Ordinary people are controlled by destiny, while sages are able to transform their fate.
All sentient beings are born to this world according to their karma. Hence, everyone has a different fate in life. This is known as "karma" in Buddhism, while people in the secular world call it "luck."
"Karma" refers to the “fruits” that we are currently reaping in this life. They were brought by the “seeds” that we had sown in our past lives. Karma is also our consciousness of good and evil, which is invisible and formless.
Ordinary folks are often concerned about their own destinies, but they are unable to predict them, so they look for fortune tellers to “read their destinies”. Most of the fortune tellers in the past were blind men, and yet many people with a clear sight had relied on the blind to foretell their destinies. Isn’t that contradictory? Does our life really depend on our birth date and time? The fact is, when one will be born is totally beyond one’s control.
Yet people who are lost in life often go to fortune tellers and choose to believe that their readings are accurate. What is that so? And they will do whatever the fortune tellers say. Hence, their own lives are mastered and controlled by others, which also means that their lives have been “changed” by others.
The destiny and appearance of a person are interconnected, and one’s appearance will change according to one’s karma. Some people might have a fierce and wicked appearance in the past. But after he started doing good deeds and accumulating merits, his appearance would change as he gave rise to joy in his heart and showed honest and upright behaviour. Therefore, our destiny and appearances are not fixed.
Besides fortune telling, some people are also very particular about "feng shui." The truth is, those who have cultivated blessings will live in blessed places, and a house or the location of a house is related to the karma sown by the people who live there. Therefore, if the feng shui of a house is determined by its location using shallow and superficial knowledge, then the family that resides there will definitely not feel safe and peaceful, because their minds will be affected.
In fact, what we should do is to be more mindful in how we treat others and handle matters in daily life, to ensure that our actions do not break away from the right principles and ethics. When we live with a correct attitude, it will help tune our lifestyle, behaviour and mindset towards goodness.
When our hearts are open and upright, do not see material enjoyment as a measure of our blessings, and live a peaceful and happy life, we are having the Right Livelihood. Hence, what need is there to find someone to foretell our destiny and fortune?
If one continues to enjoy favourable karmic conditions due to the blessings one had sown in the past lives, and lives a happy and smooth life without sowing anymore seeds of blessings that benefit people, then once the blessings are depleted, there will be no more left. This is because one is unable to cherish one’s blessings.
Therefore, we can turn our destiny around. It is completely within our control.
Excerpted from Huan Xi Zi Zai《欢喜自在》
Translated by the Tzu Chi Singapore translation team