Chapter 4. Balance Destiny with Effort

Back again readers. Kural maxims explained so vividly to be followed in easy steps. The fourth chapter of my father’s book ‘Vazhkai Vetri‘ also titled ‘Vetri Padigal’ in the later editions now translated in English for the benefit of all. Let us focus on Steps towards Success…..

தெய்வத்தான் ஆகாது எனினும் முயற்சிதன்

மெய்வருத்தக் கூலி தரும்

(அதிகாரம்:ஆள்வினையுடைமை குறள் எண்:619)

Theyvaththaan aakaa theninum muyarchidhan

meyvaruththak kooli tharum

English Couplet 619:

Even though God is against, Effort is bound to pay the wages of labour.


Even if God has given up, perseverance will pay the wages for one’s effort.

Couplet Explanation:

Although it be said that, through God it cannot be attained, yet labour, with bodily exertion, will yield its reward.

First word of the Kural above mentions God. God is known to us as the Almighty, Allpowerful. Nothing happens without his will. So it can also be said God is our destiny; isn’t it. It is stressed in these two lines that even if our actions are denied by God, the efforts taken will definitely yield our reward.

It needs further explanation. Even if God fails us or Destiny proves wrong, the arduous physical strain taken and our continued perseverance will not go unrewarded. There is a depth of meaning to it. In spite of performing a task with utmost hardworking and great efforts failure is met due to cruel fate. We are ruined by the hands of destiny that plays havoc on all our attempts. But this Kural stresses all the pain undergone will not go to waste.

The two different factors are weighed down under the needle point of a scale with God or Destiny on one side and Efforts on the other side. God or Fate is no doubt All Powerful. When we are put under test by God and Destiny, the energy behind our persevering efforts gives us the strength to bear the test. The two lines of the Kural just points this to us. It can be asserted that even if destiny goes against us, our honest efforts lead us to a life of happiness erasing all our sorrows.

Why the stress on honest efforts. The efforts taken must never be slackened even a bit. Laziness or losing hope must not pull us back. if we get injured during the process it will definitely interrupt our concentration. But being steadfast in our goal and serious in our determination to pursue it will sure drive away the pain however severe it may be. The more intent we are less will be the repercussions. The pain will vanish or get absorbed. Disciplining our minds and focusing on set doctrines we must pursue our efforts undeterred by any sort of unexpected disappointments or inimitable hazards that obstruct our paths. This attitude will help us fight God’s will or destiny and keep it balanced in the weighing scale. This is basically a testing time to assure us nothing can be had easily without even moving a step towards attaining it.

This is the fundamental principle and only by individual experiences it would be completely felt. Books and theory are just tools of guidance but they cannot teach as much as experiences gained. A brilliant student studying day and night fails in his exams. Why? All because of his destiny and not because of his knowledge . Although he had failed because of fate, his brilliance and hard work will never go to waste.

Books and education has given him knowledge. Knowledge has made him brilliant because of the efforts he had taken. But failing in exams was merely due to misfortune or Fate.

Why can’t the consequences of destiny changed? The answer is, “Yes, they can be changed.” Failures are stepping stones to success. Once we trip and fall it does not mean we will fall again. We become cautious next time. We are taught a lesson falling the first time. Let us compare Intelligence or knowledge to fire and fate or destiny to ashes. The fire in you can burn the action of fate to ashes.

How did this failure happen? Nothing but cruel cunning methods followed by Mr.Fate. What are those cunning methods? While the student was answering his papers fate has shaken his memory to forgetfulness. Just like the sun gets blocked by an eclipse. Eclipse is the fate of the sun. Eclipses does not happen on regular basis. When it happens a lot of Shanti Pariharas or remedial measures and prayers are undertaken for the welfare of the individual, for welfare of all, for the benefit of the whole universe. In the same way the student understands the consequence of fate, he should make himself stronger and once again be prepared to do his exams with more concentration, grit, and determination. The efforts taken in that order not even slightly disheartened will sure bring him success.

Pressurized by fate, he must acknowledge the fact that he ought to be ready to change his goal in a different direction. If a particular field of curriculum is not bringing him success immediately he must turn his attention to a different field that would make him succeed eventually. Fate or God is helping you to find what is best for you.

Success can come in many ways. We would think we had achieved success in a particular pursuit of a goal. But there are chances to have been more victorious in the pursuit of a different goal. Same way a failure in one may bring success in another. So elders often tell us not to be happy with success nor be dejected with failures.

Everything happens for a reason. Fate cannot be totally ignored. It helps us to find more opportunities, by failing us most of the time but to succeed very soon in another. A balance is arrived by proper thinking and taking the right decisions.

Let us further explore some more doctrines preached by our ancient scholar Tiruvalluvar through two line verses of his Kural.

A Kural emphasizes, parents of virtuous children will not suffer any sort of sorrows in this and any of their seven lives to come. We are all anxious how to be free from suffering in this one given life of ours. But the Kural stresses freedom from all sufferings even for seven more lives of ours yet to come. How does that happen? Just by begetting good children with good values and virtues.

What is the job of the parents? It is but natural children get the physical features of parents. Same way they also pick good values from the behaviors of their parents. Good habits followed by parents easily get transferred to their children without any doubt. If a father is a drunkard automatically his son takes to him. If the mother is unkind and harsh to others it is adapted by the daughter in most cases. If the father is hardworking and keen in manual labor automatically his children turns to hardworking and strenuous laborious activities. Parents must set themselves as exemplary in front of the children. Their responsibility is to give them a proper environment to cultivate good habits and inculcate great values in them from their childhood. It is the duty of a father to make his son rank high amidst learned scholars of his society- points out one of the Kurals. Thus doing so the father is highly praised for having done a great penance to beget such a scholarly son with esteemed qualities.

Magan thandaikku atrum udavi Ivan thandai

Ennotran kolenum sol.

மகன்தந்தைக்கு ஆற்றும் உதவி இவன்தந்தை

என்நோற்றான் கொல்எனும் சொல்.

English Couplet 70:

To sire, what best requital can by a grateful child be done?

To make men say, ‘What merit gained the father such a son?’

Couplet Explanation:

The duty of a son towards his father is to make others wonder what great deeds did the father do to deserve such a son. Verse 70

It is the duty of a father to give proper education and raise his children well cultured however less the basic comforts are or whatever difficult times faced. When he grows to an adult he will become a responsible son looking after the needs of his aged father or parents and reduce their burden to a great extent.

To be happy and comfortable we must have all necessities in life or must be blessed to be with such company. Who is a better companion than your own son. What a delight to be blessed with a scholarly and virtuous son.

It is hence very important to both parents and the children not just to blame one’s destiny or God, for not being successful but to rely on their own efforts by observing all the facts mentioned above. A balanced mind balancing the fate’s testing ways to that of our honest efforts is the key to success. God helps those who help themselves.

Over to the next chapter “Mind your own Mind” 

Meet you all soon..

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