Bhagwat Geeta, Class 148 – Chapter 11 Viśvarũpa Darshana Yogaha, Verses 33 to 34


Seeing the Viśvarũpa darshanam, Arjuna goes through two emotions.  The first emotion was wonder and the second was fear, because he saw Lord destroying everything.  Arjuna had a question whether the Lord was compassionate.  He asked Krishna who are you and what are your functions.  From the standpoint of time, the Lord is called kala or Yamaha the one who controls everything.   He also states that I am going to kill the warriors on both sides, because their time has come.  Arjuna is simply an instrument.  According to the law of karma the time has come for Bhishma, Dhrona and gowravas have to die.  Krishna, as kala principle, is only giving an opportunity for Arjuna to be an instrument in the process.

Superficial study of verse 33 may lead to fatalistic view because everything is pre-determined, and we are all only puppets or instruments and the Bagawan holds the strings.  Sastras rejects fatalism and do not consider humans as puppets because humans have free will.  When we are rejecting fatalism, we are not rejecting fate.  Fate is very much accepted by sastra.  Fate is the result of action done by us in the past, this and previous jenma.  Karma palam is otherwise known as destiny, prarabtham, daivam.  Prarabdha karma influences our life, but not the horoscope or the planetary position.  Fate is not the only factor influencing life.  In addition to fate, free will (purusärtha) decides your future.  If you say fate and free will decides future, it is sastra.   If you say fate alone decides your future, it is fatalism.  Free will has no place.  In fatalism everything is pre-determined by God.  God’s will alone exist, and we are all mere instruments. 

Minor advantages of this point of views are:

  1. You need not take responsibility for your atrocity and avoid guilt.
  2. This theory is useful to accept the sufferings of life.  In sastra, fatalism is temporarily used to accept suffering. 

Six problems of this theory of fatalism:

  1. God becomes kartha and we are all only instruments.  All the pavam and punyam will go to Bagawan.  Bagawan becomes mahā samsari. 
  2. Since we are all only instruments only, we will not get any karma palam – punyam and pavam. 
  3. All the sufferings are the responsibility of the god.  That god must be most cruel god.
  4. Not all people enjoy uniformly; some are happier than others, so God is partial.
  5. Since we are all only instruments, we need not know what proper action is and what improper action is.  Study of dharma sasthra is not required.
  6. As mere instruments, we need not choose a course of action; we will never have conflict in life.  As long as there are choices, there is free will.  Only animals do not have conflict because they have no free will and they have no choice.

Free will and fate are the two factors that contribute to our future.  For animals only fate contributes to their future.  Some of our actions are because of fate and some others are because of our free will and yet others are because of a mix of the two.  So, you are one of the contributors to our future along with fate.  By our prayer we try to control  our fate and by our freewill we try to control our choice.

Bagawan harmonizes the world with dharma when I align my free will with dharma, then I become the instrument of the Lord.  Arjuna faces this conflict before the war.  Dharma sastra says Arjuna’s duty to fight the war.  But his raga dwesha says that he should not hurt his next of kins.  Krishna tells him not to go by raga dwesha but go by dharma.  Dharma is god’s will.  When free will is aligned with dharma, then I become an instrument in the hands of the Lord.  Verse 33 says align your will with dharma. 

Verse 34

Kill Drona, Bhisma, Jayadratha, Karna as well as other great warriors who are killed by Me.  Do not fear.  Fight, you will conquer the enemies in battle.

According to the law of karma or law of dharma has indicated the death of all the warriors in the battlefield.  In our life, our fate is not knowable and that is why it is called adhrishtam   Therefore,  we should do our action as though everything in  our control and consider  all the result as the action of God.