Most of us have, at some point, read or heard about, and maybe even experienced the power of destiny. Some say that destiny cannot be changed, modified or escaped. While a few others say that no matter how powerful the forces of destiny are, it can be overcome through strong, unflinching determination.
The story of Sati Savitri
Thousands of years ago, Savitri was the daughter of King Ashwapati. When she reached the age of marriage, her father sent her on a quest to find her life partner. She wandered far and wide but could not find anyone she could imagine getting married to. Finally, she reached a forest glade and there she saw a handsome youth – Satyavan, and decided that only he could be her husband.
When she returned home and declared her decision, the divine saint Narad, who had just arrived to meet the king, expressed some concern on the choice of the groom. When pressed for an explanation, he declared that Satyavan was the son of the blind, exiled king of Shalva and was destined to die a year from that day. Savitri’s parents, with obvious concern, tried to dissuade her and begged her to change her decision, but to no avail.
Savitri and Satyavan got married. And a year later, when the fateful day arrived, Savitri was determined to prevent her husband from dying. But he died anyway. So she followed Yama, the Lord of Death, into the realms of death, and through her intelligence and persistence, managed to win back her husband’s life, in addition to restoration of her father-in-law’s eyesight and kingdom. Such is the power of determination. It can overcome destiny!
Pujya Deepakbhai, a modern Spiritual teacher, explains
“Firm determination gives a lot of power, of a positive kind. So when we make a firm determination, we derive immense strength. Even Nature helps us by bringing about the necessary circumstantial evidences that do not disturb us. Therefore one should firmly decide on anything. And once determined, one should not waiver from that decision. When you have determined to do something, once decided, you should remain sincere to it. Don’t give up midway; stick to it. In doing so, you will get all the necessary help from Nature.”
Firm determination is that which once decided, lasts forever.
With such determination, you will get the necessary footing at the right time. But if you deviate, you do not gain as much. If one makes some decision and then keeps changing it, you might bear fruit, but over a longer period of time and in bits and pieces, not at a stretch. In case we falter after taking a decision, we should keep trying again and again. Negative thoughts such as ‘I can’t do it’ will destroy our strength.
In our life, there is a big role of destiny. But destiny is nothing but the result of our past karma. According to the law of karma, all our thoughts, speech and action in this life are fruits of the karma in some past birth(s). In this sense, our present thoughts, speech, and actions happen as they are destined to happen.
Can determination overcome destiny?
Pujya Deeapkbhai explains this aspect in a very simple and beautiful manner. He says:
There are two parts here:
- The destiny (discharged karma) of our current life, and
- Our determined goal which we are allowed to keep it distinct.
Our thoughts (which are a part of our destiny) may or may not be in line with our newly determined goal. Our destiny is separate and our determined goal is separate. We are allowed to determine a goal (different from our destiny); being born as human beings, we are entitled to this privilege.
Based on our ‘past’ life’s karma, our destiny is decided. However, our determination can be different from our destiny, for it is a new component of ‘this’ life. As human beings, we have the privilege to decide whether we want to go in line with or against our destined path. So, you can achieve your goals of this life without having to worry what is in your destiny.
For this, all you need to do is:
- make a firm determination and
- remain sincere to it.
The good goals/determinations to pursue in life:
- Never Hurt Anyone. I will not hurt any living being through my thoughts, words or actions
- Help Others. I will help others heartily through my mind, speech, and body and make my life worthwhile.
- Attain Self-Realization. I will attain true knowledge of ‘who am I’ and surely achieve this ultimate goal of human life!!
And to attain these goals, we can even ask for strength from God. Daily pray to God saying, “Oh God! Please give me strength to not hurt anyone, to help everyone and may I attain Self–Realization!” ??