Karma vs. Destiny

Good food, good company, good conversations. In my humble opinion, that is one of the finest combinations of indulgence that life has to offer. And I was extremely fortunate to be partaking in that very tango of goodness when the following realization took place.

This happened a few months back actually, a friend and I were enjoying some delicious food at The Works. I can’t remember exactly now, but if I were to put in a good guess, I was probably chowing down on a side-order of poutine and a regular-sized 2001 Shake Odyssey milkshake. My friend was probably eating one of their burger combos with some sort of soft drink, or a milkshake. Or maybe even some escargot, you can’t be too sure with a memory like mine. During this dinner, my friend brought up an extremely interesting point –

She said that she believes in both karma and destiny, but doesn’t see how that makes sense. That is as destiny preaches everything being prewritten and out of your control, yet karma preaches everything being contingent on your previous actions and hence completely in your control. But somehow, in some way, both beliefs made complete sense to her.

Well then, I had never considered that myself. I too found myself believing both in karma and destiny (that everything happens for a reason and has a purpose), but this glaring contradiction had never registered with me until that moment.

We were both quite flustered at the thought. Does this mean we have to choose one? Which do we choose? Do we even choose either of those options? Could unicorns actually exist? I mean, there had to be a sensible, logical explanation for all of this.

This brings me to a bit of a side note: sometimes, I feel as though we all have this locked vault of knowledge deep inside each of us waiting for the right triggers to be released. You know how you realize something for the first time, but it feels like you had known it all along? Pretty much that. I especially felt that way during this experience, and let me tell you why. Because I started speaking words, words which were coming out of my mouth and not out of my brain, words that seemed to be flowing on their own accord, without any permission coming from my end. And these words helped us both understand what the heck was going on here (that only hit me afterwards. Because once we solved this little fiasco, I kept saying how I only had this realization AS I was speaking it, not before. Surreal, to say the least).

I started saying something along the lines of, ‘well maybe karma isn’t about the action at all, maybe it’s about the intentions’. And this applies whether or not you believe in destiny. You see, there’s a simple example – two people donate generously to charity. The first person does it out of the goodness of their heart, the second person does it to boost their reputation. According to the ‘karma depends on your actions’ principle, both of them should be awarded the exact same karma due to the fact that they have conducted the exact same action. But that just doesn’t seem right, now does it? Both did it with completely different intentions, and in fact, their respective karmas will reflect just that. You can smile at someone you have ill thoughts towards, you can argue with someone out of utter concern for their wellbeing. It’s all about the intentions.

Now linking that back to destiny, it’s not about what you do (actions), it’s about why/how you do it (intentions). If you don’t have control over where you’re ending up, take control of your personal journey getting there. In fact, there is already a famous saying capturing this, “it’s all about the journey, not the destination”. Two people are destined to become president; one does it through honesty and dedication, the other through corruption and control. Which gets the better karma?

And karma is such a wonderful thing. What this positive karma will do for you is make you into a more sincere, a more pure person, because you will be doing good from your heart and not from a calculating mind. And if you’ve heard of the Law of Attraction, “like attracts like”. By being positive, you are merely attracting positivity towards you. (Which is also kind of self-induced because if you view everything with a positive lens, are you really attracting anything? But that’s a post for another time)

But then what about, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”? That mere intentions don’t cut it; you need to act upon them to really do any good. Well, I should clarify – karma reflects the intentions behind your actions, not just intentions on their own. I mean, does not everyone believe that they have only the best intentions at heart?

Through this one dinner, I had a whole bunch of concepts clear up in my mind.

Good food, good company, good conversations. In my humble opinion, that is one of the finest combinations of indulgence that life has to offer. And I was extremely fortunate to be partaking in that very tango of goodness when that profound realization took place.

2 thoughts on “Karma vs. Destiny

  1. Nandini, what a huge goldmine you have struck, n terms of realization!
    God bless you my child, for sharing those thoughts and your so relevant theories behind it..I guess it wasn’t just a dinner that evening!
    It was an enlightening Eureka moment for you( and for us too).
    You actually went to Bodh Gaya and sat under the tree.
    God bless you baby!
    Love.

    Liked by 1 person

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