In the Hindu view, atman (soul, self or sprit) is the source of the human will. Since atman is divine and immortal, the human will is potentially powerful. However, due to the presence of the cosmic ignorance (maya or avidya), human will is generally weak and the individual lacks firm conviction and God-consciousness. Human will can be sharpened and strengthened by yoga, meditation, prayers, positive thinking, right environment, and association (satsangh) with the pure-minded persons. According to the philosophy of yoga, the negative thought waves which arise in the human mind due to samskaras of the past karma, can be neutralized by introducing positive thought waves generated by human will.
When an apple falls from a tree, the fall of the apple itself is caused by the law of gravitation. However, the consequences of this event are not only determined by the law of gravitation, but also by the law of conservation of energy. Just the same way, the conse-quences of human actions are determined by the doctrine of karma as well as the doctrine of free will. The negative samskaras of the past karma can be overcome by human will. In Hindu view, what separa-tes a saint and a sinner is only time. With right knowledge and effort, a sinner of today can be a saint of tomorrow. As Dr. Radhakrishnan says, "The cards of life are given to us [in the form of samskaras], but we can play them as we wish, and win or lose, as we play."