Author Topic: Control in Life and Destiny  (Read 1403 times)

Orihh

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Control in Life and Destiny
« on: August 05, 2016, 11:24:32 PM »
I have a feeling that many of my recent problems are arising because I have a number of misunderstandings.  To offer some context, six months ago, I had what I believe to be a spontaneous experience of the self that profoundly changed my life.  Because of this experience, I've convinced myself that a number of things are fundamentally true.  One of these is that you have no control over your life - that everything happens on its own accord, and that no matter what you do, it is all God's work and not yours. 

When I first read the teachings of Bhagavan and his realized disciples, I figured that they were all saying similar things regarding prarabdha, so I never really looked further than my own understanding.  But now, it seems I need to check again.  Are we really bound by fate?  If we are, does that mean that we shouldn't "do" anything?  Who is the one that does things?  How will life continue if there is no one to live it (since God is the one who determines all)?

I've yet to find answers to these questions, and as a result, I've been distancing myself from the Self.  I've been taking psychedelic drugs, I've been engaging with lustful thoughts, I've stopped meditating, and I've stopped abiding with the truths I feel that I've realized.  Everything seems to be a mess, and my sense of direction has fallen away.

Please excuse any contradictions you find in my wording.  I'd appreciate any advice that you could give me!
Om Namo Saradamma

Ravi.N

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Re: Control in Life and Destiny
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2016, 12:48:27 AM »
Orihh,
wondering whether you wish to close the other thread and open this....I recall your other thread on Saradamma....so,you have 3 threads ...and if you have gone through some of the recommendations it may perhaps have helped.

The Fundamental thing is to take charge of your life....bring order,discipline and harmony....I think I had said this in the saradamma thread....It does not require any understanding of fate or freewill to give up something that you know is not good for you....If you realize smoking is injurious to health,you can give it up....ditto with other things as well....the Conviction is important and along with that you have to exercise 'Won't Power',i.e power to veto these harmful urges....this you can do only if you believe you can......if on the other hand you believe in 'Fate' and allow things to run their course,it will only make things more difficult....essentially you are adding more to your Karmic baggage that you need to clear as you go forward in life.

The Watchword is 'Take Charge of your Life'....and this means physical,emotional,intellectual and spiritual....none of these can be neglected....You need to organize life in a purposeful way....you need to have a meaningful routine for every single day....and go about it without slackening and with cheer.

Some suggestions:1.Physical-Take an 1 hour morning walk,Play Tennis fottball or any other sport;2.Emotional-Listen to Good music....Classical music Eastern or Western....Read good poetry;3.Intellectual-Read Professional journals,Good Non Fiction Books;4.Read The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna,other spiritual books by sages,...Listen to Hymns and Bhajans,Meditate or do self-enquiry....Introspect and checkout what you need to discard.

Going after the 'spiritual' without a firm foundation is like going on a fishing expedition without steadying the boat when it is rocking and tossing you off.

A sane Rational approach is called for and life has to be organized in productive and purposeful way.No 'sadhana' can be done without the foundation in place.

I have indicated some books already...'Thought-power' by Swami Sivananda is one thing....you may read other works of his as well,and they emphasize the need to bring about a holistic approach to Life .

Hope this helps.Wishing you the very best.

Namaskar.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2016, 01:04:45 AM by Ravi.N »

Orihh

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Re: Control in Life and Destiny
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2016, 12:59:33 AM »
Thank you, Ravi.N.  I'll definitely look into the texts suggested to me.  By Arunachala's Grace, I will solve these issues...
Om Namo Saradamma

Ravi.N

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Re: Control in Life and Destiny
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2016, 01:05:58 AM »
I have again revised mt post by adding some suggestions:
Some suggestions:1.Physical-Take an 1 hour morning walk,Play Tennis fottball or any other sport;2.Emotional-Listen to Good music....Classical music Eastern or Western....Read good poetry;3.Intellectual-Read Professional journals,Good Non Fiction Books;4.Read The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna,other spiritual books by sages,...Listen to Hymns and Bhajans,Meditate or do self-enquiry....Introspect and checkout what you need to discard.

Please see if this helps....Namaskar

Jewell

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Re: Control in Life and Destiny
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2016, 02:17:48 AM »
Dear Orihh,

What happened to You is very often,and i have seen it's happening to many seekers. It happened to me also. Listening all these stories about unconditional surrender,'Letting go',God is all doer and such,we tend to become idle,to wait for some crazy miracle to come and change everything around us,and to let many opportunities go. But actually,it was only our misunderstanding,nothing else. All what Sages said is true,but it has very different meaning than what we understood. Like surrender. With surrender they never meant we should stop live and breath,to leave everything to chance,or to stop living. We actually should surrender the fruits of our actions,never to expect some particular ending and reward,but to work in a spirit of playfulness. To do our work,the best way we know,what ever it is,and never to be anxious about it. That is the meaning of 'Living in the present'. Do Your work,that 'duty',to say,which is nearest to you,which is spontaneusly presenting to you. And never think what will happen with it(if it will work or not). Just do Your best. If you understand me. Surrendering is never idleness. It is to walk your path how ever hard it is,not struggling,not being in conflict with yourself,not worrying. Just living,with the knowledge that we are not this body and the mind,with the knowledge that all this mind play is just an illusion,and deep assurance we are already free. So,in surrender,there is no compulsion for any change whatsoever. Inner or other. But this is,of course,in ultimate sense,and we must come to this understanding ourselves. It does not help much just to read it. Just learn from Your mistakes,this is most important thing.
Also,many times,our idleness is the effect of something inside of us,some psichological problem,or conflict,or fear,many things,and we mask it with so called fate or surrender.

About fate and free will,well,they are very relative. It will not help much to think about it. The Truth is somewhere in between. Destiny,fate,karma,what ever we call it,can be easily overcomed. I remember Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj's words about it. And there is a story about one Shaiva Saint,who on account of His great devotion,defeated the Lord Yama,Lord of Death,and conquiered His destiny. I cannot remember His name at the moment. He is very famous,and His name is on my lips,but i cannot remember. But i am sure Sri Ravi can write about Him. After all,we cannot know what is our fate. So,how can we let everything to chances,if we do not know what is our destiny? Some say,well,do nothing it is your destiny. But what if our doing is the part of that same destiny? How can we know!?
And it can be opposite too. We maybe are doing so many things,and we actually should refrain from them. So it is very relative,very individual,and,among everything,very different from even to event.
Most often,we need not change much outside,just change attitude and our inner self. And then,we will be inspired to do things,or not,it depends,listening our intuition,our being,our inner voice.

Do not worry,just try to lift Yourself from this downfall. It happens very often. It happens to most 'advanced' sadhaks too. Maybe not to all in the same manner,but descent into tamas is very often. We often think it is satwa too,and this is most dangerous fall of all.
But there is no fall deep enough from which we cannot rise. Call on God,call on Your Guru,call on Divine,and all will be well. In such moments prayer,most sincere prayer,even just conversation with God,or even Yourself can help very much. You can fight with Youself too,this also helps a lot.  :)
Gunas are playing their games all the time,sometimes one is predominant,sometimes other. It is just important to recognize them,and when sattwa predominates to meditate and read spiritual books,or what ever practice You are doing,and when tamas are predominant to pray,and be aware it will pass soon. Just be aware of that.
What You asked in other tread,You can cultivate sattwa with spiritual reading,meditation,good eating habits,listening devotional music,some spiritual practice,watching Yourself,and trying to avoid too destructive people,too much unnecessary conversations,and ambients which are generally not very peaceful,or holly,how to say. Nature,and to be near rivers,or water in general helps much. Avoid bad company too. People who indulge in such destructive things. At least for the time being. I know it is impossible to avoid completely everything,but we always can avoid many of these things . Others,well,they are sometimes near us to make us strong.
Many things influence our thoughts. Everything in the Universe is connected,so do not trust them very much. They come and go,like winter,like summer.
All will be good if You are sincere.

Here is good excerpt about fate and free will:

Fate and self effort
Seeker's  Behaviour
YOGA VASISHTHA



Therefore, O Rama, listen to what I am about to say, which instruction is sure to remove the darkness of ignorance. In this world, whatever is gained is gained only by self-effort; where failure is encountered it is seen that there has been slackness in the effort. This is obvious; but, what is called fate is fictitious and is not seen.

Self-effort, Rama, is that mental, verbal and physical action which is in accordance with the instructions of a holy person well versed in the scriptures. It is only by such effort that Indra became king of heaven, that Brahma became the creator, and the other deities earned their place.

Self-effort is of two categories: that of past births and that of this birth. The latter effectively counteracts the former. Fate is none other than self-effort of a past incarnation. There is constant conflict between these two in this incarnation; and that which is more powerful triumphs.

Self-effort which is not in accord with the scriptures is motivated by delusion. When there is obstruction in the fruition of self-effort one should examine it to see if there is such deluded action, and if there is it should be immediately corrected. There is no power greater than right action in the present. Hence, one should take recourse to self-effort, grinding one's teeth, and one should overcome evil by good and fate by present effort. The lazy man is worse than a donkey. One should never yield to laziness but strive to attain liberation, seeing that life is ebbing away every moment. One should not revel in the fifth known as sense-pleasures, even as a worm revels in pus.

One who says, "Fate is directing me to do this", is brainless, and the goddess of fortune abandons him. Hence, by self-effort acquire wisdom and then realise that this self-effort is not without its own end, in the direct realisation of the Truth.

In this dreadful source of evil named laziness is not found on earth, who will ever be illiterate and poor? It is because laziness is found on earth that people live the life of animals, miserable and poverty-stricken.

As is the effort so is fruit, O Rama: this is the meaning of self-effort, and it is also known as fate [divine will]. When afflicted by suffering, people cry, "Alas, what tragedy" or "Alas, look at my fate" both of which mean the same thing. What is called fate or divine will is nothing other than the action or self-effort of the past. The present is infinitely more potent than the past. They indeed are fools who are satisfied with the fruits of their past effort [which they regard as divine will] and do not engage themselves in self-effort now.

If you see that the present self-effort is sometimes thwarted by fate [or divine will], you should understand that the present self-effort is weak. A weak and dull-witted man sees the hand of providence when he is confronted by a strong and powerful adversary and succumbs to him.

Sometimes it happens that without effort someone makes a great gain: for example, the state elephant chooses [in accordance with an ancient practice] a mendicant as the ruler of a country whose king suddenly died without leaving an heir; this is certainly not an accident nor some kind of divine act, but the fruit of the mendicant's self-effort in the past birth.

Sometimes it happens that a farmer's efforts are made fruitless by a hailstorm: surely, the hailstorm's own power was greater than the farmer's effort and the farmer should put forth greater effort now. He should not grieve over the inevitable loss. If such grief is justified, why should he not weep daily over the inevitability of death? The wise man should of course know what is capable of attainment by self-effort and what is not. It, however, ignorance to attribute all this to an outside agency and to say that "God sends me to heaven or to hell", or that "an outside makes me do this or that". Such an ignorant person should be shunned.

One should free oneself from likes and dislikes and engage oneself in righteous self-effort and reached the Supreme Truth, knowing that self-effort alone is another name for divine will. We only ridicule the fatalist. That alone is self-effort which springs from right understanding which manifests in one's heart which has been exposed to the teachings of the scriptures and the conduct of holy ones.

With a body free from illness and mind free from distress, one should pursue Self-knowledge so that one is not born again here. Such self-effort has a threefold root and therefore threefold fruit ? an inner awakening in the intelligence, a decision in the mind, and the physical action.

Self-effort is based on these three ? knowledge of scriptures, instructions of the preceptor, and one's own effort. Fate [or divine dispensation] does not enter here. Hence he who desires salvation should divert the impure mind to pure endeavour by persistent effort ? this is the very essence of all scriptures.

The Holy one emphasise: persistently tread the path that leads to the eternal good. The wise seeker knows: the fruit of my endeavours will be commensurate with the intensity of my self-effort and neither fate nor a god ordain it otherwise. Indeed, such self-effort alone is responsible for whatever man gets here; when he is sunk in unhappiness, to console him people suggest that it is his fate. This is obvious: one goes abroad, one appeases one's hunger, by undertaking a journey and by eating food ? not on account of a fate. No one has seen such a fate, but everyone has experienced how an action [good or evil] leads to a result [good or evil]. Hence, right from one's childhood, one should endeavour to promote one's true good [salvation] by a keen intelligent study of the scriptures, by having the company of the holy ones and by right self-effort.

Fate or divine dispensation is merely a convention which has come to be regarded as Truth by being repeatedly declared to be true. If this fate is truly the ordainer of everything in this world, of what meaning is any action [even like bathing, speaking or giving], and whom should one teach at all? No. in this world everything, except a corpse, is active and such activity yields its appropriate result. No one has ever realised the existence of a fate or divine dispensation. People use such expressions as "I am impelled by fate or divine dispensation to do this", for self-satisfaction, but this is not true. For example, if an astrologer predicts that a young man would become a great scholar, does that young man become a scholar without study? No. Then, why do we believe in divine dispensation? Rama, this sage Visvamitra became a Brahma-Rishi by self-effort; all of us have attained Self-knowledge by self-effort alone. Hence, renounce fatalism and apply yourself to self-effort.


Wish You all the best!

With love and prayers,
« Last Edit: August 06, 2016, 03:42:49 AM by Jewell »

Orihh

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Re: Control in Life and Destiny
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2016, 03:46:03 AM »
Thank you, Ravi.N and Jewell for your words.  I see now that I've fallen for my own trap.  When I came to the understanding that no one has control over their lives, I quickly learned that such information wouldn't be comprehensible to anyone who hadn't experienced it for themselves.  I didn't tell anyone about the concept because I knew that they would likely stop their efforts and eventually confuse themselves.  As time passed, and as I forgot the Self, this exact thing happened to me.

What stood out from the text you shared, Jewell, was "Self-effort alone is another name for divine will".  Clearly, no progress will be made without the individual decision to practice.

With much gratitude,
« Last Edit: August 06, 2016, 03:48:35 AM by Orihh »
Om Namo Saradamma

Ravi.N

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Re: Control in Life and Destiny
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2016, 05:31:08 AM »
Jewell,
Wonderful post ....and the excerpt from Yoga Vasishta is absolutely top drawer.

Quote
What is called fate or divine will is nothing other than the action or self-effort of the past. The present is infinitely more potent than the past. They indeed are fools who are satisfied with the fruits of their past effort [which they regard as divine will] and do not engage themselves in self-effort now

The above truth is something that Swami Vivekananda used to hammer over and over again.

The devotee you have alluded to is Markandeya....His story may be read here....I thought it presents the story well....Please refer:
http://www.bhagavatam-katha.com/sage-story-sage-markandeya-winning-over-death/

Namaskar.

Ravi.N

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Re: Control in Life and Destiny
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2016, 05:36:20 AM »
Orihh,

Quote
What stood out from the text you shared, Jewell, was "Self-effort alone is another name for divine will".  Clearly, no progress will be made without the individual decision to practice.

Absolutely....I am very happy for you and wish you all the very best...You have the inner potential and I am sure it will guide you and clear the way for you.

The Divine will is not something that operates out of the sky or in the air outside!....It has to operate through us only and for that we have to tune ourselves in the Right way.

Namaskar.

Jewell

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Re: Control in Life and Destiny
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2016, 03:55:25 PM »
Dear Orihh,

I am very happy that You found that article from Yoga Vasishta inspirative. It helped me also. We all fall into this trap from time to time,so such books and writings indeed are of great help.
Well,this is the part of sadhana,of our journey itself,it is the part of maturing,and these experiences can be very tough when we pass through them,but they can be very important for our further development,and can be the great teacher to us.
We tend to go from extreme to extreme. To be idle and do nothing,or,when we see we are in error,to be very active,and to be consumed by our actions. Which is again wrong. It is important to be active,but never to be consumed by our actions. So,mindfulness is very important always.
I have read somewhere one quote which goes somewhere like this : 'Dare to die they say,But i say,Dare to live.'
And to live in such manner not to be 'drowned' in all these doings. Well,we are all learning all the time. This is sadhana in itself.

With all love and prayers,

Jewell

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Re: Control in Life and Destiny
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2016, 04:10:07 PM »
Dear Sri Ravi,

So true,i love Yoga Vasishta in general. It is the golden literature. I never had read the whole work,and this is one thing i truly need to do. It is truly mind blowing. Some of the teachings there strike right in the heart. And,yes, Swami Vivekananda always pointed this. His works are full of such noble ideals.

Thank You very much for sharing the story about Sage Markandeya! It is so beautiful story indeed.

With all love,

ramesh.aba

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Re: Control in Life and Destiny
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2016, 11:31:20 AM »
Dear Orihh,

You got wonderful responses from others. My 2-cent worth:

Honestly admitting that the human life is full of misery is one of the important steps towards God / Self-realization.

Nothing to worry at all about Prarbdha. Even an ant's life is sustained / taken care of till it dies. All beings (humans or non-humans) are provided with necessities from time of birth until the time of death.  Lord's compassion is EQUALLY available to ALL at all times.

Only when we start using the intellect in a "smart way" to meet selfish desires, there may be hurdles. Our attachment to pleasure, people, prosperity will take our mind away from doing what should be done. Lord Krishna advises  Arjuna to engage in cruel war for God realization. So, waging a war (after exhausting all peaceful methods) is fair and just.  Ego, desire, selfishness and partiality (out of attachment) are the issues. Karma / actions performed without any expectation on their results and with equanimity in success / failure can lead to peace.

Once our Goal is clear, everything will fall in place. Humans and birds / beasts differ only in directing the intellect / aim towards God. Else, they are similar in eating, sleeping, etc. Of course, humans can still go lower than birds / beasts when humans go after hoarding and not utilizing the extras for others (including the cosmos). 

If one is in a crisis (emotional or physical or financial), the crisis is temporary and one can sincerely make effort to end the crisis. If we look at our reality, our reality is not only independent of the world but also of the ego, mind, body, etc.  Pray Arunachala Ramana if possible. If prayer is not known, just request Lord to help you pray.

Finally, as one's situation is unique and others can't offer solution,  faith in oneself will work wonder.




ksksat27

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Re: Control in Life and Destiny
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2016, 06:09:13 PM »
Ravi sir advised as below:

....It does not require any understanding of fate or freewill to give up something that you know is not good for you....If you realize smoking is injurious to health,you can give it up....ditto with other things as well....the Conviction is important and along with that you have to exercise 'Won't Power',i.e power to veto these harmful urges....this you can do only if you believe you can......

Actually Ravi sir is right, will power can control all these bad things.  His solution will in fact work for many.

But in your case, it may not.

reason is, the Psychedelic drugs and Lust.   Well, drugs or drinks I never touch.

But Lust, yes I am a victim equally like you.

At this stage, my suggestion is, don't try to change any of this.  instead just bring in small moments of sardamma japa, reading maharishi books etc. in the small gap you get between two sessions of drug or two sessions of lustful acts.

this way, slowly, steadily bring in beneficial samskaras ( beneficial seeds).

At no point, try to suppress Lust. 

the Drug part I don't know --  in fact you have to consult doctor before stopping or reducing these drugs.  all of us  here have no clue on these altered state of consciousness etc. but we all know that once gone into drugs, sudden stoppage is dangerous.  that part you fix appointment with your doctor.

and no need to increase sattva.  don't worry about all that. close those mechanical goals.  You are Self. Tamas or Rajas or Sattva are all Self. 

Nagaraj

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Re: Control in Life and Destiny
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2016, 07:18:17 PM »
We all need a mix of both. Some Effort and Some Grace!

The real effort would be to win the grace of the Lord! If you have to win the grace of the Lord, then your prayer has to be heard by Him. Bhagavan has said "If there is longing, then realization will be thrust on you even if you don't want it"

What cannot be achieved by one who has won the attention of the Lord Himself?

A saying goes in Hindi, thus -

अपने से कुछ नही होता है ।
मेहनत से कुछ कुछ होता है ।
मगर रहमत से सब कुछ होता है ।

By self nothing is achievable
By effort somethings are achieved
But by Grace everything gets achieved!

What can you do? When you can work out, work yourself diligently, fix yourself by your own wisdom -

उद्धरेदात्मनात्मानं नात्मानमवसादयेत् ।
आत्मैव ह्यात्मनो बन्धुरात्मैव रिपुरात्मनः ॥

Krishna says - By the self thou shouldst deliver the self, thou shouldst not depress and cast down the self
(whether by self-indulgence or suppression); for the self is the friend of the self and the self is the enemy.

When you have tried your best, and you see still you lag behind, then what you do? chant His name, remember him, pray to him, who else can uplift you other than Him? Who else is there? Pray!

Keep doing your best like this, wait, wait waiting is the real journey. You have to Wait, as the Psalm goes -

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart:

Best,

--
« Last Edit: August 09, 2016, 07:25:20 PM by Nagaraj »
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Orihh

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Re: Control in Life and Destiny
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2016, 09:26:04 PM »
Just so everyone knows: my psychedelic use wasn't of any particular danger.  All psychedelic drugs are physically safe to use, and amongst those who use them, the majority claim that they offer spiritual benefits.  For this reason, I experimented with a few of these substances... The after effects of these drugs include mild confusion and isolation for a short period of time (which the proponents say is part of the process), and that lead to my strong tamasic state of mind.  Thank you, Jewell, Ravi.N, and others, for helping me out of that space.

That experience has come and gone, and I've learned that it's best for me to stay away from these substances.  Perhaps they may contribute to spiritual progress for another individual, but now I'm quite certain that my regular sadhana would be of greater value.
Om Namo Saradamma