Tolerating the Destiny

2nd Oct 2006
Sudarshana devi dasi

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev.

Few days back, I came to know about an old friend of mine who was undergoing troubles which were beyond my imagination. It was really tough for me to believe why and how such things could happen to a person who was simple and straight-forward in nature. At that moment it struck me that whether one possess good qualities or bad, we are all totally helpless in this miserable world and are incapable of saving ourselves on our own,  from destiny. When I requested that friend to chant the Mahamantra, he replied that he was already doing that more these days and added that this was alone keeping him alive in this most challenging situation. On hearing that I could realise how Lord's shelter alone is the safest shelter in this world of miseries and how it gives one strength to face destiny with courage.

Today, when I was listening to one of the lectures of my Spirtual master, H H Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj, Maharaj was quoting how destiny or bhaagya would never leave us.  Maharaj gave the example of how Karna, right from the time of his birth had to face so much problems for no fault of his. His mother Kunti, could not keep him as she gave birth to him by invoking Sun-god when she was still a virgin and so she put him in a basket and dropped it in the river, where he was picked up by a fisherman. So since childhood Karna was thinking that he was the son of shudra. Though he was kshatriya, he was deprived all name and fame. When he desired to learn archery, Dronacharya refused to teach him as he was son of shudra. Later he introduced himself as brahmana and learnt all knowledge from Bhargava muni. But destiny did not leave him even at that time. At the time of his departure from Gurukul, Bhargava Muni wanted to take rest for sometime and requested for a pillow. In an attempt to please his guru, Karna requested him to sleep on his lap. When the guru was resting a terrible insect came and bit Karna's lap. Since he didn't want to disturb his guru, he tolerated the pain and later Bhargava muni woke up, he was able to realise that Karna could not be a brahmana. Instead of praising his disciple for the service, Bhargava Muni cursed him that he would not remember whatever he has taught him at the time of need as he had lied to him that he was brahmana. After some time, Karna by mistake shot a cow, thinking it to be a deer. The owner of the cow was a brahmana and when Karna realised that he had by mistake shot the cow, he asked for forgiveness. But the brahmana cursed him saying that just like how the cow was killed in helpless condition, he too would be killed in a helpless condition. In this way we can see that how although there was a chance for Karna to become a very powerful warrior and rule over the entire planet, destiny was  smashing all his plans to become ruler of entire world.

When things fail to happen as per our wish, we should realise that this is definitely due to reactions of previous Karma or plan of Lord. So it is important for us not to waste our time and effort in working against the destiny or lamenting about it. Rather we should learn to tolerate the destiny and not to be envious of people who are not facing such problems. Envy will not help us to conquer destiny. If we know that the Lord is in control, then we would be able to tolerate the destiny. Lord Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita, verse 9.10

mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ sūyate sa-carācaram
hetunānena kaunteya jagad viparivartate

This material nature, which is one of My energies, is working under My direction, O son of Kunti, producing all moving and nonmoving beings. Under its rule this manifestation is created and annihilated again and again.

In summary, material nature, without the superintendence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, cannot do anything. We may intend to do so many things. But nothing happens without the superintendence or sanction of Supreme Lord. We are limited and so are our intentions and plans. But Lord knows the past, present and future and knows what is best for each one of us. Every single thing happens under His superintendence. When we understand this truth and surrender unto Him, He would give us al the strength to tolerate the destiny and if He wishes, He would even change destiny .

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Sudarshana devi dasi.