Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Free Will, Fate and Bhagavad Gita

Are all of our actions and thoughts up to us? Or, are they determined by forces over which we have no control?  Some believe that we are free to think and act while others argue that we are not in control of what we do.

The philosophical question of fate versus free will is very ancient and is still on.

One argument for determinism (fate) is a metaphysical argument with aphorism “Every event must have a cause”.Yet, others argue in favor of free will. There are certain things that make sense only when we are free, our feelings of regret and guilt make no sense if our lives are strictly deterministic.

 Amidst the debate of free will and determinism, there is philosophy from Bhagavad Gita, which harmonizes the fate-and-free-will controversy. This may be astonishing for many of us as it embraces the idea of karma. According to the general popular notion of the law of karma, all human actions are the result of some previous action, which vividly shows the deterministic concept and we may wonder how free will has a place in it. 

As a/c to Gita, our destiny in this  world is determined by a combination of our limited free will,the three modes of  nature(goodness, passion and ignorance) and previous karma.We are destined to face certain situations in this life and in those situations, we have a certain amount of freedom to choose how we want to react and accept consequences either good or bad.

Our freedom is like that of cattle bound by a rope on a circular field who has the privilege to

choose the grass to eat within that perimeter. This can be simplified as, our free will in this

the world is limited only to choices within the modes of nature(goodness, passion and ignorance) . The cattle have choices, but at all times, it is bound by rope and is still in that circular field. Like that rope, the three modes of nature bind to have limited choices only.

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