We were exploring meaning of the word Destiny, while discussing the question, “what is the outcome of our living” in previous issues. Let us now wrap up the discussion by seeing the reason why Rishis have used the word Karma or Prārabdha. Some tend to translate the word as ‘destiny’, which may look as though we are helpless tools and that we are bound to suffer or enjoy that which is in store. This could sap all the incentive for living. However, by understanding the word as Prārabdha karma or Karma phala, the problem is resolved. Karma Phala means result of action, which could only be true to the action performed. Prārabdha means that which has already begun and this is a more specific term. Actions we have performed qualify us in gaining certain results, some have started yielding their fruits, whereas the others have not yet come to fruition.
This means, that as we sow so we reap, and there is no point crying over spilt milk. There is a great need for being careful so as not to spill what is there in our hands right now. So, we pay attention to the transactions on hand, not because of fear, but because of the understanding that prevention is better than cure. It is far better not to put the legs in the mire or marsh, than putting in deep, and then complaining that it has become dirty and washing it. We learn to perform sensible actions not just impulsive ones. The Rishis want us to be accountable or responsible persons and perform actions that have the backing of our understanding. Hence, the conclusion that all incentive has been taken away, is meaningless. In fact, there is an incentive for working sensibly and responsibly.
Let us go to the next word, ‘freewill’. More often than not, we abuse this word. We think freewill, means a freedom given to do whatever we want to-a license as it were to impulsively react and get away with the action, which it is not. Well, there is nothing wrong to subscribe to the above view, but we should extend the same freedom to the others also. We cannot claim the domain of freedom of action purely for ourselves. Although we may wish, it does never ever work that way. Hence, the freewill that we are talking about is a freewill, well regulated by our thinking faculty. Well, having understood the meaning of the word freewill, let us proceed. Fate alone does not rule our life, freewill has an equal part to play.
This means that nobody has tied our hands and that we have a lot of say in achieving the result for which we are working. That we enjoy freewill does not mean that we could achieve almost anything that we wish or for which we have worked. There are definite laws that govern the creation and they include laws of action and their results. If on understanding the laws, we work accordingly, then the results would be a blessing, but if our actions were not in line with the laws, then the result would only bind us.
So, let us come back to the main question – what is the outcome of our living? Well, the answer is simple and clear. It depends on our attitude, the mode of action, and time and place do have a secondary role to play. We should keep in mind this simple but profound truth: to act is given to us, but not results, which would always be in accordance with the laws. Time, place, attitude, appropriate & adequate actions have a role to play. Whatever result we gain is what we deserve for the action that we have put forth, though it might not have been the desired one. The law is, we always get what we deserve, but not what we desire. The job of converting our desire into appropriate-adequate-action-pattern is in our hands. If actions have the right blend of appropriateness, adequacy, right time and Lord’s blessings, results would always be favorable. We should understand favorable results as being favorable to the action done, which simply means, any accomplishment calls for proper thinking followed by proper action at the proper time.