Self-Effort and Destiny

Posted: December 1, 2009 in Destiny, Effort, Grace, Karma

Question: Although I have read a number of Yoga books, I am not certain of the difference between self-effort and destiny. And, how would Divine Grace intervene in spiritual unfoldment?

Jyortirmayananda Swami: Self-effort is any effort of man to realize his goal of life. Every effort and action creates an impression or potential which fashions the future of a man. Destiny is the result of one’s past efforts. An aspirant should not be deluded by the idea of destiny. If destiny were the supreme ruler of human life, there would be no possibility of any teaching by any teacher in the world. But all great teachers of mankind have repeatedly called upon man to wake up from the slumber of inertia and to endeavor to attain perfection in life.
One who, in the name of destiny, does not try to improve his conditions for evolution, success and perfection, is deluded. There are some who do not perform any self-effort in the name of Divine Grace. This too, is delusion. There is a common saying that God helps whose who help themselves. Self-effort draws Divine Grace. Divine Grace completes self-effort. Therefore, self-effort and Grace are interdependent.

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