Understanding Free Will

free-will-1Question to Radhanath Swami:  Whatever happened, whatever is happening, as well as whatever is going to be happen, everything is done with the permission of Lord Krishna. I believe what is happening in our mind and our soul is also happening with the permission of Lord Krishna.  Then, what is my duty?  Why to chant or dance? Is our free will not under the control of Sri Krishna?

Answer by Radhanath Swami: We understand the will of God because God comes to this earth to tell us His will – “yadä yadä hi dharmasya glänir bhavati bhärata.” Krishna says in Bhagavad-Gita, “yadä yadä hi dharmasya glänir bhavati bhärata.” So for this reason we understand God wants us to chant his holy names. So we chant His holy names, “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

Krishna’s will is that he gives us all free will. Without free will there cannot be the possibility of true love. When we misuse our free will to go against the will of God, then by the will of God we are under the control of the laws of karma. So when you are suffering due to misbehavior, your misbehavior is not God’s will. It is your will. Your karmic reaction is by God’s will who has given you free will. It is the will of God that you get the reactions of your free will. So in that sense everything is happening under the will of God. But we have our free will on how we are going to reciprocate with Lord Krishna.

Your free will is under control of Krishna, but by Krishna’s all providing, unfathomable greatness within his free will, he has given you minute free will to decide what you want to do every moment, and you are responsible for every decision. God’s will is given in the scriptures. If we don’t live by those teaching or live by the will of God then it is our own independent naughty behavior that we will have to get the consequences through the laws of karma. So this is one of the greatest illusions and it is the greatest ways that you can personally cheat yourself and others and think that ‘whatever I want is God’s will.’ No! It is not God’s will. God’s will is that we live a moral life. God’s will is “sarva-dharmän parityajya mäm ekaà çaraëaà vraja,” we abandon all varieties of dharma and surrendered to him with love.

So, your free will is under the control of Krishna, but under Krishna’s control, he gives you free will. He gives you independence to love him or hate him, to follow him or deny him. You have that free will and Krishna gives you that free will.


By Radhanath Swami

You can find him on Google+