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Our actions vs God's will - Krishna's message

Om Sri Gurubhyo Namaha

Lord Krishna says, Therefore Arjuna whether you are going to get involved in this battle or not; the time has come for all these people to perish. If you are going to be involved; the advantage is you will get the name and fame for fighting on the side of dharma, people will say Arjuna fought for dharma and Arjuna established dharma;

Therefore you join and do your duty;

Tasmāt; therefore,

tvam uttiṣṭa; you get up

yaśō labhasva; you can take the name and fame.

How; śatrūn jitvā; by defeating your enemies;

samṛddham rājyaṃ bhuṅkṣva; you can enjoy the prosperous kingdom which you

have lost;

mayaivaitē nihitāḥ pūrvamēva; all these people have been

already destroyed by Me; because their prarabhdā karma is over and therefore the

means of destruction alone can vary; but the end of destruction is going to anyway


And therefore hē savyasācin; Arjuna; savyam means left hand;

ambi-textorous; the one who can use both hands equally well;

I have already finished them; and therefore your job is what?

nimittamātraṁ bhava; may you become a simple instrument in My hands;

It looks as though everything is pre-determined by the Lord; which we call as destiny; fate.

And it looks as though human beings do not have any choice at all.

no free-will at all, which is wrong.

We should understand our śāstra does not accept fatalism. Our śāstras

totally reject fatalism; because to say that we are just like puppets means, that we do not have a freewill at all.

According to our śāstra, fate is just one the factors which influences your life;

In addition to fate there is another factor which influences your life, that is freewill or puruṣārta.

Then is our future determined by freewill alone: No.

We say freewill plus fate; these are two factors which contribute to human future.

In physics they say, the resultant force; the force of the freewill is there; force of fate is there; every second of the future is caused by the interaction between fate and freewill.

Then why did Krishna say nimittamātraṃ bhavasavyasācin;

Why did He say be an instrument in the hand of the Lord.

Becoming the instrument in the hands of the Lord is following a dhārmic course of action;

As we see in the picture below,

Imagine yourself on a swing. Swinging wildly to and fro. Back and front. Two factors will be working. The torsion in the rope which is pushing you back and forth. And the second factor is your effort to pull or push it back or front.

Fate is like the torsion already existing in the rope. It was pre-existing or it has accumulated over a period of time from your activity.

Freewill is like the efforts you put. You have a choice- to pull or push- up or down- based on your raaga and dwesha- you want the high , you want to avoid the lows- these are two options- raaga, dwesha. They can be any desire or any attraction or repulsion for artha and kaama. These are two purushārthas.

There are other 2 choices. Under your control. You can choose to slow down- to stop. How? By allowing the rope to take its course and finally settle down- just don’t do anything. Be still. Choose to be still. Dharma. Allow your will to align with Lord’s will. Swing will slow down gradually. It may swing wildly before coming to rest. Be patient. Allow. It will come to a stand still. Just be an instrument for the torsion in the rope to be completely used up. That is Dharma.

And, We have a final purushārta. Beyond all these. And what is that. To jump out of the swing and avoid any further turbulence. Beyond both good and bad. Beyond raaga and dwesha. You can choose to jump down to your natural comfort of earth - Moksha.

Here, Sri Krishna recommends Arjuna to just follow the God’s will and follow his dharma. Get up and fight. That is the way forward. The key message is not to consider nimitta matram bhava as a suggestion of predeterminism or fatalistic attitude. The key message is , we have a choice, Freedom. The true freedom. As our birthright. So, shastras prescribe firm belief in the interplay of both factors. Fate and freewill. And the choice to follow God’s will- to align our actions to God’s will- is Dharma- this is a necessary step to realize our true self - Moksha.

Based on Swami Paramarthananda talks

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