An essay debating the topic of, "Does Arjuna have a free choice"

Essay by centralflrexHigh School, 10th gradeA, November 2004

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"Does Arjuna Have A Free Choice?" Arjuna is one of the two main characters in the classic Hindu religious text, the Bhagavadgita, (or just Gita). The text takes the form of a dialogue between Arjuna, a warrior prince and Krishna, an incarnation of Vishnu who is an aspect of the Supreme Being or God. Throughout it, Krishna tries to persuade Arjuna into fighting a battle against his cousins, who overthrew the rightful rulers. Arjuna does not know whether to fight or not, as he sees a duty-duty conflict between honouring his family, and obeying his social role as a warrior. However, when reading the Gita it becomes unclear as to whether Arjuna DOES actually have a choice when it comes to fighting or not. If all our actions are caused, then how can Arjuna have any free will? If God knows the future, and if God is omniscient, then how can Arjuna have any choice as whether to fight? If this is true then why does Krishna have to bother trying to persuade Arjuna at all? This would imply that he DOES have some free will.

However the text, along with some other Hindu texts provides us with some answers to this. If we follow this system of belief, then I believe that Arjuna has no free will as regards his physical action