Whatever happens to us, is our Karma or Destiny? Many of us are perplexed just by the thought but fail to reach an appropriate conclusion. Some think, if I ever did good, why is bad happening to me? In contrast, many people think about others, that they never did anything good in their lives, still why everything good happens to them. Such minds are creating a dilemma in our lives. Such opinions never allow us to analyse, perceive and react positively to happenings. Well, what is the reason? Let us try to understand the ingenious relative perception of Karma and Destiny to know the root cause.
Who We Are
We all know, we are made up of something. Something, what? Is the body a blend of materials or can we say just materials? The answer would be a perfect “No”. We are not just a substance. We are more than that and even more than what we actually think. Because the creator of us is the eternal Supreme, the One who made everything within the universe and beyond the universe as well.
We are a soul, not any physical substance. We must be aware that we are part and parcel of the Supreme. The world knows Him by the name “Krishna”. Since we are His part and parcel, we are eternal. It means we never perish. Yes, You Read It Right; we never perish even after death. Our existence is everlasting.
The Nature of Incessant Working
Our acts are sometimes good, sometimes bad. They reflect our personality and the continuous functionality in a particular task molds our visage. We always execute our duty or any other affair, whether we are conscious of our deeds or not. We perform under the force of three modes of nature.
न हि कश्चित्क्षणमपि जातु तिष्ठत्यकर्मकृत् ।
कार्यते ह्यवशः कर्म सर्वः प्रकृतिजैर्गुणैः ॥
– Sri Krishna (Bg 3.5)
Translation: Everyone is forced to act helplessly according to the qualities he has acquired from the modes of material nature; therefore no one can refrain from doing something, not even for a moment.
The above verse from the third chapter of Sri Madbhagwat Gita signifies our nature of incessant working.
Principle of Karma
It is not mandatory that we can remember all our acts forever. With time we forget our deeds, with time our memory perishes, but not us, not our acts. So what happens to the sequel to our acts? This episode is as simple as the principles of any other thing. Karma follows us in every way. Whatever we do, we will get it. A noted proverb affirms this principle, “We Reap What We Sow”. If we do good, we get good. If our acts are bad, we get the same.
Are you still thinking the matter is stuck there only, why bad to good ones and why good to bad ones? No! It is not the same now. We just need to understand the principle carefully. It illuminates the scenario, “If we have done good in the past, we will get good and if we have done bad, we will get bad”. And that past could be one year, two years, five years, ten years, a hundred years or your previous birth. It may be the case that bad people now did good deeds in their previous births and good people now did something wrong in their previous births. Since Karma follows everyone in every way, they get the outcome accordingly.
The fault is that we forget our past doings due to our ephemeral memory. The Lord is omniscient. He remembers everything that happened, everything that is happening and also everything that is going to happen. But we can’t remember anything for such a long time, so we are often bewildered when something doesn’t happen according to us.
It is our Karma which decides good and bad outcomes to us. In other words, it is us who are responsible for everything that happens to us. Here, an exigency occurs to highlight another proverb, “God can forgive but Karma can’t”.
This proverb is popular in other words, as: “Don’t be afraid of God, He will forgive. Afraid of Karma, it will follow till your last breath”.
Karma and Destiny go Hand in Hand
Herein comes the subject of Destiny. Many of us may think, if we are the prime in-charge of everything that happens to us, why doesn’t God help us, why doesn’t God guide us? Here, we are repeating the mistake. First, we are doing wrong. Second, we are blaming and questioning God. It is us who is the only defaulter. We never look into matters the way we are supposed to look. God always guides us, God always helps, but we ignore every time He warns us whenever we are going to do anything wrong. We always neglect His knocks on the door of our hearts. The heart which always ushers us, where God is present in His supersoul form.
When we pray, God listens to us, but when He calls, we overlook it and the results are in front of us. When we call Him for help, He helps. When we apologise to Him for our wrong doings, He forgives us. And when we associate with Him, His devotees, worship Him as the Supreme Lord, believe in Him and do what He wants us to do, indulge ourselves in spirituality, step ahead to self-realization, the fruits of our Karma, either good or bad, perish. Submissively, the Karma bows down to God and leaves us from its clutch and our destiny is glorified.
We must indulge in Bhakti Yoga but never deviate from our path of Karma Yoga. Even Krishna never encourages inaction. He sets the example of His own by performing His duties in every yuga. The under-mentioned shaloka from Sri Madbhagwat Geeta validates these words.
न मे पार्थास्ति कर्तव्यं त्रिषु लोकेषु किञ्चन ।
नानवाप्तमवाप्तव्यं वर्त एव च कर्मणि ॥
– Sri Krishna (Bg 3.22)
Translation: O son of Pṛthā, there is no work prescribed for Me within all the three planetary systems. Nor am I in want of anything, nor have I a need to obtain anything – and yet I am engaged in prescribed duties.
At the worldly level, the duty of action is dignified, as such, in Sri Madbhagwat Gita.
नियतं कुरु कर्म त्वं कर्म ज्यायो ह्यकर्मणः ।
शरीरयात्रापि च ते न प्रसिद्ध्येदकर्मणः ॥
– Sri Krishna (Bg 3.8)
Translation: Perform your prescribed duty, for doing so is better than not working. One cannot even maintain one’s physical body without work.
We can’t even eat if we don’t move our hand, our mouth. We can’t see if our eyes remain closed and so many basic living examples of actions. Doing something is always better than doing nothing. It clearly indicates we are bound to act, but we must not be inclined to the fruits of our actions. Lord Krishna’s noble words echo in our minds as:
कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन ।
मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि ॥
– Sri Krishna (Bg 2.47)
Translation: You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty.
The desire for the fruits of actions creates infatuation and a dispensable knot to worldly pleasures. We must serve Krishna and surrender ourselves to His Lotus feet. When we work without any inclination towards the fruits of our action, Krishna takes care of our destiny. Thus, our destiny is under the surveillance of Shri Hari.
Hari Bol !
अपरा एकादशी की हार्दिक शुभकामनायें !
Ps: I bow down to the Lotus feet of Sri Krishna for all my mistakes. May Lord Krishna Bless You All !
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