Like the two blades in a pair of scissors, both destiny and free will operate in the world.
– Arun S Danderkar
Life is a divine gift, enjoy it without stress.
Can we know and change our destiny? Is everything in the world pre- destined? According to some, the world is created by God. Even a leaf will not move without his wish; the world is God’s lila, play. This is the Bhakti Marga view. They accept everything, good and bad, as God’s wish.
Others believe that God has created the entire world. He created all physical things, all forms of energies, and the mind. Everything emanates from God. He has also created crores of jivatmas, souls, and given them full freedom. He has also created the law of karma which rules the world. He bound himself by this law.
In the Mahabharata, it is said that Krishna was resting under a tree. A hunter mistook him for a deer and shot an arrow at him, severely wounding him.When he realised his mistake, the hunter started weeping and cursing himself for hurting Krishna. Krishna consoled him and said that he was not responsible for his act and that in his previous birth, he was Rama and the hunter was Vali. He shot Vali with his arrow by hiding behind a tree. As a result Vali died.Vali had done nothing to harm Rama. Hence, in this birth, he shot Krishna. After consoling him, Krishna died.
Is everything in this world destined? Do we have free will?
Let’s take an example of scissors. It has two blades, and both are used to do the job of cutting. Scissors cannot function with just one blade. Similarly, this world operates on the basis of destiny as well as free will. In other words, prarabdhaand and purushartha both have a role to play.
In Sanskrit there is a saying: ‘However mighty a lion may be, compared to a deer, but if it sits under a tree with its mouth wide open, no deer will put its neck in its mouth. Lion has to work to get its food.’
Can we know our destiny and if so, could it be changed or modified? It is now accepted that whatever karma we perform in ourpast lives, they create our destiny. Karma are a form of energy. There are three types of karma. Kriyaman, sanchit and prarabdha karma.We get the fruits of prarabdha karma in our current life. Kriyaman karma can be compared with vapour, sanchit with water and prarabdha with ice. It is easier to take care of kriyaman and sanchit karma, as we can remove vapour and water, however, prarabdha karma has to be endured, largely. Though it may be possible to reduce the impact of prarabdha karma. All these karma form energy fields around our sukshma sharira, subtle body. Laws of karma are infallible. We have no control over situations such as a sudden turn of events, or the way people behave. These are part of prarabdha, destiny. However, we have control over our reactions. That is purushartha, free will.
We should accept present situation as it is without blaming anybody and without fuming and fretting. If we do not, we only lose our energy and thinking capacity. This may lead us to take wrong decisions.
In chapters II and III of the Bhagwad Gita, Krishna has explained the law of karma. It is moha, attachment and desire for fruits of our karma that bind us. As a result, we have to endure results of our karma and suffer. A practical way is to treat the world as a lila set by God. God has assigned to us a role.All our relatives, all things that happen in our life are part of that drama, as per karmic actions. Nothing belong to us in the real sense.
There is one difference. In a drama, every act is predetermined. However, in the drama of life, we have enough freedom to act, which is in tune with dharma. We make our future destiny by our acts. Since we consider this as a drama, there is no moha.
We are pure souls.We are seers, observers putting our best efforts and acting to please that director, producer, God. Here we are performing all karma without attachments and sense of ownership. We put into practice, advice Krishna has given in the Gita.
In our present, mundane world, we have to face many difficulties, earn money, and undergo trials and tribulations. These are stressful at times.We need to enjoy as well. Let us enjoy the role God has given us. This understanding will help us sail through every situation with minimum stress and also help us progress spiritually.
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