The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Question: Is there any role of fate in our life?
Acharya Prashant (AP): Fate, destiny, chance, randomness, do these have any role to play? For sure, fate has an important role to play.
What is fate?
That which occurs accidentally, that which is happening not out of your discretion, not out of your willingness, but is just situational.
You had no role to play in the incident, yet it happened. It's outside the purview of your control.
All such incidents are called as ‘fate’.
To be born is the first and most important act of fate. None of us decided that we wanted to be born. To be born itself is fate. All of us sitting over here have black hair and black eyes; this is fate. None of us chose this.
There are a thousand things that we do not choose. There are a thousand things that are just given to us. All that is fate, and so fate obviously is extremely important.
You do not choose your gender, you do not choose your age, you do not choose your religion in most cases. You don’t even choose which planet to be born on, and you do not choose the various situations that you come across every moment.
None of you decided that air must have around twenty percent oxygen, yet it has. And the life of this planet is sustained because there is twenty percent oxygen. Had it been thirty-five percent or five percent, things would have been very different. None of you decide the ambient temperature. All this is just outside of you. Let us all call this collectively as ‘fate’.
So it must be obvious just by looking around and looking at yourself that fate is extremely important. So what does that mean? That we need to become fatalistic, and we need to say that because things are driven by chance, so there is no role of individual endeavor or individual understanding? No, I am not saying that.
Fate is what comes to you, but you decide how you respond to it. Understand this. Fate is what comes to you, but still, it is you who decides how you respond to it.
So, fate may be very very powerful but you are more powerful than fate. We accept that fate is obviously very powerful, but we are also saying that we are more powerful than fate.
We are not denying the role of fate. Yes, fate has a definite role to play. But the role of fate is nothing compared to the role of my being because the situation in itself means nothing. We are the ones who interpret the situation, we are the ones who give meaning to the situation, and then we are the ones who respond according to our being, our intelligence. Fate may be extremely powerful, but it is powerless when faced with what you are.
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