Symbols of the world's religions

               

DIVINE WILL AND FREE WILL

Rustom B. Falahati

 
The following is what Mani had to say on free will and Divine will.

"You see, it's like a train journey. Once the journey begins, you are stuck with whatever baggage you have. This baggage represents your sanskaras. Divine will represents the route. You can't alter the route of the journey. The train takes a fixed route to its destination. Your free will is only restricted to what you can do on the train. Either you can look out the window, play cards, chat with your fellow passengers, and go to sleep or read a book.

"Although the options are many and the activity you do on the train may give you a sense that you can alter your journey, yet it is not the case. Your life, the beginning and end and the route that it takes, is fixed by the Divine will. What you do on the fixed route is your free will. How you accepts the events in your life, the people who are supposed to meet you, how you interact with them, that is your free will. It is this free will that will decide your next journey and the baggage that you will carry on it.

"So you see, there is very little one can do to avoid the major events, whether they are mishaps or successes, from happening. These have already been ordained for you based on your past sanskaras or actions of your past life. However, there is one thing that you can do — accept these events joyfully and gracefully, filling up every moment with Baba's remembrance. If you do this successfully, not only will His remembrance soften the impact of the mishaps or other bad events that are meant to occur in your life, but eventually it will finish off your journey once and for all. It will take you to the final goal of all journeys, after which you have to journey no more."

On another occasion when a Baba lover asked Bhauji to explain the difference between Divine will and free will, Bhauji said in reply, "A man once approached the Prophet Mohammad with the question, 'Tell me Prophet Mohammad, are all my actions because of Divine will, or is it all my free will?'

"The Prophet was seated talking with His disciples when the man asked this question. He knew the intention of the man was to trap Him. He asked the man who was seated to stand up. Then Prophet Mohammad started talking with His disciples and ignored the man. After a while, the man got restless. He again asked the same question and asked Him to give a reply if He knew the answer and not keep him standing.

"The Prophet looked at the man and said, 'Yes, I will give you your reply but first you raise your one leg and stand.'

"The man did as he was asked to do and stood on one leg. The Prophet again started talking with His disciples, completely ignoring the man as if He had forgotten about him.

"After some time, the man was visibly upset with anger asked the Prophet, 'Why don't you answer instead of making me stand on one foot?'

"The Prophet looked at the man and said, 'Yes, I am going to answer your question, but first you must do what I ask you to do. Raise your second leg also and stand.'

"On hearing this, the man was totally infuriated. 'How can anyone stand with both legs raised? You are asking me to do silly things instead of answering my question. Do you have any answer?'

"The Prophet said, 'Yes. The first leg that you raised is your free will. To the extent that you can move your leg around is the extent of your free will. Your second leg represents the Divine will which supports your free will and just as you are unable to raise your second leg and stand, you cannot change the Divine will and whatever is your free will is also totally dependent on the Divine will.'"

 

THE REAL TREASURE, Vol. 2, pp. 28-30
2008 © Rustom B. Falahati

               

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