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Summary of Question:Belief in Destiny
Category:General Sikhism
Date Posted:Monday, 8/09/1999 8:30 PM MDT

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa,

Waheguru Ji Ki Fathe.

i would like to ask if there is such a thing as destiny and if sikhism belives in ones destiny? Has god allready written our destiny or do we find our own? Sometimes life can be confusing and we do not know what choices to make, so can we ask the Guru to lead us to the correct path? Does reading the Gurbani help us choose this path in time of confusion?

Sat Nam, ji. Thank you for a wonderful question. The short answer is <yes> there is definitely a destiny in Sikh Dharma. However, this destiny really has nothing to do with what people usually refer to as <my personal destiny>.

What people are usually concerned about or interested in when talking about <having a destiny> is the ego. <My> life, <my> future, <my> happiness, <my> opportunity, etc. The ego really has no place or purpose in discussion about the destiny of a Sikh, because the entire purpose (ie., destination, or <destiny>) of Sikh Dharma is to rid us of the chains of ego in order to merge into the unlimited bliss and beauty of Wahe Guru. With ego there is karma. Without ego, there is dharma. With ego, there is no dharma. With ego, there is nothing but karma. Dharma and karma will never mix. Ego and karma will always mix.

There are 2 ways of describing destiny in Sikh Dharma: from the absolute point of view and the relative point of view. The description above is from the absolute point of view. That is, how does the human meet and merge with Wahe Guru? The entire teaching of Siri Guru Granth Sahib is a complete answer to this question. Reading and simran upon Gurbani, and performance or participation in Gurbani Kirtan are the most direct and powerful means that Guru has given us for realizing our destiny to experience the presence of Wahe Guru. Then, to remember and carry Gurbani with us while we perform all other actions, brings the light of Wahe Guru into our daily lives. That is nothing but the authentic formula for happiness.

From the relative perspective of our personal experiences in livig the path of Siri Guru Granth Sahib, we have created beneficial and not-so-beneficial karmas in this life and past lives. Every karma is going to ripen, either with benefit or suffering. And even those benefits will only be temporary. So, it is best to invest those temporary benefits in something permanent. And that can only be found in Sat Nam and Wahe Guru. As Guru Nanak said, <Nanak hosee bhee Such>. Only in Dharma, by the grace of Guru, is karma resolved or transcended. Otherwise, everything that happens to us is a result of some previous action now coming to fruition. When it's a beneficial result (leading us to discover the truth about life and our opportunities to discover the path of Wahe Guru) those fortunate events can also be called destiny. We might meet a certain opportunity to learn dharma, someone who teaches us some valuable lesson, or a chance to do some particular sewa that enables some realization to occur.
These would be destiny experiences. It is Guru's Prashad that we can fulfill them as such. Whereas, the unfortunate events resulting from our own past ignorance and negative karma, can be called our <fate>. The question is, which will come out in the end, destiny or fate? Fate is sometimes compared to an unfriendly being (monster) that is trying to consume our lives and eat our destiny. Our spiritual practice and devotion to Guru is what holds us to the side of our true destiny. Our lapses, ignorance and misdeeds are what abandon us to our fate. Our freedom and fulfillment lies in holding to the side of destiny, rather than fate. Our courage as a son or daughter of Guru Gobind Singh is to take up the sword of Truth and slay that monster of falsehood within our own lives. Each person must do that for themselves. No fortune teller, astrologer or psychic can tell you how Guruji is going to work in your life. That is solely between you and the Guru. It is a very wonderful and blessed thing to have suc
a Guru and such a destiny. Wouldn't you agree?

Thank you for your question, and many, many blessings to you also.

Krishna Singh Khalsa

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