Destiny Vs Free Will


Destiny is known variously as luck, chance and fate. Destiny versus Free Will is an age-old debate, which also leads to the subject of being responsible. It has been debated and discussed by the Masters, saints, sages, philosophers, logicians, scientists, etc. for centuries and yet not everyone is satisfied with the conclusion these people have come to. Nor those who are dis-satisfied have come up with any alternative, foolproof, satisfactory answer.


Certain types of people have absolutely no problem with this topic. One group of people accepts that everything is predestined. Even their responses to situations are not self-effort. A God or some unknown power has, already decided whatever happens in their lives, whether good or bad. This group of people has no serious mental agitations. They have no complaints and accept things, as they come, cheerfully.


Another group of people accepts that there is no destiny or self-effort. It is all the will of God. This group of people accepts all situations as the gifts of God. 


Those belonging to a third group assert that whatever happens in their lives, whether good or bad, they are themselves responsible. They feel that they only create the situation and they respond to it. They not only take credit for their successes but also own up their failures. They neither give credit to others for their successes nor do they blame others for their failures. This group also has no serious mental agitations. 


Nevertheless, people belonging to the aforementioned groups are in minority. Majority of the world population belong to a fourth group who take full credit for their successes and happiness and blame everything and every being, including God, destiny, fate, luck, bad omen, nature, genes, weather, politics, unknown powers, etc. for their failures and miseries. According to the text Shri Ramanaparavidyopanishad, v. 336:

When the fruit of action is as desired, man thinks that the will is stronger than destiny. But when the fruit of action is otherwise, he thinks that destiny is stronger.” These are the people, who are neither here nor there, whose minds are constantly agitated.


If sometimes our will prevails, it prevails not because it is our will, but because our will happens to match with the Will of Totality. That is why Lord Jesus gave the greatest prayer to humanity: “Not my will let Thy Will be done.


Now let us go into the in-depth analyses of the whole subject completely backed by modern scientific evidence that is presently available to us.


To read the full article, download it at the following link:

Destiny, Free Will & Being Responsible

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1 Comment

  1. Pr Narendraprana

    Respected Swamiji,

    Hari Om,

    Nice and thoughtful article. Really enjoyed it.

    Thanks with regards.

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