Fate or Will: What Drives a Human Being’s Life?by OPINIONEXPRESS.IN January 27, 2019 0 comments
During my recent travel, a traveller seated next to me raked up an old age debate. “ Fate or freewill, what drives a human being’s life?” he asked. “For the answer, you need to know your own self — the system driving a human being. That includes being aware of how to efficiently use one’s working tools — particularly the mind with all its functional coordinates which actually drives a being in real terms.” I responded.
To put things simply, I shared a popular story on the above subject. Someone engaged in the above conflict sought the guidance of a Godman. The Godman asked him to raise one of his legs and stand on the other. The person followed suit. The Godman then asked that person to raise his other leg. “With one leg already in the air, how can I raise the other?” the gentleman retorted.
This is the difference between fate and freewill. So long as you had not raised your leg, you had a choice. You could have raised either the left or the right leg. But once you have made a choice and raised one leg, you are stuck. That is how it happens in our life as well.
Remember, unlike other species that are bound by their predetermined nature and with no scope to make an exception, human beings could guide their actions by choice and discrimination. But whenever there is a choice in hand, it carries equal probability of use or misuse. And there is nothing like a free lunch in this world. You have to own up and bear the consequences of the choices you make. In this scheme of things, the goings on at this moment are the culmination of doings in the past. And how we negotiate this moment sets the terms for how the future is expected to unfold. This is how we usually get trapped into a vicious cycle of cause-effect chain, which keeps running in succession. This is the premise on which the theory of Karma stands.
“Why does the theory of Karma apply only to human beings and not to the animal world?” asked the co-passenger. Well, animals work on their instinct primarily guided by food and security concerns. They can’t judge whether their actions are right or wrong. They can’t plan and make a willful choice to their asking. So, good or bad, their actions don’t have any carryover effect. On the contrary, all human actions are willful and are intent driven. They, therefore, can’t escape the travails of their own doing. The character, content, and intent, of the choices made defines the pleasures and pains of life that we become due for in the emerging times.
It, however, needs to be appreciated that if there is a choice in hand, it also carries the prospect of conscientiously changing the Karmic track. For, we also enjoy the exclusive privilege of being armed with the faculty of discriminate intelligence. Applying this prerogative, we could dispassionately weigh the options in hand, filter off the undesirables, pick up the right lead, and sensibly work out the action plan. You can bring down your raised leg and then plan out your move afresh.
It is, however, easier said than done, especially when it pertains to any willful act on our part having mental and emotional implications, either involving the doer himself or those around. All your doings and the experiences good or bad you go through, make an inedible imprint on your mind. That, in turn, preconditions your thought process one way or the other, and that finds reflection in our day-to-day conduct. They set the terms of your desire trends, likes and dislikes, prejudices and obsessions, virtues and attributes, habits and attitudes. And habit dies hard. Caught up in the usual mills of life, we get going in life prompted by our mental tendencies, and thus remain stuck to the ongoing cause-effect chain. So, in our usual run we remain stuck to consequences of our own doing, which unless otherwise conscientiously modified keep going on almost in an auto-pilot mode. There is no scope for any external agency engaged in judging our karma to define our destiny. We are, in fact, beneficiary or victim of our own doing.
To sum up, fate is the outcome of our freewill (choices we make). But then, conscientiously applying the same choice option, human beings are equally empowered to reshape one’s course of destiny. How? It will be taken up in the next issue.
The writer is an astrologer, vastu consultant and spiritual counsellor. Write to him atG-102, Bharat Nagar, New Friends Colony, New Delhi – 110 025
Writer: Bharat Bhushan Padmadeo
Courtesy: The Pioneer