Thursday, April 12, 2012
Destiny through Freewill
Paradoxical though it may sound, it is so true that you can experience destiny only when acting under freewill.
And it is an irony that most of us, Indians, proponents of ‘Karma’, another name for ‘Destiny’, perhaps have the least experience of it, for our lives are so sheltered that most of us have never known free will.
Not most of them from the previous generation.
Most of the men too.
The tall figures of father, mother, grandparents, elder siblings, relatives and the community were always there to block our view of destiny.
For it was they who decided what we would do.
And it was again they who came in the way when we tried to do what WE wanted to do.
That being the case, the tentacles of octopus hauling us through life, how was one to see the wispy hand of destiny?
Father decided which school you would go to, mother decided what clothes you would wear, grandparents decided what games you would play, together they decided you would become an engineer, join an MNC, save so much every month and marry this guy...
And after that, the spouse’s family joined yours in making decisions for you.
So everything you did and everything you did not, you could ascribe to those people. Your family and your community. There was never an opportunity to ascribe anything to destiny.
In fact, more than the things that we did because of family or community, were the things – so many of them - that we did NOT do, because of them.
For years I thought...
If not for my granny, I could have kept my velvet skirt.
If not for my aunt, I could have continued to have short hair, like I had always had.
If not for my father who would not let me stay in hostels, I could have taken up engineering in Bangalore instead of BSc in Mysore.
If not for my mother who told on us when my father came home, we could have had cable connection to our TV like all our friends.
If not for my father who locked our telephone, I could have kept in touch with my college friends after we moved to another city and not have to go through years of loneliness.
If not for my mother who opened my letters to see if they were from a boy, I could have carried on my correspondence with friends without tension and guilt.
When my father exacted a promise from me that I would marry the arranged way and not ‘love some guy’, I gave him my word, feeling like his victim and wishing he were more broadminded, wishing we were not Indians, but westerners.
Some day, I thought, someday, after I started earning, when I would be free and independent, I would do all I wanted, buy all I wanted, have all I wanted, because then who would stop me?
I would live life as I pleased.
I would have everything my way.
Nothing could stop me.
There came a day when I moved out of my house because of work and started living on my own in a different city.
I began drifting away from the person I had been influenced to become towards the person I was meant to become. Myself.
And after half a decade of acting under free will,
When I began to see there was no relation between cause and effect, not always,...
When strangers walked into my life and became part of it...
When friends I thought I would grow old with suddenly became strangers...for all the freedom I now had to telephone them, write to them and meet them all I wanted...
When I was offered on a silver platter, the job that I had not known existed, but suited me perfectly...
When I left the job I thought I would keep all my life...for all the freedom I now had to work anywhere I wanted and live in any city...
When I came to live close to a Guru I had no faith in...
When there came a day of faith and I was on my way to say goodbye to him...
And when years after the day my exasperated mother asked me if I had a boy in mind, never mind the promise made to my father, I found myself still waiting for the man of my dreams and no one had appeared on the horizon yet, for all the freedom I now had to marry anyone I wanted,...
I saw that hand...the hand of destiny.
For there was no one else nearby trying to bear influence.
No one to stop me. I was acting under free will. Complete free will.
Even though I had all the freewill, I could not have my way.
Not for all my freewill. Not even with the cooperation of those who had once opposed freewill.
Without my willing, many things came to pass and with all my willing, I could just not make certain things happen...
And that was when destiny was clearest to me. That wispy hand stronger than the tentacles of any octopus, carrying me along the path of my Karma...
Like gravity. When you are on firm ground, you don’t see it. Only when you plunge, when under free fall, you know gravity.
Paradoxical, but true. Only when you are acting under freewill, you know destiny.
And only when I was under freewill, I was finally able to forgive all those people who had curbed it once, for at last I was able to see them as mere instruments.