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In Him,


Should We Believe in Fate


In the general society, many people think that their "fate" is created by some unknown force and that they have no recourse to affect or change their destiny. That is what is meant by a fatalistic outlook.

Here we have to think how far this is helpful and whether, as Ananda Margiis, we should adopt a similar manner or not.


(A) According to the tenets of Ananda Marga ideology, humans have free will, perform actions per their choice, and undergo the reactions of their original actions. Thus when you do something and face the consequences that is your "fate". It is entirely self-created.

In sum: You do something and you face the consequences. That is fate, whether the reaction comes in this life or the next life. But commonly, only when people are not aware of their original action then they call it fate.

In that way, people are inclined to call it fate when they undergo the reaction in their next life. Because then they cannot recall their original action that caused that reaction. However, this is all samskara theory. Thus, in Ananda Marga, we do not give an ounce of credence to the dogmatic notion of fate: i.e. that fate is something doled out by another outside entity, as if fate is something that humans have no control over. Always there is scope for people to redirect the course of their life by making sentient and conscious life choices.

Ananda Marga philosophy says, "Those who are fatalists are also misguided. It is wrong to leave everything to fate without taking any initiative at the time of grave danger. Once a person has created his or her fate through his or her own actions, it is certainly not proper to completely surrender to that self-created fate." (Ananda Marga Ideology and Way of Life - 11, The Omni-Reflective Cognitive Consciousness)


(B) There are many pseudo-spiritual approaches where people indulge in idol worship, nature worship, astrology, etc - including those who are fatalists - yet Baba clearly guides us that the fatalistic outlook is particularly low. Perhaps there reason is that it breeds indolence and lethargy, and is utterly devoid of any devotional feeling. At least nature worshipers are grateful to their Creator. But that type of surrender is not at all present among fatalists.

Ananda Marga philosophy says, "There are many people who are fatalists. They are worshippers of fate. A fatalist means a worshipper of fate – a worshipper of fortune or fate. They are worse than nature-worshippers." (Subhasita Samgraha - 12, Microcosm and Its Object of Ideation)



(C) In the past and in the present also, those in power have used the notions of fate and predestination as a tactic to exploit the common people. If everyday citizens feel that the hell they are facing in their day-to-day life is a matter of fate and there is nothing to be done about, then those people will be easier to control and manipulate.

Now in the height of this materialistic era, the top capitalists employ vipras for two reasons: First as a means of side-tracking those very intellectuals lest they openly complain about the vaeshyan exploitative machinery. And secondly, those paid vipras are effectively able to convince the common people to sit back and accept their fate. By infusing this psychology upon the masses, then vaeshayas feel assured there will not be any uprising against them.

Ananda Marga philosophy says, "The vaeshyas use the vipras to try to spread intellectual propaganda among the masses to prevent them from finding any philosophical justification for their suppressed grievances against the vaeshya structure. This intellectual propaganda aims to convince people that they are the victims of circumstance. It argues, “Everything is destiny. Everything is preordained.” Such doctrines help the vaeshyas to perpetuate their structure. They destroy the personal force of people and make them the playthings of fate. People accept the idea that everything is preordained, and support the status quo." (Human Society - 2, The Vaeshya Age)


(D) Here below Baba gives us a more graphic example of how those paid religious priests (vipras) befool and manipulate the masses into accepting their lot in life. Specifically those priests tell that, "You are poor now because of your past misdeeds - behave properly this time and you will be assured a better position in the future. You will be rich in your next life and / or bask in the glory of the afterlife. So do not complain now, just work hard and you will be rewarded in the future. Serve your master faithfully - that is the way to redemption." This is the psychology and theatrics that such priests employ to quell the disappointment, despair, and anger of the masses. So those low-paid employees should not complain or protest their meagre compensation by those capitalists. This paves the way for the ruling capitalists to crank their exploitative machinery into high gear.

Ananda Marga philosophy says, "The boot-licking Vipras of the capitalist trick the hungry Shúdras or workers into believing that poverty is a result of their previous misdeeds. Hence they will have to be prepared to wait until their next life before receiving the inexorable decree of fate. This makes a group of people passive fatalists. On the other hand, it paves the way for the ruthless exploitation of the capitalists." (Ananda Marga Philosophy in Nutshell - 4, Prápta Vákya and Ápta Vákya)


(E) Many commonly believe that samskara theory follows the parameter: An eye for an eye etc. That is to say if someone was pushed down from a tree then it means that in the past that same person had pushed someone else from the tree. Or if someone got in an accident and lost their leg then that means in the past that same person caused someone else to lose a leg.

But Baba clearly guides us that our samskara theory does not work in that way. The physical actions are not the defining point. The physical expression need not be the same at all. Rather, it is the psychic effect that is the determining factor. The degree of psychic pain inflicted on others is the amount of psychic pain one will have to undergo. The physical expression thereof may reflect in a myriad of ways, or perhaps not at all. Because it is the degree of psychic pain and distress that is the key aspect.

Here below is Baba's exact teaching.

"It is important to clarify here that the actual form of suffering is not predetermined. It cannot be said what might be the actual reaction of a particular action. It is not preordained that if one commits theft his things of the same value will be stolen as a reaction. The suffering is measured in terms of mental suffering to the extent which was inflicted on others by stealing their property. Thus the measure of experiencing the result of an action is mental and is in terms of pleasure and pain, and the actual form of experience has relatively no importance." (Ananda Marga Elementary Philosophy, What Is My Relation with the Universe and the Cosmic Entity?)

This then leads to another scenario. Some see a person bleeding by the side of the road and think that they should not interfere because that person is burning their ripe samskara. But that is not the proper outlook. As far as possible, we should always help relieve someone's suffering, because that person can undergo that samskara purely in the psychic realm. It need not take physical expression. Thus we should always be vigilant to come to the aid of those who are suffering. Certainly we should always aim to relieve them. Yet no matter how much we attempt to alleviate their suffering, the cycle of samskara will spin onward and in some way, shape or form they will experience the fruit of their past actions in the psychic realm - either through humiliation, depression, anger, frustration, disappointment or some other way.


(F) Religious leaders regularly tell their followers that you must not blame others or social injustices for your current suffering. What you are undergoing now is because of your own misdeeds in the past. So just accept your situation. In this way the ruling class implements vicious control methods and restrictions, all the while the people remain docile. To find their escape from dire poverty they are encouraged to buy lottery tickets and that according to their fate they might win and become rich. And if that person does not win then it is just their bad luck.

Ananda Marga philosophy says, "The problem of individual or collective suffering due to lack of physical requirements can be easily solved by implementing a system of social justice and social equality. So it is useless to blame the past misdeeds or fate of others. Actually, blaming people's suffering on their past misdeeds is merely an argument used by vested interests to justify their position, because to admit that these sufferings are the result of social injustices implies that everyone is responsible." (Human Society - 1, Social Justice)


(G) Here below Baba gives a grand summary of our samskara theory with the culminating idea being that humans alone are responsible and accountable for the reactions they must experience. There is no question of blaming God or anyone else.

"Human beings keep on performing new actions also, while experiencing the reactions of previous actions. This experiencing of the result of previous actions is called the unknown future or fate (adrśt́a). One experiences the result of one’s actions in a subsequent life and cannot then recollect the actions whose results bring happiness and grief, because a person’s memory is not large enough to remember or know the deeds of their past lives. Reactions which humans experience were collected in previous lives, and in present life they cannot make out the cause of such experiences, and hence term these experiences as fate or the unknown future. People often hold Parama Puruśa responsible for calamities that befall them, but in fact they alone are responsible, as the suffering of fate is only reaction of their own previous actions. How can Parama Puruśa be responsible? Human beings themselves are answerable for their fate as it is their actions alone which create it. They alone will have to bear the consequences of all their actions. No one else can substitute for them. Their good deeds beget good results, while bad ones beget bad results, and they will have to experience both without any exception. This is the law of Prakrti and no one can change this law." (Ananda Marga Elementary Philosophy - What Is My Relation with the Universe and the Cosmic Entity?)


By all of Baba's above teachings, we can understand that fate is just the reaction of one's past actions. Fate is not something that is distributed by some other entity. You yourself are the father of your fate. That is the overarching idea of Baba's samskara theory. Yet commonly, the term 'fate' is misused and abused. In the name of fate, people suffer from all kinds of dogma and opportunists and exploiters use fate as their cherished tool to suppress the people. Those aware about the real meaning of fate do not get exploited. So it is our duty to educate ourselves and others about fate so they do not get exploited, become confused, or suffer from so many psychic ailments. By this way we can to eradicate all kinds of individual and social problems.


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