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Drop The False Ideas Of Predestination And Fate

There is a deep-rooted idea in the heart of a section of our people that Vidhata Purusha (the dispenser of fate) determines all about a man’s life beforehand, and writes every detail of the same on the forehead of a baby when it is born.

Whatever vicissitudes of fortune, whatever adversity or prosperity the child will pass through in its life, is predestined. Even the strongest efforts on its part cannot avert them. The best plan, therefore, is to reconcile oneself to one’s fate.

These slavish ideas of daiva, predestination, fate and destiny should at once be knocked on the head, and the healthy and vigorous ideas of self-help, self-exertion should be taught and practiced.

These cramping, weakening and false imaginations have reigned long in our society and sapped its foundation, dragging men down to the level of crawling worms. These notions have got rooted so deep in our hearts that it demands most vigorous efforts to eradicate them.

Are not these fancies of helplessness in the hands of adrishta quite contrary to the teachings of the Shruti, which proclaims with a lion’s roar the ideas of fearlessness and faith in the power of soul, urging man to stand on his own legs?

The idea of fear and the sacrifice of one’s independence at the altar of one’s diseased imagination destroy manhood and the sense of responsibility, reducing man to a lifeless machine.

Is there a dearth of real troubles in this world that imaginary ones are manufactured for our misery by idle brains? It is well known that the lazy defend their sluggishness by trying to throw all blame and responsibility on agencies apart from themselves.

The Yoga Vasishtha denies the existence of a supernatural daiva or adrishta and declares it to be the resultant of past karma.

The Gita proclaims with potent voice, ‘Let one uplift oneself by self; let not one drag oneself down: for self alone is the friend of oneself and self alone is the enemy of oneself. Self is the friend of oneself for one who has conquered oneself by self, but the unconquered self is inimical like a foe.’ (6.5-6)


Source – Excerpt from an article published in Prabuddha Bharata in October 1904