Our Emeritus Chairman, Sri. S.A Chandran’s article on “Destiny & Freewill” was published in the December issue of Stay Fit Magazine.
The article is as follows:
Destiny & Freewill
“What we meet in life is destiny! How we meet is freewill’.
What is destiny? What is freewill? Destiny is where one can do nothing, it is choice less whereas, freewill is the choice than an individual exercises, in a given situation. Choice of using will is freewill.
There are few people that understand the difference between destiny (fate) and freewill and many people don’t. The difference between understanding or nonunderstanding or misunderstanding is the cause of happiness or unhappiness. An intelligent way of living is to accept our destiny and also strive to use our freewill. It is an enigma, but also a fact that we do not know our destiny. It is because of this that people keep striving, exercising their freewill, hoping to meet a destiny favourable to them. An individual who constantly strives, exercising freewill, but accepts destiny, whether favourable or unfavourable is bound to be happy. There are events in life which give happiness or unhappiness. Accepting/understanding of arrival and departure (transient nature) of events makes a person happy or unhappy.
All of us must have felt that with a little effort, we are able to achieve more and also with maximum effort we are not able to achieve or achieve less. There is something which is invisible beyond our capacity to cognise. This understanding is crucial to lead a happy and joyful life.
The following two examples with clarify:
- Game of snakes and ladders:
The player must know the rules of the game-how to move the pawn and how to roll out the dice. For moving the pawn, there is no effort and it is seen. When we roll the dice, we do not know what the outcome will be. We have to move the pawn according to the number. There is no skill in playing this game. There is no resistance but we accept. We simply go by the rules. Snakes and ladders can be compared to the journey of life. There are ups (ladders) and downs (snakes) in everyone’s life.
- Game of boxing
Life is like a boxing game. The difference between the game and life is that in life, the other player is invisible (destiny). In the game of boxing, we know the strength and weakness of the opponent. But in the case of life, we do not know the strength and weakness of destiny. That is the real and crucial point to accept. Sometimes, we get a rude shock and sometimes a mild one. When there is a rude shock from the invisible boxer, we are unhappy. If we give a rude shock to the invisible boxer, we are happy. The intelligent way of living is to accept this fact that the invisible boxer is TIME. If our time is good, things will go well. If our time is not good, things will be bad.
In the first example, the players do not resist; they accept the rules of the game and play, as they would a game of chance. In the second example, the boxer, resists and strives very hard to win. He exercises his free will in his stance and his punches.
A wise way is a combination of two-to accept without resistance, things we that we cannot change and to resist, exercise freewill and strive to change those that we can, without being attached to the outcome. The key is in knowing the difference between the two.
The goal of life is to be happy. Arrival and departure of events is inescapable. It is present in everyone’s life. We call it as good luck or bad luck. It is earned by us. The scriptures distinguish as punyam (good luck) and papam (bad luck). Both of them are invisible. One must understand that destiny is earned and freewill is given. In this life, we cannot control our destiny, but we can contribute by exercising our freewill.
The conviction born out of this understanding will make one to be happy always.
“If you want to be happy, be” – Leo Tolstoy