By Swami Harshananda
Daiva literally means ‘related to deva,’ ‘luck or fate’.
Throughout the history, some kind of belief in destiny and unseen hand of fate seems to have existed. The people have been no exception to this phenomenon. The word ‘daiva’ has been derived from ‘deva’, a god or a superior being or a supernatural power. In effect, it means the unseen power of fate (adṛṣṭa).
The dharmaśāstras and the purāṇas have discussed in detail whether daiva or puruṣakāra (human effort) is more powerful. Three different views have emerged:
- Daiva is all-powerful
- Human effort is superior
- Both have an equal place in our life.
Since daiva (fate or luck) is generally interpreted as the cumulative effect of our past karmas tending to give a particular direction in this life, the third view seems to be more reasonable.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore