What is Divine Grace? How to get it? (3)
Mr. Sridhar, a Hindu from Goa, asked:
D.: It is said, “Equanimity is yoga”. (Samatvam yoga uchyate). What is that equanimity?
M.: It is unity in diversity. The universe is now seen to be diverse. See the common factor (sama) in all the objects.
D.: How is the common factor to be perceived in the diversity?
M.: The seer is only one. They do not appear without the seer. There is no change in the seer, however much the others may change. They are only the single Truth presented in different aspects.
Mr. Ekanatha Rao: Is Grace necessary for it?
D.: How to gain Divine Grace?
M.: By surrender.
D.: Still I do not feel Grace.
M.: Sincerity is wanting. Surrender should not be verbal nor conditional.
Passages from St. Justinian were read out to illustrate these statements.
Prayer is not verbal. It is from the heart. To merge into the Heart is prayer. That is also Grace.
The Alwar says: “I was all along seeking Thee. But on realizing the Self I find you are the Self. The Self is my all, and so you are my All.”
D.: Impurities of limitation, ignorance and desire (anava, mayika, and kamya) place obstacles in the way of meditation. How to conquer them?
M.: Not to be swayed by them.
D.: Grace is necessary.
M.: Yes, Grace is both the beginning and the end. Introversion is due to Grace: Perseverance is Grace; and Realisation is Grace. That is the reason for the statement: Mamekam saranam vraja (only surrender to Me). If one has entirely surrendered oneself is there any part left to ask for Grace? He is swallowed up by Grace.
D.: Is not grace more effective than abhyasa (practice)?
M.: Guru simply helps you in the eradication of ignorance. Does he hand over Realization to you?
D.: We are ignorant.
M.: Inasmuch as you say you are ignorant, you are wise. Is he a madman who says that he is mad? Guru’s Grace is like a hand extended to help you out of water, or it makes your way easier for the removal of ignorance.
D.: Is it not like a medicine to cure the disease of avidya?
M.: What is medicine for? It is only to restore the patient to the original state of health. What is this talk of Guru. Grace, God, etc.? Does the Guru hold you by the hand and whisper something in your ear? You imagine him to be like yourself. Because you are with a body you think that he is also a body in order to do something tangible to you. His work lies within. How is Guru gained? God, who is immanent, in his Grace takes pity on the loving devotee and manifests Himself as a being according to the devotee’s standard. The devotee thinks that he is a man and expects relationship as between bodies. But the Guru, who is God or Self incarnate, works from within, helps the man to see the error of his ways, guides him in the right path until he realizes the Self within.
After such realization the disciple feels, “I was so worried before. I am after all the Self, the same as before but not affected by anything; where is he who was miserable? He is nowhere to be seen.”
What should we do now? Only act up to the words of the master, work within. The Guru is both within and without. So he creates conditions to drive you inward and prepares the interior to drag you to the centre. Thus he gives a push from without and exerts a pull from within so that you may be fixed at the centre.
D.: Is not Grace the gift of the Guru?
M.: God, Grace and Guru are all synonymous and also eternal and immanent. Is not the Self already within? Is it for the Guru to bestow It by his look? If a Guru thinks so, he does not deserve the name.
M.: Will-power or any other is gained by practice (abhyasa).
D.: Is success not dependent on Guru’s Grace?
M.: Yes, it is. Is not your practice itself due to such Grace? The fruits are the result of the practice and follow it automatically. There is a stanza in Kaivalya which says, “O Guru! You have been always with me watching me through several reincarnations, and ordaining my course until I was liberated.” The Self manifests externally as Guru when occasion arises; otherwise He is always within, doing the needful.
A Pandit asked about the operation of Grace. Is it the mind of the Guru acting on the mind of the disciple or anything different?
M.: The Highest Form of Grace is Silence (mowna). It is also the highest upadesa.
D.: Vivekananda has also said that silence is the loudest form of prayer.
M.: It is so, for the seeker’s silence. Guru’s silence is the loudest upadesa. It is also Grace in its highest form. All other dikshas (initiations), e.g., sparsa (touch), chakshus (sight) are derived from mowna (silence). They are therefore secondary. Mowna is the primary form. If the Guru is silent the seeker’s mind gets purified by itself.
D.: Is it proper that one prays to God or Guru when one is afflicted by worldly ills?