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Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Someone asked, “If we have no free will, then why do scriptures prescribe dos and don’ts? Scriptures say, ‘Do this—it’s good, don’t do this—it’s bad. If we have no free will, then why do scriptures present choices?

The intricacies of cause and effect, destiny, karma and free will are indeed very perplexing. From scriptural study we understand that if (God) Bhagavan Sri Krishna inspires someone to do good, Krishna will also inspire him to look at the scriptures, which He Himself has provided to guide the one whom He inspires to do good in the first place.

That “Krishna inspired” person will then see the scriptures and think, “O if I do good like Krishna wants then this will happen. But if I do bad then this will happen.”

Then if Krishna (God) wants that person to spiritually progress, Krishna from within the heart as the Antaryami will inspire that person to choose the right thing. And accordingly, Krishna will give the power to act rightly. As per His completely independent free will, Krishna is doing everything—setting up the whole thing to bring the “chosen few” to His lotus feet.

But why Krishna only inspires a few to look at scriptures and do good? Krishna is svatantra, Absolutely and completely independent—far beyond our logic, cause and effect and reason.

It’s best to ask Krishna the next time you see Him or when He lets you get there to the spiritual realm. Meanwhile, count your blessings…cause you be one of d chosen!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Swami

In Sridhama Mayapura (1976), Srila Prabhupada had the following conversation which fully concurs with the tattva siddhanta of the Srutis, Upanisads, Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. It is recounted in a BBT book titled “A Transcendental Diary” by Sri Hari Sauri Dasji, a senior disciple of His Divine Grace.

The basic question is “Do We Have Free Will”? The answer is NO. Everyone and everything is completely under the control of Svatantra Bhagavan Sri Krishna. From the following conversation, it seems clear that Srila Prabhupada agrees with the fact that the JIVA HAS NO FREE WILL whatsoever.

Bhagavan Sri Krishna is the Supreme Controller and Doer of everything as proven throughout the Gita (i.e. Bhagavat Gita 3.27). Srila Prabhupada clearly agrees with the popular saying, “man/woman proposes and God disposes”, which means no free will. You may want this or that, or choose to do this or that. But without Krishna’s will, His acceptance of “your want or choice”, His sanction and His arrangement, IT WILL NEVER BE!

As the Bilble says, “O God, Thy will shall be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” And so it is!

Thus with all our heart we pray, “O Krishna! Hey Bhagavan, saranagati Prabhu! Please save me, please uplift me, and please accept me as Your loving slave forever!”

Srila Prabhupada on Free Will:

Devotee: Srila Prabhupada, where is the question of the free will of the individual?

Srila Prabhupada: [You have] free will under Krishna. Your free will is sanctioned by Krishna. However, you are not so free that whatever you like, you can do.

Devotee: If I want to perform some pious deed, it is only by Krishna’s mercy that I will do it?

Srila Prabhupada: Yes! It isn’t just a question of our free will; Krishna has His free will also, and that is supreme. You cannot bind Krishna to dictate in a similar way. If Krishna likes, He may act and if He doesn’t like, He may not act. That is Krishna.

Devotee: [Then no matter how much we preach or sell books] ultimately it is simply by the mercy of Krishna that a living entity comes back to Krishna.

Srila Prabhupada: Yes. So it is Krishna’s business where to show mercy. But you cannot oblige [order] Krishna that: ‘You show mercy everywhere’.

Srila Prabhupada: No! You cannot oblige Krishna, ‘You do this’. That is not Krishna. Therefore whatever Krishna likes, He will do. If Krishna likes, He can give you mercy. And if Krishna does not like, He may not.

(BBT: Folio “Transcendental Diary” Vol.1 Sri Dhama Mayapur 14/3/1976)

Svatantra Bhagavan Sri Krishna ki jai! Srila Prabhupada ki jai! No free will ki jai! Surrender to Sri Krishna ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Swami

Devotee: Srila Prabhupada, people have a choice within maya, isn’t that a fact? They can choose what they want to do in the material world. People say that they can do this or that.

Srila Prabhupada: “What they can do? They cannot do anything. At any moment, you can be kicked out, ‘Get out.’ Therefore it is called conditioned life. There is no question of independence. That is foolishness.

“That is explained in the Bhagavad-gita [3.27] that they are not independent; everyone is completely under the control of the laws of material nature, and still they are thinking independent. There is no independence. All foolishness! By false egotism, one thinks that ‘I am independent.'” (Trans. Diary 5th July 1976)

Surrender to Krishna ki jai! Be an Instrument of Krishna’s will ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Swami

Devotee: Srila Prabhupada where is the question of the free will of the individual?

Srila Prabhupada: “[You have] free will under Krishna. Your free will sanctioned by Krishna. However, you are not so free that whatever you like, you can do.”

Devotee: If I want to perform some pious deed, it is only by Krishna’s mercy that I will do it?

Srila Prabhupada: “Yes. It isn’t just a question of our free will; Krishna has His free will also, and that is supreme. You cannot bind Krishna to dictate in a similar way. If Krishna likes, He may act and if He doesn’t like, He may not act. That is Krishna.”

Devotee: [Then no matter how much we preach or sell books] ultimately it is simply by the mercy of Krishna that a living entity comes back to Krishna.

Srila Prabhupada: “Yes. So it is Krishna’s business where to show mercy, but you cannot oblige [order] Krishna that ‘You show mercy everywhere.’

“No! You cannot oblige Krishna, ‘You do this.’ That is not Krishna. Therefore whatever Krishna likes, He’ll do. If Krishna likes, He can give you mercy. And if Krishna does not like, He may not.” (Trans.Diary 14th March 1976)

Svatantra Bhagavan Sri Krishna ki jai! Srila Prabhupada ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!