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I am still not clear on how Destiny and Freewill play a part in our lives. When do we have a freewill when it is all our destiny or a result of our past karma. If I am not the Doer, where is free will in the picture? Is free will just an illusion?


There are 2 ways to look at it. If you look at it only from the perspective of “Shruti’s” mind-body complex, then you can only see this 100 year old life and its karma and you limit your understanding to experiencing everything on account of past karma and there is no freewill for this body mind complex. But looking at it from a broader perspective, you see that ‘YOU’ are the soul that has taken many lifetimes and one of them is Shruti, maybe the action was done in a different body and the seed sprouted after a long time, by that time, you had become Shruti. It’s similar to doing a karma in a white dress on Monday and experiencing the karmaphalam after a few days while wearing a green dress on Saturday maybe. That’s the only difference!

Now understanding that, this body-mind complex did the karma in a white dress and experiences it in a green one; you are not this body; you are not this mind; you are beyond those. Understanding this, you become free! That is the ultimate freewill! This process/skill of understanding this ultimate truth or not, is in your hands. This is the ultimate freewill! And a deep understanding of this makes one recognize the truth that “I” am not the doer, everything is happening!

So destiny applies only to the narrow understanding of ‘I am this body and mind’ but the moment you are free from this bondage of Maya, you see that there is only freewill as there is only “I”. Udyanti khelanti pravishanti – “I” am the consciousness that of my own account, takes many bodies, creates many illusions, plays in this illusion, and dissolves within itself! I am the only will! Everything happens within ME, because of ME, to ME and by ME! I am everything!


Ektaji, My understanding of what we learnt yesterday is that what ever lies in the future is inevitable and is because of what is ordained by nayati.  I am not the doer. When Guruji tells us to surrender our worries (which are wishes for good things) to him, and miracles happen through him, is that also ordained by nayati?  In that it was meant to be that we would completely surrender to him (self effort) at a certain time and things will be taken care off.

To explain destiny and free-will, Guruji uses the example that rain is destiny and whether we get wet or not is up to us. We can use an umbrella. So is it actually ordinance by nayati that I would choose an umbrella which I think is free will but actually isn’t?


Let’s understand Karma and Niyati and Purushartha and Daivam again.

Daivam: I have created karma in my past. All those impressions of hatred, jealousy, extreme passion, anger, etc are all sitting in a karma bank. This is Daivam. This daivam was accumulated on account of Purushartha (self-effort) of the past births.

Karma Bank: It is an account of both karma debits and karma credits.

    1) Karma Debits:

  • A day arrives when I have to receive some good karma on account of my Purushartha done in my past. It debits my good karma account and showers me with the temporary pleasure of Maaya. And I am happy!
  • One fine day, my due date on a particular bad karma arrives again on account of my Purushartha done in my past. It debits my bad karma account and showers me with temporary pain of Maaya. And I am sad.

    2) Karma Credits:

What about credits? These happen on account of my emotional attachment to this Maaya today and I throw out more agami(future) seeds again of raaga(likes) and dvesha(dislikes). The cycle begins again.

Niyati: Who is the teller dispensing the debits? Who credits my account when I throw agami seeds again? Who is the banker deciding the due date? That order is Niyati. That Management is Niyati.

Destiny: In the example above, the pain or pleasure came my way, this is my past karma propelled by Niyati. It will come my way, there is no two ways about it. This is called destiny.

Freewill: Now when I am in the company of this new karma whether painful or pleasurable, it is in my hands whether I create more agami seeds or not. This is my freewill. My anger towards this karma or my extreme passion towards it will be my new agami karma. This will credit my account and the cycle begins again. It is my free will whether I want to be free of this Maaya and move toward enlightenment or to continue to reel in this swamp of Maaya.

Now understand one more fact, this is all a dream. I dreamt therefore I am. When I stop dreaming, all this Karma bank, Niyati, Daivam will all lose its stronghold on me. One who wakes up from this dream is Enlightened. The Enlightened one just laughs at this Maaya Management of Niyati. He becomes bigger than it. He says, ‘Let there be sunshine” and the clouds just vanish. I have been a witness to a ‘so called miracle’ with Gurudev. Until you are in the dream state, you cannot understand how he does it and therefore you call it a miracle. But once you awaken, you will achieve many siddhi’s like that and therefore such a one is called a Siddha.

Have questions? Reach out to Ekta by clicking on the “Ask a Question” button on the left sidebar. For attending Ekta’s online knowledge sessions, click the “Gnyana Sangha” button on the left sidebar.

1 Comment

  1. Kirti

    Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful knowledge in such a simple layman term! I was utterly confused about freewill! Now it is making some sense!

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