Our destiny is not sealed – as long as we don’t seal ourselves with it
“Is our destiny sealed?” This question may trouble us when, despite our best efforts, things go wrong. No, answers Gita wisdom unambiguously.
Philosophical technicalities apart, the Gita’s setting itself demonstrates an implicit acceptance of the power of human choice to shape destiny. In the Gita (18.63), Krishna urges Arjuna to choose wisely after contemplating the preceding outline of the consequences of different courses of action. This call implies that Arjuna does indeed have the power to choose and that this choice will shape his future.
In determining our life’s trajectory, destiny’s role is substantial but not final. Due to our past karma, certain things that happen to us from the moment of our birth are determined – the occurrence of those events is our destiny playing out. But destiny doesn’t take away our power to choose how we respond to what happens.
However, if we let our mind get fixated on the idea of a sealed destiny, that pessimistic fixation can seal our destiny – it can dishearten and disempower us from using our free will to make proactive choices.
Does destiny affect our power to choose? Partially – it may predispose us towards certain behavior. Thankfully though, this predisposition is changeable. And the Gita maximizes our power to change by providing us the means to shift our focus beyond destiny to the Lord of destiny, Krishna.
When we train ourselves to fix the mind on Krishna, he grants us inner satisfaction and illumination. This experience of higher spiritual reality empowers us to choose healthy patterns of behavior, different from those we may have been previously habituated to. These better choices help us improve our situations even in this life. And ultimately, they enable us to attain eternal life with Krishna, which is the best destiny
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