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The mysterious "Fate" and elusive "Free Will"
Cow tied to a post!
Whether we are "Free" to exert "Free Will"?
Many arguments are going on regarding ‘fate and free will’ in many forums. This has been discussed by many wise persons who rely on logic. But this subject is really elusive. Many theories are circulated among the learned pundits. Some people who practice non dual philosophy asserts that there is no such thing as “Free Will”,, since creation itself is not valid. But those who assert the existence of the world say, “Every human being who is using his mind can choose one thing over the other. They assert that this is the proof of ‘free will’
Now I will put forth the views of scriptures and saints on this august subject. First of all, let us analyse the term ‘free will’. It implies that free will could be exercised by one who is really free! If any one argues that human beings are ‘free’, I will contest the people and state “none is free in this world’. We are born and brought up in a family. We are born in a particular society. We are born in a particular country as well as in a family who follow particular religious beliefs. The new born baby may be free to certain extent. When it grows, it imbibes the habits and manners of its parents. Hence the baby is not free now. It is subject to the manners and habits of its parents. In the school, the teacher train or teach the child in a particular manner. Thus the child imbibes the teachings at school. It mimics the habits of its friends and learns many a trick from its school mates. Again the child is made to follow the religious beliefs of its parents by attending the churches, mosques or temples as the case may be.
At no point of time, the child is purely independent. Even when it grows into a youth, the colleagues and friends exert much influence on the youth. Then again, the media like TV, Internet, Mobile and social sites creates another sort of influence in the mind of the grown up man. Thus we are the product of the family beliefs, teachings in the school, behaviour of the friends and the exhibits in the media. Many other people like leaders, cricket icons, hero and heroin in pictures affect our mindset and psychology. We are the amalgam of all the above influences throughout our life and no where, we project our real individuality. We become subservient to our bosses in work place, play second fiddle to wife and other family members, change our colours often like the chameleon. How can we consider ourselves as a ‘free’ individual?
Only God alone possess ‘Free will” and not the human beings. Our behaviour is influenced by the whims and fancies of the mind which dance to the tune of the senses often.
Having said all this, I will clarify certain points here. God has blessed man with discriminating faculty and thinking power. He has not made us dummies. What is implied here is “Our actions are influenced by the past”. We had many births and in each such birth, we have performed many actions, both good and bad. They are like the seeds waiting to sprout. When the circumstances are favourable, the seeds sprout. In other words, our past actions start giving the results in equal measure... If you sow mango seeds, you will reap mango in future date. If you have planted the bitter seeds of ‘neem’, none can save you. Hence the sages and saints exhort us to perform good deeds and reap good results.
I will give a small example to emphasize how fate and free will work in the lives of people. A cow is tied to a post leaving a length of rope to graze freely within the circumference till the rope permits. The cow may graze or keep quiet. The length of the rope is ‘Fate and the area it can graze within the radius of the rope is free will. Secondly we know how the Engineers construct buildings. There will be a ‘blue print’ which contains the length and position of external and internal walls and doorways. First, a foundation to bear the superstructure is laid below the ground. This is the basement plan. Over the basement, walls are erected. We can not have walls where the basement is missing. Hence the basement plan is the fate and the superstructure is the freewill component. None can deviate from the basement structure positions. Yes, even while we come into existence into the mortal world, every individual has a blue print based on past actions. We can continue only over the basement structure and can not deviate from it. God has not created the living beings as ‘mere puppets’. He gave us choices. If we follow straight moral routes, we won’t fail to reach our destination. If some one out of foolishness choose devious, circuitous route and blame god later, it is foolish! Hence we are the mixture of Fate and free will.