Author Topic: Destiny and Free Will  (Read 1376 times)


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Destiny and Free Will
« on: April 02, 2009, 04:47:04 PM »
Most spiritual aspirants will agree that both destiny and freewill have a role in our life.  But what should be our attitude towards life in view
of the effects of destiny and to what extent can we exercise our freewill?  Where do we draw the line?  I think all of us would have faced this dilemma at crucial stages in our life.  Though spiritual texts have tried to answer these questions, aspirants like us face problems in understanding the purport of these statements and actually trying to put them into practice.

Even when we want to lead a spiritual life, freewill and destiny play an important role.  Many devotees of Bhagavan Ramana have felt an intense desire to give up family and home and pursue His teachings,
preferably at Tiruvannamalai itself. Bhagavan usually discouraged such people, telling them that they could pursue their devotion and spiritual practice wherever they lived.  Taking the example of Bhagavan's devotees, over the years, a few have regularly left home, relatives and work to settle down in Tiruvannamalai and pursue their sadhana.  Bhagavan Ramana has repeatedly said that if it were one's destiny to leave one's home, it would certainly happen.  But in many cases, freewill and destiny do not meet and merge together.  It happened in Bhagavan Ramana's life too. {He left home, but later
when He wanted to dissolve Himself as Pranava body, it did not happen.}  Bhagavan Himself has told Devaraja Mudaliar (vide Day by
Day) that even a lifting a hand-fan from floor and fanning oneself
and putting it back on the floor, are destined!

Whatever aspect of life, whether the mundane or the altruistic or the intensely spiritual, and whichever way one looks at it, one finds that
free will and destiny affect it and make one unhappy for the simple reason that FREE WILL IS THE CAUSE OF DESTINY.

What other way remains for us than surrender to the Lord or finding out the root cause of all this through Self enquiry?  As one proceeds sincerely on the path of enquiry as taught by Bhagavan Ramana, coupled with true devotion and surrender, one finds oneself reluctant to employ freewill in day to day life and as a result one can also subtly feel destiny slipping away from us.  If this is not the Sadguru's Grace, what is?

(Source: Mountain Path, Deepam, 2003. An article by P. Sridharan.)

Arunachala Siva.