“Each man is the maker and fashioner of his own destiny…”


Thursday 27th June 2013

“The ancient Hindus said that every being up to Brahma was under the rule of Karma.

“It is not a being but a law, the universal law of harmony which unerringly restores all disturbance to equilibrium. In this the theory conflicts with the ordinary conception about God, built up from the Jewish system, which assumes that the Almighty as a thinking entity, extraneous to the Cosmos, builds up, finds his construction inharmonious, out of proportion, errant, and disturbed, and then has to pull down, destroy, or punish that which he created. This has either caused thousands to live in fear of God, in compliance with his assumed commands, with the selfish object of obtaining reward and securing escape from his wrath, or has plunged them into darkness which comes from a denial of all spiritual life. But as there is plainly, indeed painfully, evident to every human being a constant destruction going on in and around us, a continual war not only among men but everywhere through the whole solar system, causing sorrow in all directions, reason requires a solution of the riddle. The poor, who see no refuge or hope, cry aloud to a God who makes no reply, and then envy springs up in them when they consider the comforts and opportunities of the rich. They see the rich profligates, the wealthy fools, enjoying themselves unpunished. Turning to the teacher of religion, they meet the reply to their questioning of the justice which will permit such misery to those who did nothing requiring them to be born with no means, no opportunities for education, no capacity to overcome social, racial, or circumstantial obstacles, “It is the will of God.” Parents produce beloved offspring who are cut off by death at an untimely hour, just when all promised well. They too have no answer to the question, “Why am I thus afflicted?” but the same unreasonable reference to an inaccessible God whose arbitrary will causes their misery. Thus in every walk of life, loss, injury, persecution, deprivation of opportunity, nature’s own forces working to destroy the happiness of man, death, reverses, disappointment continually beset good and evil men alike. But nowhere is there any answer or relief save in the ancient truths that each man is the maker and fashioner of his own destiny, the only one who sets in motion the causes for his own happiness and misery. In one life he sows and in the next he reaps. Thus on and forever, the law of Karma leads him.

“Karma is a beneficent law wholly merciful, relentlessly just, for true mercy is not favor but impartial justice.”

“My brothers! each man’s life
The outcome of his former living is;
The bygone wrongs bring forth sorrows and woes,
The bygone right breeds bliss. …
This is the doctrine of Karma.” *

— William Quan Judge, The Ocean of Theosophy

* This verse, quoted by Mr Judge, is from “The Light of Asia,” Sir Edwin Arnold’s poetic account of the life and teachings of Gautama Buddha.

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2 thoughts on ““Each man is the maker and fashioner of his own destiny…”

  1. If i sow in this life, not obtaining much but my most basic of needs, and reap in my next life prosperity, peace, love, etc…. what good is that if for one i don’t retain any memory whatsoever of my former life?, nothing to compare my present incarnation of opulence against? Let me make this clear, i am in no way trying to debunk the teachings of the “Secret Doctrine”, i just want to understand it fully and completely. It’s almost similar to the christian philosophy of “be good now so you’ll have everything in heaven, as if your present life is a lost cause. So my question is how can one whom has accepted his karma in this life( epilepsy,having a sick child, born in poverty,molested as a child,etc…) what hope is there for that person in this life?? because the ” store your treasures up in heaven” line is old and worn out, what if someone wants to make it right, or at least some of their past karma right in this incarnation, in order to experience some degree of comfort, is there any hope?……looking forward to your reply……..

    1. Thank you for this comment and question.

      You asked, “what if someone wants to make it right, or at least some of their past karma right in this incarnation, in order to experience some degree of comfort, is there any hope?”

      The simple answer is that none of us really have the ability to answer that. In each and every case it’s down to the individual’s own Karma, i.e. their self-created destiny. Karmic Law has been called “the great adjuster” and “the unfailing regulator.”

      What has to be borne in mind is that because it is the unfailing, unerring, immutable, impersonal, incredibly far-reaching law of cause and effect, action and reaction, sequence and consequence, it is therefore the law of perfect justice. Each one of us gets the EXACT consequences of our past deeds – whether bad, good, or more often than not a combination of the two – and no more and no less.

      As William Judge says elsewhere in “The Ocean of Theosophy,” “Nature does not go by sentiment but by law” and Theosophy “hails the reign of law in everything and every circumstance.”

      No-one’s present life is a lost cause. In the past we created our present and in the present we are creating our future…and we are doing so every moment, in fact. Each one of us is a highly responsible being, hence why this teaching about Karma is sometimes described as “the doctrine of responsibility” whilst reincarnation is “the doctrine of hope.”

      It is impossible to evade or override the Law of Karma. Nothing can happen outside of it. Thus each one of us has a “lot” in life, which in Hindu terminology is our prarabdha karma. But this is probably only clearly comprehensible if we accept or understand the concept of a soul on a progressive, self-determined journey of inner evolution.

      I think the several articles under the heading of “The Law of Karma” on the Articles page (https://blavatskytheosophy.com/articles/) may help to better explain and expand on all this.

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