Following the previous lecture on the subject of kismet or fate, Hazrat Inayat Khan gave a second class on the subject. In the text below, he repeats some of the thoughts offered in the first lecture, but expands them and adds some additional points.
There are always two ideas understood in general about the nature of existence. One is that there is some power behind, named God, Who creates beings and moves them according to His will. The joy, pain, riches, poverty, success, failure, all He makes previously and prepares for man at the formation of his soul, and afterwards He makes changes in accordance to man’s good or bad actions which are given in man’s power, he being made responsible for them. There is another idea, that man makes his own fate, or mars his own fortune, and that there is no other power hidden behind which has any influence on his life.
The third idea is that some planetary influence governs man’s life. His conditions change in accordance with the change of the planets.
In all these three different ideas an argument arises: if the hidden power of God, the Almighty does control man’s every action and deed, why should then man be rewarded for his virtues and punished for his sins, since he has no choice in the matter? In the second idea, an argument arises, that if man makes his fortune, then why every man cannot obtain all he desires, and what is it that hinders at times the path of his accomplishment?
In connection with the third idea a question arises, that if the planets have influence upon every individual why should anybody try for success, and why should he strive for good ends? If they are under a planetary influence, they must come just the same, without any effort on his part.
The explanation of the above named fact is that God the Creative Power has a purpose already intended before He manifests each atom, just like a carpenter would know before making a chair that it may be used for a sitting purpose. This can be understood by studying man’s anatomy – how, for keeping this external machine right, one organ is made to help the other, as for instance eyelids as a protection for the eyes. Man, blinded by witnessing every thing with his eyes, fails to see the Creator’s wisdom, but calls Him wise just the same.
Of course there are two tendencies, the creative, and the responsive, and very often, the creative tendency cannot accomplish its aim owing to the lack of responsive tendency. For instance a person would throw an arrow to kill the tiger, but the arrow might fail to accomplish its purpose, or a cow might run into it and the tiger may be saved at the expense of the cow. God, the Creator, sends every soul on earth to reach the ideal aim, but the lack of responsive tendencies keeps man astray until at last he may be dragged towards his origin, after going through all sufferings and pains in life.
Although man is limited in his choice of affairs for the purpose for which he has been created, yet he is made responsible for his deeds, because of his also being given free will to command through his limited sphere in life. Thus man makes or mars his fortune. His will is called Qadr, and the will behind it, which embraces the will of all individuals, is Qaza.
Of course the planets have their influence upon man’s life, for his soul, having existed in the planet, partakes its conditions and shows it in man’s life on earth. At the same time each period is reflected by an influence of a planet. In fact it is the cosmic universe which distinguishes time to our view. If not, man would never have been able to know either the day of the week, a month or what time of the night or day it may be. Therefore each time has its influence in connection with man’s life. “There is a time for each happening.” (Quran)
In reality, man constitutes both qualities, the creative and the responsive – the former when perfect, and the latter before perfection. When he attains the knowledge, with strength and power he then becomes master of his own affairs. No planetary influence nor circumstances nor the decree of fate can stand in his way; he continues so, progressing until he arrives at the plane which is called by the Sufis Qutubiyat, when he not only controls his life but the lives of all living in the planet.