agreeable. Thereafter do what you feel like.

Just curious - if there is no free will - then why does Bhagawan say "Yadechasi Tada Kuru" (Do as you will / as you please) ? I thought about it for sometime. Yes - there is no free will just as Sri Ramana also says. Events are pre-destined, but our participation in them is our free-will! In other words, Events are pre-destined, but our attitude towards them is our free-will. Would love to hear thoughts from others in the light of this Gita verse.

Sanjay
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: latha on May 14, 2013, 07:55:24 PM
Sanjayji,

"Events are pre-destined, but our attitude towards them is our free-will."

I used to believe this until recently but now I question the free-will in our attitude also. It is probably the grace of God/Guru that manifests as our will to face a situation with equanimity?

Scriptures teach us that we are not the "doer" then why should we believe that we are executing free-will? Most important aspect of Bhagavan's teachings is self-enquiry where we are asked to pay attention to who am I or who thinks they are doing. Being the witness or paying attention seems to be more important than inflating our ego further by believing it has free-will. 

Sanjayji and Friends please excuse my ranting but writing these thoughts helped me.

Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya

Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Subramanian.R on May 14, 2013, 08:15:22 PM
Dear latha,

There is no free will at all for human beings.  If someone acts thinking he is acting as per his free will, such actions are also
predestined by God.  Both destiny and fate can be transcended only by a Brahma Jnani.  When Mother Azhgamma took ill
during one of her visits, Sri Bhagavan prayed to Arunachala for her recovery. She did recover. And she got liberation through
her son later in 1922.  Only Siva bodaham or Atma Jnanam can ward off the fate.  The story of Markandeya is a proof for this.

Arunachala Siva.   
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Hari on May 14, 2013, 08:33:01 PM
Dear latha,

There is no free will at all for human beings.  If someone acts thinking he is acting as per his free will, such actions are also
predestined by God.  Both destiny and fate can be transcended only by a Brahma Jnani.  When Mother Azhgamma took ill
during one of her visits, Sri Bhagavan prayed to Arunachala for her recovery. She did recover. And she got liberation through
her son later in 1922.  Only Siva bodaham or Atma Jnanam can ward off the fate.  The story of Markandeya is a proof for this.

Arunachala Siva.   

There is no free will for human beings just as there is no destiny. This is according to Supreme Truth. But relatively speaking free will and destiny are existent. If it was not so then theory of karma is completely meaningless. If there is no free will then it is God who makes you do Self-inquiry. And this makes God unfair because He makes you do the good job called "Atma vichara" but He makes one of the friends on my street to be drunkard. This is very dangerous and God-humiliating theory which I cannot accept.
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Nagaraj on May 14, 2013, 09:28:37 PM
'i have free will'

'i do not have freewill'

Both are just the ramblings of our mind that is really the 'maya'

For our contemplation for such an above context, Bhagavan would ask where were these questions during deep sleep?

--
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Hari on May 14, 2013, 09:34:33 PM
'i have free will'

'i do not have freewill'

Both are just the ramblings of our mind that is really the 'maya'

For our contemplation for such an above context, Bhagavan would ask where were these questions during deep sleep?

--

Exactly! :)
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Nagaraj on May 14, 2013, 09:41:26 PM
Additionally, the nature of truth is such bewilderment that all of the following are true at their respective seats:

1 We truly have freewill to pursue divinity!
2 We truly do not have any freewill at all. We even only worship Him at His will!
3 Truth is beyond both - we having freewill and we not having any freewill!
And
4 Truth is even beyond the thurd point!

Aren't we stumped? :-)

If we are stumped; then all is well :-)

--
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: latha on May 14, 2013, 09:43:37 PM
Dear Hariji,

I am reminded of a story shared by Bhagavan. A poor man had a dream in which he was robbed of all his riches, he started shouting for help to catch the robber. Bhagavan asked if his friend sitting awake next to him should try to catch the robber or wake his friend from his dream. Bhagavan and scriptures are teaching us that this life is like a long dream. Instead of trying to understand the dream or fix the problems in the dream we just need to wake up from it.

As Nagarajji mentioned, in deep sleep there aren't any problems. God/Guru is teaching us to experience that state even when we are awake.

Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya

Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 14, 2016, 03:41:16 PM
Friends,
I thought it would be a good idea to revisit this 'Freewill vs Destiny' discussion as I find that there is a good deal of confusion in understanding Sri Bhagavan's references(to the best of what i know,We do not find anything directly bearing on this from Sri Bhagavan's teachings but is more based on the interactions he had with other devotees-namely what he told his mother when she asked him to return home  and what he told Devaraja Mudaliar in 'Day by Day with Bhagavan').

The Fundamental question that any seeker may have to be clear is this:Do I exercise my intellect and will to better myself(be it in any manner) or Do I just let things pass by and take things as they come(We need to be aware that this 'Taking' as it comes is also a choice!).

I will set the tone with a wonderful parable of Sri Ramakrishna:

Parable of the "elephant God"
"Let me tell you a story. In a forest there lived a holy man who had many disciples. One day he taught them to see God in all beings and, knowing this, to bow low before them all.
A disciple went to the forest to gather wood for the sacrificial fire. Suddenly he heard an outcry: 'Get out of the way! A mad elephant is coming!' All but the disciple of the holy man took to their heels. He reasoned that the elephant was also God in another form. Then why should he run away from it? He stood still, bowed before the animal, and began to sing its praises. The mahut of the elephant was shouting: 'Run away! Run away!' But the disciple didn't move. The animal seized him with its trunk, cast him to one side, and went on its way. Hurt and bruised, the disciple lay unconscious on the ground. Hearing what had happened, his teacher and his brother disciples came to him and carried him to the hermitage. With the help of some medicine he soon regained consciousness. Someone asked him, 'You knew the elephant was coming - why didn't you leave the place?' 'But', he said, 'our teacher has told us that God Himself has taken all these forms, of animals as well as men. Therefore, thinking it was only the elephant God that was coming, I didn't run away.' At this the teacher said: 'Yes, my child, it is true that the elephant God was coming; but the mahut God forbade you to stay there. Since all are manifestations of God, why didn't you trust the mahut's words? You should have heeded the words of the mahut God.'
(Laughter)

Do we say along with the disciple that 'everything is God and the Elephant is also God' and let things take their course?Or Do we take the teacher's word that the 'Mahut is also God' and that one should have listened to him and run away from the scene?

We clearly had the choice to 'Stay put' (like what  the disciple did) or listened to the Mahut and 'run away' as advised by the 'Mahut God' as later on endorsed by the 'teacher'.

We also need to  clearly understand that 'Stay Put' is not what Sri Bhagavan advises in either of his conversations (with his mother or Devaraja Mudaliar) when he says:

"Therefore, the best course is for one to remain silent".

The Human mind mistakes this to mean 'Stay put' which is far removed from 'remaining silent'.If this 'remain Silent' which is the  Best course is not at one's disposal,one has to take recourse to less than 'Best' and that is consult others wiser and exercise the Intellect.In any case ,nothing can be worse than a fatalistic attitude that 'One can do nothing'.Sri Bhagavan never meant this.

A clear understanding of the simple yet wonderful parable of Sri Ramakrishna will set at nought whatever doubts one may have and is well worth pondering.

Namaskar
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 14, 2016, 03:52:36 PM
Friends,
Another excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:

Free will and God's will
VAIDYANATH: "Sir, I have a doubt. People speak of free will. They say that a man can do either good or evil according to his will. Is it true? Are we really free to do whatever we like?"
MASTER: "Everything depends on the will of God. The world is His play. He has created all these different things-great and small, strong and weak, good and bad, virtuous and vicious. This is all His maya, His sport. You must have observed that all the trees in a garden are not of the same kind.
"As long as a man has not realized God, he thinks he is free. It is God Himself who keeps this error in man. Otherwise sin would have multiplied. Man would not have been afraid of sin, and there would have been no punishment for it.
"But do you know the attitude of one who has realized God? He feels: 'I am the machine, and Thou, O Lord, art the Operator. I am the house and Thou art the Indweller. I am the chariot and Thou art the Driver. I move as Thou movest me; I speak as Thou makest me speak.'
(To Vaidyanath): "It is not good to argue. Isn't that so?"
VAIDYANATH: "Yes, sir. The desire to argue disappears when a man attains wisdom."
The Master, out of his stock of a dozen English words, said, "Thank you!" in the most charming way, and all laughed.
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Sadhak on January 15, 2016, 12:16:34 PM
"The Fundamental question that any seeker may have to be clear is this:Do I exercise my intellect and will to better myself(be it in any manner) or Do I just let things pass by and take things as they come(We need to be aware that this 'Taking' as it comes is also a choice!)."

I am afraid neither position has anything to do with Bhagavan's teachings (or the teachings of other sages). So such a seeker is off track. 

The essence of the teachings is that there is no doer. So long as there is a doer, he/she may indeed be swaying between the two positions you have described. Either 'do I exercise MY intellect to achieve something', or 'do I remain without doing anything outwardly'.  Clearly, there is a decision maker, the 'I', who is deciding between the two options driven by the desire for better results (spiritually).

Surrender is not a decision that is planned and executed by the ego/mind. It is not an achievement of the ego.  On the contrary, it is the death of the ego. The ego cannot surrender. When somebody says 'I have surrendered' we can rest assured that the ego is alive and well.



Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 15, 2016, 01:30:09 PM
Sadhak,

Quote
Clearly, there is a decision maker, the 'I', who is deciding between the two options driven by the desire for better results (spiritually).

Yes,and this is what I have also said-as long as there is the 'I' sense,we have to put our choice on the side of 'Sreyas' as opposed to 'preyas' as the kathopanishad says.As long as one is a 'seeker' of any sort(I mean a Sadhak),one has to make the choices ,as long as one is not in choiceless awareness as JK says.The moment we are in choiceless awareness,we are free from having to make a choice(as there is no 'doer' ) but until then,we have to make the choice that is consonant with our spiritual welfare.One cannot prematurely assume that there is no 'doer' and hence no choice to be made.

Assuredly 'Surrender ' is not a decision but without taking the necessary steps,it will not come about.We have to exercise our choice to take the necessary steps!
As a step,Lord Sri Krishna in the Gita advises to leave the Fruit of the action to God(meaning take it as it comes)but clearly says that one is empowered to 'act' (Karmanye vadhikaraste Ma Phaleshu Kadachana, Ma Karmaphalaheturbhu rma Te Sangostvakarmani)-This is the first step to surrender(JK may say that there are no steps!)-this is the way the mind gets freed from likes-dislikes,elation-disappointment and the pairs of opposites.It cannot be done by an abandonment of action or effort.

The issue that we are discussing is this-Do we just stop exercising our intellect and judgement to better ourselves (in whatever way) as results are already predetermined or do  we work towards improving our lot and yet have the attitude and composure to accept whatever the outcome.

Let me put some concrete question so that we do not meander in a lotus eating world:
1.Do we ask our children to study and do their Best or do we just leave it saying  that the scores that they are going to obtain is already predetermined,so why bother them with studies?
Like the above,corresponding to one's station in Life,one may be required to make many choices/Decisions-Do we mean to say that on account of predetermination,we do not need to make those choices or decisions,since eventually what is destined to happen is going to happen?

Please note that we are not discussing the essence of Sri Bhagavan's teaching:The essence of the teachings is that there is no doer. (http://The essence of the teachings is that there is no doer.).I have already posted excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna regarding this.

Namaskar
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Sadhak on January 16, 2016, 07:19:49 AM
"As long as one is a 'seeker' of any sort(I mean a Sadhak),one has to make the choices ".

The point is that it hardly matters whether one is a 'sadhak' or not. People both inside and outside the ashram are making choices daily on every issue in order to gain something. It is unfortunate if some of us who have read a few so called spiritual books begin to think we are somehow different from the others.


"Assuredly 'Surrender ' is not a decision but without taking the necessary steps,it will not come about.We have to exercise our choice to take the necessary steps!

This is a contradiction in terms. Necessary steps mean decision making, and so it means that surrender is the outcome of a planned decision. Even otherwise, once the ego senses that it is on the 'right' path and taking the 'correct steps' it only grows bigger and stronger.


"The issue that we are discussing is this-Do we just stop exercising our intellect and judgement to better ourselves (in whatever way) as results are already predetermined or do  we work towards improving our lot and yet have the attitude and composure to accept whatever the outcome."

These issues arise when the intellect runs amok. The fact is that situations and circumstances will force us to act differently no matter how we had planned. For example,  I may have said to myself 'everything is predetermined and so I will stop making effort hereafter'. Then a situation must arise where this vow is shattered. Then (and only then) do I realize that it is the Divine Will that is driving the world and not my silly pre-determined vows to either act or not act. Also if a man already has the composure to accept any outcome, he would not mind whether he acts or not and whatever outcome might follow in either case.


So someone who is a bit serious realizes that whether he acts or does not act, it is all due to the operation of divine will. May be such a person could be called a sadhak.
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 16, 2016, 07:37:35 AM
Sadhak,
I gather that my posts did not make any sense to you.Please ignore it.
Namaskar
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 16, 2016, 07:57:30 AM
Friends,
Some of the question raised by Sadhak may be worth pondering about to gain further clarity.
Quote
The point is that it hardly matters whether one is a 'sadhak' or not. People both inside and outside the ashram are making choices daily on every issue in order to gain something. It is unfortunate if some of us who have read a few so called spiritual books begin to think we are somehow different from the others.

All people have to make Choices but a Sadhak is one who is concerned about making a wise choice and takes the trouble to get it right -it does not matter whether he is inside the ashram or outside-whether he calls himself a 'sadhak' or a 'layman'.
A wise choice is one which leads one to peace and happiness although it may discomfit one in the short term.

Quote
This is a contradiction in terms. Necessary steps mean decision making, and so it means that surrender is the outcome of a planned decision.
No,one should differentiate between 'necessary' and 'Sufficient' condition.Without the necessary Condition,surrender cannot come about.The Steps alone are not sufficient but they are necessary.

Quote
The fact is that situations and circumstances will force us to act differently no matter how we had planned.
This is where prior preparation helps.An ordinary man will let his primitive instincts take over whereas a 'Sadhak' will ensure that better sense prevails.An ordinary person will react but a Sadhak will 'act' wisely.
Please note that no 'Plan' is involved in making a 'wise choice'.Only good sense has to prevail.

Quote
So someone who is a bit serious realizes that whether he acts or does not act, it is all due to the operation of divine will. May be such a person could be called a sadhak.
The Parable of the "Elephant God" is meant for such 'Sadhaks'.This is the reason that I have posted it.

Namaskar
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Sadhak on January 16, 2016, 09:38:00 AM
"I gather that my posts did not make any sense to you.Please ignore it.".

They certainly don't. And unfortunately it seems you did not understand my reply.

Let us leave it there.

Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 16, 2016, 01:51:57 PM
Sadhak,

Quote
They certainly don't. And unfortunately it seems you did not understand my reply.

If everything happens by Divine Will,where is the question of 'Unfortnately'?We just see it differently and we are okay with it.
The most important thing is whether you are convinced about your position.If yes,Godspeed to you.Whatever Sadhana you are pursuing,may it bring you to Truth or God.
Wishing you the very Best.

Namaskar
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Sadhak on January 16, 2016, 08:21:01 PM
"If everything happens by Divine Will,where is the question of 'Unfortnately'?"

 'if everything happens by Divine Will'. That means one is even unsure about the operation of Divine will.

'Necessary steps', 'sufficient', 'wise', 'sadhak', 'ordinary man' etc etc are all the outcome of a strongly active, judgmental intellect far far removed from divine will and surrender.

The divine will made me experience this incident as unfortunate. Unless the divine will removes this ignorance/ego, I will remain so no matter what I do or don't do.

Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 16, 2016, 09:18:06 PM
Sadhak,
Quote
Unless the divine will removes this ignorance/ego, I will remain so no matter what I do or don't do.

You may like to check this thread and see if you find anything helpful.Please ignore whatever you find unacceptable:
http://www.arunachala-ramana.org/forum/index.php?topic=8446.0 (http://www.arunachala-ramana.org/forum/index.php?topic=8446.0)

Namaskar

Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Sadhak on January 16, 2016, 11:07:11 PM
1. "If he has surrendered to God or to Guru the Power to which he has surrendered will take him on the right course. The worker need no longer concern himself about the rectitude or otherwise of the course."

2. "The Divine Will prevails at all times and under all circumstances. The individuals cannot act of their own accord. Recognize the force of the Divine Will and keep quiet."

The above statements of Bhagawan are clear enough.

Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 17, 2016, 07:18:42 AM
Sadhak,
1."If he has surrendered to God or to Guru the Power to which he has surrendered will take him on the right course. The worker need no longer concern himself about the rectitude or otherwise of the course."
Here is the complete passage from 'The Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi':
14th August, 1938 Talk 502. Sjt. Rajendra Prasad and Sjt. Jamnalal Bajaj with others are on a visit to Sri Maharshi.
16th August - Sjt. J. B. asked questions:
D.: How is the mind to be steadily kept right?
M.: All living beings are aware of their surroundings and therefore intellect must be surmised in all of them. At the same time, there is a difference between the intellect of man and that of other animals, because man not only sees the world as it is and acts accordingly, but also seeks fulfilment of desires and is not satisfied with the existing state of affairs. In his attempt to fulfil his desires he extends his vision far and wide and yet he turns away dissatisfied. He now begins to think and reason.
The desire for permanency of happiness and of peace bespeaks such permanency in his own nature. Therefore he seeks to find and regain his own nature, i.e., his Self. That found, all is found. Such inward seeking is the path to be gained by man?s intellect. The intellect itself realises after continuous practice that it is enabled by some Higher Power to function. It cannot itself reach that Power. So it ceases to function after a certain stage. When it thus ceases to function the Supreme Power is still left there all alone. That is Realisation; that is the finality; that is the goal.
It is thus plain that the purpose of the intellect is to realise its own dependence upon the Higher Power and its inability to reach the same. So it must annihilate itself before the goal is gained.
D.: A sloka is quoted which means: ?I do not desire kingdoms, etc.
Only let me serve Thee for ever and there lies my highest pleasure.?
Is that right?
M.: Yes. There is room for kama (desire) so long as there is an object apart from the subject (i.e., duality). There can be no desire if there is no object. The state of no-desire is moksha. There is no duality in sleep and also no desire. Whereas there is duality in the waking state and desire also is there. Because of duality a desire arises for the acquisition of the object. That is the outgoing mind, which is the basis of duality and of desire. If one knows that Bliss is none other than the Self the mind becomes inward turned. If the Self is gained all the desires are fulfilled. That is the apta kamah atma kamah akamascha (fulfilment of desire) of the Brihadaranyaka
Upanishad(This quote from The Brihadaranyaka upanishad is omitted in the Tamil translation). That is moksha.
Here J. B. tried to make himself clear by saying that what he meant by sadbuddhi was not the same as buddhi. It means that which holds fast to the good, the right and the chosen path. He wanted to know how such steadfastness could be gained.
M.: What is wanted for gaining the highest goal is loss of individuality. The intellect is co-extensive with individuality. Loss of individuality can only be after the disappearance of buddhi, good or bad. The question therefore does not arise.
D.: But yet one must know the right thing, choose the right path, practise the right dharma and hold fast to it. Otherwise he is lost.
M.: True strength accrues by keeping in the right direction without swerving from it.
(The Tamil Translation by Sri Viswanatha Swami who was also present when the Talks took place goes thus:Yes,Yes.By  not swerving from swadharma and remaing firm in it ,we gain true strength)
D.: Difficulties are met with. How is one to get the strength necessary to overcome the obstacles which beset one?s path?
M.: By means of devotion and company of the sages.
D.: Loss of individuality was just before mentioned as a prerequisite to moksha. Now devotion and association with the wise are advised as the methods. Is there not individuality implied in them e.g., in ?I am a bhakta?, ?I am a satsangi??
M.: The method is pointed out to the seeker. The seeker has certainly not lost his individuality so far. Otherwise the question would not have arisen. The way is shown to effect the loss of individuality of the seeker. It is thus appropriate.
D.: Is the desire for swaraj right?
M.: Such desire no doubt begins with self-interest. Yet practical work for the goal gradually widens the outlook so that the individual becomes merged in the country. Such merging of the individuality is desirable and the related karma is nishkama (unselfish) .
D.: If swaraj is gained after a long struggle and terrible sacrifices, is not the person justified in being pleased with the result and elated by it?
M.: He must have in the course of his work surrendered himself to the Higher Power whose Might must be kept in mind and never lost sight of. How then can he be elated? He should not even care for the result of his actions. Then alone the karma becomes unselfish.
D.: How can unerring rectitude be ensured for the worker?
M.: If he has surrendered himself to God or to Guru the Power to which he had surrendered will take him on the right course. The worker need no longer concern himself about the rectitude or otherwise of the course. The doubt will arise only if he fails to obey the Master in all details.

Nishkama Karma ,the role of the intellect,Bhakti and association of the wise ones as  steps towards effecting Surrender  are covered in this single talk.
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 17, 2016, 08:07:43 AM
2. "The Divine Will prevails at all times and under all circumstances. The individuals cannot act of their own accord. Recognize the force of the Divine Will and keep quiet."

15th December, 1938 Talk 594.
The Spanish lady, Madam Mercedes De Acorta, has written a letter to Mr. Hague, the American mining engineer who is here as a temporary resident for the last two months. She has raised a few questions there: ?If the individual Self merges into the universal Self, how can one pray to God for the uplift of humanity?? The question seems to be common among the thinkers of the West.
Sri Bhagavan said: They pray to God and finish with ?Thy Will be done!? If His Will be done why do they pray at all? It is true that the Divine Will prevails at all times and under all circumstances. The individuals cannot act of their own accord.(This is omitted in the Tamil translation by Sri Viswanatha Swami.For your information,Sri Munagala Venkatramiah had interpolated a few lines here and there on his own.There is an article by David Godman on this aspect.) Recognise the force of the Divine Will and keep quiet. Each one is looked after by God.
He has created all. You are one among 2,000 millions. When He looks after so many will He omit you? Even common sense dictates that one should abide by His Will.
Again there is no need to let Him know your needs. He knows them Himself and will look after them.
Still more, why do you pray? Because you are helpless yourself and you want the Higher Power to help you. Well, does not your Creator and Protector know your weakness? Should you parade your weakness in order to make Him know it?
D.: But God helps those who help themselves.
M.: Certainly. Help yourself and that is itself according to God?s Will.(Here the Tamil version runs thus:Yes,even the subhechcha(literally good desire)to redeem oneself occurs on account of grace.)Every action is prompted by Him only(This is omitted in the Tamil translation). As for prayer for the sake of others, it looks so unselfish on the surface of it. But analyse the feeling and you will detect selfishness there also. You desire others? happiness so that you may be happy. Or you want the credit for having interceded on others? behalf. God does not require an intermediary. Mind your business and all will be well.(The Tamil translation runs like this:If we attend to redeeming ourselves the rest will happen)
D.: Does not God work His Will through some chosen person?
M.: God is in all and works through all. But His presence is better recognised in purified minds. The pure ones reflect God?s actions more clearly than the impure minds. Therefore people say that they are the chosen ones. But the ?chosen? man does not himself say so. If he thinks that he is the intermediary then it is clear that he retains his individuality and that there is no complete surrender.

Namaskar
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 17, 2016, 08:42:35 AM
Friends,
Here are some excerpts from 'Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi' where Sri Bhagavan refers to Free will,Destiny:

1.Talk 193.
Maharshi observed: Free-will and destiny are ever-existent(The Tamil Translation by Sri Viswanatha Swami says that they are co-existent). Destiny is the result of past action; it concerns the body. Let the body act as may suit it. Why are you concerned with it? Why do you pay attention to it? Free-will and Destiny last as long as the body lasts. But wisdom (jnana) transcends both. The Self is beyond knowledge and ignorance. Should anything happen, it happens as the result of one?s past actions, of divine will and of other factors.

2.19th June, 1936 Talk 209.
Mr. B. C. Das, the Physics Lecturer, asked about free-will and destiny.
M.: Whose will is it? ?It is mine?, you may say. You are beyond will and fate. Abide as that and you transcend them both. That is the meaning of conquering destiny by will. Fate can be conquered. Fate is the result of past actions. By association with the wise the bad tendencies are conquered. One?s experiences are then viewed to their proper perspective.
I exist now. I am the enjoyer. I enjoy fruits of action. I was in the past and shall be in the future. Who is this ?I?? Finding this ?I? to be pure Consciousness beyond action and enjoyment, freedom and happiness are gained. There is then no effort, for the Self is perfect and there remains nothing more to gain. So long as there is individuality, one is the enjoyer and doer. But if it is lost, the divine Will prevails and guides the course of events. The individual is perceptible to others who cannot perceive divine
force. Restrictions and discipline are for other individuals and not for the liberated.
Free-will is implied in the scriptural injunctions to be good. It implies overcoming fate. It is done by wisdom. The fire of wisdom consumes all actions. Wisdom is acquired by association with the wise, or rather, its mental atmosphere.(The Tamil Translation says :sat vasana)

3.Talk 244.
A Maharani Saheba spoke in a gentle and low voice, but quite audibly:
D.: ?Maharajji, I have the good fortune to see you. My eyes have had the pleasure of seeing you, my ears the pleasure of hearing your voice. ?I am blessed with everything that a human being would like to have.? Her Highness?s voice choked. With great strength of mind she rallied and proceeded slowly, ?I have all that I want, a human being would want ?. But ... But ... I ... I ... do not have peace of mind ... Something prevents it. Probably my destiny....?
There was silence for a few minutes. Then Maharshi in his usual sweet manner spoke:
M.: ?All right. What need be said has been said. Well. What is destiny? There is no destiny. Surrender, and all will be well. Throw all the responsibility on God. Do not bear the burden yourself. What can destiny do to you then??
D.: Surrender is impossible.
M.: Yes. Complete surrender is impossible in the beginning. Partial surrender is certainly possible for all. In course of time that will lead to complete surrender. Well, if surrender is impossible, what can be done? There is no peace of mind. You are helpless to bring it about. It can be done only by surrender.
D.: Partial surrender - well - can it undo destiny?
M.: Oh, yes! It can.
D.: Is not destiny due to past karma?
M.: If one is surrendered to God, God will look to it.
D.: This being God?s dispensation, how does God undo it?
M.: All are in Him only.

4.12th June, 1937 Talk 426.
D.: Has man any Free-Will or is everything in his life predestined and preordained?
M.: Free-Will holds the field in association with individuality. As long as individuality lasts so long there is Free-Will. All the sastras are based on this fact and they advise directing the Free-Will in the right channel.
Find out to whom Free-Will or Destiny matters. Abide in it. Then these two are transcended. That is the only purpose of discussing these questions. To whom do these questions arise? Find out and be at peace.

We may now tally what Sri Ramakrishna has said with what Sri Bhagavan has said.What more to add?Swami Vivekananda says emphatically:
Quote
We are responsible for what we are, and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves. If what we are now has been the result of our own past actions, it certainly follows that whatever we wish to be in the future can be produced by our present actions; so we have to know how to act.
Sri Bhagavan has also conceded this,only he takes it to the next  level where both freewill and destiny are transcended in the dissolution of the individuality as summum bonum of Life.All the other sages including Swami Vivekananda have also said this.
Importantly when we have the conviction  that through Self Effort(purushakara) we can overcome destiny,it already has the Divine Force behind it and this needs to be recognized and never forgotten.We have the Backing of Great sages like Vasishta,Tiruvalluvar,Sri Ramakrishna,Swami Vivekananda,Sri Bhagavan and the upanishads,Gita ,Yoga Vasishta behind it.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Sadhak on January 18, 2016, 12:01:37 AM
I also have these talks but only posted the essence.

You are getting to the central issue now.

1. "It is thus plain that the purpose of the intellect is to realise its own dependence upon the Higher Power and its inability to reach the same. So it must annihilate itself before the goal is gained."  And "the divine will prevails at all times and under all circumstances".


The issue you raised originally: "The issue that we are discussing is this-Do we just stop exercising our intellect and judgement to better ourselves (in whatever way) as results are already predetermined or do  we work towards improving our lot and yet have the attitude and composure to accept whatever the outcome."

It must be clear by now that whether you exercise or stop exercising your intellect, it is still the divine will that operates and makes you exercise or not exercise. So there is no personal decision making or choice in the matter although it may indeed seem that way. So the issue you raised is seen as a problem only as long as the operation of divine will is not understood.

Regarding free will, here is a discussion with Devaraja Mudaliar that you may have missed.

DM:  I asked him 'Are only important events in a man's life such as his main occupation or profession predetermined, or are trifling acts in his life such as taking a cup of water or moving from one place in the room to another also predetermined?"

Bhagavan: Yes, everything is predetermined.

DM: Then what responsibility, what free will has man?

B: What for then does the body come into existence? It is designed for doing the various things marked out for execution in this life. The whole programme is chalked out.
 


Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 18, 2016, 07:11:37 AM
Sadhak,
Please go through the posts again calmly.All these have been covered.I have started the post referring to what Sri Bhagavan told Devaraja Mudaliar and Sri Bhagavan's mother.

Quote
It must be clear by now that whether you exercise or stop exercising your intellect, it is still the divine will that operates and makes you exercise or not exercise.

Who is the 'one' who exercises or stops exercising?It is the individual.As long as the individual exists,the Divine Will permits the 'Freewill' and is limited by the 'Freewill' so exercised.The 'Freewill' still needs to be exercised in terms of continued Effort to ensure that nothing comes to detract from it.
It is only when the Individuality is dissolved that one can truly say that one has reached the state of effortlessness and that  there is no Freewill and until then Effort has to continue.
We have heard of many seekers who have 'fallen' from Grace because of complacency or subtle ego play.

Now,this is how Sri Aurobindo explains this:
The development of the experience in its rapidity, its amplitude, the intensity and power of its results, depends primarily, in the beginning of the path and long after, on the aspiration and personal effort of the Sadhaka. The process of Yoga is a turning of the human soul from the egoistic state of consciousness absorbed in the outward appearances and attractions of things to a higher state in which the Transcendent and Universal can pour itself into the individual mould and transform it. The first determining element of the siddhi is, therefore, the intensity of the turning, the force which directs the soul inward. The power of aspiration of the heart, the force of the will, the concentration of the mind, the perseverance and determination of the applied energy are the measure of that intensity. The ideal Sadhaka should be able to say in the Biblical phrase, "My zeal for the Lord has eaten me up." It is this zeal for the Lord, utsaha, the zeal of the whole nature for its divine results, vyakulata, the heart's eagerness for the attainment of the Divine, -- that devours the ego and breaks up the limitations of its petty and narrow mould for the full and wide reception of that which it seeks, that which, being universal, exceeds and, being transcendent, surpasses even the largest and highest individual self and nature.

But this is only one side of the force that works for perfection. The process of the integral Yoga has three stages, not indeed sharply distinguished or separate, but in a certain measure successive. There must be, first, the effort towards at least an initial and enabling self-transcendence and contact with the Divine; next, the reception of that which transcends, that with which we have gained communion, into ourselves for the transformation of our whole conscious being; last, the utilisation of our transformed humanity as a divine centre in the world. So long as the contact with the Divine is not in some considerable degree established, so long as there is not some measure of sustained identity, sayujya, the element of personal effort must normally predominate. But in proportion as this contact establishes itself, the Sadhaka must become conscious that a force other than his own, a force transcending his egoistic endeavour and capacity, is at work in him and to this Power he learns progressively to submit himself and delivers up to it the charge of his Yoga. In the end his own will and force become one with the higher Power; he merges them in the divine Will and its transcendent and universal Force. He finds it thenceforward presiding over the necessary transformation of his mental, vital and physical being with an impartial wisdom and provident effectivity of which the eager and interested ego is not capable. It is when this identification and this self-merging are complete that the divine centre in the world is ready.

Always indeed it is the higher Power that acts. Our sense of personal effort and aspiration comes from the attempt of the egoistic mind to identify itself in a wrong and imperfect way with the workings of the divine Force. It persists in applying to experience on a supernormal plane the ordinary terms of mentality which it applies to its normal experiences in the world. In the world we act with the sense of egoism; we claim the universal forces that work in us as our own; we claim as the effect of our personal will, wisdom, force, virtue the selective, formative, progressive action of the Transcendent in this frame of mind, life and body. Enlightenment brings to us the knowledge that the ego is only an instrument; we begin to perceive and feel that these things are our own in the sense that they belong to our supreme and integral Self, one with the Transcendent, not to the instrumental ego. Our limitations and distortions are our contribution to the working; the true power in it is the Divine's. When the human ego realises that its will is a tool, its wisdom ignorance and childishness, its power an infant's groping, its virtue a pretentious impurity, and learns to trust itself to that which transcends it, that is its salvation. The apparent freedom and self-assertion of our personal being to which we are so profoundly attached, conceal a most pitiable subjection to a thousand suggestions, impulsions, forces which we have made extraneous to our little person. Our ego, boasting of freedom, is at every moment the slave, toy and puppet of countless beings, powers, forces, influences in universal Nature. The self-abnegation of the ego in the Divine is its self-fulfillment; its surrender to that which transcends it is its liberation from bonds and limits and its perfect freedom.
continued....
 
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 18, 2016, 07:16:27 AM
Sri Aurobindo on the nature of Effort continued....

But still, in the practical development, each of the three stages has its necessity and utility and must be given its time or its place. It will not do, it cannot be safe or effective to begin with the last and highest alone. It would not be the right course, either, to leap prematurely from one to another. For even if from the beginning we recognise in mind and heart the Supreme, there are elements of the nature which long prevent the recognition from becoming realisation. But without realisation our mental belief cannot become a dynamic reality; it is still only a figure of knowledge, not a living truth, an idea, not yet a power. And even if realisation has begun, it may be dangerous to imagine or to assume too soon that we are altogether in the hands of the Supreme or are acting as his instrument. That assumption may introduce a calamitous falsity; it may produce a helpless inertia or, magnifying the movements of the ego with the Divine Name, it may disastrously distort and ruin the whole course of the Yoga. There is a period, more or less prolonged, of internal effort and struggle in which the individual will has to reject the darkness and distortions of the lower nature and to put itself resolutely or vehemently on the side of the divine Light. The mental energies, the heart's emotions, the vital desires, the very physical being have to be compelled into the right attitude or trained to admit and answer to the right influences. It is only then, only when this has been truly done, that the surrender of the lower to the higher can be effected, because the sacrifice has become acceptable.

The personal will of the Sadhaka has first to seize on the egoistic energies and turn them towards the light and the right; once turned, he has still to train them to recognise that always, always to accept, always to follow that. Progressing, he learns, still using the personal will, personal effort, personal energies, to employ them as representatives of the higher Power and in conscious obedience to the higher Influence. Progressing yet farther, his will, effort, energy become no longer personal and separate, but activities of that higher Power and Influence at work in the individual. But there is still a sort of gulf of distance which necessitates an obscure process of transit, not always accurate, sometimes even very distorting, between the divine Origin and the emerging human current. At the end of the progress, with the progressive disappearance of egoism and impurity and ignorance, this last separation is removed; all in the individual becomes the divine working.

This is excerpted from the wonderful chapter 'Four Aids' from The Synthesis of Yoga by Sri Aurobindo which I have posted here:
http://www.arunachala-ramana.org/forum/index.php?topic=7216.0 (http://www.arunachala-ramana.org/forum/index.php?topic=7216.0)
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 18, 2016, 07:32:11 AM
Sadhak,

I did not comment on this expression of yours  earlier but it may be appropriate to do so now:

Quote
Unless the divine will removes this ignorance/ego, I will remain so no matter what I do or don't do.


Please think about this-Is the Divine Will waiting for some 'muhurtam' (auspicious) time to remove the so called ignorance?There must be some holding back,some reservation somewhere and we must seek it and remove the block.Effort is necessary.Either one has to pursue 'self-enquiry' or  surrender truly(Tamasic surrender will not do).
How to surrender truly-Like the way Sri Ramakrishna says in this prayer:
Quote
I used to pray to Her in this way: 'O Mother! O Blissful One! Reveal Thyself to me. Thou must!' Again, I would say to Her: 'O Lord of the lowly! O Lord of the universe! Surely I am not outside Thy universe. I am bereft of knowledge. I am without discipline. I have no devotion. I know nothing. Thou must be gracious and reveal Thyself to me.
Instead of thinking that it does not matter whether you do or not do anything,you must give up all these thoughts and surrender-and then see if the Ignorance persists.
Please go through Akshara Mana Malai-Those verses will kindle the right movement towards surrender.
Namaskar
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 18, 2016, 07:50:35 AM
Sadhak,
Now in the context of the previous posts ,kindly review:

Quote
So someone who is a bit serious realizes that whether he acts or does not act, it is all due to the operation of divine will. May be such a person could be called a sadhak.

A true seeker or devotee will always put the onus on his deficiency and ineptitude and own responsibility for not submitting to the Divine will,even after recognizing its operation.He would then beseech the Divine to take over completely.(This sort of prayer removes the barrier).

 கீழ்மே லெங்குங் கிளரொளி மணியென்
         கீழ்மையைப் பாழ்செய் யருணாசலா.     

 O Arunachala, Gem of light which shines everywhere, both in the low and in the high,
       destroy my lowness(my base and impure nature).

Explanatory Note:  O Arunachala, You are the pure and precious light of consciousness which shines in me as 'I am' in all places and at all times, both when my mind is in a low and impure state , and when it is in a highly mature and pure state.   Since You are therefore unaffected and undefiled either by my purity or by my impurity, reveal to me your true nature and thereby destroy my baseness.

It does not matter whether one is 'serious' or 'ordinary' but one has to remain true and earnest.Whoever has earnestness is a sadhaka.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Sadhak on January 18, 2016, 09:12:35 AM
"As long as the individual exists,the Divine Will permits the 'Freewill' and is limited by the 'Freewill' so exercised.The 'Freewill' still needs to be exercised in terms of continued Effort to ensure that nothing comes to detract from it."

IMHO, This is the crux of your mental block. Divine Will is NOT limited and CANNOT be limited. If it is limited by anything, then it is NOT divine Will. The whole idea of my effort in order to 'permit' or 'not detract from' Divine Will to operate is ridiculous. The divine will needs nobody's permission to operate.

That is why it is important to understand Bhagawan's unequivocal statements on this subject that are general in nature as opposed to his answers to individual difficulties of understanding.

But, obviously I have failed to communicate with you (which must be the way it has been ordained by the divine will). The divine will will continue to run its course!
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 18, 2016, 10:06:54 AM
Sadhak,
Forget my 'mental Block' but You have not answered my simple question on what you are holding onto.

Quote
Unless the divine will removes this ignorance/ego, I will remain so no matter what I do or don't do

Is the Divine Will waiting for some 'muhurtam' (auspicious) time to remove the so called ignorance?

The Breeze of Grace is ever blowing but we need to unfurl the sails and experience it.

Namaskar
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Sadhak on January 18, 2016, 10:20:57 PM
"Is the Divine Will waiting for some 'muhurtam' (auspicious) time to remove the so called ignorance?".

Yes, you can call it muhurtam, raghu kalam, or anything else. It does not matter. But it is entirely in the hands of the Divine will. You may want to read Bhagawan's answers to similar questions. Once about Arunachala Mahatmiam when he was asked about the passage regarding how people living within a certain distance of Arunachala are initiated without 'diksha', he simply replied that it was because it was so ordained.

You have at least said the 'so called' ignorance'.  For it is not the divine will that appears daily and announces you are ignorant.
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Sadhak on January 18, 2016, 10:47:23 PM
"Instead of thinking that it does not matter whether you do or not do anything,you must give up all these thoughts and surrender-and then see if the Ignorance persists."

Again you misunderstand. It is not you doing but the divine will that makes you do or not do anything. No amount of chest beating that 'I am doing' or 'I will not do' can change that.


"கீழ்மே லெங்குங் கிளரொளி மணியென்
         கீழ்மையைப் பாழ்செய் யருணாசலா.     

 O Arunachala, Gem of light which shines everywhere, both in the low and in the high,
       destroy my lowness(my base and impure nature)."


Exactly. No mention of 'my effort', 'my removing my impurities by doing this or that', or anything of the kind. Just the simple truth that it is only the Divine will that can bring it about.   You will find this theme throughout all the 108 verses.
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 18, 2016, 11:04:40 PM
Sadhak,

Quote
Once about Arunachala Mahatmiam when he was asked about the passage regarding how people living within a certain distance of Arunachala are initiated without 'diksha', he simply replied that it was because it was so ordained.

All these are temporal replies and are to be taken as such-There is no 'why' or 'How' regarding these matters for that is how it is.How else to reply?

They do not in anyway even remotely support the statement:
Quote
Unless the divine will removes this ignorance/ego, I will remain so no matter what I do or don't do.

You also need to recall Sri Bhagavan's statement that how people from afar get the Truth whereas people in close proximity miss it-when he referred to how bees from afar sip the honey of the Lotus flower in the pond whereas the Frogs in the pond are satisfied with the muck(Paraphrased by me).So,it is clear that not all people who live near Arunachala (in physical proximity) derive the benefit as per Arunachala Mahatmiam's statement.This clearly shows that only those who are RECEPTIVE and OPEN partake of the Grace which is ever present.

Anyway if you believe that you need to wait for the Divine Will to remove ignorance ....well ,who am I to contradict you?It is between you and the Divine Will you believe in.
Om Tat Sat.

p.s:Just happen to see your fresh post-
Quote
Exactly.No mention of 'my effort', 'my removing my impurities by doing this or that', or anything of the kind.
What do you mean by 'Effort'-is it like Lifting 50 Kg or what?No.This very earning and Prayer is also effort.It means that you have to have this intense longing and not just 'keep quiet' expecting the so called Divine Will to remove the ignorance.Period.

Namaskar
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 18, 2016, 11:18:07 PM
Sadhak,
I have covered all the objections that you keep raising from time to time in my previous posts and I have been mentioning it over and over again in the hope that you may go through the same calmly.
My objective here is not to prove that I am Right or that you are wrong.
The Basic thing that I have wished to convey is this-If there is earnestness ,there is nothing stopping one from Realizing one's Birthright,be it Divine Will or Devil's Will or any other.
This is why the upanishads give this clear clarion call:
Uthishtatha Jagratha Prapya Varaan Nibodhatha
This is also Sri Bhagavan's central message -you are already the Self.Reclaim it here and now.
Namaskar
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Sadhak on January 18, 2016, 11:21:40 PM
"All these are temporal replies and are to be taken as such-There is no 'why' or 'How' regarding these matters for that is how it is.How else to reply?".

This could be your (mis)interpretation about how Bhagawan's statements have to be understood.

They do not in anyway even remotely support the statement:
Quote
Unless the divine will removes this ignorance/ego, I will remain so no matter what I do or don't do.".

Again that is your (mis)understanding. There are 108 verses of Akshara Mana Malai. Most of them only imploring the Divine will. Not one that speaks of one's individual effort or gaining individual merit. Of course, you may call it coincidence or anything else. So be it.


Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 18, 2016, 11:36:35 PM
Sadhak,

For your reference,sharing excerpts from the posts again:

Quote
Importantly when we have the conviction  that through Self Effort(purushakara) we can overcome destiny,it already has the Divine Force behind it and this needs to be recognized and never forgotten.

Quote from Sri Aurobindo posted earlier:
Quote
The personal will of the Sadhaka has first to seize on the egoistic energies and turn them towards the light and the right; once turned, he has still to train them to recognise that always, always to accept, always to follow that. Progressing, he learns, still using the personal will, personal effort, personal energies, to employ them as representatives of the higher Power and in conscious obedience to the higher Influence. Progressing yet farther, his will, effort, energy become no longer personal and separate, but activities of that higher Power and Influence at work in the individual. But there is still a sort of gulf of distance which necessitates an obscure process of transit, not always accurate, sometimes even very distorting, between the divine Origin and the emerging human current. At the end of the progress, with the progressive disappearance of egoism and impurity and ignorance, this last separation is removed; all in the individual becomes the divine working.

I am through with my discussion here and have nothing more to add.

Namaskar
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Sadhak on January 18, 2016, 11:46:38 PM
"I have covered all the objections that you keep raising from time to time in my previous posts and I have been mentioning it over and over again in the hope that you may go through the same calmly."

You may indeed feel that way, but you have not even addressed the basic operation of the Divine will. All your posts only claim that the Divine Will is a weak, restricted phenomenon that is/can be easily blocked by an individual ego.


"My objective here is not to prove that I am Right or that you are wrong."

I understand. My posts are only to point out that your conception of the Divine will is entirely different from that of Bhagwan or indeed even the Bible. The Lords Prayer says 'Thy Will be done, on earth and in Heaven.' There is no moment when the Divine will does not or cannot operate.
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 19, 2016, 07:35:16 AM
Sadhak,
you seem to have totally misunderstood this statement of mine:

Quote
As long as the individual exists,the Divine Will permits the 'Freewill' and is limited by the 'Freewill' so exercised.The 'Freewill' still needs to be exercised in terms of continued Effort to ensure that nothing comes to detract from it."

you are (mis)construing this as:
Quote
All your posts only claim that the Divine Will is a weak, restricted phenomenon that is/can be easily blocked by an individual ego.

I have also quoted Sri Aurobindo on this but perhaps you are more likely to see it  objectively if you hear the same from Sri Bhagavan.Please refer to Talk no.28(again,I have to say that the English version is truly poor compared to the clarity in Tamizh).I am posting an excerpt and you may read the complete talk if you wish:

D.: If ?I? also be an illusion, who then casts off the illusion?
M.: The ?I? casts off the illusion of ?I? and yet remains as ?I?. Such is the paradox of Self-Realisation. The realised do not see any contradiction in it. Take the case of bhakti - I approach Iswara and pray to be absorbed in Him. I then surrender myself in faith and by concentration. What remains afterwards? In place of the original ?I?, perfect self-surrender leaves a residuum of God in which the ?I? is lost. This is the highest form of devotion (parabhakti), prapatti, surrender or the height of vairagya.
You give up this and that of ?my? possessions. If you give up ?I? and ?Mine? instead, all are given up at a stroke. The very seed of possession is lost. Thus the evil is nipped in the bud or crushed in the germ itself. Dispassion (vairagya) must be very strong to do this. Eagerness to do it must be equal to that of a man kept under water trying to rise up to the surface for his life.
D.: Cannot this trouble and difficulty be lessened with the aid of a Master or an Ishta Devata (God chosen for worship)? Cannot they give the power to see our Self as it is - to change us into themselves - to take us into Self-Realisation?
M.: Ishta Devata and Guru are aids - very powerful aids on this path. But an aid to be effective requires your effort also. Your effort is a sine qua non. It is you who should see the sun. Can spectacles and the sun see for you? You yourself have to see your true nature. Not much aid is required for doing it!

D.: What is the relation between my free-will and the overwhelming might of the Omnipotent?
(a) Is omniscience of God consistent with ego?s freewill?
(b) Is omnipotence of God consistent with ego?s freewill?
(c) Are the natural laws consistent with God?s free-will?
M.: Yes. Free-will is the present appearing to a limited faculty of sight and will. The same ego sees its past activity as falling into a course of ?law? or rules - its own free-will being one of the links in that course of law.
Omnipotence and omniscience of God are then seen by the ego to have acted through the appearance of his own free-will. So he comes to the conclusion that the ego must go by appearances. Natural laws are manifestations of God?s will and they have been laid down.
(The Tamil version says:One may then feel that the Omniscience and omnipotence have acted through freewill.)

This is exactly what I have said.This is what Jesus says:"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you"

Hope we are not expecting the Omnipotent,Omniscient Divine Will to force itself upon anyone who does not want it in order to prove its Omnipotence.

In yet another sense,we may say as Papa Ramdas said-Man is God playing the Fool.So,why doubt whether man can exercise the power of God in him to cast off the 'Fool'.

If you are not from a Christian background,I would like to avoid bringing in that element(There is enough to chew already).If on the other hand you are indeed from a Christian background(or were from one),then perhaps we may consider taking in the references from the Bible.

I suppose you are not now expecting a Treatise on Iccha sakti,Kriya Sakthi and Jnana Sakthi or on Srishti-Drishti Vada,Drishti-Srishti Vada and AjAta Vada to elaborate on the working of the Divine Will.

It is enough to see it in operation in ourselves and experience it directly instead of having to plod through all that.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Nagaraj on January 19, 2016, 10:09:47 AM
Our scriptures have revealed this beautiful concept::

1 Markata (monkey) Kishora Nyaya
2 Maarjaala (cat) Kishora Nyaya

This is beautifully explained by our Master:

Illustration of monkey and kitten

"It is no doubt necessary to practise spiritual discipline; but there are two kinds of aspirants.  The nature of the one kind is like that of the young monkey, and the nature of the other kind is like that of the kitten.  The young monkey, with great exertion, somehow clings to its mother.  Likewise, there are some aspirants who think that in order to realize God they must repeat His name a certain number of times, meditate on Him for a certain period, and practise a certain amount of austerity.  An aspirant of this kind makes his own efforts to catch hold of God.  But the kitten, of itself, cannot cling to its mother.  It lies on the ground and cries, 'Mew, mew!' It leaves everything to its mother.  The mother cat sometimes puts it on a bed, sometimes on the roof behind a pile of wood.  She carries the kitten in her mouth hither and thither.  The kitten doesn't know how to cling to the mother.  Likewise, there are some aspirants who cannot practise spiritual discipline by calculating about japa or the period of meditation.  All that they do is cry to God with yearning hearts.  God hears their cry and cannot keep Himself away.  He reveals Himself to them."
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 19, 2016, 10:24:37 AM
Nagaraj,
Thanks very much for that wonderful excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna.
Fortunately the kitten did not think that it does not matter whether I mew or not.I will get milk only as ordained by the Mother :-)
Namaskar
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Nagaraj on January 19, 2016, 10:37:25 AM
Also the same is echoed by our Bhagawan:

One  of  two  things must  be  done.  Either  surrender  because  you  admit  your  inability and also require a High Power to help you; or investigate into the cause  of  misery,  go  into  the  source  and  merge  into  the  Self.  Either way  you  will  be  free  from  misery.  God  never  forsakes  one  who has surrendered.  Mamekam saranam vraja.

(Talks)
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 19, 2016, 11:01:50 AM
Thanks Nagaraj.I was looking up for verses 5 and 7 from Nava Mani malai to post here.They are so wonderful in Tamizh but not readily available for posting.I shall key in  the verses in Tamizh and post.
Namaskar
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Nagaraj on January 19, 2016, 11:18:58 AM
Sri Ravi, you will the tamil verses from this site:

sriramana.org

சீரான சோணகிரி சிறக்க வாழுஞ்
சிற்சொருப னாமிறையே சிறிய னேன்றன்
பேரான பிழையெல்லாம் பொறுத்துக்
காத்துப்
பின்னுமிவன் பாழிதனில் வீழா வண்ணங்
காரான கருணைவிழி கொடுப்பா யின்றேற்
கடும்பவத்தி னின்றுகரை யேற மாட்டே
னேரான துண்டோதாய் சிசுவுக் காற்று
நிகரற்ற நலனுக்கு நிகழ்த்து வாயே.

பொருள்:
அருணாசலம் எனப் புகழுடன் சிறந்து விளங்கும், ஞானவடிவாகிய பரமேச்வரனே! சிறியவனாகிய நான் செய்த பெரும் பிழைகளைப் பொருட்படுத்தாது, என்னை ரக்ஷித்து, அஞ்ஞானமய உலக பந்தங்களில் நான் வீழ்ந்து மாய்ந்து போகாவண்ணம், மேகம் போன்று வர்ஷிக்கும் உன் கருணை கடாக்ஷத்தை அருள்வாயாக. இல்லாவிடில் கொடிய பிறவி எனும் துன்பக் கடலிலிருந்து மீண்டு முக்திக் கரையை நான் அடைய மாட்டேன். ஒருதாய் தன் குழந்தைக்குச் செய்யும் நிகரில்லாத நன்மைகளைப் போன்று நீயும் எனக்கு அருள்வாயாக.

அண்ணா மலையா யடியேனை
யாண்ட வன்றே யாவியுடற்
கொண்டா யெனக்கோர் குறையுண்டோ
குறையுங் குணமு நீயல்லா
லெண்ணே னிவற்றை யென்னுயிரே
யெண்ண மெதுவோ வதுசெய்வாய்
கண்ணே யுன்றன் கழலிணையிற்
காதற் பெருக்கே தருவாயே.

பொருள்:
அண்ணாமலையானே! அடியவனாகிய என்னை என்று நீ ஆட்கொண்டாயோ அன்றே, எனது உயிரையும் உடலையும்* அடிமையாக்கிக் கொண்டாய். எனக்கு இனி ஒரு குறையும் இருக்க முடியுமோ? உன்னை அன்றி குணங்களையும் குறைகளையும் சிந்திக்க மாட்டேன். என் உயிருக்கும் உயிரே! உனக்குப் பிரியமானது எதுவோ அதையே நீ எனக்கு செய்தருள்வாய். கண்ணுக்கும் கண்ணான தெய்வமே! உனது திருவடித் தாமரைகளில் பக்திப் பெருக்கைத் தந்து அருள்வாயாக.

--
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 19, 2016, 11:29:01 AM
Nagaraj,
Thanks very much.Wonder why the site is not available-It says 'Under Construction'.
Namaskar
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Nagaraj on January 19, 2016, 07:10:16 PM
Since a fire has been kindled with regard to this topic, some more musings are coming out prompting me to lay it out.

I was remembered of a speech by Sri Sringeri Acaryal Sri Bharati Theertha Swamigal in his Vijaya Yatra across south India, where in one of his talks he stressed the importance of Manushya Prayatna and Daiva Anugraha, both complement each other. He went on to quote an beautiful illustration, which i vaguely remember. The word he used was "Prerana" which means 'urge' or 'inspiration' from the heart, which comes within the deep recess of our heart to do something.

Moreover, in Kathopanishad, we have

यमेवैष वृणुते तेन लभ्यः
तस्यैष आत्मा विवृणुते तनूँ स्वाम् ॥

"He whom the Self chooses,
by him the Self can be gained"

The spirit of it is that, the seeker has to seek That and inturn That begins to seek you. Like the divine lovers, as you seek Her, She begins to seek you.

I request to read Letters No 109. Link provided below:

http://suri-nagamma.blogspot.in/2007/07/letter-109.html (http://suri-nagamma.blogspot.in/2007/07/letter-109.html)

It is important to move with the wind, Bhagavan said be as you are, go as the grace takes you. irundapadiye iru, iraivan Arul selutum vazhiye sel.

The Vedas say

Aano bhadra krtavo yantu vishwatah
"Let noble thoughts come to me from all directions?

I conclude with this.
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Sadhak on January 20, 2016, 01:13:15 AM
"you seem to have totally misunderstood this statement of mine:

Quote
As long as the individual exists,the Divine Will permits the 'Freewill' and is limited by the 'Freewill' so exercised.The 'Freewill' still needs to be exercised in terms of continued Effort to ensure that nothing comes to detract from it."

When you say the Divine Will is limited by Freewill it certainly means that the Divine will is weak, and dictated/controlled by the Freewill. That is wrong. In that case, there is no need for Bhagwan (or anybody else) to write AksharaManaMalai and 108 verses of surrender. You may want to understand these two in particular.

Giri uruvagia kirupai kadale
kripai koorndhu aruluvai Arunachala

Ennai azhithu ippo ennai kalavaavidil
Idhuvo anmai arunachala

Clearly it is Arunachala that has destroyed the ego (not our efforts) and it is to Arunachala that we are imploring to help and assimilate with us.

You may ask when is the 'muhurtham' time or what if the kitten did not say 'mew, mew'. But your position is untenable. One can just as easily ask 'Is the Divine Will permitted by the Freewill to operate only from 8-8.30 AM, 1-1.30 PM, and from 9-9.30 pm like Doordarshan news and not at other times?!  Let us keep away from such talk please.





Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Sadhak on January 20, 2016, 03:25:51 AM
"Omnipotence and omniscience of God are then seen by the ego to have acted through the appearance of his own free-will."

"This is exactly what I have said".

Actually, you stated that the ego/free will must permit the Divine will to operate. This is the opposite of the above quotation where the appearance of free will itself is seen as God in operation. There is no question of asking or getting the permission of free will.

Bhagawan even says, "It is only by God's grace that you think of God". 



Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 20, 2016, 05:35:27 AM
Sadhak,

Quote
The Divine Will permits the 'Freewill' and is limited by the 'Freewill' so exercised.The 'Freewill' still needs to be exercised in terms of continued Effort to ensure that nothing comes to detract from it.

It is actually quite simple.

It is only Humans who are blessed with this Freewill to be exercised in the right direction ,right manner and to reach the state of Freedom(Mukti).If this 'Freewill' is not exercised,such a one has lost the opportunity.This is why it is said-'God helps those who help themselves'

Please take the words 'Permit' and 'Limited' together and not isolated from each other.I have used the word 'Limited' in this sense that one who does not put it to good use is inflicting this limitation upon himself.It is Self imposed


As Sri Sankara Says in his Vivekachudamani:These are three things which are rare indeed and are due to the grace of God ? namely, a human birth, the longing for Liberation, and the protecting care of a perfected sage.

Having got all these,there is simply no point in saying :

Quote
Unless the divine will removes this ignorance/ego, I will remain so no matter what I do or don't do.

It is the Divine Grace that is goading one to exert whatever intelligence it has already bestowed upon one and to put it to good use.It has already given the key to liberation in one's hands and it is up to the seeker to open the door to liberation through right effort.This 'Right Effort' is also the action of that Grace only.It is not apart from it.
As far as the seeker is concerned,he needs to exert,put in the effort in the right direction.The Divine Grace bestows the Realization on such a One.

The matter is clear-Forget all the 'words' and 'verbiage'.Forget 'Limited' 'omnipotent' 'omniscient' 'Divine will' 'Freewill'  'Ordained' 'Preordained'-All these are  words and so much Froth only.

Are we in Silence(Not the word)?Are we experiencing the Divine?

If not,what is it that we are doing?


These are the questions that any seeker needs to put to himself(and not to others).

Just latching onto this quote or that quote from this book or that is of no avail unless it helps one to discover the key to experiencing God.

Namaskar
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Sadhak on January 21, 2016, 02:15:13 AM
"It is the Divine Grace that is goading one to exert whatever intelligence it has already bestowed upon one and to put it to good use.It has already given the key to liberation in one's hands and it is up to the seeker to open the door to liberation through right effort.This 'Right Effort' is also the action of that Grace only.It is not apart from it."


That is what I have been saying. There is then really nothing apart from Divine will or Grace. There is no question of anybody or anything blocking it for some time and allowing it to function at other times. It would be sacrilege to think my petty ignorance can somehow affect the operation of Divine Will.


"The matter is clear-Forget all the 'words' and 'verbiage'.Forget 'Limited' 'omnipotent' 'omniscient' 'Divine will' 'Freewill'  'Ordained' 'Preordained'-All these are  words and so much Froth only."

Yes, the question of Free Will or Divine will is a wrong question that itself arises out of ignorance. However, at a deeper level this ignorance is also an act of the Divine will to help me understand.

Even at a mundane level one can test/realize the operation of the Divine will.  It is very easy to read the scriptures and say that 'I am going to make right effort and improve myself',  'I am going to seek company of the sages', 'I will visit sacred places', etc etc.  I can plan even the smallest detail for my journey thinking I am exercising my 'Free Will' in the right direction. But if the Divine will decides otherwise, something happens at the last minute and my journey cannot take place due to sudden illness or breakdown of transportation. Over the years I have seen this happen to people coming to the Ashram. Likewise, some who had no idea of 'improving themselves through right effort' suddenly are brought to the ashram without any prior planning and it changes their lives permanently. Such incidents are recorded even during Bhagawan's times that you must surely have heard about.

Thane thane thathuvam idhanai
Thane kaatuvai Arunachala






Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 21, 2016, 06:49:36 AM
Sadhak,
Quote
There is no question of anybody or anything blocking it for some time and allowing it to function at other times. It would be sacrilege to think my petty ignorance can somehow affect the operation of Divine Will

No 'Sacrilege' is involved in this (by the way the 'sacrilege' is a concept only and a sentiment).

The question is this-Is our understanding of the Divine Will experiential or just intellectual understanding (even if it be a conviction)?

If it is based on experience,then one will clearly know how it operates-not like a 'Juggernaut' but lovingly and without any insistence.This is called as the inner voice or the inner Guru.It is just a gentle presence,unmistakeable and its voice is what may be called 'whisper'.It guides one and yet leaves it to the seeker to listen to it or ignore it.If 'ignored' the Presence is lost and the seeker will realize that he has lost the 'Presence'(sannidhi).It may take months,even years and sometimes lifetimes to get back on track.On the other hand if listened to and implicitly obeyed,the presence is sustained.

The Job of the seeker is to ensure that he does not let go of this presence.This is not a part time activity but vigilance from moment to moment is needed(but it is not a burdensome thing;far from it.It is the sweetest thing to do).This is called 'smarana' (as in Smaranath Arunachala).This 'Grace' or 'Presence' is the Vidya Shakti of Brahman.

Now ,we may move on to the other working of the other aspect of the 'Divine Will'-the avidya Shakti.It is this avidya Shakti that has created this attraction for the 'world' and the mind just runs towards it and gets externalized.The Jiva then experiences the pleasure and pain and fear(sukam ,Dukkham and Bhayam) and through the schooling received through these experiences,yearns for a way out.Over several cycles of births and deaths(innumerable and countless) this matures to a situation wherein the embodied jiva learns that there is the way of 'Sreyas' and 'Preyas'and ......we do not need to go into all this.This is a universal experience.

So saying that 'Everything is the operation of the Divine Will' may be okay for one who is already freed from this duality.Not for the seeker.He can claim the same thing saying 'everything is the operation of the Divine will' but he has to face the consequences of going along with the 'avidya shakti'!This is a matter of experience and sometimes it is learnt with a great deal of pain.

so,as I said,the basic question that one needs to ask is this:

"Are we in Silence(Not the word)?Are we experiencing the Divine?
If not,what is it that we are doing?"

If one says that there is nothing to be done-well it can be wonderfully argued and we may even convince others.
Yet are we experientially understanding this or  is it only an 'idea' a 'conviction' be that as it may?This is quite simple to answer(provided we are true to ourselves)- If it is experiential,We are already Free and no longer a 'Sadhak'.
If not..........!!!

The 'Do's and Don'ts prescribed in the sastras are just guidelines for the sadhaka ,signposts.They are not there to condition him as is wrongly believed.They are based on the experience of those who have tread the path and are there for the rest of us to take the cue,and find our way through that until we get into the field of direct experience.
An 'outer Guru' is often a great help and it is through such a one that the inner guru is experienced for most sadhakas.The Job of the so called outer guru ends when he takes over as the inner guru and guides the seeker.At every moment,the seeker has to be vigilant and not 'ignore' this guidance.He needs to put in the required effort and the nature of this effort varies from seeker to seeker(depending on his prarabda).

In any case 'Effort' is needed as long as one is a 'seeker' or a 'sadhak'.This 'Effort' is not a part time activity but as in the Stotra:
Quote
Mudakaratha Modakam, Sada Vimukthi Dayakam,
.....
......
tham Eka Dantha Meka Meva Chinthayami Santhatham

The breeze of  Divine Grace is ever blowing and there has to be this 'Chinthayami Santhatham'
 and yes...
Quote
Thane thane thathuvam idhanai
Thane kaatuvai Arunachala

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 21, 2016, 07:16:12 AM
Here is a wonderful excerpt from The Gospel of sri Ramakrishna that has a direct bearing on what is being discussed:

At noon the host wished to feed the Master and the devotees. Sri Ramakrishna was smilingly pacing the room. Now and then he exchanged a few words with the musician.

MUSICIAN: "It is God alone who is both the 'instrument' and the 'cause'. Duryodhana said to Krishna: 'O Lord, Thou art seated in my heart. I act as Thou makest me act.'"

MASTER (with a smile): "Yes, that is true. It is God alone who acts through us. He is the Doer, undoubtedly, and man is His instrument. But it is also true that an action cannot fail to produce its result. Your stomach will certainly burn if you eat hot chilli. It is God who has ordained that chilli will burn your stomach. If you commit a sin, you must bear its fruit. But one who has attained perfection, realized God, cannot commit sin.An expert singer cannot sing a false note. A man with a trained voice sings the notes correctly: sa, re, ga, ma,pa, dha, ni."

Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: silentgreen on January 21, 2016, 10:20:33 AM
cguru's banyan tree ashrama has a garden.

When the saplings are small and growing, the notice board in the garden reads:
"Dive-in and Goad"

Over the years the saplings grow up and become trees. The notice board is then changed a little by adjusting the "e" and "a". It then reads:
"Divine and God"
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 21, 2016, 10:44:35 AM
silentgreen,

What a charming wise man is this cguru ...His Banyan tree ashrama is very inviting.Reminds me of the Panchavati in Dakshineswar.

Namaskar
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 21, 2016, 03:39:33 PM
Here is another Excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna where the Master corrects 'M' :

Monday, June 25, 1883
Sri Ramakrishna was at Balaram Bose's house in Calcutta. Rakhal and M. were seated near him. The Master was in ecstasy. He conversed with the devotees in an abstracted mood.
MASTER: "Let me assure you that a man can realize his Inner Self through sincere prayer. But to the extent that he has the desire to enjoy worldly objects, his vision of the Self becomes obstructed."
M: "Yes, sir. You always ask us to plunge into God."
MASTER (joyously): "Yes! That's it. Let me tell you that the realization of Self is possible for all, without any exception."
M: "That is true, sir. But God is the Doer. He works through different beings in different ways, according to their capacity to manifest the Divine. God gives to some full spiritual consciousness, and others He keeps in ignorance."
MASTER: "No, that is not so. One should pray to God with a longing heart. God certainly listens to prayer if it is sincere. There is no doubt about it."
A DEVOTEE: "Yes, sir. There is this 'I-consciousness' in us; therefore we must pray."

The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna is one of the best guide that I have come across in terms of Practical guidance.
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Sadhak on January 22, 2016, 02:17:43 AM
"No 'Sacrilege' is involved in this (by the way the 'sacrilege' is a concept only and a sentiment).".


So Guru, Grace, Divine will etc etc are all not concepts but your daily experience?


"If it is based on experience,then one will clearly know how it operates-not like a 'Juggernaut' but lovingly and without any insistence.This is called as the inner voice or the inner Guru.It is just a gentle presence,unmistakeable and its voice is what may be called 'whisper'.It guides one and yet leaves it to the seeker to listen to it or ignore it.If 'ignored' the Presence is lost and the seeker will realize that he has lost the 'Presence'(sannidhi).It may take months,even years and sometimes lifetimes to get back on track.On the other hand if listened to and implicitly obeyed,the presence is sustained."


Since you have brought up experience, is all of the above your personal experience or .......?


"Are we in Silence(Not the word)?Are we experiencing the Divine? If not,what is it that we are doing?"

Don't you know?  You had started by asking the question about Divine will and free will and how free will has to permit Divine will to operate.


"If one says that there is nothing to be done-well it can be wonderfully argued and we may even convince others."


Alas. You still did not get it. The point has always been there is no way to "remain" saying there is nothing to be done. The Divine will can make you act. It will make you put in the effort. But unless the Divine will makes you understand this, your free will cannot.

Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: silentgreen on January 22, 2016, 11:01:37 AM
Oftentimes it is only how a person expresses something.

Example: A person has read the sayings of Bhagavan and doing self-enquiry earnestly. What shall we call this?

1. He is exerting his free will and doing self-enquiry.
2. The divine will is making him do the self-enquiry. There is no separate free will at all.
3. The divine will is activating his free will to do self enquiry.

The way one thinks will depend on person.

But if we hold on to the view that every outcome is happening due to pre-ordained divine will, one interesting thing to ponder upon is:
- Is everything pre-ordained from the time of creation till dissolution like a computer algorithm, and every event is simply like a step of computation whose output is fixed?
- Or as life flows on, intermediate events will decide on the next course of action and the corresponding output?

Whenever there is a concept of freedom ( whether of human or divine) it cannot be like a machine churning out fixed output like executing a program.

If intermediate events changes the course of output as life progresses, then a free will is involved. Again it depends on person whether we call this an individual free will or a divine free will.
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Sadhak on January 23, 2016, 04:11:11 AM
Quote
"Oftentimes it is only how a person expresses something.

Example: A person has read the sayings of Bhagavan and doing self-enquiry earnestly. What shall we call this?

1. He is exerting his free will and doing self-enquiry."


Self enquiry may mean different things to different people, and We have many better real life examples that we can observe. That is why I had used examples like seeking the company of sages, visiting sacred places, etc etc. One can plan, exert free will (thinking it is separate from divine will and can therefore function independently) but only the divine will can/must ensure that the plan is executed. Which means that so called free will is dependent/subservient to divine will. 



Quote
"2. The divine will is making him do the self-enquiry. There is no separate free will at all."


This means there is/appears a free will but it is not separate (disconnected from) divine will and is subject to the divine will.


Quote
"3. The divine will is activating his free will to do self enquiry."


This again is not much different from 2. If the divine will must activate free will in order to function, then free will is dependent on the divine will.


I don't think 2 and 3 would be unreasonable to most people here. But 1 does not seem to admit any divine will at all.
 

The common error I have found over the years is that people equate divine will with no-effort, and free will with effort. They think that accepting the divine will means 'doing nothing'.  But the divine will can make anybody exert a lot of effort. Bhagavan himself was made to exert a lot of effort in his journey to Arunachala upon hearing the word Arunachala from a relative in Madurai.


Quote
"But if we hold on to the view that every outcome is happening due to pre-ordained divine will, one interesting thing to ponder upon is:
- Is everything pre-ordained from the time of creation till dissolution like a computer algorithm"


Again this question could be an error due to the assumptions behind such a question.  For whom is the 'creation' and 'dissolution'? Perhaps free will (ego), but is the divine will subject to time/space and dissolution? If not, it is probably a wrong question.
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 23, 2016, 07:38:29 AM
Sadhak,
Please review your statements here:

1.
Quote
Unless the divine will removes this ignorance/ego, I will remain so no matter what I do or don't do.

2.
Quote
The common error I have found over the years is that people equate divine will with no-effort, and free will with effort. They think that accepting the divine will means 'doing nothing'.

The problem as I see is this-people just do not know what Divine Will is.They just have a conception that it is omnipotent and Omniscient and based on this evaluate everything else.

The Operation of the Divine Will  is something that cannot be  inferred from the happenings outside as to  whether the plan one  is executing is 'successful' or not.That is due to the uncertainty in Life-There is nothing like a Certitude in Life but that does not prevent us from carrying on with our activities.Also,it is quite likely that not being successful is also to one's eventual good.

The same(uncertainty) is not true for the life of the spirit-The Prayer(if it is true and genuine) meets with an immediate Response.Without this communion with the Divine,it is futile to talk about 'Divine Will'.There can be no such condition 'Unless'-It surely will.Have this confidence.Do not ask me again whether it is based on my experience or not.

It is only if the sadhak is absolutely confident that the Divine is always there and that he would move ten steps if the seeker takes a single step,that he would take that single step with full earnestness and trust.Otherwise,he would just go about the motions in a half hearted manner,thinking that it is not yet time enough and wait for the so called 'Divine Will' to remove the so called 'Ignorance'.For 'preordainment' implies an element of time,and one may think that the time has not come yet!Not just that,one may also think that no matter what effort they put in,the so called 'Result' will come only at the 'appointed' time for fruition.What sort of 'Effort'(whether Divine will or self will)can be exercised with this sort of a mind set?Anything less than 'wholehearted effort' is 'No effort' only.

My entire objective in reopening this thread is with the objective of clearing the misconception on 'Preordainment'.To say that it is the Lila or sport is a better way since it does not give rise to inferences of  'computerized output' operation of the Divine.

I am aware that you will again come up with another response picking up the holes you see in my statement,but all the same thought that my response will be useful for sincere seekers(who are in this forum and have approached me in private from time to time regarding this topic).

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 23, 2016, 07:59:44 AM
An excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:

God's ways are inscrutable
"The ways of God are inscrutable indeed. Bhishma lay on his bed of arrows. The Pandava brothers visited him in Krishna's company. Presently Bhishma burst into tears. The Pandavas said to Krishna: 'Krishna, how amazing this is! Our grandsire Bhishma is one of the eight Vasus. Another man as wise as he is not to be found. Yet even he is bewildered by maya and weeps at death.' 'But', said Krishna, 'Bhishma isn't weeping on that account. You may ask him about it.' When asked, Bhishma said: 'O Krishna, I am unable to understand anything of the ways of God; God Himself is the constant companion of the Pandavas, and still they have no end of trouble. That is why I weep. When I reflect on this, I realize that one cannot understand anything of God's ways.'

"God has revealed to me that only the Paramatman, whom the Vedas describe as the Pure Soul, is as immutable as Mount Sumeru, unattached, and beyond pain and pleasure. There is much confusion in this world of His maya. One can by no means say that 'this' will come after 'that' or 'this' will produce 'that'."

Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: silentgreen on January 23, 2016, 10:09:53 AM
Quote
But if we hold on to the view that every outcome is happening due to pre-ordained divine will, one interesting thing to ponder upon is:
- Is everything pre-ordained from the time of creation till dissolution like a computer algorithm"

This is a wrong question or statement. Things are not pre-ordained like a computer algorithm. The Divine is beyond time and space. He wills and Creation happens. He wills and Dissolution happens. He wills and divides Himself like individual beings with limited consciousness of ego.

The Divine is Free (in the absolute sense). His divisions as individuals also have the same freedom qualitatively (but constrained in its scope of usage by the ego). There are no two sources of freedom like there are no two selves in the absolute sense.  Like the Divine creates in freedom, individuals also create in freedom and breaks in freedom. This is Divine Play. Dividing oneself and playing. Like what the Purusha Sukta says: Sahasra Shirsha Purusha.

An individual who finds himself limited will call the free will as individual free will. The same individual after realizing Brahman will call the free will as Divine free will. It depends on the spiritual maturity of the individual.

It is like initially identifying river water based on the ghats. After the full river is seen, it will be identified by the name of the river.

The river is true, the ghats are also true (till their time of existence). They both have the same water. There is no conflict.
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 23, 2016, 03:21:04 PM
Friends,
Here is that excerpt from 'Day by Day with Bhagavan':

With reference to Bhagavan's answer to Mrs. Desai's question on the evening of 3-1-46, I asked him, "Are only important events in a man's life, such as his main occupation or profession, predetermined, or are trifling acts in his life, such as taking a cup of water or moving from one place in the room to another, also predetermined?"

Bhagavan: Yes, everything is predetermined.

I: Then what responsibility, what free will has man?

Bhagavan: What for then does the body come into existence? It is designed for doing the various things marked out for execution in this life. The whole programme is chalked out. அவனன்றி ஓரணுவும் அசையாது (Not an atom moves except by His Will) expresses the same truth, whether you say அவனன்றி  அசையாது (Does not move except by His Will) or கர்மமின்றி  அசையாது (Does not move except by karma). As for freedom for man, he is always free not to identify himself with the body and not to be affected by the pleasures or pains consequent on the body's activities.

What  Reply do we expect from Sri Bhagavan - when Sri Bhagavan always maintained that God(Self) alone is Real and the world is unreal and only an appearance?

Importantly Sri Bhagavan says clearly :அவனன்றி ஓரணுவும் அசையாது (Not an atom moves except by His Will) expresses the same truth, whether you say அவனன்றி  அசையாது (Does not move except by His Will) or கர்மமின்றி  அசையாது (Does not move except by karma).

In the world, the law of Karma operates and Karturagnyaya prapyatE palam and this law is what is preordained.This is misinterpreted by devotees to mean that even their eating Pizza in McDonalds for Lunch is predetermined!Or that their working for this 'IT firm' or 'that IT Firm' is predetermined and no matter what they do,they cannot switch jobs!They eventually do switch jobs and still believe in preordainment of this sort-That this switching is also preordainment.(I am not exaggerating here-these are some of the 'understandings' as shared by devotees)

This is how Sri Ramakrishna explains this:
There is fire in the hearth; therefore the rice and pulse and potatoes and the other vegetables jump about in the pot. They jump about as if to say: 'We are here! We are jumping!' This body is the pot. The mind and intelligence are the water. The objects of the senses are the rice, potatoes, and other vegetables. The 'I-consciousness' identified with the senses says, 'I am jumping about.' And Satchidananda is the fire.

The message here is that God alone is the Real doer-whatever is happening inside the pot is on account of Fire.This is not to say that the trajectory of each vegetable in the pot is predetermined.

Namaskar
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Sadhak on January 23, 2016, 11:32:28 PM
Quote
The problem as I see is this-people just do not know what Divine Will is.They just have a conception that it is omnipotent and Omniscient and based on this evaluate everything else.

Forget divine will, do you know what free will is that you write about so much? How does it operate? How is it limited? Why is it limited? What causes its limitation etc etc? You can worry about what others say about things like divine will, omnipotent etc etc later.


Quote
The Operation of the Divine Will  is something that cannot be  inferred from the happenings outside as to  whether the plan one  is executing is 'successful' or not.

You are barking up a wrong tree here. Success and failure are for your free will, not divine will. They are interpreted as such by the free will which feels elated at success and disappointed by failure that it has itself defined.


Quote
That is due to the uncertainty in Life-There is nothing like a Certitude in Life

Where does this 'uncertainty' come from? If only free will exists and operates, who introduces uncertainty? Does it not occur to you that people may have called this uncertainty as an attribute of the divine will that is not bound by the desires of your free will?

Quote
but that does not prevent us from carrying on with our activities.

This seems to be your perpetual mental block. Divine will does not mean no effort or that all our activities come to a complete halt.


Quote
Also,it is quite likely that not being successful is also to one's eventual good.

What do we know about 'eventual good' when we don't even know the present, our free will can't even determine the present.

Quote
The same(uncertainty) is not true for the life of the spirit-The Prayer(if it is true and genuine) meets with an immediate Response.

Very conveniently stated so that if there is no immediate response (a la speed post) you can dismiss it as not true and not genuine. Which means anybody who prays for two or more days is a fake since there was no immediate response after the first day.

Quote
Without this communion with the Divine,it is futile to talk about 'Divine Will'

Oh, so everybody who talked to Bhagavan (and other jnanis) about divine will had no business to do so since they were not in 'communion' with the divine like Bhagavan (and other jnanis).
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Sadhak on January 24, 2016, 12:09:38 AM
Quote
What  Reply do we expect from Sri Bhagavan


So you know all his answers in advance and they are all as you expected in advance.

Quote
- when Sri Bhagavan always maintained that God(Self) alone is Real and the world is unreal and only an appearance?

Is this your (mis)understanding? Bhagavan got up every day at 3 am and cooked 'unreal' food for all the 'unreal' people every day. He answered questions from all the 'unreal' people who came to his 'unreal' ashram. Makes (un)real sense.

Quote
Importantly Sri Bhagavan says clearly :அவனன்றி ஓரணுவும் அசையாது (Not an atom moves except by His Will) expresses the same truth, whether you say அவனன்றி  அசையாது (Does not move except by His Will) or கர்மமின்றி  அசையாது (Does not move except by karma).

He has also said that the law of karma is also an attribute of His Will.

Quote
In the world,

Which world? You just said it was unreal.

 
Quote
the law of Karma operates and Karturagnyaya prapyatE palam and this law is what is preordained.This is misinterpreted by devotees to mean that even their eating Pizza in McDonalds for Lunch is predetermined!

No when I eat pizza at McDonalds, it is exempted. Only when Devaraja Mudaliar drinks water it is pre-determined.


Quote
Or that their working for this 'IT firm' or 'that IT Firm' is predetermined and no matter what they do,they cannot switch jobs!They eventually do switch jobs and still believe in preordainment of this sort-That this switching is also preordainment.(I am not exaggerating here-these are some of the 'understandings' as shared by devotees)

Good for those devotees. They seem to have a far better understanding though some may mock them.
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Sadhak on January 24, 2016, 12:35:47 AM
Quote
This is a wrong question or statement. Things are not pre-ordained like a computer algorithm.

Yes, not for the divine will.


Quote
The Divine is beyond time and space. He wills and Creation happens. He wills and Dissolution happens.


Yes, must be so logically.


Quote
He wills and divides Himself like individual beings with limited consciousness of ego.

.....who all think they are in control of themselves all the time with their own free will. The stronger the ego, the stronger is the belief that their free will can determine everything.


Quote
An individual who finds himself limited will call the free will as individual free will.

More likely that one who has not suffered (limitation) and started to question suffering will think that everything is free will and there is no divine will.

Quote
The same individual after realizing Brahman will call the free will as Divine free will.

The most plausible explanation is that the idea of unrestrained free will has disappeared after realization, only the divine will remains. But it is not necessary to be self realized in order to observe the limitations of the so called free will, and that there is some higher power operating whether it is called divine will or anything else.



Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 24, 2016, 07:24:41 AM
Sadhak,
Ha ha...Divine will in operation!I appreciate that this is quite in line with what you said earlier:

Quote
obviously I have failed to communicate with you (which must be the way it has been ordained by the divine will). The divine will will continue to run its course!

and it also confirms this statement of yours:

Quote
1. "If he has surrendered to God or to Guru the Power to which he has surrendered will take him on the right course. The worker need no longer concern himself about the rectitude or otherwise of the course."

2. "The Divine Will prevails at all times and under all circumstances. The individuals cannot act of their own accord. Recognize the force of the Divine Will and keep quiet."

The above statements of Bhagawan are clear enough.

Now how do I respond to this Divine Will in operation?Let me start off by taking the advice that this 'Divine Will' has given me:

Quote
A strongly active, judgmental intellect far far removed from divine will and surrender.

There are basically two ways of approaching the problem and for both of these approaches, the issue of Freewill(refers to the limited intelligence and will that any person not even aware of the  term  makes use of-and not to be misconstrued as 'Will that is Free' ) vs Preordainment is a total nonissue.

Almost all the points that you have raised or misunderstood is on account of not being able to understand the term 'freewill','selfeffort',etc. and without understanding  taking them on as if they imply 'self-sufficiency' . I have already clarified that self effort is necessary but not sufficient in itself.I have also clarified that this one step on the part of 'self effort' will ensure ten steps of the Divine towards it and in this way fulfill any true aspiration.

Now there are as I said two approaches and I will just quote from Sri Bhagavan and Sri Ramakrishna(generally I just quote and leave it to the seeker to get the Truth himself and I still consider this the best option):

1.Talk 615.
Another from the group asked: How is the ego to be destroyed?
M.: (Take)Hold(of) the ego first and then ask how it is to be destroyed(The Tamil version is clearer-What Sri Bhagavan is meaning is that the ego does not exist so that it can be taken hold of and destroyed-Ravi). Who asks this question? It is the ego. Can the ego ever agree to kill itself? This question is a sure way to cherish the ego and not to kill it. If you seek the ego you will find it does not exist. That is the way to destroy it.
In this connection I am often reminded of a funny incident which took place when I was living in the West Chitrai Street in Madura. A neighbour in an adjoining house anticipated the visit of a thief to his house. He took precautions to catch him. He posted policemen in mufti to guard the two ends of the lane, the entrance and the back-door to his own house. The thief came as expected and the men rushed to catch him. He took in the situation at a glance and shouted ?Hold him, hold him. There - he runs - there - there.? Saying so he made good his escape. So it is with the ego. Look for it and it will not be found. That is the way to get rid of it.

2.An excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:
Can you weep for Him with intense longing of heart? Men shed a jugful of tears for the sake of their children, for their wives, or for money. But who weeps for God?
So long as the child remains engrossed with its toys, the mother looks after her cooking and other household duties. But when the child no longer relishes the toys, it throws them aside and yells for its mother. Then the mother takes the rice-pot down from the hearth, runs in haste, and takes the child in her arms."

In both these approaches,there is simply no need to invent a word called 'Divine Will' and believe that :
Quote
Unless the divine will removes this ignorance/ego, I will remain so no matter what I do or don't do.

Let me share my understanding of the so called 'Divine Will'-It is this-that the Divine does not have any Will as it is imagined by a human mind(omniscient,omnipotent,etc,etc)I am just posting this so that you may have a chance to pick on this, as otherwise you may not be able to pick on  Sri Bhagavan's or Sri Ramakrishna's saying.

The so called Divine Will just says Tathastu - तथास्तु(so be it) to almost everything that we intensely wish.I shall post a parable from the tales and parables of Sri Ramakrishna on this तथास्तु aspect.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 24, 2016, 07:54:15 AM
THE TIGER THAT LURKS BEHIND WORLDLY JOYS

God is like the wish-yielding tree of the celestial world (Kalpataru), which gives whatever one asks of it. So, one should be careful to give up all worldly desires when one's mind has been purified by religious exercises.
Just listen to a story: A certain traveller came to a large plain in the course of his travels. As he had been walking in the sun for many hours, he was thoroughly exhausted and heavily perspiring; so he sat down in the shade of a tree to rest a little. Presently he began to think what a comfort it would be if he could but get a soft bed there to
sleep on. He was not aware that he was sitting under the celestial tree. As soon as the above thought rose in his mind, he found a nice bed by his side. He felt much astonished, but all the same stretched himself on it. Now he thought to himself, how pleasant it would be, were a young damsel to come there and gently stroke his legs. No sooner did the thought arise in his mind than he found a young damsel sitting at his feet and stroking his legs. The traveller felt supremely happy. Presently he felt hungry and thought: "I have got whatever I have wished for; could I not then get some food?"Instantly he found various kinds of delicious food spread before him. He at once fell to eating, and having helped himself to his heart's content, stretched himself again on his bed. He now began to revolve in his mind the events of the day. While thus occupied, he thought: "If a tiger should attack me all of a sudden!" In an instant a large tiger jumped on him and broke his neck and began to drink his blood. In this way the traveller lost his life.
Such is the fate of men in general. If during your meditation you pray for men or money or worldly honours, your desires will no doubt be satisfied to some extent; but, mind you, there is the dread of the tiger behind the gifts you get. Those tigers- disease, bereavements, loss of honour and wealth etc.,-are a thousand times more terrible than the live tiger.

Tales and parables of Sri Ramakrishna
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 24, 2016, 08:01:36 AM
An excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna which has a direct reference to 'Tiger' in the tales and parables  features:

ACTOR: "Revered sir, what you have just said about enjoyment is very true. One ultimately courts disaster if one prays to God for enjoyment. Various desires come to the
mind and by no means all of them are good. God is the Kalpataru, the Wish-fulfilling Tree.A man gets whatever he asks of God. Suppose it comes to his mind: 'God is the Kalpataru. Well, let me see if a tiger will appear before me.' Because he thinks of the tiger, it really appears and devours him."

MASTER: "Yes, you must remember that the tiger comes. What more shall I tell you? Keep your mind on God. Don't forget Him. God will certainly reveal Himself to you if you
pray to Him with sincerity. Another thing. Sing the name of God at the end of each performance. Then the actors, the singers, and the audience will go home with the thought
of God in their minds."

Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: silentgreen on January 24, 2016, 11:48:34 AM
Nice discussions, nice stories and nice debates arising out of free will. No time to participate further.

Here free will is not meant opposite of divine will but opposite of "pre-programmed will". Actions can spring out, out of freedom of choice without necessarily directed by a program. This is because freedom is the essence of the soul. When that freedom is exerted within the framework of ego, there is control based on laws of Karma. Here the divine gives only the power and sort of consents with the individual choice for the time-being till laws of Karma takes effect and good sense prevails on the individual to turn to God.

Once the individual discovers the expansion of the blissful being outside the periphery of the ego-sense and works just to experience the blissful being in a deeper sense, then karma does not bind anymore. The journey is from freedom to freedom and tough,because it needs to be integrated with intermediate goals of worldly life.

Sitting idle and waiting for God for everything may not be a good lifestyle unless the mind is greatly turned towards God. Else it can lead to Tamas. Shakti is required to flow to clear many blocks inside.

If one holds the view that there is no doer, so self-effort cases are invalid, life will take the necessary tests for proof.
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 24, 2016, 01:20:52 PM
Friends,

I thought that deliberating on one of the statements made by our friend Sadhak is worth pondering:

In response to silentgreen's statement:
Quote
An individual who finds himself limited will call the free will as individual free will.
,our friend has remarked:

Quote
More likely that one who has not suffered (limitation) and started to question suffering will think that everything is free will and there is no divine will.

No individual would think he is unlimited , not suffered at all -unless he is out of his senses(in our usual sense of the term) or has dropped his individuality attaining Jnana.

We are talking about seekers and not about madcaps or jnanis.This much should have been understood by one and all ,including our friend sadhak.

How many categories of devotees are there?Lord Sri Krishna says in The Gita:

catur-vidhā bhajante māḿ
janāḥ su-kṛtino ?rjuna
ārto jij?āsur arthārthī
j?ānī ca bharatarṣabha

Sri Aurobindo describes them: "There are those who turn to him as a refuge from sorrow and suffering in the world, arta. There are those who seek him as the giver of good in the world, artharthi. There are those who come to him in the desire for knowledge, jijnasu. And lastly there are those who adore him with knowledge, jnani."

The JijnAsu is the Highest form of seeker as compared to the Arti and arthArthi,leaving aside the jnAni who is not a seeker.

This is a very important classification as to how sanatana Dharma is fundamentally different than other schools that keep harping on suffering and Fear and understanding of them as a means to liberation.(Most of JK's talks keep revolving around 'suffering' or 'sorrow' or 'fear' and the ending of this,how the thinker cannot end it,etc,In the end he is supposed to have remarked:How is it that nobody got it? and our friend sadhak is also asking in a similiar tone).

In sharp contrast is the vigorous message of the Upanishads:

We see how in the Kathopanishad Nachiketas goes to Yama without being called and how he demands for the knowledge supreme-There is no Fear or Sorrow involved in this seeking to know the Truth,just the pure quest for Truth.What is it that is unlimited?

We see in the Mundaka upanishad how the seeker asks this question:कस्मिन्नु भगवो विज्ञाते सर्वमिदं विज्ञातं भवतीति ॥ ३ ॥ Sir, what is that through which, if it is known, everything else becomes known?

This is the spirit of the upanishads and as Swami Vivekananda never tires of saying:

Strength, strength is what the Upanishads speak to me from every page. This is the one great thing to remember, it has been the one great lesson I have been taught in my life; strength, it says, strength, O man, be not weak. Are there no human weaknesses? ? says man. There are, say the Upanishads, but will more weakness heal them, would you try to wash dirt with dirt? Will sin cure sin, weakness cure weakness? Strength, O man, strength, say the Upanishads, stand up and be strong. Ay, it is the only literature in the world where you find the word "Abhih", "fearless", used again and again; in no other scripture in the world is this adjective applied either to God or to man. Abhih, fearless!

A true devotee is this sort of a JijnAsu and not someone who cringes and whines.I warmly recommend this wonderful talk of Swamiji:
https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Complete_Works_of_Swami_Vivekananda/Volume_3/Lectures_from_Colombo_to_Almora/Vedanta_in_its_Application_to_Indian_Life (https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Complete_Works_of_Swami_Vivekananda/Volume_3/Lectures_from_Colombo_to_Almora/Vedanta_in_its_Application_to_Indian_Life)

Namaskar
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 24, 2016, 02:36:32 PM
silentgreen,
Good response.
Quote
Sitting idle and waiting for God for everything may not be a good lifestyle unless the mind is greatly turned towards God.
I agree with you that there is every likelihood that it may descend to 'sitting idle' and tamasic surrender,as much as the counterpoint would say 'self effort' would lead to a bloated ego and fattening of ignorance.I tend to favour the risk of a bloated ego (Rajas) as compared to the bigger risk of a 'Tamasic Surrender'.

He has been saying that abiding by the Divine Will does not tantamount to "sitting idle" and that whatever needs to be done will anyway get done by the Divine Will(I am Paraphrasing.)

This abidance would be the state of the Jnani and not that of the seeker,for one who realizes that he is not the 'doer' is a JnAni.

I will just bring into sharp focus two of the key statements he has made:
1.
Quote
So someone who is a bit serious realizes that whether he acts or does not act, it is all due to the operation of divine will. May be such a person could be called a sadhak
.
2.
Quote
Unless the divine will removes this ignorance/ego, I will remain so no matter what I do or don't do.

Our basic question with regards to (1) :
Is it Faith or Realization?If it is Realization,then such a one is a jnAni and we are not discussing the jnAni's position in this thread.
If it is Faith it is on par with another seeker who has Faith that The Divine would definitely respond to his Prayer.It is only the intensity of faith that would count in either case.

As regards (2),it just expresses Faith that 'Only The Divine removes the Ignorance'(I have paraphrased it for making better sense) and this is no better than someone else who may say -"Assuredly the Divine will remove the Ignorance if only I call on him wholeheartedly".

Our Friend Sadhak seems to think by avoiding Reference to 'I do' or 'My Effort' and calling it 'Divine Will' would make a fundamental difference.The Basic premise is this-Selfishness or egoistic outlook is a stumbling block and any reference to 'I' must be dropped.

The response to this is like What Sri Ramakrishna so wonderfully points out:
The 'ego of a devotee' begets no pride; it does not create ignorance. On the contrary it helps one realize God. This ego is no more like the ordinary ego than hinche is like ordinary greens. One generally becomes indisposed by eating greens; but hinche removes excessive bile; it does one good. Sugar candy is not like ordinary sweets. Sweets are generally harmful, but sugar candy removes acidity.

Namaskar
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: silentgreen on January 24, 2016, 07:17:27 PM
Self-effort does not mean that a person does not have faith in God or is egoistic.

The post of Nagraj where Hanuman carries the Sanjivani hill illustrates this point. It is a sad incident about Graham. But Nagraj has thrown some other light.

Hanuman is exerting himself and carrying the Giri taking the name of Raam. Here self-effort is devotional effort which frees one from worldly bondage.

The actual Sanjivani plant is the outer Sanjivani. Hanuman carrying the Giri taking the name of Raam is the inner Sanjivani created by self-effort.

When the inner Sanjivani accumulates within oneself by long spiritual practice, it can heal one from within in times of distress.

May that happen with Graham. Incidentally
(G)iri (H)anuman and Raam together forms Graham.
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Sadhak on January 25, 2016, 01:03:22 AM
Quote
Sitting idle and waiting for God for everything may not be a good lifestyle unless the mind is greatly turned towards God.

Beware, this is a slippery slope. Don't ASSUME a person can remain idle simply by taking a vow (with his 'free will') or proclaiming 'I am going to sit idle  and wait for God'.  The Divine will is fully capable of kicking him in the rump (figuratively speaking) and make him sweat.

Even Bhagawan  was made to come to Arunachala after his death experience. Imagine the fate of lesser mortals.
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Sadhak on January 25, 2016, 01:25:22 AM
Quote
As regards (2),it just expresses Faith that 'Only The Divine removes the Ignorance'(I have paraphrased it for making better sense) and this is no better than someone else who may say -"Assuredly the Divine will remove the Ignorance if only I call on him wholeheartedly".

Our Friend Sadhak seems to think by avoiding Reference to 'I do' or 'My Effort' and calling it 'Divine Will' would make a fundamental difference.

Again, you misunderstand and your paraphrase is incorrect. We are not talking about cleverly avoiding this or that reference. That is still the ego/free will. But the emphasis in " if only I call on him wholeheartedly", is on the I. The world is full of such effort makers. Even ISIS has them. Fasting, starving, even killing in the name of God. They are also believers in 'free will' and are calling God 'wholeheartedly' in order to meet him in paradise.
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Sadhak on January 25, 2016, 01:50:26 AM
Silentgreen,

Quote
Self-effort does not mean that a person does not have faith in God or is egoistic.

No, not necessarily but it depends on what we mean by Self effort. If it is a 'sadhaka', such a person would also know it is the divine will making him do things and drawing him. But for most, 'self effort' means strong individuality and nothing else.
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Sadhak on January 25, 2016, 02:43:18 AM
Quote
Ha ha...Divine will in operation!


Though I had asked answers for simple questions to your 'free will'. None is forth coming. Never mind.

"Once about Arunachala Mahatmiam when he was asked about the passage regarding how people living within a certain distance of Arunachala are initiated without 'diksha', he simply replied that it was because it was so ordained. "

Quote
So,it is clear that not all people who live near Arunachala (in physical proximity) derive the benefit as per Arunachala Mahatmiam's statement.This clearly shows that only those who are RECEPTIVE and OPEN partake of the Grace which is ever present.

I see. So Arunachala Mahatmiam is wrong since it has failed to add these important conditions that you have discovered. Bhagwan was also wrong in his reply. And he was also wrong in asking devotees to sing this as part of the daily parayanam!   


Quote
"Almost all the points that you have raised or misunderstood is on account of not being able to understand the term 'freewill'"

Another member has succinctly elucidated three possibilities and you may want to read my reply to those 3 possibilities if it helps you understand.


Quote
"I have already clarified that self effort is necessary but not sufficient in itself."

But you keep repeating the stuff about self effort deciding 'I will not do anything' and sit idle making no effort. If self effort is not sufficient, then it will not be successful with such vows either. Something I have pointed out many times.

Quote
"I have also clarified that this one step on the part of 'self effort' will ensure ten steps of the Divine towards it and in this way fulfill any true aspiration."

Guarantees, based on your exp... . So 'self effort' is the more powerful force that will demand and make the divine will move 10 steps for every step. But wait, just above you said self effort is not sufficient.... May be that is why most people have not received an immediate response to their efforts that you promised yesterday.

Quote
"Let me share my understanding of the so called 'Divine Will'-It is this-that the Divine does not have any Will as it is imagined by a human mind(omniscient,omnipotent,etc,etc)"

Why do you bother about what is imagined by a human mind?  Your understanding is all that matters. And if the divine will is not omniscient then it must be limited. Probably limited to only Tiruvannamalai district!


Quote
"No individual would think he is unlimited , not suffered at all -unless he is out of his senses(in our usual sense of the term) or has dropped his individuality attaining Jnana."

Typical misunderstanding. If you took some time and read my post it says "More likely that one who has not suffered (limitation) AND started to question suffering".  You missed the AND. Of course, you will now start 'how to question suffering?'.

Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 25, 2016, 08:09:06 AM
Sadhak,
I truly wonder whether you read my posts.I have already answered all your questions.I find that either you do not understand or care to understand-mainly on account of some sentiments that you cherish and anything that seemingly contradicts it is unacceptable,not to mention the limitations of these sentiments (beliefs).

I will just answer one such question for you:

Quote
Once about Arunachala Mahatmiam when he was asked about the passage regarding how people living within a certain distance of Arunachala are initiated without 'diksha', he simply replied that it was because it was so ordained.

The key point here is that no 'Diksha' is needed for those who are OPEN and RECEPTIVE,as Arunachala takes care of their spiritual welfare as their Guru.We may recall how one man approached Sri Bhagavan to give 'diksha'(initiation) and how another person came and entrusted a pile of books in the temporary custody of bhagavan,how Bhagavan found the above referred sentence in one of the books and showed it to the 'First person' who went away!

You would have read about 'Rape' in Arunacahala and the warnings in this Forum.If we have to go by your 'Fundamentalist' type of belief,we have to either say that these never took place or that Arunachala Mahatmiam is bogus.

You may refer this thread:http://www.arunachala-ramana.org/forum/index.php?topic=4424.0 (http://www.arunachala-ramana.org/forum/index.php?topic=4424.0)
your comment there:"I agree with graham although I think there is a slant in the article (probably unintended) implying that only western women are in danger. I came to know of an incident a few years back where an Indian woman was followed by a western man up the hill. He clearly did not have good intentions. Finally the woman had to run out of virupaksha cave and towards the ashram since she realized there was nobody else besides the two of them in the cave.Everyone needs to extremely vigilant. The place seems to have deviants from all over the world."

Quote
So Arunachala Mahatmiam is wrong since it has failed to add these important conditions that you have discovered. Bhagwan was also wrong in his reply. And he was also wrong in asking devotees to sing this as part of the daily parayanam!

No,it is our understanding of what is stated that is wrong and has been pointed out,also referring to what Sri Bhagavan himself had said concerning people who lived near him and people who live faraway.
How the above statement exaggerates and  extrapolates it far beyond the Original context!Divine Will in operation,eh?

I will not go into further questions that you have raised(and have been raising over and over again) as I do not find anything of merit or of general value to others in the forum and are more towards challenging my capacity to understand spiritual dimension.As and when I come across anything that is of general value,I have commented on it and given relevant quotes of the Great ones,so that those who are in need of such knowledge benefit from it.They are not  to convince one who thinks he 'knows'(either through the so called 'Divine Will' or 'freewill').

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Sadhak on January 25, 2016, 09:28:44 AM
Quote
I truly wonder whether you read my posts.I have already answered all your questions

I read your posts and also those of the other member. I can repeat all the questions that you have not bothered to reply, but I am moving on.

Quote
"No,it is our understanding of what is stated that is wrong and has been pointed out,also referring to what Sri Bhagavan himself had said concerning people who lived near him and people who live faraway.Also,how the above statement exaggerates and  extrapolates it far beyond the Original context!"

It is obvious who is extrapolating when there is a direct question and answer available on the subject. Sadly you will not quote the most direct question about those living within three yojanas mentioned in Arunachala Mahatmiyam.


Q: It is said that they get mukti unasked who live or die within a radius of 30 miles around Arunachala. It is also admitted that only by jnana is liberation obtained. The purana also remarks that Vedanat Vijnana is difficult to get. So mikti is difficult. But life or death round about the Hill bestows mukti so easily. How can it be?

Bhagawan: Siva says, 'By my command'. Those who live here need no initation, diksha etc. but get mukti. Such is the command of Siva.

I know Bhagawan's reply is very deflating to the free will, but it may still be worthwhile for someone to ask why there is no mention at all of being open, receptive etc etc in the reply. Only that it is the command of Siva.

Quote
"I find that either you do not understand or care to understand-mainly on account of some sentiments that you cherish and anything that seemingly contradicts it is unacceptable,not to mention the limitations of these sentiments (beliefs)."

Quote
"They are not  to convince one who thinks he 'knows'(either through the so called 'Divine Will' or 'freewill')."

Interesting statements. Over the past week here is a short list of your sentiments.

1. Arunachala Mahatmiyam  must be read and interpreted your way by adding certain constraints and qualifications that you have mentioned.

2. The world is unreal.

3. Free will is real.

4. Free will must permit divine will to act.

5. Many devotees who feel the divine will is acting at all times are .....ignorant, fundamentalist???

6. Divine will means sitting idle with no effort.

7. Divine will means devotees simply waiting for 'muhurtham' time by not acting or making effort.

8. Bhagawan's answers are only as you expected.

9. Even when an answer is given to Devaraja Mudaliar about trifling incidents in life such as drinking water or moving from one place in the room to another being predetermined, you find it absurd that visiting and eating pizza at McDonald's could be so.

10. There is nothing of merit you find in my questions and so you will not bother.


I must confess that it clearly comes across as 'one who knows everything' though it may not have been your intention. I posted on this topic since you raised a question that you may not even remember now. I will move on unless the Divine will determines otherwise.

Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 25, 2016, 09:42:31 AM
Sadhak,
I have not revived this topic for the purpose of getting into an argument with you.They are meant for those who approached me.I also find that silentgreen has also tried to put in the  points concerning 'self effort' 'preordainment' 'Law of Karma' 'Grace'  and I am in entire agreement with all that he has posted.
You have your own view of these things-and I am okay with that.
Namaskar
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: silentgreen on January 25, 2016, 02:51:27 PM
Without free will the theory of Karma does not stand. No karma will accumulate in the karmic account of the individual. There will be no prarabdha karma, because prarabdha is accumulated karma only.

There is no ego either, because ego sees it has a free will.
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 25, 2016, 05:41:52 PM
Friends,
Warmly recommend the following articles in Swami Venkatesananda's satsangh:

1.can I know God's will?

http://www.venkatesaya.com/441.satsang/satsang.php?p=02_17&menuid=2 (http://www.venkatesaya.com/441.satsang/satsang.php?p=02_17&menuid=2)

2.As you sow,so shall it grow

http://www.venkatesaya.com/441.satsang/satsang.php?p=06_22&menuid=6 (http://www.venkatesaya.com/441.satsang/satsang.php?p=06_22&menuid=6)

Namaskar
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Nagaraj on January 25, 2016, 06:47:46 PM
Would like to share my two pieces of thoughts without taking any sides.

I would just like to say that there is space for both stands and even third or fourth stands as well in our tradition!

There are no limitations how the grace can descend on one. Grace can come to one who exerts his free will diligently or carelessly and to one who has submitted to divine will or indulges in the name of divine will, and it can choose to come to one who is even devoid of both as well, the grace can come from top and fall on one's head even when unasked for! (Eg: Bhagawan never asked for)

Since there is no attainment in ultimate sense, this is just a play of the grace by itself for itself in order to experience a joy of attainment, a joy of submission, a joy of self exertion or any other way or  on the other hand in order to experience a joy of de-attainment, it experiences disappointment, failure of being unable to submit to divine will or our self exertion being of no avail.

Everything is joy!

One day in balcony a youngster who was reading some book about sanyasam was scolded by his father what he has to do with books on sanyasam and took that book and threw it down from the balcony, it fell upon a person walking to office who asked if he can take the book seeing the plight of the boy and the concern of the father. That person read the book and took sanyas the very next day. This is a real account and i think he is of Ramakriahna Order. Just a vague recollection. Wonderous ways by which grace can descend!

விதிமதி மூல விவேக மிலார்க்கே
விதிமதி வெல்லும் விவாதம் விதிமதிகட்
கோர்முதலாந் தன்னை யுணர்ந்தா ரவைதணந்தார்
சார்வரோ பின்னுமவை சாற்றுவாய் சார்பவை

The debate, ?Does free will prevail or fate?? is only for those who do not know the root of both. Those who have known the Self, the common source of free-will and of fate, have passed beyond them both and will not return to them.

--
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: silentgreen on January 25, 2016, 07:21:41 PM
Hi Nagraj,

Interesting example from real life.

But a curious mind can still enquire:
Why did the office-goer get interested in the book on sanyasa? Another person might not have been interested.

What was the content inside his mind that made him so interested in the book?

Was that content also one day thrown from the balcony for him to receive? Or did he practice something and built it inside.

Just some thoughts before republic day.
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 25, 2016, 08:15:32 PM
Friends,
Here is an excerpt from the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:
1.Different classes of perfect souls
"Some souls realize God without practising any spiritual discipline. They are called nityasiddha, eternally perfect. Those who have realized God through austerity, japa, and the like, are called sadhanasiddha, perfect through spiritual discipline. Again, there are those called kripasiddha, perfect through divine grace. These last may be compared to a room kept dark a thousand years, which becomes light the moment a lamp is brought in.
"There is also a class of devotees, the hathatsiddha, that is to say, those who have suddenly attained God-vision. Their case is like that of a poor boy who has suddenly found favour with a rich man. The rich man marries his daughter to the boy and along with her gives him land, house, carriage, servants, and so forth.
"There is still another class of devotees, the svapnasiddha, who have had the vision of God in a dream."
SURENDRA (smiling): "Let us go to sleep then. We shall wake and find ourselves babus, aristocrats."
MASTER (tenderly): "You are already a babu. When the letter 'a' is joined to the letter 'ka', 'ka' becomes 'kaa'. It is futile to add another 'a'. If you add it, you will still have the same 'kaa'. (All laugh.)

2.Tendencies from previous births
TUTOR: "Revered sir, one man quickly succeeds in spiritual life, and another doesn't succeed at all. How do you explain that?"
MASTER: "The truth is that a man succeeds to a great extent because of tendencies inherited from his previous births. People think he has attained the goal all of a sudden. A man drank a glass of wine in the morning. It made him completely drunk. He began to behave improperly. People were amazed to see that he could be so drunk after one glass. But another man said, 'Why, he has been drinking all night.'

Grace is ever blowing but what one makes out of it what counts.Sri Ramakrishna was a tough task master and even the so called 'Nityasiddhas' (classified by him) had to perform sustained and intense sadhana to own up what they were already privy to!
The basic thing  is this -Be it  in this world or in the spiritual realm,there is nothing like a 'Freelunch'.

The other key thing is -That one automatically attracts things that one deserves.Master TGN used to give the example that if one fills the lamp with oil and prepares the wick and lights it,the oxygen in the air need not be guided by one's effort-That will automatically be supplied.The wick does not attract the oxygen prior to getting lighted.

In any case,the point in reviving this thread is to understand the basic misconception about preordainment,that everything is already programmed and no degree of 'selfeffort' can alter what is already programmed.

Namaskar
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 25, 2016, 08:49:28 PM
Friends,
There is this interesting chapter-Outwitting the stars,chapter 16 of The Autobiography of a yogi which throws some insights on how prarabhda karma effects can be countered,etc.I am referring this only to say that through right exertion it can be countered(as swami vivekananda never tired of emphasizing).
Those interested may read it here:
http://autobiography-of-a-yogi.t.ebooks2ebooks.com/90.html (http://autobiography-of-a-yogi.t.ebooks2ebooks.com/90.html)

Namaskar
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Sadhak on January 25, 2016, 10:17:59 PM
Nagaraj,

Quote
I would just like to say that there is space for both stands and even third or fourth stands as well in our tradition!

There are no limitations how the grace can descend on one. Grace can come to one who exerts his free will diligently or carelessly and to one who has submitted to divine will or indulges in the name of divine will, and it can choose to come to one who is even devoid of both as well, the grace can come from top and fall on one's head even when unasked for! (Eg: Bhagawan never asked for)

Allow me to share my thoughts. You are correct that there can be no limitations on Grace/Self/Divine will or whatever you call it. No limitations means they are not restricted by time and space. It operates everywhere at all times. But that also means the other stands are incorrect (in an absolute sense) though it must be acknowledged that many take such stands and they do exist.

Like all acts of Nature, the Divine will operates on all including those who deny it. Just like the sunshine and rain fall over everyone without regard to 'good' and 'bad' people. But the ego/free will/ignorance has a very strong sense of judgement that refuses to go away easily. As the ego/free will weakens through impartial and objective observation, an idea of a higher power is slowly acknowledged intellectually. Complete surrender happens only with liberation (and vice versa). Grace is required every step of the way and it is found to be the case upon liberation.

Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Sadhak on January 25, 2016, 10:37:33 PM
Quote
But a curious mind can still enquire:
Why did the office-goer get interested in the book on sanyasa? Another person might not have been interested.

It could also be said that had another person been standing below, the book would not have fallen on him!


Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Nagaraj on January 25, 2016, 11:04:38 PM
This topic, I do not see any end, as it is like straightening a dog's tail. Only purpose would be that the participants would eventually tire themselves and keep quiet :D

Just as for hunger some food is necessary, this play goes on. I see no purpose is served or achieved but only quietening of ones own mind.

Dear Sadhak,

I agree with your view too, like i agree with Silent green and Sri Ravi.

Allow me to share my thoughts. You are correct that there can be no limitations on Grace/Self/Divine will or whatever you call it. No limitations means they are not restricted by time and space. It operates everywhere at all times. But that also means the other stands are incorrect (in an absolute sense) though it must be acknowledged that many take such stands and they do exist.

you reflected as above, that in an absolute sense, that other stands are incorrect. But do any 'stands' even stand to exist in absolute sense? All stands remain only so long as the little self remain. Is it not?

Sri Aurobindo once quoted saying "It is an ego in man, that is shocked to find ego in others."

There are not 'other' stands in absolute, As Bhagavan has said "For a Jnani, everybody is a Jnani" In fact, he said, there is no Jnani but only 'Jnana'.

Is the Individual different from the Divine? Are there two selves? that the divine self guides some individual self?

though you have no free will (as the individual),
you still have freewill (because you are really the Atman)

though you have no destiny (as the Atman)
you still seem to have a predestiny/destiny
(as the individual subject to various limitations)

Whether one says Freewill or Divine will, they are one and the same, only the words are different, Free and Divine, but the Will is common in both!

A person remained silent though he was being criticised. When his friend wanted him to react, he replied, ?The same Atma is present in me as well as in the person who is criticising. So, why should I be annoyed when he is criticising himself?? A deep inquiry into the truth will reveal that when you love or hate others, you love or hate your own self. In fact, there are no ?others.? You consider yourself different from others because of body attachment. Once you give up body attachment, you will realise that there are no others and all are yours. That is the true vision of the Atma. The Atma does not have a specific form.

--
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Sadhak on January 26, 2016, 12:14:47 AM
Quote
But do any 'stands' even stand to exist in absolute sense? All stands remain only so long as the little self remain. Is it not?

Nagaraj,
Yes, that is why I used the simple word incorrect instead of non-existence.

Quote
Whether one says Freewill or Divine will, they are one and the same, only the words are different,

Yes, in the absolute sense. When the ego/free will has ended, whatever remains can be called as Self/Divine will/Nameless/Freedom/Free will or anything else.

Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: silentgreen on January 26, 2016, 06:11:07 AM
This is good discussion although there has been some heated arguments. This is because Arunachala is Agni Lingam. Some of the heat also gets spread in the forum. This is but natural.

But there is also another part of  Arunachala, which is the silence of Ramana. Now the time has come for that. Sabda needs to be balanced by Stabdha.
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 26, 2016, 07:32:24 AM
Friends,
Quote
This is good discussion although there has been some heated arguments.
Quote
This topic, I do not see any end, as it is like straightening a dog's tail. Only purpose would be that the participants would eventually tire themselves and keep quiet

Ha ha.....No heat but only doggedness and intensity of purpose.

What is the purpose?It is to state that whether one is a so called worldly person or a so called spiritual aspirant,there is no substitute for manliness and self effort and one should not paralyse oneself by any dose of doctrine from anyone,be it Sri Ramakrishna or Sri Bhagavan or anyother.( Rest assured that there is no disrespect involved in this )

Instead of  being dismissive of the 'ego' as if it is some second or third person in oneself,better to own up and say 'I'.What difference does this make?
It is this,that it will not permit us to straddle two horses-the actual and the ideal.

We may next ask ourselves-what is it that 'I' truly want and find an honest reply to this question.This is very very important,for as Emerson said that 'nothing is atlast sacred but the integrity of your own mind'.This reality check has to be taken and honestly and unflinchingly answered.

We may get  responses ,a sort of general wish list that can be hierarchically organized with some sort of overlapping features:
1.Things to do with physical needs (Food,home,job,Health etc)
2.Things to do with relationships(marriage,children,friends,etc)
3.Things to do with comfort level(Electricity,Internet connection at home,car,etc,etc)
4.Things to do with Status/social acceptability and standing(Educational,official,familial,etc)
5.Things to do with entertainment/hobbies/aesthetic interests like arts,music,painting,etc
.........
.........
6.The quest for Truth -something ineffable and lasting;the thirst for completeness.

I have brought this up not to conduct a class of any sort but as an aid to introspection and to see where we stand and what best we can do to prioritize and put our house in order.

continued.....
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Nagaraj on January 26, 2016, 10:14:00 AM
Dear friends,

I would like to lay excerpts from the leactures of Swami Rama Tirtha as below:

The Vedas say, " Shreya is different and ?Preya' is different,? i.e., duty demands something but your selfish interest pulls you in a different direction. Shreya tells you to give and renounce. But your selfish interest tempts you to take and to accept. as "This is our right. This is due to us. This is reasonable and just for us.This is generally known as ?Preya?

It is common and easy to assert your ?right?. But it is difficult and also distasteful for a man to stick to his ?duty.? If we go deep, we find that ?duty? and ?right? have the same relation which a seed of a tree has with its fruits. It is really very surprising that every body wants to enjoy the fruits, but nobody is prepared to take the trouble of sowing the seed, nourishing it and taking its care, till it grows into a tree. The fact is, when we go on performing our duty, the rights accrue to us automatically. On the other hand, if we only care for our rights, without doing our duty properly, we shall be only disappointed. The Law of Nature is like that.

There are four kinds of duty. The first is duty towards God, the second is the towards humanity, the third is towards your own country and the fourth is towards your own Self, All these duties ultimately merge into one duty. What is it? it is your duty towards your Real Self. If it is properly taken care of, the rest of the three duties are automatically performed.

it is said that there are three types of kindness-kindness of God, kindness of the preceptor or the guide and kindness of one?s Real Self. It means God's grace, attention of the guru or the guide and the determination of one's own Self. God's grace is showered on one in whom the preceptor takes interest and the preceptor gets interested in the man who is determined to help himself.

Take for example, a school boy. If he does not study well, or does not care to help himself, his teacher will not come forward to help him further. The teachers are pleased only with good students, and that they willingly pay special attention towards brilliant students. Ultimately, those who are favoured by the teacher, get the grace of God automatically. The whole thing boils down to the conclusion that self-help is the foremost duty of a man. Without self-help, neither the preceptor nor God will be prepared to help us. There is a well known saying that ?God helps those who help themselves?.
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Nagaraj on January 26, 2016, 10:55:49 AM
Now the other side of the topic i lay below excerpts from the lectures of Swami Rama Tirtha.

it can be easily proved that how a man, while doing his duty for himself, can fulfil his duty towards God. There is a story in Muslim mythology. There was a seeker after "Truth". He was wandering in his love for God, from place to place, in search of a learned man who might satisfy his thirst for knowledge of God. During his wanderings, he reached a jungle, and in disappointment, resolved not to eat or drink anything and even to give up his life it his doubts were not clarified.

A poet says 1-?

"if there is any effect in my love, my Beloved must be attracted towards me. i do not mind if, for the present, He is indifferent to me. ?

Another poet says :?

"Why do you unnecessarily run after God ? if He is God, He must come to you of His own free will.?



According to an lndian poet :?

"l am sitting at Thy doors with a resolve not to leave till | meat Thee or i must die."

During those days there was a man named Juned, who was famous for his religious studies. That day, Hazrat Juned was going to the river Dajla to make his horse drink water. But the horse was not advancing towards Dajla, inspite of his efforts. Seeing this, he thought, there must be some good in it and allowed the horse to go his way, saying, ?Go, wherever you like. All around is the country of my God. There is no foreign land for me.? The horse ran of its own accord and reached that particular spot in the jungle, where that seeker after Truth was lying hungry and thirsty in search of Knowledge of God. Hazrat Juned alighted from the horse and enquired of the man the reason for his sitting all alone in the jungle. And, in a short time. the seeker was fully satisfied by the learned discourses with Juned. When Juned was leaving, he said to the man, ?if you ever have any such doubts again, you can come to Baghdad. i live there. My name is Juned. Any man will direct you to my house." The man replied, ?Did i go to call you this time? Now l have discovered the secret. l will not go anywhere now. in future. if i need the help of any one, you or somebody else will perforce come to me to remove my doubts."
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 26, 2016, 02:15:41 PM
Nagaraj,
Thanks for those excerpts from Swami Ramatirtha.Master TGN often used to refer to his teachings,especially his parables in the course of his talks.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 26, 2016, 03:32:41 PM
Friends,
........continuing from where I left off regarding the mapping of the 'wish list'.
Anyone can have a wish list that describes his needs,desires,ambitions.... and the corresponding  'world' he lives in.

Who then is a spiritual aspirant?What is the spiritual perspective?What is the way of Sreyas as opposed to preyas?

Does it mean that all items except items no.1 & 6 have to be given up?They should not have been  there in the First place?The very list should have:
Quote
1.Things to do with bare physical needs (just food & water)

6.The quest for Truth -something ineffable and lasting;the thirst for completeness.

Barring a select few of ascetic temperament,a vast majority of people/aspirants will have other items as well featured in their list.Are they barred from walking the path of Sreyas?

We shall go into this aspect slowly and deliberately.

Now back to our wish list -it is everyone's everyday experience that coexisting with our needs,desires,etc are 'Price tags'- the Price that one has to pay and the associated matrix of Responsibilities that it entails and the laws that govern the outcome.
Ex:If a man is eager to have a 'wife',he has to be committed to that relationship and all the responsibilities that it entails and the nature of the commitment is  long term.
Ex:If a man wants a job and earn an income,he has to be prepared to discharge the work/responsibilities that it entails.

So along with the wish list,one needs to clearly take into account the 'price' one has to pay-and draw the Scope and Boundary of 'World'.This is the playing field for oneself.

In doing this,we rationalize our desires-thus far and no further.Why is this important?
It is just this-that as long as there are unfulfilled desires,one cannot be peaceful.There will not be fulfillment.
In other words,to take care to discharge the responsibilities that any activity entails and to give it due importance in the act of fulfilling any need or desire -this is what may be called 'Right Living'.
This is the Dharma aspect and the entire edifice of life and its activities ought to be shaped on this  foundation.
Thus Dharma-Artha-Kama -Moksha in that order not as distinct stages but as overlapping stages becomes a sound framework for a purposeful living.

continued.....
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Nagaraj on January 26, 2016, 08:02:48 PM
Dear Sri Ravi, yes, i agree with you very well that one has to make good use of his abilities. Its no accident to get a rare birth of human life who is endoved witg capability to learn so many skills. Infact no other civilisation may have contributed than ours towards arts and literature. In the anciebt gurukulam system students were trained in varioys forms of skills - 64 in numbers. From Brahma Jnaana to Martial Arts. Infact Sama Vedas are the source of music, Dhanur Veda concerns weaponery sciences, Ayurveda concerns medicines. Ancient seers were advanced in terms of medical sciences have performed surgeries. Jyotisha Shastra dealing with Astronomy. Naatya Shastra dance.

In thr similar sense, with the spiritual backing of Dharma one has to be given exposure to the skills prevailing in our times as now and inturn each should contribute to the welfare of ones nation and world in general. Get involved in current day administrations and Governance and infuse the principle of Dharmas. Engage in inter religious collaborations and find a common ground. Work in removing dogmas and reviving anciebt science and knowledge.

We now know pythogoras theoram was first revealed several hundred of years before it was discovered by western scholars.

Our tradition has always aimed at a holistic development.

I agree when you said -

Quote
"there is no substitute for manliness and self effort and one should not paralyse oneself by any dose of doctrine from anyone,be it Sri Ramakrishna or Sri Bhagavan or anyother.( Rest assured that there is no disrespect involved in this )"
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 28, 2016, 09:00:50 AM
Friends,
We shall now cover the way we evaluate and rationalize the desires.Master TGN makes use of a simple and good analogy of a Train journey.In the train,we are allotted a berth and we have a right to make use of it.We make use of all the other facilities that are provided like the fan,lights,etc.We also avail the catering services in the Train to make ourselves comfortable.As the train winds its way through the city,countryside,rivers,Bridges,etc we enjoy the sights as we go along.All these are quite legitimate and recommended.These enjoyments do not come in the way of our journey to our destination.We simply make 'use' of all the facilities in the train and exercise our right to occupy our berth and the use of the facilities.These do not involve 'ownership' for none of the items in the train belong to us.We have a right to use them but not possess them.
If we try to appropriate any of the items,we shall be divested of them forcibly and what more we shall not be allowed to proceed to our destination but put behind bars.There is another thing that can jeopardize the journey- if the passenger gets tempted by the eatables in some way station and gets down to enjoy himself unmindful of the stoppage timings he will be left behind!In both the cases it would mean that the basic purpose of the Train journey to reach the destination is forfeited.

Likewise,the seeker has to do a due diligence on the 'Desire set' that he/she has included in her 'wish list' and strike off what would jeopardize the spiritual journey.No point in having those and with a strong sense of understanding and determination they ought to be removed from the list.The Rest of the desires may be given their place and one may then go about fulfilling those with all due attention and energy and ofcourse giving due priority to the responsibilities that it entails.
This is the way to workout the vasanas and ensure that one gets past them.It is quite likely that effort taken towards fulfilling some of the desires do not meet with success but then one does not have any misgivings of not having put effort in that direction.Also fulfilling the desires with a sense of awareness and not as a 'habitual' impulse blunts the edge and takes the sting of the desire and weakens them.
The key point is that now energy and attention are available towards the main purpose of discovering God.
Just like if the strands of a thread are sticking out,it is not possible to make it enter into the eye of the needle,similiarly as long as there are unfulfilled desires waiting in ambush,it is impossible for the mind to quieten down and enter the Heart cave ,merging in the source.
We can very well exercise this much needed Viveka and vairagya and the more and more we exercise it,the clearer and easier will be the path ahead and the stronger would be our conviction and shraddha that it can be done.
This is the very sense of the saying that both Bondage and Liberation are of the mind.

continued.....
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on January 28, 2016, 09:11:53 AM
Bondage and liberation are of the mind
"It is all a question of the mind. Bondage and liberation are of the mind alone. The mind will take the colour you dye it with. It is like white clothes just returned from the laundry. If you dip them in red dye, they will be red. If you dip them in blue or green, they will be blue or green. They will take only the colour you dip them in, whatever it may be. Haven't you noticed that, if you read a little English, you at once begin to utter English words: Foot fut it mit? Then you put on boots and whistle a tune, and so on. It all goes together. Or, if a scholar studies Sanskrit, he will at once rattle off Sanskrit verses. If you are in bad company, then you will talk and think like your companions. On the other hand, when you are in the company of devotees, you will think and talk only of God.
The mind is everything. A man has his wife on one side and his daughter on the other. He shows his affection to them in different ways. But his mind is one and the same.
"Bondage is of the mind, and freedom is also of the mind. A man is free if he constantly thinks: 'I am a free soul. How can I be bound, whether I live in the world or in the forest? I am a child of God, the King of Kings. Who can bind me?' If bitten by a snake, a man may get rid of its venom by saying emphatically, 'There is no poison in me.' In the same way, by repeating with grit and determination, 'I am not bound, I am free', one really becomes free.

The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Beloved Abstract on January 28, 2016, 10:12:22 PM
there there now little ones , hush hush now , be still , hush hush , be still now .....

tradition is the past calling to keep you from truth
the spiritual search so precious at the beginning then becomes a trap of the mind to avoid the truth of silence

there there now , hush hush , be still now ..... be still , and know that i am god

 :)
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Nagaraj on February 01, 2016, 03:11:55 PM
There are a couple of points for our contemplation:

1. Is it a question of Freewill and Fate/Destiny?
2. Is it a question of Freewill and Divine Will?
3. Is it a question of question of whether the True Self being affected by the effects of Freewill or Divine Will or Fate?

These three aspects have to be seen separately.

If it is a matter of question 1:

1. Is it a question of Freewill and Fate?

It would be fatal to submit to the hands of FATE/Destiny. One has to strive and work diligently and learn about the Dharma and act accordingly. It would do only harm if one submits to ones FATE/Destiny. Nothing can be more harmful than this. It is to this lot, it is said that God help's those who help themselves. Therefore one has to exert ones utmost capabilities mentally and physically and be proactive to attain the highest good as is seen or known.

2. Is it a question of Freewill and Divine Will?

Now, there is a whole lot of difference between submiting to FATE and DIVINE WILL. One who submits to Divine Will, is willing to undergo even a "dogs fate" just simply so to say.

Bhagavan says "If you have surrendered, you must be able to abide by the will of God and not make a grievance of what may not please you. Things may turn out differently from what they look apparently. Distress often leads men to faith in God."

Such is the spirit of submitting to Divine Will. There ends the matter there. Ones life will be thrown around as a dry leaf upon a moving river, going through the journey hitting ricks and bitten by fishes and yet remain steadfast in the Divine Will.

This holds good even if we consider the story of Parable of the "elephant God" as told by Sri Ramakrishna:

In a forest there lived a holy man who had many disciples. One day he taught them to see God in all beings and, knowing this, to bow low before them all. A disciple went to the forest to gather wood for the sacrificial fire. Suddenly he heard an outcry: 'Get out of the way! A mad elephant is coming!' All but the disciple of the holy man took to their heels. He reasoned that the elephant was also God in another form. Then why should he run away from it? He stood still, bowed before the animal, and began to sing its praises. The mahut of the elephant was shouting: 'Run away! Run away!' But the disciple didn't move. The animal seized him with its trunk, cast him to one side, and went on its way. Hurt and bruised, the disciple lay unconscious on the ground. Hearing what had happened, his teacher and his brother disciples came to him and carried him to the hermitage. With the help of some medicine he soon regained consciousness. Someone asked him, 'You knew the elephant was coming ? why didn't you leave the place?' 'But', he said, 'our teacher has told us that God Himself has taken all these forms, of animals as well as men. Therefore, thinking it was only the elephant God that was coming, I didn't run away.' At this the teacher said: 'Yes, my child, it is true that the elephant God was coming; but the mahut God forbade you to stay there. Since all are manifestations of God, why didn't you trust the mahut's words? You should have heeded the words of the mahut God.'

There is no limit as to how the Divine Will operates.

One should be clear enough to distinguish between FREEWILL and DIVINE WILL and FATE/Destiny and realise that they are all interlinked to each other and one is NOT without the OTHER!

Just like the above parable, when Bhagavan was questioned by the courts regarding the disputes, Bhagavan did respond accordingly and acted in a manner that was for best of the interest and for universal good (Ones own real good is akin to Universal Good itself). just as the God advised the disciple in the above parable, Bhagavan did not submit to FATE and remain quiet and neither did he not only submit himself to DIVINE WILL nor not ACT, he did exercise his FREEWILL and did craft a destiny by answering in a manner what was for the best of interest.

All the actions prompted upon submission to the DIVINE WILL is True DHARMA, here, there is neither action nor inaction, it is beyond both.

Here one can see that the actions inspired upon the submission to the DIVINE WILL is the WILL and DESIRE of the Supreme Spirit itself. In this manner, from the SELF itself arises an inspiration called the DIVINE WILL, which itself exercises its FREEWILL and decides its own FATE/Destiny.

It has to be noted that in the above parable and even the snake parable, in both cases the disciples felt they had submitted to Divine Will yet had only submitted themselves to Fate. This distinction needs to be seen. However, in both parables, since the disciples were sincere even though the lacked true knowledge, they eventually realused true spirit after going through a divine trail.

Finally as to the third point:

3. Is it a question of question of whether the True Self being affected by the effects of Freewill or Divine Will or Fate?

This point is more or less discerned by the above musings on the 2 points as expressed. The Self remains unaffected, untouched, and is beyond all FATE, FREEWILL and DIVINE WILL. yet the DIVINE WILL of SELF is Expression of DHARMA, Dharma alone prevails. As the Lord has said in the Gita, as quoted by Swami Vivekananda: "Whenever virtue subsides and wickedness prevails, I manifest Myself, to ESTABLISH VIRTUE to destroy evil, to SAVE the GOOD I come from Yuga to Yuga."

Therefore by following your DHARMA you are expressing the WILL of the TRUE SELF, whether or not you have submitted to DIVINE WILL, whether or not you are exercising your FREEWILL. Whether or not you have realised your Self or Not Dharma is followed either voluntarily or involuntarily.

The SELF remains unaffected inspite of the effects of rise and fall of Dharma yet, it is from the Self, a Divine Will emerges that gives rise to inspiration to preserve and resurrect Dharma at every instance.

Even though Bhagawan was least concerned and unaffected and untouched whether there was an asramam or not yet he did act which effects only we are reaping, likewise if we see the parables, though the Self is not affected even though the elephant killed the disciple or the snakes beaten by the kids, the Sage questioned their inaction and lack of proper application of wisdom.

And finally for our friend Beloved Abstract, the SELF remains quiet always 'hush-hush' and STILL, yet NOT at the same time :-)

Therefore one has to fuel Contemplation on these aspects.

I conclude with this.

--
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Beloved Abstract on February 01, 2016, 09:13:03 PM
i'll be quiet from now on .... enjoy your stories
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Nagaraj on February 01, 2016, 09:26:10 PM
Dear Beloved Abstract,

☺i enjoy your short one liners, do continue to keep reminding about stories that for ever unfolds, when and where you feel so!

Shhh shh... now back to work... :-)

--
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: atmavichar100 on February 01, 2016, 09:55:49 PM

A DEVOTEE: "What is that story about 'the will of Rama'?"


MASTER: "
In a certain village there lived a weaver. He was a very pious soul. Everyone trusted him and loved him. He used to sell his goods in the market-place. When a customer asked him the price of a piece of cloth, the weaver would say: 'By the will of Rama the price of the yarn is one rupee and the labour four annas; by the will of Rama the profit is two annas. The price of the cloth, by the will of Rama, is one rupee and six annas.' Such was the people's faith in the weaver that the customer would at once pay the price and take the cloth. The weaver was a real devotee of God. After finishing his supper in the evening, he would spend long hours in the worship hall meditating on God and chanting His name and glories. Now, late one night the weaver couldn't get to sleep. He was sitting in the worship hall, smoking now and then, when a band of robbers happened to pass that way. They wanted a man to carry their goods and said to the weaver, 'Come with us.' So saying, they led him off by the hand. After committing a robbery in a house, they put a load of things on the weaver's head, commanding him to carry them. Suddenly the police arrived and the robbers ran away. But the weaver, with his load, was arrested. He was kept in the lock-up for the night. Next day he was brought before the magistrate for trial. The villagers learnt what had happened and came to court. They said to the magistrate, 'Your Honour, this man could never commit a robbery.' Thereupon the magistrate asked the weaver to make his statement.

"The weaver said: 'Your Honour, by the will of Rama I finished my meal at night. Then by the will of Rama I was sitting in the worship hall. It was quite late at night by the will of Rama. By the will of Rama I had been thinking of God and chanting His name and glories, when by the will of Rama a band of robbers passed that way. By the will of Rama they dragged me with them; by the will of Rama they committed a robbery in a house; and by the will of Rama they put a load on my head. Just then, by the will of Rama the police arrived, and by the will of Rama I was arrested. Then by the will of Rama the police kept me in the lock-up for the night, and this morning by the will of Rama I have been brought before Your Honour.' The magistrate realized that the weaver was a pious man and ordered his release. On his way home the weaver said to his friends, 'By the will of Rama I have been released.'
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on February 02, 2016, 03:27:49 AM
 எங்கு நிறைகின்ற பொருள்

அவனன்றி யோரணுவும் அசையாதெ னும்பெரிய
      ஆப்தர்மொழி யொன்றுகண்டால்
   அறிவாவ தேதுசில அறியாமை ஏதிவை
      அறிந்தார்கள் அறியார்களார்
மௌனமொ டிருந்ததார் என்போ லுடம்பெலாம்
      வாயாய்ப் பிதற்றுமவரார்
   மனதெனவும் ஒருமாயை எங்கே இருந்துவரும்
      வன்மையொ டிரக்கமெங்கே
புவனம் படைப்பதென் கர்த்தவிய மெவ்விடம்
      பூதபே தங்களெவிடம்
   பொய்மெயிதம் அகிதமேல் வருநன்மை தீமையொடு
      பொறைபொறா மையுமெவ்விடம்
எவர்சிறிய ரெவர்பெரிய ரெவருறவ ரெவர்பகைஞர்
      யாதுமுனை யன்றியுண்டோ
   இகபர மிரண்டினிலும் உயிரினுக் குயிராகி
      எங்குநிறை கின்றபொருளே.1.

Thayumanavar -எங்கு நிறைகின்ற பொருள் verse 1
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on February 02, 2016, 03:31:27 AM
The Pervasive Being (1/11)

"Not an atom moveth without Him" -If this great saying of the wise is realized,
Where then is knowledge?Where then is ignorance?
Who are they that knew this?Who are they that knew this not?
Who are they that in silentness sat?Who are they that are loquacious like me,
My entire body turned into mouth?Where doth the illusion, that is mind, come from?

Where is cruelty from?Where is compassion from?
Why the creation of this universe?Why the lordly functions arising therefrom?
Why these diverse elements?Why truth and falsehood?
Why pleasantness and unpleasantness?Why good and evil?
Why beneficient things to be?Why the disasters to follow?
Why the patience and impatience?
Who are small?Who are great?
Who are friends?Who are enemies?
All, all none but Thee!Oh! Thou the Pervasive Being
That is Life of life Of this world and next!


Thayumanavar-எங்கு நிறைகின்ற பொருள் verse 1
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: Ravi.N on February 02, 2016, 03:41:10 AM
MASTER: "Did you have any conversation with Bhaskarananda?"
MANILAL: "Yes, sir. We had a long talk. Among other things we discussed the problem of good and evil. He said to me: 'Don't follow the path of evil. Give up sinful thoughts. That is how God wants us to act. Perform only those duties that are virtuous.' "
The seer of God transcends good and evil
MASTER: "Yes, that is also a path, meant for worldly-minded people. But those whose spiritual consciousness has been awakened, who have realized that God alone is real and all else illusory, cherish a different ideal. They are aware that God alone is the Doer and others are His instruments.
"Those whose spiritual consciousness has been awakened never make a false step. They do not have to reason in order to shun evil. They are so full of love of God that whatever action they undertake is a good action. They are fully conscious that they are not the doers of their actions, but mere servants of God. They always feel: 'I am the machine and He is the Operator. I do as He does through me. I speak as He speaks through me. I move as He moves me.'

 Fully awakened souls are beyond virtue and vice. They realize that it is God who does everything              .
Seeing God in everything
"There was a monastery in a certain place. The monks residing there went out daily to beg their food. One day a monk, while out for his alms, saw a landlord beating a man mercilessly. The compassionate monk stepped in and asked the landlord to stop. But the landlord was filled with anger and turned his wrath against the innocent monk. He beat the monk till he fell unconscious on the ground. Someone reported the matter to the monastery. The monks ran to the spot and found their brother lying there. Four or five of them carried him back and laid him on a bed. He was still unconscious. The other monks sat around him sad at heart; some were fanning him. Finally someone suggested that he should be given a little milk to drink. When it was poured into his mouth he regained consciousness. He opened his eyes and looked around. One of the monks said, 'Let us see whether he is fully conscious and can recognize us.' Shouting into his ear, he said, 'Revered sir, who is giving you milk?' 'Brother,' replied the holy man in a low voice, 'He who beat me is now giving me milk.'
But one does not attain such a state of mind without the realization of God.
"

The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Title: Re: Free Will - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Oct. - Dec. 2008.
Post by: James on March 11, 2016, 04:01:28 AM
the spiritual search so precious at the beginning then becomes a trap of the mind to avoid the truth of silence


BA's statement succinctly captures the trajectory of almost all who are drawn to advaita, or any other worthy tradition.
the ego is merely ensnared in a new set of concepts, and taking great delight, completely misses the point

......the intervals between the noise