Madathil Rajendran Nair

Gold Star - 28,462 Points (3rd December 1946 / Bombay, India)

Free Will - Poem by Madathil Rajendran Nair

Oh Teacher, you taught me
This phenomenal of mine
Is the result of ignorance
Primal and beginningless

Then you taught
I could, I needn’t
And I could differently
Isn’t what you taught
Ignorance again
Beloved Sage
For it all is in the phenomenal?

Then, tell me, Sir
Why all these intelligent brains
Gray as well as green
In our midst do overtime
To substantiate or refute
A fallacy born of darkness absolute?

They do so every year
Like pollen fever every spring
No topic ever has attracted
So many colourful writings
So differently distracted

Phenomenal is an appearance
You did thunder
In our yearning ears
Isn’t free will seeming, Sir
May I add a rejoinder?
Don’t take me a pretender

A world seems to erupt
In all its myriad colours
Before my eyes
As I move as the Lord
Pulls the unseen strings
A puppet show
Where I am nothing
Yet I think I have something!
Ignorance of the sublimest kind!

Topic(s) of this poem: fate

Form: Prose Poem

Poet's Notes about The Poem

Penned in 2010, this poem tends to suggest that the free will we boast of is perhaps only seeming and that there is only one free will - the will of the Lord but we foolishly appropriate ownership to it.

Comments about Free Will by Madathil Rajendran Nair

  • Nosheen Irfan (7/19/2016 2:22:00 AM)

    A great philosophical write. Being a fatalist, I agree with the philosophy put forward in this poem. The last verse is very significant. After all, man for all his knowledge, is still trying to find truth. (Report) Reply

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  • Clarence Prince (7/5/2015 12:20:00 PM)

    Yet I think I have something.
    Good thinking! As we all have something!
    Thanks for sharing, Madathil!
    (Report) Reply

  • Mehta Hasmukh Amathalal (5/4/2015 6:33:00 PM)

    A puppet show
    Where I am nothing..10

    (Report) Reply

  • Mehta Hasmukh Amathalal (4/29/2015 12:10:00 AM)

    A puppet show
    Where I am nothing, , , nice lines...10

    yes puppet show
    where we grow
    at someone's grace
    with smile on face
    (Report) Reply

  • Krishnakumar Chandrasekar Nair (4/23/2015 2:50:00 AM)

    To the concept of free will
    The good God bears no ill will
    But the law of Karma will operate
    And we then call it our bad fate.........

    A good write on a very deep and perplexing issue....
    (Report) Reply

  • Kelly Kurt (4/7/2015 12:49:00 AM)

    This is an exceedingly difficult subject to expound upon, and you have done so with the grace, wisdom and intellect we have come to rely on from you. I have done much investigation and research on the topic and studied great philosophers, neuro-scientists and religious scholars. And although I have not come to any conclusion, I respect you and add your views to my total knowledge. (Report) Reply

  • Madathil Rajendran Nair (3/17/2015 10:45:00 AM)

    Rajesh-ji - This is really getting very interesting. Saxe should thank ancient Indian thought, for his poem referred to by you, dwells on a story of the Vedic days. Even the ancient Jains had taken recourse to it to describe their anekantavada. Vedic scholars had used it to articulate the Vedic dictum Eko brahma, viprAH bahudA vadanti (The Truth is One, but scholars mention it in different ways.) . So, there is an Absolute Truth and it is against its background the so many relative truths are perceived. It can be argued that the platform moves away from the train in a relative sense. But howsoever relative does motion be, it can't be perceived without a background substratum of no-motion-at-all-ness. Similarly, sizes are relative, but they can't be appreciated if we don't let in the concept of infiniteness (anantata) . We can't say there is nothing called infiniteness. It is there even in the dictionaries of hardened rationalists; they use the expression without shame even though they are not able to explain it! So, in a nutshell, the substratum for this universe of flux is an unchanging truth - we can call it infiniteness, no-motion-at-all-ness, permanence, immortality, fullness - all nouns, which are all the same and indicate the same One Thing that is not a thing.

    Thanks for your input.
    (Report) Reply

  • Rajesh Thankappan (3/16/2015 10:12:00 AM)

    Rajendran ji,

    I feel very privileged for this open, free and frank, and inquisitive discussion with you. I thank you and PH for providing this wonderful opportunity and platform for free exchange of views. Coming back to the poem, I think, there is nothing called absolute truth and truth itself is relative to the standpoint we view it from. Here, by the by, I am also reminded of the poem ' The blind men and the elephant, ' by J.G. Saxe where six blind men describes the elephant differently and though they were partially right they were all wrong. I don't mean we all are wrong, but all I want to say is that there is a great opportunity before us to explore deep into our soul.
    (Report) Reply

  • Madathil Rajendran Nair (3/11/2015 7:41:00 AM)

    Rajesh-ji – Immense thanks for your input.

    I meant only this. When I look around, I notice that all that find are a given. The world was already there when I was born – so too my parents and all the paraphernalia that went with my growing up into what I am today. My awareness of myself, the “I” sense, and my intelligence with which I claim that “I did this”, “I did that”, “I have free will and am capable of doing things, choosing not to do them, doing them differently (kartum shakyam, akartum shakyam, anyathaava kartum shakyam in the words of Sri Shankara) are also a given. So, if that free-will is a given, given to me without my asking, it belongs to somebody else, whom we call the Lord.

    I was only humbly acknowledging that glaring fact when why I said our free will is only seeming and that there is only the Lord’s free-will there. So, keep exercising the Lord's free-will is the name of the game. You can call it maneuvering as you have done. But, remember you are only maneuvering with a given. That ultimately does the cleansing by removing the sense of agency and doership which aggrandize the foolish ego.

    I am very much thankful to the Lord for my association with a thinking soul like you.
    (Report) Reply

  • Rajesh Thankappan (3/10/2015 11:33:00 AM)

    I feel density and free will go hand in hand and are interwoven into each other’s fabric. This is the belief I have stated in my poem entitled ' Divine Fate, ' too. I feel if everything is destined, controlled and programmed by God - what is the need of this creation after-all? Everything could have been fine without it. Then there comes the question of emotions. Why emotion should be assigned the role of making us happy, sad, angry, sorry etc. etc., if they have defunct of any purpose. My take is that emotions assume a role in order to guide us on our journey towards God. So, within the limitation of destiny there is room for maneuvering too. Moreover, our senses too are alive and active and they do not react in a set programmed way. For e.g. two or more people may not necessarily react to an identical situation in the same way. This should not have been so had everything been programmed beforehand. A beautiful though provoking poem. (Report) Reply

  • Kumarmani Mahakul (3/8/2015 2:35:00 PM)

    A world seems to erupt
    In all its myriad colours
    Before my eyes
    As I move as the Lord
    Pulls the unseen strings..........nicely envisioned. A beautiful poem really you have composed. Many thanks Nair sir.
    (Report) Reply

  • Kumarmani Mahakul (3/8/2015 2:33:00 PM)

    A world seems to erupt
    In all its myriad colours
    Before my eyes
    As I move as the Lord
    Pulls the unseen strings..........nicely envisioned. A beautiful poem really you have composed. Many thanks Nair sir.
    (Report) Reply

  • (3/8/2015 5:17:00 AM)

    A great poem, people view free will in different ways. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, March 8, 2015

Poem Edited: Sunday, March 8, 2015

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