Fate and Freewill Part 1

Dr. Shanker Adawal                                                                  

Part 1

Life is underlined by activity. Nature’s qualities (Gunas) make man act. None in this life can stop activity even for a moment. It is the stomach and then the senses that keep man in perpetual bondage of action. Every action has a corresponding reaction, i.e., effect. This effect is referred to as Karma. By his thoughts and actions, man is generating Karma every moment of his life; and he will continue to do so, long he remains slave of Nature.

Against the backdrop of Time, the lifespan of man is too short for this Karma to mature and fructify during the present life. Nevertheless, the chain action of cause and effect is set to work. In obedience to the Universal Law, these actions have to have corresponding reactions (effects) precisely of equal force and nature. The process does not cease with death; for, death is only an inconsequential neutral point in the evolution of man. As a result, the Karma naturally and inevitably works its way out in the next phase of evolution, viz., next birth. Thus, man, by his present actions, causes or draws the blueprint of events for his next lives.

It necessarily follows that events experienced at present are but effects (Karma) of actions of previous lives. Such Karma accumulated over previous lives brought forward constitutes Sanchita Karma the backlog. The operative portion out of it which is scheduled to mature and confer results during this life is classified as Prarabdha Karma.

Man can harmonies his actions with his thoughts by controlling his sense-organs and developing the power of his mind. Once he is able to place his body in perfect obedience to his will he will be able to regulate his Karma and gradually disengage himself from the chain of cause-effect. While an action itself (cause) can, thus, be controlled, directed or stopped by will-power, the effect of an action already done is beyond the influence of any other force. Man is the master of the situation upto the point of action; thereafter it is taken over by the working of the Universal law.

Fate or Parabdha Karma is simply the effect of some past actions. Consequently it is immune to influences of other forces which makes it inevitable and irrevocable. Its results will be good, bad and indifferent depending entirely on the nature of the action, the effect of which has now matured and is giving fruits. Fate only dispenses results and not cause results. For this abstract energy, in order to transform itself into events in terms of worldly matters, other contributory factors such as environment and planetary influences, need to be congenial. This condition is effectively compiled with by the combined forces of Law of Evolution and Law of Karma. The environment, position in the cosmos, time of birth and quantum of Karma scheduled to be expended are all coordinated in such a way that they rove complimentary to one another. It is done with clockwork precision.


An event such as birth is, therefore, not a simple outcome of union of man and women. It is computed and programmed by the working of the highly complex universal laws. A child does not come into existence out of nowhere. It has a traceable past, not only of previous lives but of humanity and plant life, as recognized by the theory of Evolution of Man.


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