All men are subjected to and governed by destiny and action. Our actions do not become successful either by action or destiny alone and need both for success. Action when destiny is not auspicious and absence of action when time is right, is not likely to be successful. Thus for human success action and destiny has to go hand in hand like timely rain in well prepared soil.
Sometimes, destiny acts on its own without waiting for action. It is also impelled by destiny that one takes up certain work at times, exerts and that leads to success. However, it is seen that the work of competent man, even when well directed, is without the concurrence of destiny does not produce the expected results at times. This makes some respond that action and intelligence are of no use and tend to be idle, and work without intelligence.
Normally, any act done produces a result depending upon the effort. It is also seen that no action leads to misery. A person obtaining something without effort and person who exerts not obtaining something is an exception. Action is needed to support life. Action is needed for happiness. Action is needed for experiencing the world. Action is always carried out aiming for some good and if it succeeds or fails in producing the expected results it is still accepted as no action or idleness is detrimental. However, world denounces one who seems to enjoy luxuries of life without obtaining it by sustained effort and is derided by society. Thus intelligent people do not subscribe to any benefit that is not result of once action rather they believe that it is injurious to one.
Efforts become unproductive only under two conditions. One when destiny supports but no action and the other when action take place but without destiny. Without exertion no act in this world will become successful. When an action is undertaken with dedication, combined with knowledge and skill, blessed by gods and destiny it is sure to result in success. Also those actions undertaken with the advice of counsels, elders, knowledgeable people and well-wishers is likely to produce result. On the contrary, when a person undertakes any work without the advice from counsels, moved by passion, anger, fear and avarice it is likely to fail. Taking the counsel of wicked, foolish, cunning and those not wishing us well, acting without foresight, ignoring the advice of well-wishers is also likely to lead to failure.
Thus a man guided by expert counsel, well-wishers, elders should undertake action that is well thought, skillful and exert for it to becomes successful. If those men whose acts do not succeed even after the application of exertion, should without doubt be regarded as afflicted by destiny. Thus having put the best efforts possible such man has nothing to ponder upon and is happy for his effort.
Adopted from “Mahabharata”, Book 10, Sauptika Parva, Kisari Mohan Ganguli Translation from Sanskrit