- DESTINY AND DETERMINATION
DESTINY AND DETERMINATION
Chandragupta Maurya. From a very young age, he was motivated and mentored by a Brahmin named Chanakya. Chanakya was a person of steely determination, dogged tenacity and colossal wisdom. There is a famous story about Chanakya. One day, when he was only few years old, he heard his mother crying. He asked her the reason of crying. She said that, “It is written in your horoscope or the palms of your hand that you are destined to be a king. So, you will then forget your mother”. On knowing this reason, immediately Chanakya took a knife and cut with it deep lines on his palm. Then he said to his mother, “Look, I have changed the lines of my palm; I have changed my destiny and so I will never become a king”. This Chanakya was the kingpin behind guiding and enthroning Chandragupta Maurya. He changed not only the lines of his own “fate” or “destiny” but also made the fortune of his chosen disciple, Chandragupta Maurya, by building the great Mauryan empire that sprouted a legendary period in the history of India in terms of culture, architecture, politics and strength — all because Chanakya had the vision and the determination. Similarly, each one of us is born with various dreams and desires and has a lot to accomplish. But the question arises whether we wish to accept whatever life offers us by taking it as unchangeable destiny or whether we are willing to create our own destiny. Even in recent times, there are many examples of persons who wrote their own destiny.
There is the example of Steve Jobs, who had 700 patents to his credit and is eminently known as the creator of Apple Computers and iPhones. He was poor and not able to afford college education. But he trusted himself and worked assiduously at what he loved and we all know that his company Apple Inc. is perhaps the most valuable franchise in the world. There are also many examples of famous personalities. J.K. Rowling, the author of Harry Potter, who was penniless and divorced, trying to raise a child on her own before she wrote a novel, became one of the richest women in the world. The above examples remind us of the fact that though many people in the world believe in destiny and despair, yet there are a few people in the world who choose to be masters of their own destiny. On the other hand, there is also a section of people, mostly highly educated in science, who do not believe in destiny at all.
Destiny means a predetermined course of events or fate. The term destiny is normally applied to a person’s life or human affairs in the world. In India, it is believed that on the sixth day after a child is born, “Vidhi” comes and writes in black and white the destiny of the child. Thus, most people put the blame on God or on destiny when they face extreme circumstances and challenges in life. Most people even say, “I am destiny’s child...”, when they feel victimized in vicissitudes. Such a belief can only help give consolation; but, the question remains, if there is sorrow in personal or professional life, what is the method to get rid of it? But, “Vidhi” means “method”. And, the meaning of God or “Bhagwan” is “Bhagya-Vidhata”, meaning the one who is the Maker of Fortune, or more appropriately, the One who reveals the Vidhi or method of creating an elevated fortune. This is also what is said in the Gita.
It is said that determination can turn impossible into possible. Determination means to have firm faith in the self despite daunting circumstances. Determination means firmness of purpose or resoluteness. ‘God helps those who help themselves’ is a popular saying that emphasizes the need of determination, courage and self-initiative. If one has faith in himself and acts according to the divine laws, then he will always have the blessings of God. Such a person will be able to carve out a beautiful destiny for himself, irrespective of any adversity or obstacles in his life.
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