Free Will

Q. How is it that Srimati Radharani, who doesn’t have the inherent freedom to turn away from Krishna as the jivas do, can still be considered a Person who experiences love for Krishna? As Maharaja states, if the jivas didn’t have this free will our forced love wouldn’t be considered love at all, yet when it comes to Radharani, who by nature doesn’t have this freedom, Her experience is still called love. Would you please explain this apparent contradiction?

A. There are three principal categories of energies of the Supreme Lord: internal potency, external potency and marginal potency (antaranga, bahiranga and tatastha sakti). The jivas are by constitution the marginal potency of the Lord; as the name indicates, they are marginal in the sense that they can go either way, i.e. take shelter of either the internal or external potency. Srimati Radharani and other eternal personal associates of the Lord, however, are in the category of internal potency. It is not that they have no free will, but being ‘not marginal’, they ALWAYS choose to serve Krishna, and never become subject to the external energy. This is due to the constitutional difference between the two types of energies.

A crude analogy would be that of the fire and spark, as explained previously. The blazing fire is never separated from its heat and light, or for that matter, a big log in the fire blazes with the fire, but a small spark of that fire can easily drift away.