Q: What is the part played by destiny in our coming here and meeting you, and what is the role played by pure chance?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Life is a combination of both (destiny and chance). There is a little role played by our destiny, and a greater part played by our free will also. So it is never either this or that alone. Like for any moment, there is both a past and a future also. There is not a single moment that does not have a past or that does not have a future.
So, the past is destiny, the future is free will, and the present moment is so beautiful. If you see things this way, then you are very wise. But if you think the other way around – that the past was free will, the future is destiny and the present is miserable, it is not a wise thing to do. It shows a lack of wisdom. Then life becomes miserable.
Can you see a moment without a past? It is impossible. Can there be a moment without a future? Again it is impossible. So if you ask me, 'Is life the past or the future', I would say that it is a combination of both.
Destiny and free will are not two different things. They are two sides of the same coin.
What do you call as destiny? When your thoughts are not in alignment with what is happening, then you call it as destiny. When your thoughts are in alignment with what is happening, then you call it as free will. It all depends on the direction of your thoughts.
How can you choose the direction of your thoughts? You can do that only when your mind is clear and settled. All that we need to do and achieve in our life is: purity in our heart, clarity in our mind and skill or dexterity in our actions.
We need to bring spontaneity in our action. That is what is necessary. Got it?
As a child we had all three, did we not? Children are very clear in their minds. Have you ever seen the way they look at you? They look directly at you. Their mind is very clear. If you look into their eyes, you will see that the mind is very clear. But as adults we seem to have lost the purity of the heart and the clarity of our mind.
A child’s mind is very clear and its heart is very pure. It is so spontaneous. We can do the same thing when we grow up also.
So you need to have dexterity both in your action and expression.