Friday, March 19, 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 and have no free will.

The philosophical question of fate versus free will is very ancient and is still on. Most of us may be inclined to think we are free; we can make our life as we want and certainly achieve our ambitious goals. We find it hard to accept that we are not the captain of our ship as it might be against our instinct, morality and our existence itself. Many theories, along with their various supporting arguments, exist in favor of both free will and determinism. Here in this article, we will have a look at the concept of free will and determinism and how they fit in Bhagavad Gita philosophy.

Starting with determinism, it is that idea which says everything that happens is determined because of the conditions that preceded it. Many philosophers are satisfied that we live in a deterministic world, and that we could not possibly have free will in the sense that we normally think we do. One argument for determinism is a metaphysical argument with aphorism “Every event must have a cause”. Another, strong argument in favor of determinism seems to come from modern science  because the discoveries in the fields of psychology, physiology, and pharmacology indicate that we may be able to predict all aspects of life of a child before he lives it , through the examination of his biological and psychological characteristics and further findings  regarding human motivation and  human attitudes makes a strong favor case for determinism.

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. Murder and other evil crimes are no longer immoral and regret for things we have done becomes ridiculous, for what is the use of regret and guilt if evil acts cannot be avoided at all and this also raises further legal and ethical questions.

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. We definitely can get our understanding of the integration of fate and free will from the Bhagavad Gita. The first relevant message in Gita says that we are not our material bodies rather eternal spirit souls. This taken into consideration, we can go on to understand the extent to which we are determined or have free will. Bhagavad Gita says as living entities are all part and parcel of the original and supreme spiritual independent person, God and we are qualitatively of the same nature as God but in minute ways having minute independence, free will. Although we have free will, still, because of our minuteness, our position is to be controlled by God. Our minute free will is to choose between staying under Krishna’s control in the spiritual world, or coming to the material world.

Nature conditions us to forget our original position and nature. This condition is called, maya, illusion and this illusion makes us try seeking happiness and enjoyment in this world. Gita further tells us that we cannot control the material energy of God and our body being material are subjected to the laws of nature and we are free only to desire according to our conceptions of material enjoyment and the material nature fulfills such desires. The misidentification of the body as the real self makes us foolishly think of ourselves as the doer of activities which in reality are the activities carried out by three modes of material nature.

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 material world is limited only to choices within the modes of nature. 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 restrict our original free will and we have limited choices only.

Our destiny in this material world is determined by a combination of our limited free will and the three modes of material nature as according to our previous karma, we are destined to face certain situations in this life an in those situations, we have a certain amount of freedom to choose how we want to react and accept consequences either good or bad.

Conditioning by the modes of nature is so strong that we tend to make the same choices again and again and this supports determinists in being able to gather so much scientific data in support of their theory. Furthermore, we can understand that in spite of the law of karma, ethical and legal judgments, our feelings of guilt and regret seem relevant, as we have some limited choice to react in a moral or immoral way to the various situations, we encounter due to our past karma.

The Bhagavad Gita gives us a message that we needn’t necessarily remain here as it isn’t our natural position to be here in the first place, the use of our limited free will in this world is of relatively little significance and we can be free by properly understanding our position and reality of this world. 

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Modern Science - A fanatical religion?

Is modern science only the  path to know things as it is? Many people these days are starting to believe so which  indicates  that it can be another fanatical religion.

It is important to not be brainwashed to believe that modern science only has the legitimate right and genuity to supremacy for knowing the reality and truth.

Technological invention like internet,  communication, transportation have added proof that the science base of these technologies is to be revered but the approach through which the modern science works gives us only a little of reality. It is mute on many aspects and problems of life and world.What is truly interesting is that a lot of people have a closed minded view about science and they super-impose their baseless  notion in their favor without trying to go deeper.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Personality traits of an entrepreneur

What traits should an entrepreneur possess for being successful?

OK, here are few traits that entrepreneurs in general should possess which probably may guarantee success.

  1. Vision and ability to see problems — Entrepreneurs have the ability to see the real problems in the world and means of addressing them. They don’t complain about problems but rather they work on it, devise plans and put it into action. They have a vision for themselves and others for making life better.
  2. Flexibility and growth mindset — Entrepreneurs have a flexible mind mechanism to help grow themselves. They are highly adaptive to change. In fact, this trait is very crucial in this rapidly changing world of technology and innovation.
  3. Passion — Without being passionate about what you are doing, you are very less likely to not succeed. Being passionate makes the work easier and go with the flow.

4. Resilience and persistence — Being persistent and resilient in your work is important for entrepreneurs to achieve the outcomes.

5. Strong self confidence — Confidence is the ability to believe what you are doing is great and no matter what resist , you will achieve that. There are thousands of hurdles in being a successful entrepreneur and having this confidence trait ensure success.

These were the few traits/characteristics of entrepreneurs. Apart this, there are lot of success habits and behaviours that an entrepreneur should cultivate during the course of time to get what is desired.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Perfection of life ?


To be perfect we must definitely know what is perfect and what is imperfect. Perfection as we know, believe, percieve, assume may not be so  or may be so. 

Morever, is there such a thing as perfection also? Who is gonna tell us what perfection is or it exists or not ? Or, are we to it find by ourselves?

If there is perfection then do we really need to achieve it . If we need to achieve it, what are the ways and actions to achieve it ? Can we achieve it or can't we ? 

Has anyone achieved it ? How to know that if anyone has achieved it or not? Can the imperfect one see the perfect ones or, to see a perfect person one has to be perfect themselves?