Does “Luck” Exist?


Dear friend,

What do guruji’s teachings tell us about 'luck'? Where does the idea fit within the ideas of karma and dharma? Is it just a concept of past karma materializing in the form of what we want? Could you help me decipher and understand the idea? Am I lucky or is it all pure chance, of being in the right place at the right time around the right people?

Thank you! :)

—Nirja, India


Dear Nirja,

“Luck” is only an appearance, and “pure chance” is perfectly nonexistent in this world. Everything is pure mathematics: what happens to us has to happen, and is mathematically perfect. Einstein said it this way: “God doesn’t play dice with the world.” It’s all A+B=C. It is all karma. It looks like luck, or misfortune, but it never is. All creation is governed by law.

Yogananda calls that karmic perfection in his Autobiography the “unerring application of the law of justice which upholds creation’s farthest swinging orb.”

He also writes: “When misfortune visits such men, they call it ill-luck or accident. When good fortune arrives, they call it luck or chance. Few realize that their lives are governed by the effects of past actions (karma) and that they are subject to universal laws administered by higher beings.”

And: “Because the ordinary person does not perceive how the law of action and reaction is governing his life, he believes that what comes to him is in large part a matter of happenstance and fate. He often says, ‘This was my good luck,’ or ‘That’s my unfortunate lot.’ There is no luck that one has not created before, in this or other incarnations.”

The only thing that goes above and beyond this relentless karma-equation is grace, which is given by God and Guru, through sincere devotion. That is our true “luck”, which can change everything. But it has to be earned.

Our self-effort today will change our karma, and can make us all become “lucky”. Yogananda gave a talk on How to prepare your next incarnation: What we are doing now determines our future, including our next incarnation (if such needs to happen). If now we act generously etc., we will be unexpectedly “lucky” in our next life. Fortunate things will happen to us then, “by pure chance”.

Good luck, be lucky, jayadev