We have another reader question by Hari
Is there something called destiny? If so, how do people know they should get there and it is their destiny? How do we plan to get somewhere when we have that apprehension if that is our place ? How do we know that we are born to do something in life?
Good question. But this is highly debatable one too, since there is no evidence of destiny and whatever I am going to write as my perspective cannot be validated. It is just my perspective which may or may not align with yours.
Let me tell you a small incidence.
I was interviewing with a company and the interviewer asked me
Why should I hire you?
I don’t know who you should hire me. It is upto you to decide. And I am not here to convince you to hire me. If you hire me, its great. If you do not hire me, I will simply find another employer. You called me for the interview and hence I arrived, make no mistake, it is not my task to convince you. It is your task to convince yourself why you should hire someone for your organization, I am not here to do your task.
Also, can you tell me why I should trust you?
As expected, the interview ended and I went my way.
The moral of this incidence – there is no need to convince people about your identity and abilities. This also includes yourself. You will eventually get what you are destined to get, provided you work for it. So if you do not get X, you will certainly get Y. If not Y, Z. And so on.
So when you ask this question – what is destiny and how do I know whether I have reached my destiny, you actually want to convince yourself that you have reached your goal or you want to become X, Y or Z.
There is a thing called Destiny. But destiny takes shape with your actions. How you act now decides what your tomorrow will be. If you are destined to become a millionaire, you have to work to get there. If you abandon your karma, your destiny won’t help you. Destiny is a function of your karma, the reverse is not true.
Destiny is not a fixed destination. When you were 5 year old, the scope of destiny was limited. You were destined to enter a college by 18 but beyond that, destiny had no purview. In short, when you were 5 years old, your destiny’s scope was upto the college gate (provided you work for it). When you get to the college gate, the scope of destiny is upto the interview table. And so on and so forth.
So destiny is continuously changing as you walk the path. There is no fixed destination where anyone can arrive and scream
Hurrah. I have achieved my destiny
That is not true. There is no such promised land. Destiny is a process in the making, even after your death.
How do we plan to get somewhere?
Hello reader, you are in this earth and this earth is revolving around the sun. That is the journey that you are leading every day. You cannot break this cycle, you are not in control. You are being controlled.
Where do you want to get to? Become a Millionaire? Become an ascetic? Become super famous? You are referring to specific stations and these stations and but just temporary halts.
Both the ascetic and the millionaire also has the same dilemma that you have.
Millionaire – What is my destiny? I have achieved all the wealth in this earth and there is nothing left to achieve. Let me abandon all the wealth, so I can get a purpose to win it back.
Ascetic – What is my destiny? I have achieved nothing in this earth and there is so much to achieve. Let me work for it so I can get a purpose in life.
So you see, everyone is “seeking” a purpose. And through this perpetual effort, destiny takes shape. It is not fixed. Just like the universe moves to an unknown address without taking anyone’s permission, your destiny moves to an unknown station without taking your permission. You can never ever be fully aware of what you are destined to be, since your actions change the direction of your destination.
Isaac Newton was not aware that he will become a scientist. It just so happens that he discovered the law of gravitation. He wasn’t aware of his destiny either.
Purpose is not a Necessity
How do I know what we are born to do something in life?
You were not born to do anything for anyone. The world is not waiting for your contribution. There can be purpose, there can be no purpose. It is not mandatory that everyone must have a “purpose”. Purpose is not a necessity.
Food is a necessity. Shelter is a necessity. Sleep is a necessity. Water is a necessity. Everything else is not a necessity, this includes “Having a purpose in life”.
Purpose is a luxury.
You define that “I have a purpose in life”, so that you convince your mind that whatever you are doing is justifiable. That is the song you sing to your own head so that the head stops pestering you again and again. That is the whole purpose of a purpose.
There are people who have no purpose in life and they are extremely content, happy and lead a fulfilled life. The fact that you think you need a purpose, is just your own imagination about having or acquiring something.
To answer your original questions
Is there something called destiny? – Yes there is a thing called Destiny but it has a limited scope and it is a function of your present Karma.
If so, how do people know they should get there and it is their destiny? – Nobody knows what their destiny is or could be. Destiny is a process, not a fixed destination.
How do we plan to get somewhere when we have that apprehension if that is our place – You can’t plan for the destiny that is waiting 20 years later. You can only plan for the destiny that is waiting 20 days later. And while you plan and act, your destiny of 20 days changes to something else. Through this perpetual change, your destiny of 20 years also changes. It is a continuous change and nobody can stop this change.
How do we know that we are born to do something in life?
You can’t. You just be who you are and enjoy what you enjoy, not worrying or trying to know the purpose of your life. The time comes when you keep doing something all day, months after months, year after year and people tell you that you do this thing really well. Then you get some clue that maybe this is the purpose of your life. But then again, it is a maybe. It will change, as you change your karma. There is a saying in Hindi
Laxmi, Pran, Sarir, Atma – sab kuch chalayman hai. Kewal Dharma hi Sthir hai
Objective, destiny, purpose and fulfillment – everything is continuously moving. Only Dharma is still. Dharma is the cause you are tied to.
One of the readers of this blog emailed me saying that my writing is very attractive. That does not mean that Writing is the objective of my life. At one point, I used to be a musician and I thought that music is the purpose of my life. But now I know that music is not the purpose of my life. This is because now I am a different person compared to the musician who I was 5 years ago. So the purpose has converted to something else. I will become someone in 5 years to come and then I will have another objective, another purpose.
So you see, In one life, you live infinite lives. You transform, you change, you die and take birth every morning. Your life is not just one life, it is a collection of infinite lives. There can be one fixed purpose and there can be no fixed purpose and there can be varying purpose, it is completely up to you and your karma. So do not worry if you do not know what is the purpose of your life, it is perfectly fine not to have any purpose whatsoever. Purpose, after all, is not a necessity.