Free Will

After reading some scriptures like Gita, Puran-s, Itihas (Ramayan and Mahabhart), some Smriti-s, Sutra-s, Tantra-s, Upanishad-s etc., I realized that the reading has shaped my intellect in a certain way and I see the world in a new manner. And I’ve come to some understanding to questions like meaning of life, Good vs. evil, everything happens for good, why good people also suffer, free will etc. Here I’ll writing my views on free-will. Even though I’m writing my views but still I strongly believe that everybody’s views keep changing as we come to have newer understanding by receiving newer knowledge as time passes by. So the views expressed here might not hold for me in future.

The fact is that the future is certain as there have been several prophesies in the past that has been proved to be true when the event actually happened. Two such prophesies are mentioned by me in the article prophesies. The point I’m trying to make here is that how can someone predict something about future which we believe is undecided as of now and is purely based on chance and is uncertain. Either the future is unpredictable and unknown and anything can happen in the future or everything is fixed. The word everything here holds importance as there is not even an iota of room for chance as even a single minor different event will give rise to a completely different future. e.g. Suppose if instead of writing this article I would have been doing something different say driving on the road and might have met an accident which might have resulted in someone’s punishment which would have impacted all the people coming in contact with those people and thus everyone would have been impacted as everyone is connected to everyone else. This is something on the lines of many-worlds interpretation except that I believe that there is exactly one future and everything happens the way it should have happened.

We could understand the above point by realizing that all our actions are result of our innate nature and the circumstances at that particular point of time. Or in other words, if I know someone’s innate nature and the circumstances then I could tell what exactly would the person’s action would be. And our nature at a particular time is result of previous circumstances and our innate nature during the time of our birth which is result of circumstances at that time. As everyone is connected, so sum total of people’s action is circumstance for a person at a paticular time. So in that sense as everybody’s actions are dependent on other people so if we exactly know the law concerning the nature, stimulus and the resulting action then we can tell the future. Like telling that the ball will come to the ground after being thrown in the air is also the future telling as we are predicting the future event based on our knowledge of laws concerning motion. As Ramanujan said and Veda-s says that everything in the creation is mathematical. What it means is that everything is bound by laws including our actions and behavior. It might the case that there might be large number of variables and we not be having the concerned knowledge of those laws and computational power to compute it but it doesn’t prove that it doesn’t exist. So, as everything is bound by laws of nature, so there could be only one result at any moment and nothing else!

The result of the above conclusion is of immense importance and strong. One, everything will happen the way it needs to be and there was never ever a time when we actually did anything as there was no alternative or we couldn’t have done anything else. e.g. could we say that the ball thrown has any will; no as it will follow the same trajectory as defined by the laws of motion. Similarly as everything is governed by laws including our behavior so where comes the question of good or bad, right or wrong etc. when there is no freedom to act. All our emotions, our thoughts, our actions, our feelings – everything is predefined but without our knowledge. So comes the other question, what are we and what is our purpose or someone’s (or call it Nature) purpose who designed all these things. Are we just ignorant actors in the script that has already been written? Are we all actors without even knowing that we are acting and thinking the acting as real. And if the feelings, emotions, actions everything is fake then what is real?

I’ll try to answer this question from Vivek-chudamani: Brahm satyam jagat mithya – Brahm is real; the world is unreal. Yes, everything is fake as are the dreams in the sleep. And the real thing nobody knows. It is altogether a different topic to discuss about what is Brahm and whether nobody could know it as it is beyond comprehension. It is because the comprehension comes under the realm of jagat and the jagat is unreal. So how can unreal know or understand real! At max it could be realized that there is something due to which everything is what it is but it is impossible to tell it inside this unrealness. So in that sense only Brahm knows what Brahm is and nothing else. In Chāndogya Upaniṣad it is said Ekam evadvitiyam brahma – Brahman is one, without a second which means that only Brahm is there and nothing else!

So who knows what happened in the beginning and what was the purpose of this unreal creation. The answer is given in Hymn of Creation of Rig Ved. That nobody knows from where all these sprang up and why. Only He might know, about whom we don’t know.

A similar thought in Guru Granth Sahib ji, Page: 1349

ਅਵਲਿ ਅਲਹ ਨੂਰੁ ਉਪਾਇਆ ਕੁਦਰਤਿ ਕੇ ਸਭ ਬੰਦੇ ॥
अवलि अलह नूरु उपाइआ कुदरति के सभ बंदे ॥
Allah created the Energy in the beginning; all mortal beings belonging to Nature.

ਏਕ ਨੂਰ ਤੇ ਸਭੁ ਜਗੁ ਉਪਜਿਆ ਕਉਨ ਭਲੇ ਕੋ ਮੰਦੇ ॥੧॥
एक नूर ते सभु जगु उपजिआ कउन भले को मंदे ॥१॥
From the One Energy, the entire universe welled up. So who is good, and who is bad? (1)

There is a small story mentioned in Ken Upanishad. Once the divines (Devta-s) won a victory over the evil forces (Asura-s). The victory must have been credited to the power of the Absolute Brahman. Instead the divines thought it was theirs. Brahman appeared before them in a visible form of a spirit (yaksha) but they did not recognize the Absolute. One by one, Agni and Vayu (Devta-s), came to challenge this new appearance in and tried to show off their powers. The God Agni could not burn even the straw placed before him. The God Vayu could not blow even the straw placed before him. Finally Indra the God of all the divines came nearest to that spirit to find out who it is that is presenting these challenges to the divines. Then the spirit disappeared and there was vibration from the space that the Spirit was the Absolute Brahm. The conclusion I think is that everything happening is happening by someone’s will according to the laws framed by Him and we only believe that we are doing something because of our ego but in truth we are not doing anything.

This makes us think one of the important questions that if liberation (liberation is freedom from birth-death cycle as this cycle is the root cause of suffering) is in our hands and who actually liberates; Illusion liberates from itself or Brahm which was never under any bond?

The final conclusion I would like to draw is that the world is nothing but illusion as we are not what we think we are. Like we are not bodies and going further we realize that we are not senses (like sense of touch, smell, sight, taste and sound) or (beyond that) mind or (beyond that) intelligence or (beyond that) consciousnesses. Just like we believe ourselves as bodies so do we believe actions as our actions because of ignorance. And as everything is fixed by Vidhata so either the Vidhata is Himself wrong (as if He designed evil) or nothing is right or wrong or good or bad as nothing exists and rather is a illusion on Brahm and in truth only Brahm exists and even though Brahm is cause and support of illusion but at the same time is independent of it. Believing that we are cause of our actions seems like just ignorance and in truth there is no free will!

Salutations to that eternal (OM)

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