When stressful situations arise, we often attribute them to the way the universe has a path for everyone. This notion is what we call ‘fate’. We tend to believe that each event or phenomenon that we face is independent of those that precede and come after it. But is this rational? When we think about it, if we put bread on butter and toast it, the only reason it cooks faster on a pan is because we lathered it with butter. Another example rooted in the living world would be studying for an exam. Does fate predict how well you do on a paper? Or is studying an adequate amount the key to producing an optimum grade? From these examples, it may become slightly clearer that ‘fate’ is a notion we often like to associate with our destiny when we want to above ourselves of involvement or responsibility for our actions.
On Holi, we often think about burning away our desires, as we light the pyre that simulates a myth from ages ago. The figurative thought of starting anew comes from the burning of the fire. We are taught about impermanence and change through this ritual. It beckons to us and tells us that there is an end to every beginning that siphons change. The act of a display of color through a game of Holi represents how varied life truly can be. Through change, we can access the varied facets or ‘colors’ that life displays. The point to take here is that we are in charge of change in our personal lives. It’s not fate that holds the key to the next event or ‘level’ of life
Just like a grueling video game, life can have some hard levels. But is it fate that helps us get through them? Are we simply destined to pass some stages within our lives with flying colors, or is it the effort we put in to emerge successful that puts us on the winning side? If you’re trying to pitch for a job you really want, are you going to get it only if your fate dictates it? Or is a good CV and some research about the position you are applying for going to get you a thumbs up for your interview?
The festival of color also represents the onset of Spring, which is the merriest and brightest time of the year. A new beginning filled with light is what the festival represents. Beginning again with a new perspective can often help one overcome onerous emotional obstacles.
When we absolve ourselves of control over things, we often let go so much that we may reduce our chances of emerging successful. Understanding that every event in our lives is connected to the next may just help us understand that it is our inner qualities that help us get the best out of life; not fate!
The belief that we are destined for certain things often leads us to become complacent, and stop trying harder to accomplish something. Maybe an understanding that we, the men and women of the world, are the main players in our own lived experiences can do wonders for the way we approach a grueling task.
This Holi, snatch that remote control from fate, and start flipping the channels and playing the game of life yourself, rather than relying on something as ambiguous as destiny.