Is there Free Will? Find out the “I” who asks this question.  – Ramakrishna

Is there Free Will? Find out the “I” who asks this question.  – Ramakrishna

Free Will

The Master spoke about Free Will as follows.

Visitor asked:  Sir, have we any free will ?

Master replied: Just try to find out who this ‘ I ’ is. While you are searching for‘ I’, ‘God’ comes out. ‘ I am the machine and God is  the Operator.’ You have heard of a mechanical toy that goes into a store with a letter in its hand. You are like that toy. God alone is the Doer. Do your duties in the world as if you were the doer, but knowing all the time God alone is the Doer and you are the instrument.

As long as the upadhi, that is limitation exists there is ignorance. ‘ I am a scholar ’,‘ I am a jnani ‘ I am wealthy ‘ I am honourable ’, ‘ I am the master, father, and teacher ’ — all these ideas are begotten of ignorance. ‘ I am the machine and You are the Operator’ — that is Knowledge. In the state of Knowledge all upadhis, limitations are destroyed. When the log is burnt up entirely, there is no more sound and no heat either. Everything cools down. Shanti! Shanti! Shanti Hi! Peace ! Peace ! Only Peace !

The jnani, one who knows His Real Self, that is His Swaroopa,  gives up his identification with worldly things, discriminating, ‘ Not this, not this ’. Only then can he realize Brahman, the Supreme Reality. It is like reaching the roof of a house by leaving the steps behind, one by one. But the jnani who is more intimately acquainted with Brahman, realizes something more. He realizes that the steps are made of the same materials, as the roof : bricks, lime, and brick-dust. That which is realized intuitively as Brahman, through the eliminating process of ‘ Not this, not this ’, is then found to have become the universe and all its living beings. The jnani sees that the Reality which is nirguna, without attributes, is also saguna, with attributes.

On other occasions the Master spoke these words of Wisdom about Freewill and who the Real “I” Is.

Significance of the Bhagavad Gita

What is the significance of the Gita ? It is what you find by repeating the word ten times. It is then reversed into ‘ tagi ’, which means a person who has renounced everything for God. Ant the lesson of the Gita is ” Oh Man! renounce everything and seek God alone!” Whether a man is a monk or a householder, he has to shake off all attachment from his mind.

Why does a jnani keep an attitude of love toward God? The answer is that, ‘I-consciousness’ disappears in the state of samādhi, no doubt, but it comes back. In the case of ordinary people the “I” or the ego never disappears. You may cut down the Aśwattha tree, but the next day sprouts shoot up.

Ego causes our sufferings

Even after the attainment of Knowledge this ‘I-consciousness’ comes up, nobody knows from where. You dream of a tiger. Then you wake up; but your heart keeps on palpitating! All our suffering is due to this “I”, the Ego.

O God, I am the servant; You are the Master. I am the child; You are the Mother. Having this attitude, Only then the troubles are over.

Once Sri Rama asked Hanuman, ‘How do you see Me?’ And Hanuman replied as follows. Oh Rama, as long asI have the feeling of “I”, I see that You are the whole and I am a part ; You art the Master and I am Your servant. But, Oh Rama, when I have the knowledge of Truth, then I realize that You are I, and I am You.’  The relationship of master and servant is the proper one. Since this ‘I’ must remain, let the ego be God’s servant.

Evil of “I” and “mine”

‘I’ and ‘mine’ – these constitute ignorance. ‘My house’, ‘my wealth’, ‘my learning’, ‘my possessions’ – the attitude that prompts one to say such things comes from ignorance. On the contrary, the attitude born of Knowledge is: ‘O God, You are the Master, and all these things belong to You. House, family, children, attendants, friends, they are all Yours.’

As long as ‘I-consciousness’ exists, living beings and the universe must also exist. After realizing God, one sees that, it is He Himself who has become the universe and the living beings. But one cannot realize this by mere reasoning. 


The bhaktas retain ‘I-consciousness’; the jnanis do not. Sri Nangta used to teach how to establish oneself in the true Self, saying, ‘Merge the mind in the buddhi and the buddhi in the Ātman; then you will be established in your true Self.

All troubles come to an end when the ego dies. As long as a trace of ‘I-consciousness’ remains, one is conscious of difference. Nobody knows what remains after the ‘I’ disappears. Nobody can express it in words. That which is remains. After the ‘I’ disappears one cannot say that a part manifests through this man and the rest through another. Satchidananda is the ocean. The pot of ‘I’ is immersed in it. As long as the pot exists, the water seems to be divided into two parts: one part inside the pot and the other part outside it. But when the pot is broken there is only one stretch of water. One cannot even say that. Who would be there to say that?

In the samādhi state, that is the state of Perfect Peace and Happiness, that comes at the end of reasoning and discrimination, no such thing as ‘I’ exists. But it is extremely difficult to attain it; ‘I-consciousness’ lingers so persistently. That is why a man is born again and again in this world.

Take the case of the infinite ocean. There is no limit to its water: Suppose a pot is immersed in it: there is water both inside and outside the pot. The Jnāni sees that both inside and outside there is nothing but Parmatman. Then what is this pot? It is ‘I-consciousness’. Because of the pot the water appears to be divided into two parts; because of the pot you seem to perceive an inside and an outside. One feels that way as long as this pot of ‘I’ exists. When the ‘I’ disappears, what IS remains. That cannot be described in words.

2.1 Bliss that is Perfect and Full

2.1 Bliss That Is Perfect and Full

Thayumanavar Hymns

Hymn 2.1  (1/10)

Except by way of words and rituals
I had not practiced even casually
Anything that contains mind and breath.

As though I was longing for renunciation
I hold serious discussions.
And when I forget all thoughts of it,
I go to sleep.

When I think that I will have to shuffle this body
I swoon in fear, my heart trembling.

Long long indeed is the distance between
The blissful state of Transcendent Silentness
And this ignorant one.

Knowing the devilish ways of this lowly cur,
Please grant a way to contemplation of Supreme Bliss.

Oh! You, the Heavenly Wishing Tree *[1] That grants all ripe rich boons
To those who don’t enter the forest of Attachments *[2]

Oh! You, Who fills all visible space
In unbroken continuity!
You, the Bliss that is Perfect and Full


[1] A miracle-tree in the world of Indra, the king of celestials, yielding whatever desired.
[2] Attachments – Pasas: Primal impurities of the soul, three in number:
1) egoity (anava),
2) karma (chain of action and reaction through births) and
3) maya (illusory knowledge)

1.3 Adoration to Omnipresent God That Is The Presence of Holy Grace

1.3 Adoration to Omnipresent God That Is The Presence of Holy Grace

Thayumanavar Hymns

Hymn 1 – Verse 3  (3/3)

That which is Nondual,
That Word which is the the unique Light, 
That which the scriptures proclaim aloud,

As the Wisdom of Wisdom
As the Bliss that fills
As the Primal One,

As the Form of the Real Self,
That which faiths contend about,
That which is sought for support,
That which is Permanent,
That which is Fullness,
That which is without support,
That which is our support,
That which is Peace,
That which is the state of Void,
That which is Eternal Pure,
That which is untouched by the materiality of the universe,

That which is unaffected by events,
That which is Changeless,
That which shines as impassive neutrality,
That which is Blemishless,
That which is Formless,
That which is in thought
Without thought cognizing it,
That which is Divine Light Effulgence,
That which is Uncreated,
That which flourishes in the Jnana void,

That God Supreme,
Let us in meekness worship.

1.2 Adoration to Omnipresent God That Is The Presence of Holy Grace

1.2 Adoration to Omnipresent God That Is The Presence of Holy Grace

Thayumanavar Hymns

Hymn 1 – Verse 2   (2/3)


Countless the habitats lived,
Countless the names borne,
Countless the kith and kin possessed,
Countless the bodies by karma caused,
Countless the Karmas daily perfomed,
Countless the thoughts entertained,
Countless the name and fame acquired,
Countless the heaven and hell experienced,
Countless the Gods worshipped,
Countless the faiths followed –

And so, realizing through jnana and grace
Our God of Turiya form *[1]
The Divine Cloud that pours the rains of limitless rapture
Flowing through the dome of heaven
And through the love-filled eyes of fervent devotees,

Who chant the names countless
That scriptures countless recount,

The Treasure vast of silentness
That Wisdom Bliss of inexplicable state,
That Immensity

Let us in meekness worship.

*[1] – Turiya is the fourth state of pure silent consciousness, – beyond waking, dreaming and deep sleep.

1.1 Adoration to Omnipresent God That Is The Presence of Holy Grace

1.1 Adoration to Omnipresent God That Is The Presence of Holy Grace

Thayumanavar Hymns

Hymn 1 – Verse 1  (1/3)

What is It?
What is That Which Is, Which is not just here or there but Is everywhere, As unrestricted shining effulgence, Filled with perfect bliss, Filled with grace and divine love, —
What is it, which willed To contain the countless universes In boundless space And there flourishes as Life of life, –
What is it, which stood Transcending thought and word, 
What is it, which remained As the ever contentious object Of countless faiths claiming, ”This, my God,” ”This, our God” —
What is it, which exists as Omnipresent, Omnipotent, Love-filled and Eternal –
What is it, which knows No limits of Night and day –
That indeed is what is agreeable to thought,
That indeed is what fills all space in Silence.
That indeed is what we in meekness worship.

Bhagavad Geeta Chapter 1 Verses 1 – 10

Bhagavad Geeta Chapter 1 Verses 1 – 10


Sanjaya recounts the condition of Arjuna, who was agitated due to attachment, fear and confusion.

Lord Krishna rebukes Arjuna for his dejection, and urges him to fight. After failing to convince Sri Krishna through his seemingly wise thoughts, Arjuna realizes his helplessness and surrenders himself completely to the Lord, seeking His guidance to get over the conflicts in his mind.

The Lord takes pity on him and proceeds to enlighten him by various means.

King Dhritarashtra asked Sanjaya to describe what happened during the war. The following ensued.

Dhritaraashtra Uvaacha:
Dharmakshetre kurukshetre samavetaa yuyutsavah;
Maamakaah paandavaashchaiva kim akurvata sanjaya.

Dhritarashtra said:

What did the sons of Pandu and also my people do when they had assembled together, eager for battle on the holy plain of Kurukshetra, Oh Sanjaya?

Sanjaya Uvaacha:
Drishtwaa tu paandavaaneekam vyudham duryodhanastadaa;
Aachaaryam upasamgamya raajaa vachanam abraveet.

Sanjaya said:

Having seen the army of the Pandavas drawn up in battle array, King Duryodhana then approached his teacher (Drona) and spoke these words:

Pashyaitaam paanduputraanaam aachaarya mahateem chamoom;
Vyoodhaam drupadaputrena tava shishyena dheemataa.

“Behold, Oh Teacher, this mighty army of the sons of Pandu, arrayed by the son of Drupada, your wise disciple!

Atra shooraa maheshwaasaa bheemaarjunasamaa yudhi;
Yuyudhaano viraatashcha drupadashcha mahaarathah.

“Here are heroes, mighty archers, equal in battle to Bhima and Arjuna, Yuyudhana, Virata and Drupada, of the great carriage (mighty warriors),

Dhrishtaketush chekitaanah kaashiraajashcha veeryavaan;
Purujit kuntibhojashcha shaibyashcha narapungavah.

“Drishtaketu, Chekitana and the valiant king of Kasi, Purujit, and Kuntibhoja and Saibya, the best of men,

Yudhaamanyushcha vikraanta uttamaujaashcha veeryavaan;
Saubhadro draupadeyaashcha sarva eva mahaarathaah.

“The strong Yudhamanyu and the brave Uttamaujas, the son of Subhadra (Abhimanyu, the son of Arjuna), and the sons of Draupadi, all of great chariots (great heroes).

Asmaakam tu vishishtaa ye taan nibodha dwijottama;
Naayakaah mama sainyasya samjnaartham taan braveemi te.

“Know also, Oh best among the twice-born, the names of those who are the most distinguished amongst ourselves, the leaders of my army! These I name to thee for thy information.

Bhavaan bheeshmashcha karnashcha kripashcha samitinjayah;
Ashwatthaamaa vikarnashcha saumadattis tathaiva cha.

“Yourself and Bhishma, and Karna and Kripa, the victorious in war; Asvatthama, Vikarna, and Jayadratha, the son of Somadatta.

Anye cha bahavah shooraa madarthe tyaktajeevitaah;
Naanaashastrapraharanaah sarve yuddhavishaaradaah.

“And also many other heroes who have given up their lives for my sake, armed with various weapons and missiles, all well skilled in battle.

Aparyaaptam tad asmaakam balam bheeshmaabhirakshitam;
Paryaaptam twidam eteshaam balam bheemaabhirakshitam.

“This army of ours marshalled by Bhishma is insufficient, whereas their army, marshalled by Bhima, is sufficient.



Vivekananda Quote 19

Vivekananda Quote 19

Complete Works – Volume 1

It is our duty to do that work which will exalt and ennoble us in accordance with the ideals and activities of the society in which we are born. But it must be particularly remembered that the same ideals and activities do not prevail in all societies and countries; our ignorance of this is the main cause of much of the hatred of one nation towards another.