Vision Of Truth (sad darshanam) – Part 19


अज्ञस्य विज्ञस्य च विश्वमस्ति

पूर्वस्य दृश्यम् जगदेव सत्यम् ।

परस्य दृश्याश्रय भूतमेकम्

सत्यम् प्रपूर्णम् प्रविभात्यरूपम् ॥—२०


aj~nasya vij~nasya cha vishvamasti

pUrvasya dRishyam jagadeva satyam

parasya dRishyAshraya bhUtamekam

satyam prapUrNam pravibhAtyarUpam—20



aj~nasya = for the ignorant, vij~nasya cha = for the wise also;  vishvamasti = there is world; pUrvasya dRishyam jagadeva satyam = for the former the seen world is real;

parasya = of the other; dRishyAshraya bhUtamekam = that has become the substratum of the world; satyam =  prapUrNam = whole; pravibhAtyarUpam = formless shines


The world exists for the ignorant and the wise man. To the former the seen world alone is real; while to the other that has become the substratum of the seen, the whole, formless truth shines.

The insight that a wise man has is diametrically opposite to the notions carried by an ignorant one. For an ignorant one, the experiences, body and world are all equally real as is his misery. He/she is preoccupied with complexes negativities, passions ambitions overlooking the substratum behind it all. The wise one also might involve oneself equally in the world but his clarity keeps him from mistaking the world to be real. He knows it as an appearance. While it is true that the world is perceptible but the reality it carries is empirical alone. Where is pot other than the clay? Where is world other than the substratum self.


विधेः प्रयत्नस्य च कोऽपि वादः

तयोर्द्वयोर्मूलमजानताम् स्यात् ।

विधेः प्रयत्नस्य च मूल वस्तु

सञ्जानताम् नैव विधिर्न यत्नः ॥—२१


vidheH prayatnasya cha kaH api vAdaH

tayordvayormUlamajAnatAm syAt

vidheH prayatnasya cha mUla vastu

sa~njAnatAm naiva vidhirna yatnaH—21


vidheH prayatnasya cha kaH api vAdaH = such debate regarding free will and destiny is possible; tayordvayormUlam ajAnatAm syAt = to them who do not know the source of these two; vidheH prayatnasya cha mUla vastu sa~njAnatAm = to those who know well the source; naiva vidhirna yatnaH = there is neither free will nor destiny.


Such a debate regarding free-will and destiny is possible to them who do not know the source. To those who know well the source there is neither free will nor destiny.


In trying to find answers to questions regarding life and existence people end up in a dilemma concerning the root of it all.  Thinking in that line, their curiosity brings them to such mysterious junctures where they are to decide if things are ordained to happen as per a divine plan or does their self-effort play a role in shaping them. If they are to resign to an all powerful Providence then self- effort has no role to play. We would hardly see any evolvement and vibrancy in such a life. Putting in your effort is the best thing to do but one cannot disregard the role of karma in the situations one faces.


Being confused people want to chronologically place these two, free-will and destiny. BhagvAn Ramana says that such thinking is possible only as long as you see something different from you as the truth. Discussing, which comes first, free-will or destiny is futile. For a wise man, the truth alone matters; whether free- will or destiny, both are mithyA anyway and not worth to be worried about.


As an aside point, Vedanta talks about the creation as being mithyA. The creation goes into an un-manifest state to become manifest again. It is a cyclic process. At no point in time did this start. To try to find either free- will or destiny as a starting point would be as absurd as claiming a unique starting point in a circle. Whatever one wishes to give upper hand to, it becomes immaterial when the truth is known.


What we face in life, by the law of Karma is a result of our own previous actions. Here, destiny plays a part; but Vedanta is not a fatalistic darshana(loosely put darshana means philosophy). Vedanta has a dynamic, open architecture. We are not doomed to an eternal hell or heaven. People are not sinners by birth as is so in some beliefs. On the contrary, every individual, in essence, is indeed the whole. The differences are not real. Destiny has a role to play but the self-effort of an individual in becoming more mature emotionally and intellectually cannot be discounted. Veda never undermines the role of self-effort, how much ever karma plays a role. Since, destiny and effort are both important; hence getting into a debate about them is pointless.

One thought on “Vision Of Truth (sad darshanam) – Part 19

  1. HI Meenakshi

    Bhagavan’s Ulladu Narpadu convey a subtly different meaning to v21. From Michael James’ translation of the Tamil:

    “The dispute as to which prevails, fate or freewill, is only for those who do not have correct knowledge of the root of fate and freewill, which are different. [That is, this dispute arises only for those who do not know that the ego, who is the experiencer of fate and the wielder of freewill is truly non-existent]. Those who have known the [non-existence of the individual] self [the ego], who is the one [and only] base of fate and freewill, have discarded them [that is they have discarded fate and freewill along with their root and base, the ego]. Say, will they again become entangled in them?”



Comments are closed.