Fate and Free will – Part VII

Fate and Free will – Part VII                    Nagarajan

Bhartruhari – the famous king turned saint has sung categorically thus (in his famous Niti Sathakam meaning 100 verses on morals):“Whether dive in the ocean or ascend the Samairoo hills, get victory over the enemy in the field of battle, engage in husbandry, trade or service, soar high in heaven like birds, what is not destined would never happen and whatever happen can not be undone.”

To illustrate his point, he has given an example also in another verse: “A serpent, not experiencing to live long and being confined in a basket, was in great bodily trouble and out of hunger all his organs had become loose. A mouse, having made a hole in the said basket, fell into the mouth of that serpent, who, being satisfied with its flesh, escaped through that hole. Now, you may observe that in prosperity and adversity, God is the cause of causes.”  But at the same time, like Thiruvalluvar, the Tamil poet, Bartruhari also says: “Laziness is a great enemy of mankind. There is no kinsman better than one’s own efforts, from the performance of which all troubles are removed.”

Hence, even fate is all powerful; one has to make his best efforts at all times. Similar views are expressed in ‘The Bustan of Sadi’.We can read some of the stories:A poor man dropped a dinar in the road. He searched much, but at last, despairing, abandoned the attempt.Some one came along and found the coin by chance.

Good and ill fortunes are predestined. Our daily portion depends not upon our strength and efforts, for those who are strongest and strive the most stand often in the direst need.One more story:

A darwesh remarked to his wife, who was of ill-favored countenance: “Since Fate has made thee ugly, do not encrust thy face with cosmetic.”Who can attain good fortune by force? Who, with collyrium, can make the blind to see?

Not one among the philosophers of Greece or Rome could produce honey from the thorn.Wild beasts can not become men; education is wasted upon them.A mirror can be freed from stain, but it can not be made from a stone.

Roses do not blossom on the branches of the willow; hot baths never yet made an Ethiop while.Since one can not escape the arrows of Fate, resignation is the only shield.The wisdom of east strongly favours Fate. But at the same time it advise us to work

(Note:Niti Sathakam: three verses -English translation by: Mr Sohan Lal The Bustan of Sadi: two stories – English translation by Mr A. Hart Edwards) We will analyze further.

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