Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Spiritual Topics

I am thankful to Er.M.K.Gupta for this wonderful article that is taken from his book "HOW TO CONTROL MIND AND BE STRESS FREE", which is worth reading.

From times immemorial, mankind has remained puzzled on the subject of Destiny and Free-will. It has been one of the most difficult metaphysical riddle to solve. Some people think that their entire life is predetermined according to some destiny allotted to them by a whimsical God and they can't do anything about this and they are just puppets in the hands of fate. However there is an other group which feels that everything in life depends upon one's self efforts and destiny is nothing.
However the truth is that neither of the groups is absolutely correct in their statements. Both are projecting only partial truth of the matter. The fact is that both destiny and free-will play their part in determining what happens in our life. They are two different forces and the relative proportion of these two forces determine the ultimate result.
Destiny is determined on the basis of your past lives and actions by the Almighty not with the intention of punishing you for the wrongful actions done by you but solely from the angle as to what kind of circumstances and conditions will benefit you most for your growth and further learning. Apparently some of the conditions in our life may appear cruel to us when seen casually but if we contemplate deeply we will find that in these apparently looking cruel and adverse circumstances is hidden the infinite mercy of God.
Free-will on the other hand is the limited freedom given to you for the performance of actions. Nobody's hands are totally chained in this world.  Some freedom, either to a lesser degree or greater degree, has been given to everybody with the help of which he can make some changes and improvements in his life. These little changes pave the way for bigger changes leading to greater freedom. So by using your little freedom judiciously, a way is opened for your larger freedom.  All the doors are never locked for any person however wicked he may be. Everybody is given a chance to improve. Nobody is doomed to eternal hell.
The concept of Free-Will vis-a-vis Fate can be understood better by the following analogy. Suppose a cow is chained to a peg by a rope. Now the cow can't cross the circle formed by the rope (acting as a radius of the circle). This is called "FATE". But when the cow has full freedom to walk inside the circle, this is called "FREE-WILL". By  observing the discipline and behavior of the cow in her movement in the smaller circle, the cow owner may permit the cow to move in a larger circle gradually enhancing her freedom. A time may come when he can leave the cow totally free and unchained after observing the performance of the cow in the smaller freedoms given to her.
In this way we see that man is neither totally chained nor completely free. Looking back at the past, he is a slave of his destiny but looking at the future, he is a producer according to his free-will. But seen with the totality of the vision, he has a limited freedom and limited bondage, relative strength of which vary depending upon how he has lived his life in the past and how he is living now.
In fact in real life incidents, the self effort when exercised, mixes with the destiny to bring about a resultant effect of their combinations. So your past (or Destiny) can be modified in the present by the exercise of free-will. Your future is a continuity of past modified in the present. The freedom to modify the past and to create a future either for the better or worse is "PURUSHARTHA" or "SELF EFFORT". Your self effort combines with your past and makes your future better or worse.
Although Fate is a restricting force in life, yet you can gradually defeat this force by using your Free-Will or limited freedom granted to each individual judiciously. You needn't revolve helplessly like a slave in the wheel of destiny. You can detach yourself from this wheel on the basis of your "FREE-WILL" and "SELF EFFORTS".Destiny can never be greater than "free-will", because it itself is the creature of free-will exercised by you, in the past.Your 'Will' has to succeed in the end, defeating all the forces of 'Destiny' . All the forces of Destiny must bow down before a "DETERMINED WILL". If you haven't been successful by applying some self efforts, you should increase your self efforts with redoubled vigor till you become victorious overpowering the forces of "PRARABDHA"(Destiny). Hence the individual "Free-Will"has the power to alter the destiny and even frustrate it fully.
Inf act man has the power to increase his free-will to such an extent that destiny can be totally frustrated. At this level he belongs to a plane where he is no more moved but can move the things and can change the inevitable circumstances and fixed conditions. So there is a higher power or higher plane which can override the lower plane of destiny of which the stars are the indicators.
This precisely is the aim of yoga to get out of the cycle of karma or destiny.  By yoga you leave the mechanical process of nature in which you are an ignorant slave, a helpless and miserable tool in the hands of destiny. You rise into another plane where you become a conscious participant and dynamic agent in the creation or making of a higher destiny.
CONCLUSION: Both destiny and free-will act and react on each other. Both influence and are influenced by each other.

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