Newsletter #91, by Soha Joshi – Karma and Destiny (19 December 2016)

This week, we’re sharing an insightful experience from a meditator that helped to answer some deep questions since her childhood about destiny and karma, and understand that you can choose your destiny by your karma.

– The JCO Team

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TOPIC FOR THE WEEK – Karma and Destiny

As a child I had heard two things being said by the elders

  1. Without God’s wish not even a leaf can move
  2. Karma makes a person’s destiny.

If not even a leaf can move without God’s wish then is God unfair to the person who is facing hardships? If so, how can that be? God can never be partial, then how is it that some people face problems and hardship all their lives whilst the others enjoy a good life?

These sort of questions were always on my mind as a child. I asked many people around but never received an answer that satisfied this curiosity.

The answer came to me during November 2016, when a three day shibir was organised at my house. Whilst doing my daily chores on the last day of the shibir, the following messages started flowing in my mind.

Karma is defined by the intention of the person and not their action.

What does this mean? Let me give you an example to help you understand this

For example, imagine you are a police officer who is ordered to stand on one spot during the riots; and one lady approaches you. She is scared and alone, and seems to be running away from someone. She asks you where can she go that is safe. You know that, you cannot protect her by asking her to stand behind you. Hence you ask her to go on the left, then take the first right and then second left.

The lady trusts you and follows your instructions. However as she takes the second left she finds that mobs are waiting for her and they kill her!

Was your karma good or bad?

It was bad right? As your guidance led the lady to her death!

What if I told you that you knew that, the place you directed her to was safe and that you had seen the mob go the other way? What if someone behind you had alerted the mob and diverted the mob her way

Now was your karma good or bad?

It was good right? Your intentions were right, you wanted to protect her and hence guided her to the safest place you knew!

Now what if I told you that you agreed with the mob’s opinion and wanted that lady killed! Hence you deliberately guided her to the place where you knew that mobs were waiting?

Now was your karma good or bad?

It was a bad karma!

Hence it is not our actions that decide our karma, but our feeling and intentions that make our karma good or bad.

If you genuinely intended to help the lady then it was your good karma; the fact that she died was destiny! But if you intended to harm her by sending her the wrong way then it was your bad karma; her death was still destiny as she met the wrong person who misguided her.

Now imagine, you wanted to help the lady, but during her last moment she felt betrayed by you and died.

In her next birth she will have a deep distrust of people around her, she will not be able to understand the cause of this but it will almost be a phobia. This phobia will make her life miserable, and she will be a loner.

Her situation can be compared to being trapped in a room, or carrying a 20kgs of weight on your shoulders whilst trying to win a marathon!

On the other hand, if she gave you a benefit of doubt at the moment of her death. If she felt even though the result was bad, you intended to help her; regardless of your real intention.

Then in her next birth she will have empathy and will probably live her life to build trust and help the people in need!

Hence creating the circle of good karma!

Thus goes the circle of karma. The actions and the results are the creation of God or in other words its destiny! But your intentions and feeling are the factors that dictates your karma. This decision is what decides which destiny you choose – is it the life of being trapped in a negative emotion or is it the path of good karma!

This is the first decision you make and choose your path.

This is why it is said that you can choose your destiny by your karma!

Meditation balances you and by complete surrender (Samarpan) you give up the feeling of being the doer. You are not doing it, so what is being done is Guru’s grace. Hence you do not create new Karma.

Whilst being balanced, you analyse yourself and can realise if you are trapped in an emotion or are living with the feeling of helping others.

Once recognised, meditation can help you to either identify the cause of it and forgive yourself and others; or if you surrender your past to Guru’s Lotus Feet – it will automatically dissolve!”

Thank you Swamiji for this wonderful explanation and answering the question, I had since very young age.

Soha Joshi, UK




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  1. Kate McKenzie
    2 years ago

    Thank you Soha. That was such a beautiful and clear way of explaining karma and destiny!