What is destiny? || Acharya Prashant (2014)

To personally meet or connect with Acharya Prashant: click here.

Question: Is there anything called ‘destiny’?

Speaker: There is surely destiny. There is no doubt about it. You are born in a particular home, you are born as a human being, the color of your eyes, the situations of your birth, everything that goes around you in the universe, all that is destiny. There is no doubt about it. So there is a lot that is just happening, and is outside the domain of your free-will. Simply call it ‘destiny’.

Something that you never wished for, desired for, and is yet happening. And of that, the first event is your birth. Does anybody desire his or her own birth? Did you desire your birth? You did not, right? Do you desire that at a particular time a bus must pass on the highway, and also honk? We don’t desire all these things. Right. All this is destiny, and there is no doubt about it. And destiny is important. There can be an earthquake any time. An asteroid may hit the earth, and we all would be vaporised. Right? All this is destiny.

You all know how the dinosaurs got eliminated. How did they vanish? There was a huge cloud over the earth, a cloud of dust, and there was no sunlight on earth for a very long period of time. Because of this the entire atmosphere of earth changed, and the dinosaurs perished. So that is destiny. Did any dinosaur write an application that the temperature should change, the flora and fauna should change, and ultimately we should vanish? It just happened.

A lot of things that we carry inside this body, is destiny. We all know that people are genetically predisposed to diseases. Are they not? Who knows that many one of you sitting here may actually be carrying the seeds of a dangerous disease. All that is destiny. You never wanted it, but you get it. But far more important than destiny is something else.

We are not denying the force of destiny. All that we are saying is, that in spite of being important, it is nothing compared to another force. And that is the force of intelligence. That is the force understanding. And destiny is nothing compared to that force.

All that destiny means is, external situations. And that external includes the body, because the body too is external to you. You are your center, your body is an external entity. So whatever happens here or there, it’s all just incidental. Accidental, and hence destiny. At the center resides the great power of intelligence, and that power is far bigger than the power of destiny.

Destiny can only make outer events happen, but destiny can never touch your core. Never. So destiny is powerless when it comes to the real you, the core. There, destiny is absolutely powerless. Destiny cannot touch your core.

The body can be hurt, wounded, destroyed, but your response to that event that cannot be dictated by the external force that is hurting, or wounding, or destroying. You have no control over what the world does to you, over the various forces in the universe, but you have all the control over yourself. And the one who controls himself, effectively controls the universe. Destiny has no value then. The one who has found himself, the one who has moved to the center, destiny is powerless in front of him.

The one who has not found himself would forever remain a slave of destiny. So whether or not destiny is important, depends on you. If one who has not found yourself, the one who does not live at the core, then he would always be a slave of destiny. There would only be destiny in his life.


“Why do I have a lot of money? Because I was born in a rich family. Why do I keep chasing women all the time? Because I was born with male chromosomes. Why am I pursuing such and such job? Because I did B.Tech. Why did I choose B.Tech.? Because I had subjects Physics, Chemistry, and Maths in class Twelfth? Why did I have these subjects in class Twelfth? Because it was fashionable to choose these subjects, when I was doing class Tenth? Why were you doing your class tenth from such a place where there was this fashion? Because I was born in a particular state, of a particular country, in particular economic conditions.

So the situations of your birth are dictating your entire life. That is slavery. Your place of birth is dictating your entire course of education. Your education is dictating your job. Your job is dictating your wife. Your wife is dictating your family. And there is hardly anything more to your life. There is nothing more to your life. So the entire life is being dictated by the situations of birth. The very fact that you were born in a particular year, in a particular family, with a particular gender decides the entire course of your life. That’s it.

How many of you want to live like that? “Because I was born in the year 1993, in the Gupta family, as a girl, therefore I am a homemaker today with five kids. That is the story of my life.” How many of you would want to be like that? “Because I was born in the year 1990 as a Hindu, or as a Muslim, so I have devoted my entire life to the service of my cult.” Don’t you see that all these incidents are just random occurrences?

Were you greatly interested at the time of your birth, that whether you should be born a Muslim or a Hindu? The moment you were born, did you run towards a mosque or a temple? Imagine the child is newly born, and he is running to the church. And the doctors and the nurses are chasing him. The child is saying, “I am a devotee. After coming to the world, the first thing that I must do is to say ‘Thank you’ to the lord.” Did that happen?

But today you act as if your religious identity is your biggest asset. Is that so? That is the price you pay, that is the punishment you suffer, for not being at your center. The one who will not live by his intelligence, will have to live by his destiny. In fact, the lack of intelligence will become his destiny.

When I say ‘intelligence’, I do not mean cleverness. Intelligence is that which shines in attention. Intelligence is that which shines when the ego has made way. Intelligence is that which starts shining when the mind says, “I want to know.”


So it is all in your control. The moment you say, “I really want to know,” the power of intelligence becomes available to you. That is called attention. The feeling that – “I really want to know,” this is attentiveness. That power is always available to you. Whatever is your situation, you can always instantaneously move into attention. Everything else, all other powers, can be taken away from you. But the power to understand can never be taken away from you. Whatever be the condition, even in your worst of conditions, you can still understand what is going on. So intelligence is always available to you. You can never lose it.

Those of you who do not want to live pre-scripted life, predestined life, must learn to be bold. They must learn to move beyond their patterns. They must not be afraid of something new happening. Otherwise you will find that there is a script ready for you, and all that you are doing is going by that script.

Isn’t the script already ready for you? Tell me. Is a script not ready for you? How does it feel to live a life as if the chapters of the script are opening, and you are just acting as per the script? It has been pre-decided. It was already certain what you will do class Tenth, class Twelfth, then a B. Tech., then maybe M.B.A., M.S. or job. And then marriage, then kids, then a house, then some money in your bank account, then certain responsibilities of your parents and kids, and then death. Finished.

How many of you want to live like this, where everything is already decided? This way even your life-span is kind of decided. Marriage between the age of twenty-five to thirty, kids at thirty, thirty-five. Even the number of kids is also already decided. Thirty years back it would be three, four or five. Now may be one or two. So everything is destined. Just the time of your birth, the place of your birth is deciding everything.

So if your birth-place is China, you cannot have kids more than one. Do you know that in India, in a disproportionately large number of families, the youngest kid is a boy. Because the families keep aborting the girl child, till they get a boy. So usually you will find that the youngest kid in the family is a boy. And the boy is born after the three-four girl child have been aborted. so, it is pre-decided. The last kid is the boy. Now what will happen to this boy who has come after so much slaughter? Do you want to live like that? You want to live with this destiny?

Do you see how powerless all this is? Do you see that this is sheer slavery? Or can there be freedom beyond destiny? Can there be life beyond destiny? You have to ask that to yourself. If today somebody  comes to you and hands over the script to your life to you ans says, “Live it,” how will you feel? Every single breath that you take has been pre-decided. Is that already not the case? So it’s a good question to ask, “Is there a life beyond destiny?” There is, but it is only for the strong, the courageous and the surrendered. Because that is the only source of strength and courage. Surrender!

Don’t make such grave faces. It is actually quite easy, quite simple. Some of you are actually looking afraid. “O my god! Going beyond your destiny. Why take so much pain when a script is already ready? why should I write a new script? Somebody has done so much of effort. He has already written a complete script. Why should I violate that? Pay some respect to the script.”

Just like a puppet pays respect. Have you seen a puppet? Everything is already ready for the puppet. Puppet pays great respect to its script. It does nothing that is not written in the script. Beautiful life of a puppet. Right? You want to live like that? Now the puppet will enter a B. Tech. program because everybody else is doing that. The puppet will work hard to get more than seventy-five percent marks. (Mockingly) “Son now you have started earning. It is time to get married. “And you feel so puffed-up. The next chapter of the script is unfolding.

“What can I do? The situations were such that I had to do this.” You sing songs also where you attribute everything to destiny. “Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam. Tum rahe na tum, hum rahe na hum (If destiny would have allowed, you would have been mine. Destiny was so cruel. I did not remain myself, you did not remain yourself).” So everything is destiny.

Why  are you  alive? “Destiny Sir. When death will come, I will die. When I had no role to play in my birth, why should I have any role to play in my death? Everything is destiny. Kahaani Kismet Ki (The story of destiny)” It eases our burden. Right? We know that we are stupid. But we won’t say that. What we will say? “Kismet kharaab hai (Bad Luck)” Why not simply say, “I am stupid”? Why blame things on destiny?

Destiny is there, obviously there for everybody. The question is that what are you doing to yourself. Nobody has control over destiny. But what is your response to the destiny.

An intelligent man lives in attention, not under the influence of destiny. And the moment he starts living in attention, destiny looses its control on him. now destiny cannot dictate its influence on him.

– Excerpts from a Samvaad session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session at:What is destiny?

To personally meet or connect with Acharya Prashant: click here.

Or, call the Foundation at 9650585100, or write to requests@advait.org.in

Support Acharya Prashant’s work:

  • Donate via Patreon: Become a Patron!
  • Donate via PayTm @ +91-9999102998
  • Donate via PayPal:

    (In multiples of $5)



  1. Absolutely d truth…your creation lies in ur own hands…whatever f destiny imposed on u…u need to remain unaffected,alert by yout intelligence which is conciousness…..


  2. Dear Ashish,

    Greetings from PrashantAdvait Foundation! Glad that you are liking the videos!

    Besides the videos, the foundation offers various other opportunities to connect to Acharya Prashant. We have listed a few of the offerings below. We wish that you may benefit from them!

    1. Meet the Master:

    Meet the Master program is rare opportunity to meet Acharya Prashant personally, either physically or online. To meet the Master, send your application, write to requests@prashantadvait.com or contact: Ms. Anoushka Jain: +91-9818585917.

    2. Advait Learning Camps:

    Advait Learning Camps are monthly retreats organized under Acharya Prashant’s guidance. These camps are about spending four days and three nights in the lap of nature, while reading, reflecting, learning and evolving. So far, scores of ALCs have been organised in places like Rishikesh, Mukteshwar, Jim Corbett National Park, Chopta, KainchiDham, etc.
    Additionally, we organize dedicated bonding camps for kids and parents. To participate in the camp, write an e-mail to requests@prashantadvait.com, or call: Sh. Anshu Sharma at +91-8376055661.

    3. Course in Realization:

    Course in Realization, a classroom-based learning program led by Acharya Prashant, is an initiative towards disseminating clarity and intelligence in the world. In this course, a rigorous study of a scripture or a saint is undertaken each month.
    To join in, send your application, write to requests@prashantadvait.com or contact: Sh. Apaar: +91-9818591240

    4. Month of Awakening:

    For those who cannot attend sessions physically, the foundation does online streaming of few selected sessions via Skype or Webinar. Known as Month of Awakening, this facility offers live streaming of sessions and helps seekers listen to Acharya-Ji while being where they are.
    To receive the blessing, send your application to requests@prashantadvait.com or contact: Ms. Anoushka Jain: +91-9818585917

    5. Blessings from Beyond:

    Weekends with Acharya Prashant brings you the unique opportunity for a 2 day 2 night stay with the Master every month at Advait Ashram, Greater Noida. The getaway involves two mystical days of dynamic activities, explorations of the self, sports, meditative reading, deep reflections, midnight walks and more.
    To get a taste of the beyond, register yourself at requests@prashantadvait.com or contact Ms. Anu Batra:+91-9555554772

    6. Triyog:

    Daily morning 2 hour Yog feast for your total well-being. Comprising of
    Hatha Yog, Bhakti Yog and Gyan Yog.

    Send your application, write to: requests@prashantadvait.com Or to register: Contact: Shri Kundan Singh: +91-9999102998
    Venue: Advait Bodhsthal, Greater Noida, India.

    This reply comes to you from volunteers of PrashantAdvait Foundation who maintain this channel.


Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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