Saturday, May 14, 2005


How often have you been confronted with a situation which you felt that its beyond your abilities to overcome and you just conceded defeat and blamed it on fate? How often have you found solace in the statement “All that happens, happens for good?”. How often you have consoled yourself when you haven’t been able to reach your target, that you are only destined that much!

What is this fate and destiny? Are they the limits man has created himself? The Cambridge Dictionary of International English defines Destiny as that force some people think that decides their future and that cannot be influenced. The same dictionary defines fate as that power which is considered to control and shape things of future and that one which cannot be influenced or changed by people. Is each and everything in this world that is happening around us predetermined and pre programmed?
If we have no power to change our fate and destiny, then why are we empowered with a brain that can logically think and act with reason?

I feel that there are five stages in every great action, innovation, victory, discovery and such thing that can be called success. It all starts with an idea, a dream in the first stage conceived into a chain of thoughts in the second stage that further graduates into actions on ground in the third stage which perseveres the test of time in the fourth stage to reach finally the podium of success in the fifth stage. In each stage somebody gives up, due to whatever reasons and feel that they are only destined only that much. A very few reach the final stage of successfully achieving our goals. It may vary from a simple weight reduction schedule to a great invention. Also it is very true that a person has set innumerable goals to achieve in each aspect of life. In some, he is successful and many he just falls short.
The ones he falls short are the ones he almost always attributes to fate and destiny.

This world is today where it is because of one single trait of only human beings. It is the vice called greed. No creature on this earth amasses things beyond its minimum needs. But human beings do it. And precisely this negative trait in a positive form has powered the world and propelled it to reach where it is. Yes. It’s the greed for excellence among very few of us that has got us where we are today. The ultimate motive of greed for excellence may well have been greed for more money, power, fame and any other such thing considered as a vice in established ethics of society.
But its this greed for excellence that has single handedly motivated people to do the unimaginable.

It is but natural to presume that the way ones life proceeds until death is solely determined on which environment he is born. A man has no control over his birth and his death. But in between these two things, he lives what is called life. How much one has control over his journey of life? Say you are walking on the road, safely in the correct walkers lane. And a drunken truck driver comes all the way from his lane and hits you and you lose your limb. Is it fate? Yes. Absolutely. But, only till this point. After that, how your life proceeds depends on your will and ability to turn this defeat into a victory. That’s what we have been endowed with a brain for. If you give up taking refuge in the fact that you were destined only that much then I feel it’s an act of cowardice. Sporting history is replete with such examples where people after grievous injuries, have beaten even the minimum recovery schedules to come back to their grueling routine and achieve the impossible. A sixteen-year-old Nepalese boy while scaling Mt Everest, suffered severe frostbite and lost his fingers and had to return unsuccessfully. But his determination saw him through the very next year and today he is the youngest mountaineer to have scaled the Everest. Had he given up taking refuge in the fact that he has no fingers, could he have achieved what he aimed for?

I have another point for people who say all that happens, happens for good. OK. Imagine a situation where in you tried for a particular thing and you were not successful. And suddenly something else happened what you never imagined before and you feel good that “Look, had I been successful in that, would this new good thing have been possible?” and feel happy and convinced that you were destined to fail in the previous endeavour, only to get this new success. I ask a simple question. What is the guarantee that another event more lucrative than this would not have happened as result had you succeeded in your previous endeavour? Its all in the mind.

Finally to conclude, I feel that life is a game of dice. It throws up situations all along and at each point of time every man has a choice to make. We are, what we are today, simply because of our choices we made yesterday. As a corollary, the choices we exercise today, will decide what we will be tomorrow. Personally speaking, there are so many situations in my life, I know in my heart where I did gave up. But when I close my eyes, in my naked honesty, I know they were more because of my own makings and less because of an external force. And there are also situations where I persevered beyond all sane limits of both physical and mental endurance and turned the tables to achieve the seemingly impossible. This makes me believe more in the fact you are the sculptor of your own life. What shape you want to give to your life, depends on what you conceive in your mind.

Faith moves mountains. I feel that faith in god is very important. But it must be an empowering force. Not a limiting factor. Unless, a man searches himself for reasons for his failure and not attributes them to fate or destiny or even any other external factor, there is no personal development. I completely agree that success is a very relative term. It doesn’t matter where you reached but what matters is, where did you start and how much of obstacles you overcame in journey. Success is a journey and not a destination. And in the journey of success, there is no limit to human endurance. Impossible is not a fact. Its just an opinion. I read these lines in a shoe shop in PVR Priya complex in New Delhi and have inspired me more than anything else.

Now, do you feel that fate is the last refuge for a coward? Yes. I feel so.


Muthukumar Puranam said...

Fate is nothing but the sum total of the results of your past actions. By exercising your free will in the past, you brought on the resultant fate (i.e., present). By exercising your free will in the present wipe out the past record and work for a better future. Whether for acquiring more happiness or for reducing misery, you have to exercise your free will in the present.

You are responsible for what you are today. You are responsible for your pain and suffering and misery. You cannot escape your responsibility by blaming fate, for fate is of your own making, or by blaming God, for he is but the divine dispenser of fruits in accordance with the merits of your actions. You have none to blame but yourself for your present state of affairs.

Fate is invisible. The past is past and is beyond our vision and unseen. Do not worry about fate or the past. The present is before you and by the exercise of your free will, you can shape the future and this is what you should do, instead of wasting your time or energy bothering about the past and fate. Fate places no obstacles in our path. All obstacles are of our own making and it is within our competence to overcome them.

Start with boundaries hope with the presumption that nothing is impossible for you, If you work with earnestness and persist in your efforts, you can accomplish anything. If we do not succeed in the first few attempts, it means that in the past we have exercised our free will just in opposite direction. So our present effort must be proportionate to that past activity to eliminate its effects. Thus the obstacles which we face in life are just the gauge by which we have to guide our present activities. If you do not succeed even after your best effort, do not despair, for fate being a product of you free will, can never be stronger than free will. Your failure only means that your present exercise of free will is not sufficient to counteract the result of the past exercise of it. But if you keep on trying you are bound to succeed.

When we see a nail on the wall we cannot see what exact length of the nail is embedded in the wall. How much effort is required to pull out the nail depends on how deeply the nail is embedded in the wall. We do not desist from the attempt to pull out the nail simply because we happen to be ignorant of the length of the nail in the wall or of the number and intensity of the strokes which drove it in. Rather we persist and persevere in pulling it out. If we do not succeed in the first few attempts, we increase the number and the intensity of our present efforts to pull it out. The nail in the wall represents the obstacles which arise in our present life due to the wrong use of our free will in the past. Just as we persevere to pull out the nail from the wall, we should make persistent efforts to counteract the ill effects of our past actions. We are bound to pull out the nail sooner or later. Similarly, we are bound to overcome all the obstacles which we face in our life, if we try hard enough.

Muthukumar Puranam said...

This was by Jagaguru Sri.Chandrashekara Bharathi of sringeri.

Anonymous said...

Let's see - the boy lost his fingers doing something stupid and then he went back and did the stupid thing again. Fate/stupid - sounds like few job opportunities to me.
If I'm born rich and start the race to success at the finish line can I have a blog too.