Question 105: Destiny and the Great Goals of Life (Purusharthas)

What is the difference between destiny and the goals of life? It matters much to what purpose the mind is put. The key is in the heart; turn it towards the world, the world and maya will cause loss. Turn the key in the heart towards the Divine, and everything is gained; that which is known, by which all things in this world are known. That is the goal, the difference between daiva and purushartha.

daiva San. adj. relating to the gods, divine, supernatural n. a deity; God; divine will, divine ordinance, providence, destiny, fate, chance
purushartha: the repository of spiritual knowledge acquired by endeavour in pursuance of the precepts obtained from sages and scriptures
chitta: San. noun. the mind (the seat of understanding and awareness, of intellect and will); memory, thought, reflection; the soul, heart. It is the individual consciousness, composed of intelligence and intellect (buddhi), ego (ahamkara) and mind (manas). In Vedanta, chitta is one aspect of Universal Consciousness (chit). The world hangs on the thread of consciousness – without consciousness, there is no world.
vasana: tendencies or desires
Brahm-abhyas spiritual discipline; practice leading to realisation of Brahmamn
Brahm-satta the potency of Brahmam


Question 105: Sir, what is the distinction between purushartha and daiva (destiny)?

Answer:Ramji, to abide by the order of nature (contentment to the will of Lord) is purushartha; the fruit or the result of purushartha is destiny (daiva). When a jiva, assuming dependence on daiva, decides to consume only what comes to him or else remains quiet, what he then gets in that manner is also a part of nature. One who strives only for sensuous pleasures and is given to gratification of senses, wanders in the cycle of birth and death and does not attain liberation — that, too, is the rule of nature.

The ideation in the Primordial Consciousness, let this be the style of events, and the occurrence of events accordingly is called nature. When even the three demi-gods Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesha cannot overstep nature, how can others be an exception? Those who strive for results do attain them — this also is the rule of nature. It is also a rule of nature that those who are lazy and who abandoning purushartha fix their minds on the objects of senses, achieve nothing. But those who renounce actions, and abandon desires for objects and pleasures, and remain tranquil with an even (non-ideational) mind, do achieve everything easily, because to gain freedom from ideation is the supreme endeavour or purushartha. Clearly, it is a primary rule of nature that he whose chitta wanders for sensuous objects, does not achieve them, but he who abandons his vasana and becomes desireless achieves everything. Only that purushartha which is directed to Atmic state succeeds. One certainly attains the Atmic state if one firmly practises the discipline of Brahmam (Brahm-abhyas). On attaining the Atmic state, one experiences the world as an aspect of chidakash — that, too, is a rule of nature.

Ramji, this detailed narration of the rules of nature given by me is also an ideation; in reality, it is only Brahm-satta that is cognised in various forms. It is only Brahm-satta that pervades through the various creations of nature; there is nothing else except Brahmam.


Everything is Brahman
Look at the marvelous variety in Creation. No one thing is the same as another; no one person resembles another. This can only be the lila or sport of the Phenomenon with limitless glory; God. Anyone can understand that no lesser power could be the source. On the basis of the mystery that inheres in Creation one can easily infer the Almighty Power that has created it. Those who are incapable of unravelling the mystery of the Created can never unravel the nature of the Creator.

Creation or the Cosmos is the manifestation of the Will latent in Brahmam. All this is God’s sankalpa, Will or Plan. The theorists who frame and propagate the other explanations mentioned above are only wasting their time; arguments and counter-arguments are mere barren exercises. Or they can be pronounced as exhibitions of the scholarship of pundits, or as intellectual gymnastics of the learned. They cannot satisfy the yearnings of those whose minds are pure and whose consciousness is clarified. Everything is caused by the Divine Will – this is the firm belief of theists. Each one decides this problem from his own level of awareness; the Sutras mention these varied points of view and consider the validity. Birds that fly reach heights proportionate to the power with which they can use their wings. So too, these thinkers gave their explanations on the Creation, continuance and collapse of the Cosmos on the basis of the faith and the intelligence they had.

But, all that any one can depend upon as evidence or proof in this inquiry is, at best, only indicative characteristics or derived aspects. These characteristics cannot take us far. The genuine characteristics – the essential form-full characteristics – alone can reveal the Truth. They are Sathyam, Jnanam, Anantham, Truth, Wisdom, Unlimitedness. The genuine nature of Brahmam is Truth, the Eternal IS. It is the Universal Consciousness, Jnanam. It is Everlasting, beyond Time and Space. And, these are immanent in every entity, living or non-living, in the Universe.

Indicative proofs are temporary signs by which one can identify some other thing or person one desires to know. For example, when the Moon is just a little arc in the sky and one desires to see it, a person indicates it with his finger pointed towards it. Or, when one desires to look at a particular star, a person says, “There, just above that branch of this tree.” The moon is far away, and the star is much farther. At the moment when one expresses his yearning, it could be seen just above the branch, but that is only a temporary location. Soon, the location changes. The finger can no longer be correct, for the star or moon moves across the sky.



The key is in the heart; turn it towards the world, the world and maya will cause loss. Turn the key in the heart towards the Divine, and everything is gained; that which is known, by which all things in this world are known. That is the goal, the difference between daiva and purushartha.