What is Divine Grace? How to gain it? (4)
Extracts from Talks with Ramana Maharshi
D.: What is the significance of Guru’s Grace in the attainment of liberation?
M.: Liberation is not anywhere outside you. It is only within. If a man is anxious for Deliverance, the Guru within pulls him in and the Guru without pushes him into the Self. This is the Grace of the Guru.
D.: Seekers who are in immediate proximity of the Master can get grace by darsana, sparsana (look, touch and so on). But how does one get the same grace when the person is at a distance?
M.: By yoga drishti (yogic look, mental contact).
D.: Doubts are always arising. Hence my questions.
M.: A doubt arises and is cleared; another arises and that is cleared, making way for another, and so it goes on. So there is no possibility of clearing away all doubts. See to whom the doubts arise. Go to their source and abide in it. Then they cease to arise. That is how doubts are to be cleared. Atma samstham manah krtva na kinchidapi chintayet. Fix you mind on the Self and don’t think at all.
D.: Grace alone can help me to it.
M.: Grace is not exterior. In fact your very desire for grace is due to grace that is already in you.
D.: How long is a Guru necessary for Self-Realisation?
M.: Guru is necessary so long as there is the laghu. (Meaning, Guru = heavy; laghu = light). Laghu is due to the self-imposed but wrong limitation of the Self. God, on being worshipped, bestows steadiness in devotion which leads to surrender. On the devotee surrendering, God shows His mercy by manifesting as the Guru. The Guru, otherwise God, guides the devotee, saying that God is in you and He is the Self. This leads to introversion of the mind and finally to realization.
An American gentleman, Mr. J. M. Lorey, has been staying in the Asramam for about two months. He asked:
I am leaving tonight. It gives me pain to tear myself away from this place. But I must go to America. I ask for a message from the Master. The Master understands me even better than I do myself. So I pray for a message to keep me up when I am away from the Master.
M.: The Master is not outside you as you seem to imagine. He is within, is in fact the Self. Recognise this truth. Seek within you and find Him there. Then you will have constant communion with Him. The message is always there; it is never silent; it can never forsake you: nor can you ever move away from the Master…you can never be without the Master.
Mr. Lorey was struck by the answer although he was already familiar with the Master’s ways. He was even visibly moved. He prayed that the Grace of the Master might abide with him.
M.: The Master being the Self, Grace is inseparable from the Self.
D.: Realization is said to be helped by Guru’s Grace.
M.: Guru is none other than the Self.
D.: Krishna had Sandipini for his Guru and so Rama had Vasishta.
M.: Guru is said to be external for the seeker. The in-turn of the mind is brought about by the Guru. Since the seeker is out-ward-bent he is advised to learn from a Guru whom he will in due course find to be the Self.
D.: May I have Guru’s Grace?
M.: Grace is always there.
D.: But I do not feel the same.
M.: Surrender will make one understand the Grace.
D.: I have surrendered heart and soul. I am the best judge of my heart. Still I do not feel the Grace.
M.: If you had surrendered the questions would not arise.
D.: I have surrendered. Still the questions arise.
M.: Grace is constant. Your judgement is the variable. Where else should the fault lie?
D.: I must be enabled to surrender myself.
M.: Thayumanavar has said: “Glory to You for enabling me to discuss so much and follow Your words so far!”