Fate and Free will – Part VI

Fate and Free will – Part VI      Nagarajan

Maharishi Aurobindo has explained that all men great and strong have believed some higher force. He explains Fate, thus:

“There have been people who have believed in fate or destiny or whatever you may call it. Napoleon III used to say, ‘So long as something is necessary to be done by me it will be done in any case and when that necessity will cease, I shall be thrown on the wayside like an unworn vessel.’ And that is what exactly happened to him. Napoleon also believed in Fate.

All men who have been great and strong believe in some higher Force, greater than themselves, moving them. Socrates used to call this his Daemon, man’s divine being. It is curious how sometimes even in small things one depends on this voice. Once Socrates was walking with a disciple when they came to a place where they had to take a turn. The disciple said, ‘Let us take this route.’ Socrates said, ‘My Daemon asks me to take to take the other.’ The disciple did not agree and followed his own route. After he had gone a certain distance he was attacked by some pigs and thrown down by them.

There are some who do not follow the inner voice but an inner light. The Quakers believed in that.”Quoting Napoleon, Aurobindo further explains fate and effort.“Napoleon when asked why he believed in Fate, yet was always planning and acting, answered, ‘Because it is fated that I should work and plan.”

The great work Thirukkural explains fate and effort very interestingly.The great work Thiurkkural is the master-piece of Tamil literature. The great poet Thiruvalluvar has given it to the whole world. It consists of 1330 couplets.

Rev G.U. Pope said: “Thiruvalluvar was undoubtedly one of the greatest geniuses of the world. Complete in itself, the sole work of its author has come down the stream of ages absolutely uninjured, hardly a single various reading of any importance being found.

The Kural owes much of its popularity to its exquisite poetic form. The brevity rendered necessary by the form gives an oracular effect to the utterances of the great Tamil “Master of Sentences”. They are the choicest of moral epigrams.”

Now let us read the two couplets.The couplet no 380 says: “What is stronger than Fate? Even if we think of a way to avert it, it will forestall us.”The couplet no 620 says: “Those who labor on untiringly and without fault will overcome even fate.Even though both these couplets seem to be contradictory, they are not.

Work hard and smart and leave the rest to God. God helps to those who help themselves.Maharishi Thiruvalluvar and Maharishi Aurobindo have explained very beautifully Fate and effort thus.

Let us explore further.

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