By Suma Varughese
We have free will – over action. all else is god’s will
|Suma Varughese is Editor-in-Chief of Life Positive. |
Write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org
The relationship between free will and destiny is probably one of the most discussed subjects in the spiritual arena, for it is without doubt a complex and subtle issue. Does free will prevail or does fate have the final say? What is the role of karma in all this? And what about God’s will? Many theories abound, some affirming the supremacy of God’s will, others talking of co-creatorship, and still others pointing to free will alone as a determinant of one’s life.
As I have been progressing on the path, my understanding of this subject has been shifting and changing. Each time a fresh insight dawns, more clarity comes in its wake. My latest understanding is that the relationship between free will and God’s will has been beautifully described in the Nishkama concept of the Bhagavad Gita. Yes, we have free will but only in the domain of action. As the Gita says, to action alone we have a right. Therefore, in any situation that confronts us, our only power lies in action. What we do not control, however, is outcome. The fruits of the action are not within our control. That aspect of the equation belongs to God.
That’s it. It is as simple as that. Man does and God decides. From this point of view, yes, it is God who calls the shots, but equally it also enables us to co-create our lives. Our life is being braided into a perfect design partly by God and partly by us. We act on what God sends us and through that we impact the direction and movement of our lives. And of course, karma fits in well too, because destiny or God’s will is really nothing but the consequences of past action. Our present life situation is caused by our past actions and our present actions will create our future.
The action, of course, can take many forms. Even intention and affirmation are all actions.
Understanding this basic truth has brought about a lot of clarity in my mind. No matter what the situation I face, I simply have to buckle down to the domain of action, because that is all I can control. If I can do that, the united energy of my being can fuse to meet the challenge.
If, however, I return persistently to outcome, either by fearing and resisting a negative outcome – such as going for a blood test and fearing that I may have cancer – or by fantasising and fastforwarding towards a positive outcome – such as imagining in the midst of writing a book that I have won the Nobel Prize for it – my energy for action will be depleted. The less I wander into the domain that does not belong to me, the more successful I will be in the domain that does belong to me – action.
As I write this, I have been at my mother’s sickbed for the last one-and-a-half months. She has gone from near death to a state that is still very unstable. This understanding is helping me to come to terms with the uncertainty of the situation. I have no idea what the future holds but my job is to simply do what the moment demands. The rest is God’s will.
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