God’s Will vs. Individual Will

After a recent talk at IISc by Swami Paramasukhananda of Ramakrishna Math, Ulsoor, there was a question from the audience – “Is it God’s will that an individual degrades?” His answer was, “If God had a will, He would not be God.”

This is a very interesting corollary. Exercising will indicates choice. Choosing indicates a personal agenda. That indicates desire. Desire comes out of limitation. God cannot be limited. So, God cannot have a will. God merely oversees the fructification of the actions of individuals. Only finite individuals have will. An individual goes up or down depending on his own actions.

When we say, “Let the God’s will prevail”, what we actually mean is that let the Nature’s law of cause and effect takes its natural course.

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  1. If “God merely oversees the fructification of the actions of individuals” then why pray to god , are our prayers useless , is there nothing like a divine intervention.

    If god has created the world , then He has exercised his will.If he does not have will,He would not create anything , He will not even oversee the fructification of individual actions.He will remain aloof.

    • Prayer helps in two ways:
      (1) As prayer is also an action, it also contributes to the result. If the result is at a delicate balance due to other factors, prayer can tilt it to your favor.
      (2) Prayer prepares the mind to face success and failure with more stability. It gives psychological strength. It helps to face success with humility and failure with calmness.

      God has not created the world out of His will. It is the collective Karma of the individuals that causes the world to be created. Again, God merely oversees this. Please read the description of God at the blog titled “Gist of Advaita Vedanta” at http://gokulmuthu.wordpress.com/2009/08/31/a-gist-of-advaita-vedanta-philosophy/. That can give you more clarity on what I mean by God.

  2. One of Thakur’s most favorite songs was “Sakoli Tomari Ichha – Ichhamoyi Tara Tumi – Tomar Kormo Tumi Karo Ma – Loke Bole Kori Ami…” (all is your will – you are the willful tara – you only do everything – men think they are the doers) Ichha means wish / will. In the Gospel Thakur says something like “Free will in a misconception purposely created or else there would have been increase in sins – all is done by God’s will”

  3. Excellent explanation by Swamiji.

    Probably prayer we need to take another type of Karma, which has a specific result based on the intensity of prayer.