Why does Destiny not always work the way one wants? We are free to think and desire whatever we want. Destiny brings only what one deserves. This is because destiny is related to one’s past life karma. Whatever we sow, we will reap. There is no getting away from the fruits of our action our destiny is weaved with our past samskara’s i.e Vibrational patterns acquired by our past karma’s. Whatever fruits we are receiving now reflect what we have earned in our past life. Work done in the past life comes easily
Work not done before brings with it challenges and obstacles. If one’s past life karmas are good they help and come to us as gifts, rewards, and full fill one’s duties smoothly.
When one has only undertaken bad karmas, the same efforts bring enmity, opposition, loss, and punishment. The fruits of one’s karmas are according to their seeds which one has sown in past lives. This friendship or enmity, unexpected reward or punishment is all the result of past life karmas.
There are many stories of saints and saintly beings who performed good karmas but had to face much opposition and suffering during their lifetime. There are many stories of bad people who performed only bad karmas but lived happy and luxurious lives. These stories point towards good or bad karmas performed in their past lives
First what are samskaras? Samskara means the impact of, the action we perform with complete awareness of its implication. When we perform such an action, a subtle impression is deposited in our bodies. Each time the action is repeated, the impression becomes stronger. This is how a habit is formed. The stronger the habits, the less mastery we have over our mind. We also know how our habit patterns shape our thoughts, speech, and actions. When our habit patterns become deeply ingrained they tend to alter our body chemistry which is known as addiction. When they become strong enough to alter our thinking process, it is called samskara. At this stage, we no longer remember when or how this process started.
When our mental world is totally under the influence of these impressions we perceive the world in our habitual ways. Our discriminatory faculty, the intellect, is colored and we spontaneously think and act by those colored perceptions, then the samskaras have become vasanas (literally, “color” or “coloring agent”).
Hence we start seeing ourselves and the world through the prism of our past deeds. Bad karma creates negative samskaras and good karma creates positive samskaras.
The question is how do we unravel this entire mystery of our past Karma? or Do we sit back and allow these subtle impressions of our past deeds run their course?
The Bhagavad Gita would be a good compass to navigate this entire mystery of past karma and destiny. Some key pointers from Bhagavad Gita
1. Work with Detachment: Perform your duty without laying claim to fruits of action
O, Arjuna, man is free to perform any kind of action, but there is no freedom in getting the fruits of one’s karma as one wants..
Chapter 2, Verse 47 – Bhagavad Gita, The Song of God
You might be thinking it’s futile to perform an action without the result. The Gita says perform your action but do it with equanimity. Free of attachment or aversion, preference or prejudice, desire or anger, honor or dishonor. Then accept that the result is not in our hands. Why?
A good analogy is from cricket when you are the batsman and you are too worried if the ball will hit the boundary. You tend to lose focus and the ball may not hit the boundary due to your diffused focus on batting.
By not caring for the fruits of one’s karmas, one goes beyond pleasure & pain. Pain is caused by attachment to one’s karmas. Expectations are the real cause of pain. When you do duty for its own sake one remains completely focussed.
2. Yoga: Focus on how to perform your work like Yoga. Yoga is a skill in action that is executing the work skilfully, perfectly, without any distraction. With this single minded concentration you tend to get better outcomes.
When horses want to run in
different directions to enjoy the pleasures on the way, the chariot is bound to
suffer in reaching its destination.
3 Swadharma : Practicingown dharma that is unique to oneself leads to liberation. One should never shy away from the responsibilities which come in our way.
4. Supreme Lord: Dedicate every action undertaken to the Supreme Lord and also surrender fruits of action to Him.It means that every action should be performed in a spirit of worship and detachment and that there should be no sense of doer ship, ‘I am the doer’.
Any action performed may result in success or failure, honor or dishonor, gain or loss. Cultivation of this attitude of acceptance will prevent us from becoming restless or depressed.
We need to understand that destiny can be changed only in the present. We can’t change our past karma’s. By shaping our everyday thoughts and with a meditative practice we can design our destiny
All work we undertake should lead to self- realization. Purification of our mind and heart leads to a favorable destiny.
Performing actions without any attachment leads to Moksha (liberation) than bondage
Curated by Jayanth Murthy. He is a seeker of truth with a beginner’s mind.