The Difference Between Good Luck and Fortune

“Luck, as it turns out, has to do with well-deserved, self-created good fortune.”

Thom Knoles

The Oxford Dictionary defines luck as success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one’s own actions, or, chance considered as a force that causes good or bad things to happen.

Long-term listeners will straight away see that chance is incompatible with the Vedic worldview. Hence, luck isn’t likely to pass scrutiny either.

So how then do we account for the fact that sometimes we seem lucky, or perhaps others seem lucky, and sometimes we don’t?

We often encounter situations where the terms ‘good luck’ and ‘good fortune’ are used interchangeably. However, from a Vedic perspective, there’s a subtler distinction between good luck and fortune. Understanding the nuances of good luck vs good fortune can provide deep insights into our life experiences.

The debate between good luck and good fortune also becomes important in understanding self-made happiness.

In this episode Thom explains the Vedic perspective on luck and good fortune, shedding light on luck and fortune differences. The degree of randomness, or randomicity associated with luck, does not align with the Vedic understanding. The good news is, we have more control over luck than most people think.

The conversation surrounding luck vs fortune reveals an important truth: happiness isn’t simply a stroke of luck. Instead, happiness is made of intentional efforts and creating opportunities for oneself.

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Episode Highlights


A Degree of Randomicity



Well-Deserved, Self-Created Good Fortune



There is Intelligence Involved



Unconscious Design of Unhappiness



Conscious Design of Happiness


Jai Guru Deva


The Difference Between Luck and Good Fortune

Jai Guru Deva. Thank you for listening to my podcast, The Vedic Worldview. I’m Thom Knoles.

[00:53] A Degree of Randomicity

I want to spend a few minutes talking about the misconceptions involved around the word luck. Luck, L-U-C-K, luck.

How lucky that I’m a meditator, how lucky we are that we have this knowledge, how lucky. Lucky has entered the common parlance, the vernacular of modern English language as being synonymous with good fortune.

But from the Vedic perspective, there’s no such thing as luck because luck, in the way that it’s defined, involves a degree of randomicity. The spin of the roulette wheel, and then it just randomly lands on a particular number, and if somehow you manage to choose the right number, you’re lucky and you win a whole lot of casino chips,whatever they’re worth, luck.

But the fact is, luck is conceived of as a simple, random thing and then if somebody appears to have lots of luck, they better watch out because, since it’s random, their luck might run out. And luck, therefore, is something over which one has no control.

How do I make myself lucky? I don’t know. Make the right guess, but watch out, don’t get arrogant because you might make the wrong guess next.

So let’s dispense with this word, luck. And although we can continue using it, I don’t want to be the word police. It’s important that people speak the way that they feel most comfortable speaking, but we need to understand properly what we mean in the Vedic context when we say luck.

[02:52] Well-Deserved, Self-Created Good Fortune

Luck, as it turns out, has to do with well-deserved, self-created good fortune. Well-deserved, self-created good fortune. You’re a Vedic Meditator. Are you lucky? Well, if we understand that word properly, yes, you’re lucky, but what does it mean, being lucky? It means that you said yes to a critical mass of the right things.

When it came time to hear your introductory talk on Vedic Meditation, instead of thinking to yourself, “Hmm, I’ll think about that for 10 years and not do anything about it. Or maybe I’ll go off and learn mindfulness from an app.” Instead of going in those two directions, you decided to sign up and take the four days, an hour and a half each day, course in how to practice proficiently, Vedic Meditation as taught by our ancient tradition.

And so you said yes to the right thing. And throughout our life there are certain things to which we say yes and other things to which we say no, which turn out to be the determining factors of us getting into a position where, with greater and greater reliability, what we desire to happen comes into being.

And this is the position of being in well-deserved, self-created good fortune. Well-deserved, self-created good fortune. There’s no randomicity in it.

Evolution works along the lines of, as we reach a certain saturation point of being conscious, a turning point, a tipping point of consciousness, we begin to recognize that thoughts that appear in our mind, that have in them a proposition to action.

[05:09] There is Intelligence Involved

“Here’s a proposition to action. Will I go to Saint-Tropez in the South of France or stay home and have a a staycation.” And if the thought of Saint-Tropez is more charming, then the meditator starts making a move in that direction, right away without hesitation. And then when you experience Saint-Tropez and all of its delights, then you won’t be thinking to yourself, “I’m lucky.”

You’ll be thinking, “This is well-deserved, self-created good fortune, and there’s no luck involved in it, because evolution gave me the idea and I acted right away.”

 So, when we are experiencing our well-deserved self-created good fortune, our luck, if we want to call it that, then we need to acknowledge that there is intelligence involved in having designed, consciously, our own happiness.

[06:13] Unconscious Design of Unhappiness

You see, there’s the unconscious design of unhappiness, which is what nine tenths of the population is engaged in at this exact moment in time. The unconscious design of unhappiness, what does that mean?

Without realizing that they’re doing so, people are trying to get happy, but in the process of trying to get happy, they’re violating laws of Nature and making themselves suffer.

So they think they’re trying to get happy. You know, “I just wanted to get happy and there were a dozen donuts in the box and a long movie. And after about six donuts, I began to wonder, but gosh, it was sure yummy getting that icing in my mouth. And the movie had such thrilling and scary bits, and I needed something to comfort me.

“And now the movie’s over, and I can’t even remember how it ended. But those 12 donuts are in my belly. Oh. I need some alka seltzer. I need a magic bullet. I can’t believe I ate the whole thing. And I did. I was just trying to make myself happy, just trying to make myself happy.”

So the unconscious design of unhappiness. You know, we go and hang out in places where it should be absolutely clear that no happiness will come home from that place, we won’t come home with a happy memory. Or we engage in styles of relating with people where it should be clear that no happiness is going to be the product of that style of relating with that particular person.

[08:04] Conscious Design of Happiness

And yet we continue on in the search for happiness. We’re willing, inadvertently; nobody intentionally creates suffering for themselves. It’s an inadvertent thing. Inadvertently, in the search for happiness, we engage in behaviors that violate laws of Nature, without our knowing so, and then what lands on us is unhappiness.

It’s not random. It’s an unconscious design. And what we’re in favor of is the conscious design of happiness. The conscious design of happiness means familiarizing ourself through meditation with that least-excited state.

The unboundedness that’s deep inside of us is the home of all the laws of Nature. As we continue to identify with that quiet place, that’s the place out of which all the laws of Nature zoom forth, constantly, then we become familiar with the way in which the laws of Nature work.

Knowledge about how the laws of Nature work is embedded deep inside our consciousness. And as meditators, we awaken, more and more, day after day, we awaken more and more to how the laws of Nature work, and then we are less attracted to the idea of experimentation with just any old behavior, in any old fashion, that might somehow, if we’re lucky, produce happiness.

Instead of that, a conscious design of happiness, conscious design of happiness. “I sense that if I do this, then it’s natural that happiness will arrive.” What is that? Well-deserved great, good fortune.

So call it luck if you like. We can call it luck, but let’s understand it properly. The true nature of luck; well-deserved, conscious design of happiness.

Jai Guru Deva.

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