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Saturday, June 04, 2016

Free will in Bhagavad-Gītā?

I studied all the ācāryas' ṭīkās of Bhagavad-Gita 18.63, which was discussed in my free-will-blog of May, 2015 and which is supposed to say that the jīva has a free will, and is the only verse I can think of which seems to say so.

The ṭīkā of Rāmānujācārya is very clear. He says

etad aśeṣeṇa vimṛśya svādhikārānurūpaṁ yathā icchasi tathā kuru -


Which is compatible with the preceding 3 ślokas, especially 18.60, which says -

svabhāva-jena kaunteya nibaddhaḥ svena karmaṇā
kartuṁ necchasi yan mohāt kariṣyasy avaśo’pi tat

"Deluded, you do not wish to act now, but, prompted by your own nature, you will act anyway, helplessly."

Śaṅkarācārya’s commentary on 18.63 is –

vimṛśya vimarśanam ālocanaṁ kṛtvaitat yathoktaṁ śāstram aśeṣeṇa samastaṁ yathoktaṁ cārtha-jātaṁ yathecchasi tathā kuru

“Consider this endlessly, as the śāstras have spoken, and, according to the meanings born from that, act as you wish.”

Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa repeats Śaṅkarācārya –

etac chāstra-śeṣeṇa sāmastyena vimṛśya paścād yathecchasi tathā kuru.

 “Elaborately consider the śāstra, after which you act as you wish”

Śrīdhara Swami and Viśvanātha Cakravartī do not add any comment to the sentence, they just repeat the sentence, and do not say anything like ‘The Lord does not interfere with the free will of the living entity.”

Madhusūdana Saraswati comments:

svādhikārānurūpyeṇa yathecchasi tathā kuru na tv etad avimṛśyaiva kāma-kāreṇa yat kiṁcid ity arthaḥ 

Do as you wish according to your adhikāra, but not that you act rashly and according to your own desires!!!!

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