Is there destiny?

Every year, thousands of children in India lose their eyesight due to causes which can be easily averted. This number used to be much bigger just ten years ago. Similarly, millions of people around the world used to get crippled with polio. You do not see so many of them anymore. Someone gets crippled, someone loses his vision, is it his destiny? We always thought so, but today, we have taken destiny into our hands with just one drop of vaccine in someone’s mouth.

Just imagine your own life, living here being able to see, enjoy and visually experience all this – and compare it to having no eyes to see. It is a phenomenal difference in one’s life. Having your eyes and not having your eyes – we have taken those things into our hands, haven’t we? The same thing with being alive or being dead. In 1947, when India got its independence, the average life expectancy of an Indian was 30 years. Today it is 64 years. All those people who used to die are alive. We have taken all this into our hands.

Anything that you do not understand, you think of as destiny. The moment you understand it, it is in your hands. As a human being, you are made in such a way that you have the capability to understand everything concerned with your creation and your present state of being. Once you understand, you will take it into your hands. One who has not understood, one who has kept himself in ignorance thinks everything is destiny. One who has understood the process of life takes the reins and drives his or her own life. This is the choice you have – you can take the very process of life and death into your hands to such an extent that you can even choose the womb in which you will be born. Even now you are choosing, but unconsciously.

You can very easily take your destiny into your hands if you are willing to pay a little more attention rather than reacting compulsively and instinctively to things. Destiny is just a self-created mess, but nobody wants to admit that it is they themselves who have done all this nonsense. People would like God to take the responsibility.

Once, a pompous man approached the playwright Bernard Shaw and introduced himself, “I am a self-made man.”

Bernard Shaw looked at him and said, “That absolves the God Almighty of a terrible responsibility.”

This is something all of you should do. You must absolve the Creator of the terrible responsibility of having created you. You must understand it is you who has made yourself like this. If you think something else has made you like this, you are finished. “I am like this because my father was not okay.” We cannot replace the guy now – it is too late. But if you see it is you who has made yourself like this, then you can make yourself anyway you want.

(Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic and visionary, and a prominent spiritual leader)

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