Welcome to SPN

Register and Join the most happening forum of Sikh community & intellectuals from around the world.

Sign Up Now!

FreeWill as Per Gurbani

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by Navdeep88, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. Navdeep88

    Navdeep88 Canada
    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    Messages:
    434
    Likes Received:
    651
    If Waheguru ji controls everything, if a leaf cannot even move without his will...why do we go astray and make big mistakes? are those also of his will? were we meant to wander away?

    if in the physical world, every breeze, every ripple in an ocean is predestined and by his will alone... what about the spiritual world... is the distance of our minds from waheguru's grace also predetermined?

    are we meant to make the mistakes we make? and if you've done something wrong, how do you repent?

    im fairly new to this website, and am just beginning to learn about Sikhism....so please include some quotes from SGGS to explain.

    Thanks.
     
    • Like Like x 5
  2. Loading...

    Similar Threads Forum Date
    Concept Of Manmukh/Gurmukh. Is There A Freewill In Sikhism? Questions and Answers Jul 25, 2016
    Karma, Freewill & Hukam in Sikhism Sikh Sikhi Sikhism Jul 14, 2008
    Gurmat and Freewill Sikh Sikhi Sikhism Mar 2, 2005
    Karma and Freewill Sikh Sikhi Sikhism Nov 2, 2004
    Which Cuts Deeper ? - Regret Or Remorse! General Nov 17, 2016

  3. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
    Expand Collapse
    1947-2014 (Archived)
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Messages:
    14,551
    Likes Received:
    19,200
    Re: Free Will as Per Gurbani

    Navdeep ji

    Welcome to SPN. I hope that you will continue to ask such thoughtful questions. And Thank you for reminding all of us who post that we should use Shabads when we reflect on complex questions such as the nature of His hukam.

    I do want to put a little context in place early on. The word "hukam" has been variously translated into English to mean: command, ordinance, order, will. These words create an impression that hukam reflects the personal will of Waheguru. This may or may not be accepted by each and e very member. This happens because the fundamental meanings of "hukam" depends on how one interprets the relationship between Waheguru and his creation. Hope that made sense.

    Good luck with this thread. Let's see what happens. :up:
     
    • Like Like x 4
  4. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
    Expand Collapse
    Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
    Mentor Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    7,623
    Likes Received:
    14,190
    Re: Free Will as Per Gurbani

    FREEWILL....yeah....IF I tell YOU...." LIFT up one leg please."..YOU have the FREEWILL..to lift up any one of your legs..Left..or Right.

    BUT ONCE THAT has taken place...your FREEWILL ends. IF I now tell you..Lift up the "other" leg...YOU CANNOT exercise your "freewill" WITHOUT first putting DOWN the leg you carried up earlier...or lift up the second leg without putting down the first one...
    ALL those considerations are CONSEQUENCES... of your FREE WILL DECISION. You alone are RESPONSIBLE for those CONSEQUENCES !!
     
    • Like Like x 7
  5. Randip Singh

    Randip Singh
    Expand Collapse
    SPN Sewadaar
    Historian SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 25, 2005
    Messages:
    2,949
    Likes Received:
    2,952
    Spot on Gyani ji,

    I do not think there is such a things as total free will. Everything is governed by certain Laws.

    The Laws pertaining to human behaviour are that Kaam, Krodh Moh, Lobh and Hankaar will lead you astray.

    Just like a leaf will fall to the ground in Autumn.

    God is the Law setter, but we have free will within those laws. Everything is in balance.
     
    • Like Like x 5
  6. Navdeep88

    Navdeep88 Canada
    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    Messages:
    434
    Likes Received:
    651
    "The Laws pertaining to human behaviour are that Kaam, Krodh Moh, Lobh and Hankaar will lead you astray."

    Randip Ji, I agree. I think its also interesting that several forum members have also mentioned (in other threads) that these five need to be controlled, not eliminated. It's true that everything is governed by certain laws and everything is in its own balance.

    If God is beyond all time and space, yet resides in every second and every being...then everything that's in this mind is also his, he plants the CAPACITY of all thought and action. I think that means that the five major sins also stem from capacities that are essential to life. (ie. Anger, when it is controlled, is necessary. You have to have some fire in you to stand for what you believe in...and what would life be without attachment). And this can probably be applied to all five, that when they are controlled, they are not bad, they're natural.

    But if he planted these capacities in our minds, he also gave us awareness for our minds to know where the limit is to their usefullness. We can choose to nourish our minds in any way, he gave that much freedom. (Gyani Jarnail Singh Ji, I like how you've described this "freedom" and its consequences).

    If we choose to overstep the limits, we've been given the awareness to know of our wrongdoings...because all five, when they flourish have the same result: stomping on or controlling another human being in one way or another.

    He gave this mind enough understanding to pursue his path, or its own. I asked this question several days ago and have been thinking about it: We are MEANT to make mistakes, all mistakes that any human being can possibly make, we are meant to make every single one. But by his word, we try our best to choose not to. (Narayanjot Kaur Ji, I was hoping for some more discussion on "hukum"...)
     
    • Like Like x 5
  7. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
    Expand Collapse
    Mentor Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Messages:
    4,560
    Likes Received:
    6,989
    Navdeep ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    Welcome to the forum.

    Freewill is a phrase concocted by Christianity and the other Semitic religions to project everyone born as a sinner because of naughty Adam who did not obey his omnipotent God. If God is omnipotent, then no one has the power to have any kind of will, hence the obvious contradiction.

    Now, the question arises, do animals have freewill? The fact of the matter is that Mad cow disease occurred when we fed meat to the cows who were created to eat veggies.

    "The spread of BSE is the result of animal feeding practices that are harmful in a variety of ways,' Katz said.

    Feed animals that should be herbivores are provided meal that contains the ground-up parts of other animals. This, of course, carries with it the risk of spreading disease, but it also changes the quality and composition of meat intended for humans, Katz explained".

    Origins of mad cow disease

    All animals except humans follow the order created by The Source.

    It is our so called intellect that screws everything up in us. The five thieves that we can not live with or without, depending on the degree and our controlling power, are also based on intellect- freewill. Gurbani teaches us how to lasso them in order to find the Gurmat fulcrum within.

    Now, as far as Hukam is concerned, this may sound repetitious as I have written the same in another thread but it is worth mentioning it here too.

    In my opinion, Hukam means: what ought to happen in any form or shape is going to happen. Our limited, limited language and intellect cannot express it nor can they grasp this Wow! and Awe! factors of Hukam.

    We should not confuse human actions good or bad, in actions with the Hukam of The Source which in itself is unfathomable and indescribable. Hukam teaches us acceptance which is umpteen steps ahead of tolerance that other dogmatic religions teach.

    Hukam is a vast tent under which all humanity has the capability of living in harmony.

    Mool Mantar is the blue print of Truthful living, Jap is its foundation and the rest of the Guru Granth teaches us that if we abide by the Hukam, then we can all lead a truthful life, irrespective of our hue, creed or faith.

    Thanks & regards

    Tejwant Singh
     
    • Like Like x 6
  8. Navdeep88

    Navdeep88 Canada
    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    Messages:
    434
    Likes Received:
    651
    "We should not confuse human actions good or bad, in actions with the Hukam of The Source which in itself is unfathomable and indescribable."

    Tejwant Singh Ji,
    Thanks for your reply. I'm tempted to ask the question: where does human action end and hukam begin? But I think that's just looking into the abyss. Its all his, in whatever way it may be, in whatever way it ever was and ever will be. and that is so hard to accept. its just the natural for humans and our intellect to question and when the answer is in a blindness you can't conceive, its hard to accept. I once had a philosophy prof claim that he was certain that science would one day answer everything about the universe and its ways.:{-:)....very hard to accept.
     
    • Like Like x 5
  9. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
    Expand Collapse
    1947-2014 (Archived)
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Messages:
    14,551
    Likes Received:
    19,200
    Just a great exchange between you Navdeep ji and forum member Tejwant ji. I am very much uplifted by it.
     
  10. Navdeep88

    Navdeep88 Canada
    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    Messages:
    434
    Likes Received:
    651
    Thank you :rolleyes:, this is a very good environment to pose questions in, and very knowledgeable members to guide and answer them.
     
  11. Sinister

    Sinister
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    Messages:
    907
    Likes Received:
    394
    why is it looking into the abyss?...this is where the fun starts. can free will be explained mathematically?

    anywhere where the outcome of an action approaches a -->100% reliability of certain outcome is where free will does not exist. (these limitations are determined through repetitive experience)

    according to this, only physical laws fall into the godly restrictions where free will cannot be applied.

    if we have no conscious understanding of physical laws then we are truly free to chose...but then existence itself is not understandable.


    that said:

    Free Will & Determinism
    "Consciousness seems to be intimately and inescapably tied to the perception of the passage of time, and indeed, the idea that the past is fixed and perfectly deterministic, and that the future is unknowable. This fits well, because if the future were predetermined, then there'd be no free will, and no point in the perception of the passage of time."

    considering we perceive the passage of time...free will exists.
     
    • Like Like x 7
  12. Navdeep88

    Navdeep88 Canada
    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    Messages:
    434
    Likes Received:
    651
    Sinister Ji,

    Thank you for the insightful reply. I agree with the reasoning behind choosing to believe in free will. But to me it seems like an illusion, a very useful illusion. To believe in free will, is to believe the future is completely unknowable. But the future is knowable. DEATH, its existence is a certainty (100% reliability, therefore, end of free will). However, death is not a repetitive experience....we know of its existence but have no conscious understanding of it. Isn't that the abyss?:eek: To carry on with life, we have to ignore death's existence, we have to ignore the truth of it...but what other option do we have? Is that where faith starts, to say that it is all his, all sin, all love?

    I am very curious to find out what your interpretation of hukum is.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  13. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
    Expand Collapse
    1947-2014 (Archived)
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Messages:
    14,551
    Likes Received:
    19,200
    Just a moderator's note. Virtually no modern philosopher today believes that either "unconditional free will" or "pure determinism" are intellectually respectable positions.

    Gyani ji wrapped it nicely for me. If someone says "Lift your right leg off the ground," then we can choose whether to follow the directive. Or we can choose not to follow it. But if we do choose to lift our right leg, and then we "choose" to lift our left leg, we soon discover where free will ends. :thumbup::welcome::wah:
     
    • Like Like x 2
  14. Sinister

    Sinister
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    Messages:
    907
    Likes Received:
    394
    You have a very interesting post…let us communicate further



    Let me put it this way... To believe in free will is not to believe that the future is unknowable but that at some point in the future will involve choice and that choice carries with it an outcome (Giving the decider the burden of responsibility). Without choice there is no rational explanation for the existence of morality and really no basis for denoting responsibility of an action, onto an individual. (this is the mode of operation in which societies operate)



    Death is the end of free will because we cannot chose not to die. But living is different from dieing…agreed? and living will determine how you die...so there is choice in death itself.



    That depends on your definition of experience. Experience is not always first hand but can also be experienced through repetitive observation and communication (faith in what is relayed during communication).

    If you watch a child throw a ball in the air and if it were to come back down to the ground 100% of the time…you can effectively deduce what is likely to happen when you throw that ball in the air.





    This is very a true statement for everyone who is not suicidal.

    For example take ‘value’; Value is something that can appear and evaporate (as was recently seen in the economic collapse of 2009). Value is a social/economic construct that involves the exchange of energy on a fluctuating faith based system. Value exists in a society and many times is derived from a non-existing physicality…yet it exists nonetheless on the basis of faith…faith based primarily on the premise that life must be lived, survival requires energy and that survival/reproduction is paramount.





    Hukam, for me, is another social construct that helps reinforce the basic tenants of maintaining life; have faith in society, in economy and you will have lived not just existed.

    Many will say that Hukam is "divine will". God wills it and so it becomes reality over the progression of time. but what if god willed us to have choice?
     
    • Like Like x 3
  15. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
    Expand Collapse
    Mentor Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Messages:
    4,560
    Likes Received:
    6,989
    Sinister ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    Well said!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Navdeep88

    Navdeep88 Canada
    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    Messages:
    434
    Likes Received:
    651
    Sinister Ji,

    What you say makes a lot of sense. Life is for living, not just existing. And the choices that we are given an opportunity to make, we must make them with full responsibility and awareness of the possible outcomes in mind. I agree with most of what you have said. :shifty:

    The only point that I would differ on, is that I am beginning to believe in "divine will"...I cannot simply call it a social construct...there's just too much... i don't know....maybe it is a weakness of intellect or the inability to digest reality as it is...but as it stands, there is much to learn!

    thank you very much for your input!:rolleyes:
     
  17. Sinister

    Sinister
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    Messages:
    907
    Likes Received:
    394
    No NO NO no no no no no no no! :inca:

    The belief that we were not keepers of our own destiny, is very much entrenched in the human psyche by an evolutionary process. (this exists in EVERYONE)

    I agree with an author by the name of Dr. Cordelia Fine who calls this, “The Vain Brain”. Basically our brains go to amazing lengths to bias perceptions in our favor, it shields us from failures, which in turn, actively prevents mental disturbances like acute or chronic depression. Basically those who are most highly self-aware and thus more honest with themselves show a higher propensity to develop a severe case of depression.

    The social construct of Hukam could be just that...a defense. It is very crucial in our existence and it has nothing to do with a weakness of intellect like you mentioned.

    Basically our brain subconsciously but actively looks for excuses when we fail at a task. Some will blame others, random natural events, some will blame gods, whatever excuses they can find to protect self-image.

    The belief that an outcome is the result of a divine will can shield us from failure and be an asset. But if it goes too far that we never learn from our mistakes the belief can very much become a liability.

    The protection of self-image can go to truly bizarre lengths…but so can non-protection of self-image, look up “Cotard Delusion”.

    So, Navdeep88 ji chances are pretty good that your life is happier than mine.
    :woohoo:
     
    • Like Like x 4
  18. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
    Expand Collapse
    1947-2014 (Archived)
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Messages:
    14,551
    Likes Received:
    19,200
    Sinister ji

    Without commenting upon my reaction to your view or that of Navdeep ji in this particular part of the discussion, I do wish to say one thing. Thanks for your use of the term "social construct of Hukam." It distinguishes the variety of ways in which cultures have over the centuries defined this term, possibly confusing social meanings with the intended meaning of Gurbani. This can make the discussion of "hukam" as a Gurmat concept very confusing, convoluted, and difficult.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Sinister

    Sinister
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    Messages:
    907
    Likes Received:
    394
    Well N. Kaur ji

    I know that through his Hukam I was talked out of owning a refrigerator that dispensed ice…or was that YOU? Or was it ME? or was that him working through you to convince me? or was that him working through me to convince myself? or was i already convinced by him before i asked the question? was there even a choice to begin with?

    see im confused already

    I’ma just gonna blame the big guy on this one. Let you off the hook so that you're not overcome with guilt and do something irrational...like... going out and buying an ice dispensing refrigerator :wink:

    P.S: I just realized I used the word “Basically” three times in my last post and I would like to tell the members on this forum that I am truly ashamed and just as appalled as you, and I promise I will not put anyone through that again…or maybe god should not let that happen again (this is really fun...and liberating).
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Navdeep88

    Navdeep88 Canada
    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    Messages:
    434
    Likes Received:
    651
    Sinsiter ji,

    Perhaps you are right...
     
  21. Amarpal

    Amarpal
    Expand Collapse
    Mentor Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2004
    Messages:
    591
    Likes Received:
    364
    Khalsa Ji,

    As I understand, our earthly life is acombination of destiny and free will.

    This I explain through an example.

    I was born to parents who had the wisdom and resources to get me admitted to a school; thus geting educated was my destiny.

    To what extent I avail this opportunity and get educated is my free-will.

    The combination the two had made me what I am.

    With love and respect for all.

    Amarpal Singh
     
    • Like Like x 5

Share This Page