How Is It Our Own Free Will?

Question: How Is It Our Own Free Will?

As I have understood we, the souls, are part and parcel of Krishna. Though we are one with him we are still distinct. If all souls emanate from Krishna and Krishna is the controller, then how is it that we have a free will? How is it that we can choose between our own desires and Krishna? Isn't it Krishna deciding even that? How would desires take birth in our minds in the first place? Wouldn't it be Krishna's plan?

Also, I understand that we exist so that Krishna can enjoy a loving relationship with us. We don't exist on our own. All the yugas of this material realm will come and go as Krishna has wished. These pastimes of Krishna are eternal. So is it that the whole of existence is created by Krishna solely because Krishna wants to receive love and give love? Please forgive me if I have not been able to put any queries appropriately.

Answer: Supreme and Minute Independence

Because we are part of Krishna we are qualitatively one with Krishna. And because He possesses the quality of independence, we must therefore also necessarily possess the quality of independence. The difference is that His independence is unlimited while ours is limited. His independence is supreme, and ours is minute. Our independence is that we can choose to serve either His spiritual energy or His material energy. In either position our identity as a servant remains the same. Just like a citizen of the state has one of two choices. He can choose to be law abiding citizen and enjoy a life of freedom. Or he can choose to be a criminal and be forced to obey the laws of the state within the prison.

If Krishna were deciding whether we choose the material energy or the spiritual energy, we would have no independence and we would not be qualitatively one with Him. But since we, as his parts and parcels, must be qualitatively one with him, we must also therefore possess independence by our very nature.

Our desire to leave Him was not His plan. It was our foolishness to decide not to co-operate with His plan by hatching our own independent plans to try to enjoy separately from Him.

It is a fact that everything and everyone exists by Krishna's desire so that He can enjoying unlimited loving relationships with the unlimited living beings. He gives us free will so we can love him or leave Him. If we were forced to love him that would not be love. That would be slavery.

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