When God takes avatars, it is of His own will, and according to His plans. But our births and experiences on this earth are determined by our karma.

Our destiny determines who we are, what we achieve, what we suffer, what we feel. Everything happens according to our destiny, said M.V. Anantapadmanabhachariar. We can't escape from what we have to face in life, no matter how hard we try to escape.

Once there was a king who could read the lines of destiny just by looking at a person. One time, when he was taking a stroll, he noticed a skull lying on the ground.

He went close to have a look at it, and as he had the power of deciphering what a person's fate was, he could tell the fate of the person, just by looking at the skull. He said the skull was that of a sixteen-year-old boy.

But what puzzled the king was what he could read on the skull. The boy would die at the age of 16 and then would become a king. The words were a mystery to the king.

So he removed the skull from the sand, and took it to his palace. There he asked his ministers if they knew what the words meant. They did not know.

So he summoned all the wise men and scholars of the land and asked them what the words meant. How could a person die and then become a king? And yet, how could destiny remain unfulfilled? No one had an answer, until one wise man came along and said he had the answer.

He said it was true that the boy was dead. But the boy's skull had been put on display by the king in the palace.

The king has placed it beside him, on a silk cushion, and had asked several learned men to look at it. So the boy's skull had enjoyed the royal treatment for the past several days, thus fulfilling the second half of the prophecy that the king had heard.

Thus destiny is never thwarted. But the Lord comes to this earth, not because of His destiny. He who determines our destinies in accordance with our sins is never Himself a victim of fate.

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