"The very first step in understanding what this is all about is giving up the concept of an active, volitional 'I' as a separate entity and accepting the passive role of perceiving and functioning as a process." - Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Friday, August 25, 2017

Guru's Grace

Sri Annamalai Swami

Q: You said that by serving a jnani one could receive his unused punyas as a blessing. Does one not need a lot of punyas of one's own merely to have the opportuinity to meet a jnani and serve him? It's not just a question of good luck.

AS: Yes. One of our saints has written a verse to this effect: 'Those who have accumulated punyas in many lives, those who have purified their minds to some extent, those who have made a big spiritual efforts over many lives - these kinds of virtuous souls will get association with a realized Guru, and by his grace they will come to realize the truth.'

If you want to get hot, you have to go near a fire. If you want water, you have to go to a well, and if you want grace to realize the Self, you will have to go to a jnani.

Bhagavan would occasionally quote a verse from Kaivalya Navaneeta that says: 'The immemorial Vedas declare that single-minded devotion to a holy sage is not only pleasing to Brahma, Vishnu and Siva together, but also secures the rewards of all the vedic rites, and finally, liberation from the cycle of births.'

After my first attempt to run away, I never left Bhagavan again. I never went away anywhere else to do my spiritual practices. I just listened to what my Guru told me, and I carried out his instructions to the best of my ability.

Then, one day in the hall, Bhagavan turned to me and said, "Your karmas are over."

I had this great opportunity to surrender to a Guru like Bhagavan to trust him and to serve him. It didn't happen through my pwn efforts. This kind of thing happens very rarely, for beings such as Bhagavan don't appear very often. If you want to learn, you have to go to school. If you want jnana, you have to go to a jnani.

I want to speak some more about the grace of the Guru. Bhagavan told me that the Guru is the Self who is within. The Self manifests in a form and pushes the minds of devotees towards the Self. At the same time the Guru resides within us as the unmanifest Self. From inside, he is pulling us towards him. This pushing and pulling is Guru's Grace.
(To be continued)

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सर्वभूताधिवासं यद्भूतेषु च वसत्यपि।
सर्वानुग्राहकत्वेन तद्स्म्यहं वासुदेवः॥

That in whom reside all beings and who resides in all beings,
who is the giver of grace to all, the Supreme Soul of the universe, the limitless being:
I AM THAT. -- Amritabindu Upanishad