It’s my destiny, and it can change

By Anil Sharma


Why am I, always, at the wrong place at the wrong time, and every one else, I know, at the right one every time? Is this fate, my Karma, my destiny which I can never avoid. I have no options, have I?

A friend in the eighties made a lot of money in the share market, particularly from shares in a speculative mining company. Another friend followed suit buying the shares at 4c a piece and staking his savings for building a house. The shares went up a cent, then stabilised for a few weeks before their downward slide. After they came down to 1c, the company sent a notice to consolidate the shares ”“ 50 shares to one. My friend had lost all his savings in little over two months.

Fate or free-will, which determines one’s life? Which of these two is the decisive factor in life?

It is the ”˜I’- thought, says Maharishi Ramana, from which arise the two notions. He, who has that enlightenment, has transcended both and is no more interested in the question.

”˜Fate has a beginning – a cause and that is action. This cannot be without a free-will which, being the first cause, is the predominant factor. By cultivating free-will one can conquer fate. Cultivating free-will implies the process of inquiry, surrendering of oneself to God as the One Reality. What is commonly known as self-reliance is nothing but ego-reliance. Reliance on God is alone true Self-reliance, because He is the Self,’ says Ramana.

The omission of the factor of fate in our life is due to ignorance. To put our head in the sand like an ostrich and refuse to see the existence of an element of predestination in most of the major events of our personal life does not cross out its existence. It is still there. But the ”˜omission’ or ”˜acceptance’ of ”˜fate’ in our lives is both due to ignorance, as the question would arise only when there is a concept of the individualised self.

We live a two-fold life, an outer material life and an inner emotional-mental life. Our outward deeds and actions are simply the result of our inner thoughts and feelings. They may take centuries to materialize, often not till a later birth. The world that we do not see, the unseen world of thoughts and feelings, is the real world that entails cause; the world that we see around is the world of effects.

God, Himself, can not escape from the cycle of cause and effect. Lord Vishnu suffered for making fun of Narada Maharishi who had fallen madly in love with Lakshmi and went to the ”˜Swamvayar’ as one of the suitors. Lord Vishnu gave him a monkey face which humiliated Narada. For this Lord Vishnu suffered as Rama with the loss of His wife, the same fate He had affected on Narada.

We tend to express our inner self by our outer actions. Our outer life corresponds to our inner life. The world as a whole is nothing else but the expression of Divine Ideation, the very thought of God expressed. We, in our own little way, are also creators and create our own world, the world of our own experiences and the expression of these experiences in our lives. This chain of causal connection between our inner thoughts, our inner feelings and our outward experiences, is unseen, managed by a subtle force, the law of destiny.

Destiny is something entirely self-created, self-earned, whether it is for good or for evil. Whatever we give out in life to the world is ultimately thrown back to us by destiny. We are the builders of our own life, the creator of our own fate, both outward and inward. Destiny is not a blind force; it is one expression of that greater cosmic Intelligence which rules the universe.

Destiny is like a balance, if we depress one side of the scale we find the other side goes up in proportion. Destiny restores the balance in our life because she wishes us to understand ourselves, our powers and possibilities as well as the fact that we are here to fulfil the higher purpose of our incarnation.

Destiny is quite impersonal and universal. It has no sense of retribution. We are here to learn, to learn who and what we are. That is the purpose of our incarnation, and the experiences of life are the lessons which will ultimately teach us. Mostly we learn subconsciously, but still we learn. It is unfortunate that most of us learn more from sufferings than from pleasures.

There is a second kind of destiny, the fate which has been stored from previous embodiments and which is allotted in a future life. But future destiny can be altered by stopping fresh actions.

So long as there is body, there is destiny attached to it. But the reaction can be altered. You can react to the misfortune of losing all that you love and possess by taking it calmly. You can say, ”˜Another cycle of my life is finished and I must begin a new cycle; I will therefore readapt myself to the new cycle without fear. I will do everything that common sense counsels to mend matters and meet results.’

The best way to escape is to get to the region where forces do not work, to become fate-free. You can do that only by returning to your divine centre and staying there. If you do that whilst you are in the flesh, then that vast store of destiny which was awaiting you in future embodiments becomes dissolved and disappears.

It is the destiny of the personal ego the ”˜I’- thought, and when you have eliminated the tyranny of the latter you have eliminated the tyranny of the destiny attached to it; you are free, and with death that vast mass of accumulated stored-up destiny disappears completely. That is what Buddha meant when he said that you enter into Nirvana (liberation) to escape the terrifying cycle of unending rebirths.

If you wish to avoid the misfortunes, the unpleasant experiences of life, you must learn to nullify the so-called evil destiny. If you live in the material world, then you must go through world experiences. But you can conquer your destiny inwardly. You can give up both pleasure and pain so that they do not touch you within your innermost being. You can stand aside from the processes of life inwardly, and although these experiences come to you, you can see them for what they are and realize them at their true value.

To find yourself is to find perfect mental equilibrium. Even if the greatest sufferings come to you they cannot disturb your peace. Neither can the greatest pleasures disturb you. You remain rooted in your divine centre, which is the only place where peace can be found.

It is, however, within your power to modify and to alter your destiny. Fate is only one of the forces that are playing upon us. There is also the force of free will, and the stimuli which once created your present destiny. Now you can create future destiny.

Do not repudiate your own innate divine power. The abuse and misuse of the truth of destiny is the cause of many troubles. You cannot become weak through knowing truth; but you do become weak by ignorance. So, be strong!

In the face of adverse fate we have to learn two things: when to accept it and when to resist it. There are times when it is wise to resign yourself to overwhelming circumstances, learning their bitter lesson. But there are other times when it is wiser to fight them with courage.

There are times when misfortunes are cups of blessing and they should be accepted. There are also times when good gifts are cups of poison, and they should be rejected. Only by becoming absolutely impersonal can we judge between them.

The ”˜I’- thought, the ego, is the enemy, but only if it monopolizes your attention. It becomes your friend when it stands aside and says, ”˜Not my will, but Thy will be done.’ If you look for that which is behind your personal self, your personal life, your mind, your body, for that which is true reality and spirit, you will find peace. No one can rob you of it; no one can take it away from you. You would have found life eternal.

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