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Misuse of free will

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Sri Caitanya-caritamrta

CC Madhya-lila

As soon as the servant feels like becoming the master, he falls into māyā. Thus it is by misuse of free will that one falls under the influence of māyā.
CC Madhya 11.189, Translation and Purport:

The Lord said, "I wish to touch you just to be purified, for your purified activities do not exist in Me."

This is an example of the reciprocation of feelings between master and servant. The servant thinks that he is most impure and that the master should not touch him, and the master thinks that because He has become impure by associating with so many impure living entities, He should touch a pure devotee like Haridāsa Ṭhākura just to purify Himself. Actually both the servant and the master are already purified because neither of them is in touch with the impurities of material existence. They are already equal in quality because both of them are the purest. There is a difference in quantity, however, because the master is unlimited and the servant is limited. Consequently the servant always remains subordinate to the master, and this relationship is eternal and undisturbed. As soon as the servant feels like becoming the master, he falls into māyā. Thus it is by misuse of free will that one falls under the influence of māyā.

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Renunciation Through Wisdom

The spirit soul unfortunately misuses this God-given minute free will and falls into the dark well of nescience and illusion.
Renunciation Through Wisdom 1.9:

There are those who live and act in a manner exactly opposite to that of the pure souls, who are constantly acting in karma-yoga. Such fruitive workers have no connection with the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa. Therefore, they cannot cleanse their heart of material contamination. They are slaves of their sensual urges, spending their time in gratifying their senses according to their whims. Yet they shamelessly say that all their actions are prompted by the Supreme Lord. Being cheaters and atheists, they speak like this so that their impious acts may be acceptable, and thus they inflict untold misfortunes and calamities on the world. By contrast, the pure, self-realized souls are constantly absorbed in serving Lord Kṛṣṇa's lotus feet with their body, mind, and words. They never associate with atheistic people. These saintly persons know that although the spirit soul is infinitesimal, it is nevertheless endowed with minute free will at all times. The Supreme Lord is absolutely independent and can exercise absolute free will over all; because the spirit soul is qualitatively the same as the Supreme Lord, the Lord does not annul his minute free will.

The spirit soul unfortunately misuses this God-given minute free will and falls into the dark well of nescience and illusion. Once the spirit soul takes shelter of māyā, the illusory material energy, he develops the material qualities of goodness, passion, and ignorance. The spirit soul loses his original characteristics and develops a new nature, which is controlled by the three modes of material nature, and this continues until such time as he transcends them. His actions are prompted accordingly.

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

If you have no free will, then you are a stone. The stone has no free will. You want to be stone? Then you must be, must have free will. But don't misuse your free will.
Lecture on BG 15.15 -- August 5, 1976, New Mayapur (French farm):

Devotee: Śrīla Prabhupāda? Why God gave to man free will if He knew the man would fall down in the material world?

Prabhupāda: If you have no free will, then you are a stone. The stone has no free will. You want to be stone? Then you must be, must have free will. But don't misuse your free will. But don't try to become stone. That is not life.

Philosophy Discussions

God, evil is created by God undoubtedly, but it is necessary on account of the human being misusing his free will. God gives him good direction but when he is disobedient, then naturally the evil power is there to punish him.
Philosophy Discussion on John Stuart Mill:

Hayagrīva: Mill concludes that the existence of evil in the universe, or what he considers to be evil, pain and death, excludes the existence of an omnipotent God. He sees man in a position to aid the intentions of providence by surmounting his evil instincts. So God is not all-powerful, infinite in His power. If He were, there would be no evil, according to Mill.

Prabhupāda: No. God, evil is created by God undoubtedly, but the, it was necessary on account of the human being as, misuse of his free will. God gives him good direction but when he is disobedient, then naturally the evil power is there to punish him. Therefore the evil is not created by God but still it is created. It is necessary. Just like the government constructs the prison house. So this prison house creation is not the government's intention. Government wants that university is sufficient, people may be educated and highly enlightened, but because some, not all, misuses the independence, little independence, he creates evil circumstances, and he is compulsorily put into the prison house. Similarly, we suffer on account of our own evil activities but God, being Supreme, He punishes us for our evil activities. For God there isn't... When we are under the protection of God, there is nothing evil, only good thing. There is no evil. So God does not create evil but man's evil activities obliges God to create an evil situation.

Unless there is misuse of free will, there is no question of free will.
Philosophy Discussion on Rene Descartes:

Prabhupāda: Free will means that you can act wrongly. That is free will. Unless there is chance of doing wrong or right, there is no question of free will. Where is free will then? If I act only one sided, that means I have no free will. Because we act sometimes wrongly, that means free will.

Hayagrīva: A man may know better but still act wrongly.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Hayagrīva: Yes.

Prabhupāda: But that is free will. He misuses his. Just like a thief, he knows that his stealing, it is bad, but still he does it. That is free will. He cannot check his greediness, so in spite of his knowing that he is doing wrong thing—he will be punished, he knows; he has seen another thief, he was punished, he was put into prison—everything he knows, but still he steals. Why? Misuse of free will. Unless there is misuse of free will, there is no question of free will.

Conversations and Morning Walks

1975 Conversations and Morning Walks

Kṛṣṇa's mercy is always there. It is your misuse of free will. You are given the opportunity—that is fortune. But you do not accept the fortune. That is your misfortune.
Morning Walk -- May 10, 1975, Perth:

Amogha: Śrīla Prabhupāda? Why is it that some people, when they hear about Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they take it, and some do not. And still, after that, some of those who take it, they stay, and some who take it take it for some time and then they fail?

Prabhupāda: That is fortunate and unfortunate. Just like one inherits father's property. Many millions of dollars, and he has become a poor man by his misusing the money. Like that. He is unfortunate. He got the money, but he could not utilize it.

Jayadharma: Does fortune mean it's the mercy of Kṛṣṇa?

Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa's mercy is always there. It is your misuse of free will. You are given the opportunity—that is fortune. But you do not accept the fortune. That is your misfortune. That is stated in the Caitanya-caritāmṛita. Lord Caitanya said, ei rūpe brahmāṇḍa bhramite kona bhāgyavān jīva (CC Madhya 19.151). Kono—some fortunate man can accept it. Because mostly they are unfortunate. Just see, throughout the whole of Europe and America we are making propaganda. How many students have come? A very insignificant number, although they have come. They are fortunate.

... more about "Misuse of free will"
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