The unlimited ocean of Vedic knowledge within the Upanisads was condensed into a sweet nectar of liberating wisdom called the Bhagavad-gita, known widely as the “Gitopanisad”. The Gita teaches that all living entities are fully controlled by the supreme will of Bhagavan Sri Krishna acting through His invincible powers of time and nature (kala, prakrti). You and I and everyone else are just puppets moving madly by the strings of God’s power and will.
So what is the question of our having free will to choose, to do, act or change? In only one verse (18.63) the Gita speaks of individual free will, yatha icchasi tatha kuru. The extent of one’s free will, however, is measured by how much the person is covered and influenced by the three modes of nature, triguna.
As one moves closer to Krishna by rising up through the mud of ignorance and the swirling waters of passion, he finds himself floating somewhat free in the clear air of goodness. Goodness (sattva-guna) is next to God, who is the abode of unlimited free will. Thus one’s proximity to Bhagavan determines the limit of one’s free will. Near to Krishna, your free will is great, and far from Krishna, your free will is nil. From my limited experience it seems that my life has been about 1% free will and 99% Krishna’s will.
The fullest expression of an individual’s free will appears when his will becomes one with Krishna’s will to love and be loved. In the kingdom of love divine, Goloka Vrindavana, all will is but one will, the will to love Krishna.
So this is the good news from Gita: “Yes, you have free will!” Now use it to willfully surrender to Bhagavan Sri Krishna. When we freely will to love Krishna, Krishna will love us in return. Then love will do what it wills.
The following quotes come from a Net article on free will posted by Sri Advaitadasji.
Acaryas comments on Gita verse 18.63:
Act as you wish ACCORDING TO YOUR ADHIKĀRA
etad aśeṣeṇa vimṛśya svādhikārānurūpaṁ yathā icchasi tathā kuru
“Consider this endlessly, as the śāstras have spoken, and according to the meanings born from that, act as you wish.”
vimṛśya vimarśanam ālocanaṁ kṛtvaitat yathoktaṁ śāstram aśeṣeṇa samastaṁ yathoktaṁ cārtha-jātaṁ yathecchasi tathā kuru
- Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa
“Elaborately consider the śāstra, after which you act as you wish”
etac chāstra-śeṣeṇa sāmastyena vimṛśya paścād yathecchasi tathā kuru.
- Madhusūdana Saraswati
“Do as you wish according to your adhikāra, but not that you act rashly and according to your own desires!!!!”
svādhikārānurūpyeṇa yathecchasi tathā kuru na tv etad avimṛśyaiva kāma-kāreṇa yat kiṁcid ity arthaḥ
Gitopanisad ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!