April 16

Some ignorant people say: “Karma does everything. It is all destiny. If I am destined by my karma to be like this or like that, why then should I exert? It is my destiny only.” This is fatalism. This will bring inertia, stagnation and misery. This is perfect misunderstanding of the laws of karma. This is a fallacious argument. An intelligent man will certainly not put such a question. You have made your own destiny from within by your thoughts and actions. You have a free will to choose now. You have freedom in action. A rogue is not an eternal rogue. Put him in the company of a saint. He will change in no time. He will think and act now in a different way and will change his destiny. He will become saintly in character. Dacoit Ratnagar was changed into Sage Valmiki by the current of Rishi Narada. Jagai and Madai, two rogues of the first order were changed by the current of Nityananda, disciple of Lord Gouranga. You will have to desire, to think, and act. You can change karma in any way you like. You can become a yogi or jnani by right desire, by right thinking and by right action. You can attain the position of Indra or Brahma by good karma. Man is not a helpless being. He has free will of his own.

Man has power to choose between the alternatives which fate brings before him. In choosing between them he may either follow his tendencies produced by his past actions or struggle against them. The will of man is ever free. The arguments which are advanced by determinists in saying that human will is determined are not sound and tenable; they fall to the ground.

Dear friends! Man is the master of his destiny. Wake up now from the deep slumber to ignorance. Never become a fatalist. Think rightly. Act rightly. Lead a virtuous life. Never hurt the feelings of others. Mould your character. Purify you mind. Concentrate. Thou art nitya mukta
puruṣa (ever free spirit). Tat Twam Asi – Thou art That.

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The samskāras (habit-patterns)of virtuous actions are imbedded in the citta. They are also indestructible. They are real, valuable assets for you. They will prevent you from doing wrong actions. They will push you on to the goal. Selfless works will prepare the ground of antaḥkaraṇa (the psyche) for the reception of the seed of jnana. The path of karma yoga eventually leads to the attainment of infinite bliss of the self.


Swami Sivananda

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