On Karma (20 December 1999) Auroville - Karma 106

This destiny is expressed at two levels: one in the state of knowledge, another state of ignorance. As long as I'm ignorant, the actions that I produce in my ignorance, they carry their consequences, and these consequences, as it were, become my destiny. It is not my true destiny. My true destiny may be quite different but as long as I'm ignorant, the consequences of my actions in ignorance determine the goal in that ignorant world, in my field of ignorance, and that is my destiny for the moment. Very often you cannot escape it. It was said of Napoleon that he believed in destiny, and he was called a man of destiny. One who becomes slightly aware of the fact that in this world certain consequences are inescapable, then he can walk more steadfast in this world, he's not afraid, because he knows so many actions have been done, the consequences are inevitable. It is said of Julius Caesar that once there was a big storm, and he had to cross a river which was in tempest, and he hailed the boatman and said, ‘Take me through.’ The boatman said, ‘There's a tempest, how can I take you through?’ He said, ‘Don't worry; the boat will go through safely, because it carries the head of Julius Caesar.’ It carries the head of Julius Caesar; therefore this boat will go through. You are sure of the destiny that I must reach there. It will happen inevitably. So he told boatman, ‘Don't worry, the boat will not sink, because I will be there present, and I have got to cross the river, therefore it will cross the river.’

So some people who have become quite conscious, but not fully conscious, not that Napoleon was very conscious, not that Julius Caesar was very conscious, but they are somewhat more conscious than most of the people, and since they know that if there are certain things to be done, there's so much of will power in it, lot of karma in it, and knowledge that the karma will have its consequence, it must have its consequence, inescapably, – this gives you the sense of destiny.

At another level, one can become aware of alternative destinies, not only one destiny, alternative destinies. That is because one becomes more aware of various kinds of actions that he has put forth. This is like a student who is also brilliant in his studies, who is brilliant in sprinting, brilliant in relationships, in debating society, in organizing programs; brilliant in many things. So he has many destinies. He can decide ultimately to become a champion of sports; he can decide it. He can put more energy only in that and ultimately he may come out to be champion in the world that is one destiny, because already he has got so many energies in that field. Or he might decide to become a great, brilliant philosopher, because he has already a great capacity in that direction; or ultimately he may become all that is how we find some individuals having all-around capacities. You can even decide for yourself. That is why it is said, ‘Destiny determines you or you determine destiny.’ This is very often the question is asked, ‘Do you determine destiny, or destiny determines you?’ The final answer is – you determine. The immediate answer would be that since you have put forth so many energies already, certain results are inescapable, so they will determine you, so destiny determines you, – it's an intermediate answer. The ultimate answer is you determine, because you have the capacity to put forth new energies, and by putting forth new energies even the past destinies can be destroyed.

Sometimes Mother has explained in the Agenda, first volume, supposing somebody has a destiny of becoming a president of the world, all his actions will be so determined that they will take him to the presidency. But life is not long enough. In the meantime many forces may come in the middle, and one dies without fulfilling that destiny of becoming president. In the next birth, when he takes a new birth, that karma continues with him. Maybe that will become president in the next birth, it's quite possible. So there are alternate destinies, some destinies which are going to be fulfilled because they are so inexorable, the karma is so powerful that you cannot change it. In Sanskrit it's called utkuttah karma, the karma which is utkuttah, so powerful, so inexorable; you can't change it at all. It is like throwing the stone already from the window, you can't take it back, – its utkuttah karma. Its consequence is inevitable. It has got to be accepted; you can't change it. But you can change it also; a Yogi can do it, even with utkuttah karma. Supposing he has put a stone, he knows on the third floor somebody is there, and he shouts from there, ‘Look, a stone has passed from my hand, you put out your hand in the middle so that it may not fall on the ground.’ So that is possible, he can change this much consequence. The stone has gone out, but he can shout to a man in the third floor, and before it reaches the third floor the man puts out his hand, it falls upon his hand and not upon the man who is walking in the street. That can be changed. That is how Yogis, they can prevent certain consequences which are about to happen, and yet they may not happen, because he puts forth many other energies which may counteract what is going to happen.

But all these destinies are intermediate. Ultimate destiny of each one is – what you have agreed to do in the final orchestra, what role you will play. That is going to happen, and that is not imposed upon you, you have freely chosen. And when you come to that final orchestra, you will freely participate, you'll be full of joy and you'll fulfill your goal.