Week 4 Sanga

Icha (Choice)

Watch this video


Icchā means desire, usually referring to our will. Krishna concludes his Gita by recognising that after offering his opinion Arjuna will do as Arjuna desires. He will make his own choice. Krishna has spoken to Arjuna openly, truthfully, and with affection. He has not been demanding or dogmatic. By leaving the choice as to how to proceed to Arjuna, Krishna has acknowledged Arjuna's freedom. Thus Arjuna can freely choose fight or flight, and to love. The Gita establishes that love is a personal gift, both God's love for us and our love for God.

Whether in family dealings, in politics, in business, or in spiritual life the Gita teaches us that forcing others, manipulating their behaviour, or obscuring their freedom to choose is unhelpful to all parties. Such approaches are cruel in their deceit. Striving to remember and value others choice allows us to recognise and respect the voluntary nature of relationship, affection, service, and love.


Practical Discussion Questions:


  • Now most choices aren’t as extreme as the one provided in the video. Interestingly, we usually make decisions based on our point of view. What tough choices have you made? Anything that you have come across that you were unsure of how to deal with? Any tough choices that you would be comfortable to share?

Philosophical Discussion Questions:

  • If Krishna is in complete control, how is anything I do my choice?

  • What if I try and do something nice, with my choice of actions, but it turns out to just hurt and create pain for others? Do I get good karma for this, or bad karma?

  • Whenever I choose something that is advantageous for me, I feel a little guilty. I feel as though I should let others have the same opportunity, and feel bad if they don’t. Should I feel that way? Are their opportunities even within my control?

  • Love has to be a choice - we don’t want to ever force it, nor do we want to be forced into it. Are there any times in life where we may be forced to love Krishna? Would that be cheating?

  • Love is a choice, and a reciprocal relationship. We are in control of our own element of love, and have the expectation that if we share our hearts with another or Krishna, that will be reciprocated. Isn’t that their choice to reciprocate? Is that the biggest fear about loving God, that he may not love us back? Or that his love may be different that what I am expecting it to be?

  • Does having choice scare you?

  • Can not making a decision be the best choice? Is that just us avoiding the responsibility of choosing? Or is that in itself a choice - and therefore we can be held responsible for its reactions?


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