All About Bharatiya Sanatana Dharmam otherwise known as Hinduism : Ch-5.5.
CHAPTER- 5. HINDU TENETS-5.
5. The Supremacy Of Free-Will
You are the master of your own fate. You are the architect of your own fortune. You are responsible for what you suffer. You are responsible for your present state. If you are happy, it has been your own making. If you are miserable, it has also been your own making. Every action bears a fruit sooner or later. A virtuous action produces pleasure as its effect. An evil deed causes pain.
You have no Bhoga-Svatantrya (freedom to determine the result of action), but you have Karma-Svatantrya (freedom to determine the course of action). That is the reason why the Lord Krishna says: “Karmanyeva Adhikaraste Ma Phaleshu Kadachana—Thy business is with the action only, never with its fruits.” Janaka and others attained to perfection by action. You can change your character, your thoughts and desires. Man’s will is ever free.
Through selfishness his will has become impure. He can render his will pure, strong and dynamic by getting rid of his base desires, and likes and dislikes. Every soul is like a husbandman who has got a plot of land. The acreage, the nature of the soil, the conditions of weather are all predetermined. But the husbandman is quite at liberty to till the earth, manure it and get good crops, or to allow it to remain as a waste land.
What you are now at present is the result of what you thought and did in the past. What you shall be in the future will be the result of what you think and do now. You find an environment which is best suited to the tendencies you acquired in a former life. You can create better conditions for the future. You can make your Karma what you choose. You can rise to a very high state of perfection. You can become an Indra or you may become a perfect Yogin. You can change your character, thoughts and actions. Therefore Bhishma and Vasishtha have placed Purushartha or exertion, above destiny.
A boatman without oars, rudder and sails is carried away helplessly by the winds and currents; but a clever boatman with oars, sails and rudder, ably directs the boat in any direction he likes and reaches the other shore safely. Even so, he who knows the Laws of Nature—the law of thought, the law of Karma, the law of cause and effect—can sail fearlessly in this ocean of Samsara and reach the other shore of fearlessness and immortality quite safely.
He will utilise the helping forces to his best advantage and neutralise the opposing forces skilfully, with the help of the knowledge of the Laws. Knowledge is a torch-light. Hence, knowledge is absolutely indispensable. Ignorance is the greatest sin. An ignorant man becomes a victim or a slave of nature.
Next : 6. The Glory Of Selfless Work & 7.The Doctrine Of Reincarnation.
To be continued ...