Destiny may determine the complexion of our face, but we determine the expression on our face

“Is everything destined?” We may ask when factors beyond our control wreck our efforts to succeed in life.

Gita wisdom answers that some things are destined, not everything. Our relationship with destiny is like that of the wind with the sky — just as the sky determines the range of movement of the wind, not the movement itself, destiny (which works under God’s will) determines the scope of our actions, not our actions themselves (Bhagavad-gita 09.06) 

Let’s consider how this dynamic may play out with regard to something that often affects how people view us: our complexion. Suppose someone is born with a dark complexion in a culture that considers fair complexion the standard of beauty. They may feel that destiny has undermined them right from birth. But they still can choose what kind of expression they wear on their face. 

A less attractive complexion with a warm smile is appealing, sometimes more appealing than a highly attractive face with a perpetual scowl. And if that pleasing expression comes from a caring disposition, they have what it takes to develop stable, sweet relationships. A fair complexion may make the first impression positive, but what will make subsequent impressions positive is disposition. We don’t get to choose our complexion, but we do get to choose our expression and our disposition. 

Rather than resenting destiny for the unfavorable things that aren’t in our control, we can focus on the favorable things that are in our control and strive to tap them fully. Such tapping becomes easier when we empower ourselves by harmonizing lovingly with the omnibenevolent supreme, Krishna, understanding that he has a plan and purpose for our life. 

Thus, by accepting what destiny has determined without obsessing over it, we can take the initiative to create a brighter, better future. 

Think it over:

  • What Gita example illustrates the scope of destiny?
  • What contemporary example illustrates how we can work constructively within our destiny?
  • Do you feel limited by destiny in any area? Within that limitation, how can you still take initiative?

***

09.06 Understand that as the mighty wind, blowing everywhere, rests always in the sky, all created beings rest in Me.

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