How can sin exist if their is no free will and everything is predestined?


In many of the world’s scriptures there is a mention that some things in life are pre-determined, but what this really means is largely misunderstood. the following verse are taken out of context. Here are the quotes missionaries use;

Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji says,

“By one’s own actions, nothing can be done; destiny was pre-determined from the very beginning. By great good fortune, I meet my God, and then all pain of separation departs” (Guru Arjan Dev Ji, p.135).

Another quote from Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji says,

“All things happen according to the Will of the Lord God. No one can erase the pre-ordained Writ of Destiny. He Himself is the True Guru; He Himself is the Lord. He Himself unites in His Union” (Guru Ram Das Ji, p.41)

and also,

“Union with Him, and separation from Him, come by His Will. We come to receive what is written in our destiny” (Guru Nanak Dev Ji, p.6).

On the surface, the terms ‘pre-determined’ and ‘fortune’ appear to suggest that a human being has no freewill and everything is being determined by God and the universe. However, these quotations have been taken out of the context of the entire Shabad (sacred hymn). You cannot take one paragraph and ignore what was before and after it. Read the following links;

“In deep humility, I fall at the Feet of the Perfect True Guru (God)” (Guru Ram Das Ji, p.41). this means you are going towards guru with humbleness and lack of false pride

In context, it can be seen that the Word of the Guru (Gurbani) does not deny the fact that good deeds must be done through free will in order to get to get God-consciousness, which releases us from the system of reincarnation. Also, these hymns show that in the state of deep humility we realise that in the greater scheme of things, everything is in the hands of God, because the reality is that there is only one source of light, which permeates and radiates in different colours, much like a prism. This does not mean to say that there is no free will, just that we are all at the hands of the Divine Laws of the universe that the Creator set up and which can be found in nature. This includes the Law of Karma, which is the law of action and consequence or what you sow you shall reap.

Karmic Law of Action and Consequence

The system of Karma, gives us a greater insight into the workings of freewill and fate, and therefore give us an understanding of pre-determination and fortune. Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji says, “According to one’s desires, one’s condition is determined” (Guru Nanak Dev Ji, p.1342), and “That alone is a good deed, O Nanak, which is done by one’s own free will” (Guru Angad Dev Ji, p.787). This hymn shows that pre-determination of a person’s destiny comes from what the desires of the mind are, which may be good or bad. The hymn also shows us that good deeds can only be free, otherwise they could not be called good. A further clarification of this comes from Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the first Sikh Master who says, “According to their own actions, some are drawn closer, and some are driven farther away.” Therefore, whether someone is destined to attain God-consciousness is a question of them desiring God instead of worldly attachment, and sowing the seeds of good actions, which has consequences of reaping good fruits.

Pre-ordained Writ of Destiny

A question sometimes arises of what the ‘pre-ordained Writ of Destiny’ is? Guru Arjan Dev Ji, the fifth Sikh Master, explains this by saying, “They spy on other men’s women, concealed in their hiding places. They break into well-protected places, and revel in sweet wine. But they shall come to regret their actions – they create their own karma.” The Guru therefore is telling us that we create our own destiny through our actions, and thus the pre-ordained writ of destiny is simply that which we have created for ourselves through our past actions from previous lives and our current life’s actions. In other words, our destiny or fate is the result of the consequences of the actions we have committed. Guru Arjan Dev Ji, the fifth Sikh Master explains, “O Nanak, only your actions shall go with you; the consequences of your actions cannot be erased.

Great Good Fortune

Another question is of that surrounding what having ‘great good fortune’ really means? This is referring to the very rare chance that a person realises the Law of Karma, that every action has a consequence, and how rare is that person who puts this into practice by doing good deeds, living honestly and meditating on God to achieve the meaning of life, which is to realise the soul and experience universal consciousness. This is reinforced by Guru Arjan Dev Ji, the fifth Sikh Master who says, “Among millions, how rare is that Gurmukh (one who listens to the Guru’s Teachings) who attains the Name (vibration of universal consciousness).”


  • Sikhi supports the soft determinist viewpoint, that most of our actions are free and the rest are determined
  • Our actions are free but we are still subject to the Will of God which is the Divine Law found in nature, including Law of Karma, action and consequence
  • Our own desires and past actions (Karma) pre-determines and pre-ordains our destiny
  • By great good fortune we realise this chain of action and consequence (Karma)
  • Through freewill we chose our true destiny as a human being, which is realising God within ourselves. We chose to love God and do good actions of meditation, sharing and honesty that give us God-consciousness
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One Response to “How can sin exist if their is no free will and everything is predestined?”

  1. Frouber says:

    Your interpretation of predestination is incorrect.
    Our holy scriptures clearly state that free will does not exist, and that by accepting that all is destined according to the Hukam of the Lord’s Will, one burns their ego and becomes one with the Lord and his glorious destiny.

    You on one hand quote the very lines that support this (and there are many, many more that clearly state the humans are puppets of the Lord, literally the word “puppet”), and then refute them despite the clarity of what these lines are stating.

    Guru Nanak made it very clear that free does not exist. It is the cardinal sin of the human being, the ego which believe it performs its own actions, that separates the human ego from the Lord’s holy perfect essence, our true origins.

    Sin and virtue are out of the control of the human being. All is the Lord’s play, the scriptures clearly state the world is a play, an illusion. When someone does something “good” is is because of God. When someone does something “bad” or commits “sin” this is also God’s perfect Hukam. When many were killed on the battle fields, did not Guru Nanak Dev Ji praise the Lord amidst the bloodshed, for it was his Hukam that they should die and hence glorious and perfect?

    Humans can’t have free will anyway, because scientifically speaking, the brain is simply an electric piece of machinery which responds to stimuli reflexively. Even believing you have a free will, is a really just a complex reflex premised upon your upbringing, memories and the images, sounds, etc. you are experiencing. The act of the mind debating whether or not is has free will is destined as much as anything else, the Lord’s play has so many layers. Since the human organism is just an organic machine, no different from a computer, except that it has the Divine Light inside, free can’t possibly exist, anymore than your smart phone has free will or your laptop or this website.

    The laws of Karmic debt exist, but they are an artifact of predestination. The Lord destines you to commit sin and rack up debt, and commit virtue and alleviate debt. You are subject to this law unless he chooses you for salvation, then you karmic account no longer matters (taken from our scriptures). Even though karma exists for those not chosen for salvation yet, it is still all predestined, another facet of the Lord’s wonderous play, completely under his glorious control. The debt is your destiny, your absolution is your destiny, you were never the one accruing credits and debits, the Lord has been pulling your strings all along.

    The Lord is all things and is you and me and this computer and the internet and all those reading it. He is Sikhism and Christianity and Hinduism and Islam and Atheism. He specifically destines many, most of the world, including you right now, to believe in the illusion of free will to purposely delude you and take you further away from him. Causing your ego to swell and the emotional pain that ensues or this lie you believe.

    Why? Its his play, whatever he destines is glorious, why should you question as a mortal man, nor should I be so arrogant to think I know better than his universal laws? Some are destined to know the truth, to be one with his Hukam completely. To know all is his, and none is ours, and we are an illusion and he is everything and perfect, and eternal and we all return to him when he desires, our source.

    There is no contradiction here. You were destined to write this piece about free will contradicting the Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Every last detail, including your stop sign photograph. Just as Christians are destined partly (but not entirely) by the Lord to be deluded by their believe in Jesus Christ as their sole savior, or Hindus are deluded to believe there are multiple Gods like Shiva or Vishnu. Or atheists are destined by him to believe that he doesn’t exist at all. He wants some humans to know some of his truth, more of his truth, some less of his truth. He decides, its all his wonderous play, we all play the role we were meant to.

    The Sri Guru Grant Sahib clearly states that some are chosen to know his ways, and some are specifically chosen to be deluded by doubt and set apart from him. This is his mechanism is so many forms, including your posting. Interesting that a religion created to promote the actual truth about the Lord and his ways, the only religion that actually gets it correct, is degraded and distorted, even when it clearly states the truth in the holy scriptures. But all this is the Lord’s play too, its not to make anyone upset, all part of the Lord’s glorious play.

    Hence, there is no need to be angry about what you wrote. But, factually speaking it is incorrect.

    The glorious nature of the Sikh religion is that nobody has to believe what you say, or what is written in this response. Nobody is a guru in this world, only our holy scriptures. All are ‘free’ to read the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, to achieve union of their soul with the Lord’s while reading the glorious Shabads, if that is their destiny, and the know what is true, or to be deluded by the Lord to believe what is false as you believe.

    I’m sure not everything you believe is false and you do your best to be a good Sikh as the Lord destines. I have nothing against you. But again, you are incorrect in your interpretation of predestination and should revise your stance accordingly. But if you don’t, that’s still your destiny and hence glorious!

    God Bless!
    Sat Nam Sri Waheguru Ji!

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