Effort and Destiny

Effort and Destiny – A Dialogue between Rama and Sage Vasistha

Will is the prime instrument of all actions. Will and effort varies from person to person. While some can work tirelessly in right directions some need great effort to do ordinary work. Fortune and effort vie with each other, and the stronger of the two wins in the end. Therefore, man should work diligently so that his tomorrow may be overcome by todays effort. If one is to meet failures, danger, and adversity despite his effort, let it be known that it is because of misguided and misdirected effort.

A man can overcome his misfortune because of his past action, known as fate, destiny, by diligent, meritorious and lawful action in the present. We are the results of our efforts. It is effort that leads one to attain status, greatness, and riches in life.  It would be as a result of our actions, either in previous lives or in present life. And acts of present life supersede the previous, and demerits in previous life can be broken down by present actions. Good effort and lawful acts by men leads to his success or else turn into nothing or disadvantageous.

Chance is a meaningless word. Do not waste your youth by being lazy.  Prosperity does not stick to a man who depends on luck. It flies away. Know like all things, there is a limit to both human fate and effort. So work logically. Work as per scriptures. Work as per good counsel. Any man who works in the right course would never fail. But if he is to fail, understand you can rise up again.

A person who instead of working depends upon fate to provide fortune is perverted and bound to have misery. So if one is courageous in their effort, it is capable of averting one’s misfortune for between fate and effort, it is stronger of the two that wins. So be known that present acts can destroy those of past life and those of past life can destroy the efforts of present acts but the effort of man in righteous way are undoubtedly successful.  Of these present act is more superior.

If at times fates overpowers one’s effort, one has to face misfortune, do not be sorrowful for there is no use to grieve for that which is beyond one’s control.   If one has sorrow for that which he is powerless to prevent then his entire life will be wasted in sorrow for ultimate misfortune of death cannot be prevented. So please work persistently with the clarity of understanding and guided by wise men and books to succeed in this life.

There are many acts that will result in gain or loss, but it is the duty of the man to do what is right be it, peasant or painful. Those who abide by the law and fulfill his duties is bound to get all riches of the world. Only the ignorant believe in fatalism. Please give up fatalism for it a myth  and devoid of any cause or effect. Working hard, following local customs, attaining perfection in ones activity is what wise men do. Having obtained a body free from disease, mind free from troubles, try to know the knowable to prevent further birth. Whoever wants to avert his destiny through action, fulfills his wishes both in this world as well as the other world.

Our perceptions are the cause of our our mental activity and this triggers the bodily action whereby we obtain the fruits of our desire.         Even the gods and divine beings were bestowed with divinity because of their efforts.     On the contrary some of the so called great men have to lose their position due to lack of rightful action from their end.

No one can see his fortune nor has any seen it .Destiny has no form, no act, no motion or might. It has originated from the idea of karma, the idea of future retribution for ones past actions and the like. From this ignorant are led to believe that there is such a thing as destiny, something incapable of explanation. Know that yesterdays misdeed is rectified by following days good action. Therefore, let today overtake yesterday’s action. If destiny is to be sole cause of everything, then most of the regular activities of men loose relevance. Destiny is immaterial. Nonexistent. If destiny is to be main spring of movements of all beings in three worlds, then men need not perform any acts, can rest as destiny will perform their parts. The belief that we are guided by destiny and do as we led to do is a deception and an excuse. One who fancies upon destiny and relies upon it does so to his disadvantage. The intelligent raise themselves to better position by their effort. So give yourself to your best efforts.

  • Pearls of wisdom from “Yoga Vasistha” of Valmiki