Destiny or Free Will

I have often been asked: If ‘Prabhu ke ishaarey key bagair patta bhee naheen hilta’ (Without the consent of the Lord, not even a leaf sways) then where is the free will of man?

I answer that there are two schools of thought. One believes the above, others believe that within a certain amount of space, man has free will.

I believe that certain aspects of life are predestined and cannot be altered, like birth, parentage, color of skin…yet, free will plays a great role in the attitudes one adopts towards the various vicissitudes that confront one, in life.

One could say that ‘matter’ has a destiny, whereas the spirit of man is free.

I have read that good deeds and prayers create such a powerful karma that it may be able to neutralize the effect of negative ones.

My Guru believed that astrology is a science of probabilities. I suppose that could mean that man is free to change a part of life’s outcomes.

I have read that the Great Ved Vyaasa had himself made the horoscope of Duryodhana and had predicted that the latter would be an invincible warrior. When Duryodhana was defeated and killed, Ved Vyaasa explained that Duryodhana’s life had been shortened due to his evil actions, which negated the advantageous impact of the position of the stars. The opposite is also true! There have been occasions where prophecies have proved true, despite all pains undertaken to prove them false.

Sometimes one does not get the good/bad consequence of ones action in this life due to the good/bad karmas of a previous life.

Some people believe that powerful saints have the capacity to change another person’s destiny by way of the godly person’s blessings. Possible, but one is not sure whether the karma due to which the desire was not bearing fruit, was destroyed or postponed.

It is also believed that great Masters and saintly persons are capable of taking upon themselves the karma of others. They willingly do so because of their tremendous compassion as well as they have the capacity to endure the ‘storm’ with a smile on their lips and hearts.

Whether there is free will or unalterable destiny, the bottom line, is that we all have a life to live, and to live to the best of our capacity. I believe, that the key is to be sincere and persevere in our journey to Divinity.

The good news is that we are guided and protected by Grace, whether we are sincere and persevering, or not. Why and how? Because what we seek is hiding closer than the closest: Within us!