Destiny is the result of past action; it concerns the body. Let the body
act as may suit it. Why are you concerned about it? Why do you pay
attention to it? Freewill and destiny last as long as the body lasts.
But jnana transcends both. The Self is beyond knowledge and ignorance.
Whatever happens, happens as the result of one’s past actions, of
divine will and of other factors.

There are only two ways to conquer destiny or be independent of it. One
is to enquire for whom is this destiny, and discover that only the ego
is bound by destiny and not the Self, and that the ego is non-existent.

The other way is to kill the ego by completely surrendering to the Lord,
by realizing one’s helplessness and saying all the time, `Not I,
but Thou Oh Lord’ and giving up all sense of `I’ and
`mine’, and leaving it to the Lord to do what he likes with you.
Complete effacement of the ego is necessary to conquer destiny, whether
you achieve this effacement through Self Enquiry or bhakti marga (path
of devotion).

Everything is predetermined. But a man is always free not to identify
himself with the body, and not to be affected by the pleasures or pains
consequent on the body’s activities.

Those alone who have no knowledge of the Source whence fate and freewill
arise, will dispute which of them can conquer the other. Those who have
realized their Self, which is the Source of both fate and freewill have
left such disputes behind, and will have nothing more to do with them.

Sri  Ramana Maharshi


About amartingarcia

General surgeon (retired). Studied Western philosophy at U of Toronto. Afterwards interest turned to advaita vedanta and non-duality for past 20 yrs, plus a long interlude in Sufism coinciding with that period. Now contributing in ’Advaita Vision’ with regular posts and discussions.
This entry was posted in non-duality, religion, spirituality and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Jonathan Turner says:

    The self may well be beyond knowledge and ignorance . . . but how could I possibly know that?!?

    • Advaita teaches that all knowledge pertains to the mind, where the pair subject-object is a constitutive element. Ultimate reality cannot be known in that way; the only way to “know” it is by being it. For that to happen, the sense or feeling of being a separate individual has to disappear. It is an intuitive understanding… In advaita everything (as expression) is paradoxical. Mind is an instrument of the Self, but it is not other than the Self.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s