HOW TO PREPARE FOR GRACE?
THE POWER OF GRACE CAN ONLY BE KNOWN THROUGH EXPERIENCE
All problems in our lives begin the way we live in duality, viewing everything as separate from us. Speaking, all issues have their solutions built in. No man needs to suffer. No man needs to drive grace away from oneself, for it is there, it is there, it is there. Look how the sun gives off its heat to draw up water to shower the earth with grace so food and flowers can grow. Everything in the universe is in motion; everything is working. We are supposed to be the highest species on this earth, the so-called most evolved, because we can think; we should be able to be in a position to believe in the right way so that we can draw grace far more quickly to and understand it better than the flower which is non-thinking or the stone that is non-thinking or the poor little animal. Do you know how much a dog or a cat does not think and showers their love to you? Do you know how close they can be to you? Even before the master turns the corner, the dog runs to the gate. Even the cat will come and curl up in your lap so lovingly. Why? Because it does not think. It feels, and what feels is the Heart. So, when we approach the core of our personality called the Heart, that can never remain a vacuum, then as the Heart expands or unfolds more and more, it becomes more and more filled with grace.
Grace is something one can never explain. Never mind how intellectual you are; the mind can never demonstrate grace. One can talk about it, but one can only know the power of grace when one experiences it, and the preparation for this is within oneself through our spiritual practices.
REWARDS WILL COME ON THEIR OWN
No obstacle cannot be overcome; obstacles are the most outstanding teachers. It is not the pleasures of life that teach you much, but the pains of life teach you, and if there are obstacles, you should develop the attitude that this obstacle is necessary for you to experience grace. Funny enough, all Spiritual Masters go through severe pain. Take Ramakrishna, who had cancer, Vivekananda with asthma, and Ram Thirtha, who had some incurable disease. Many of you do not know that, but Jesus Christ was a very sickly man. He was very emaciated. He had very little strength, travelling from village to village and town to town on foot. Many times, there was food for him, and many times, there was not – many times, feasts and many beggar’s bowls. He went through a lot of torture, but finally, he could say that “I and my Father are one. I, this little body, and that father within are one.” That is the final realisation of Unity Consciousness.
Despite his theory of relativity, even Einstein had to admit that “There is a vast field which I cannot explain.” He was a spiritual man, or he would not admit to that unified field he mentioned. For that, you had an excellent series on British television a little while ago where this man, Don Cupid, spoke about Jung, Darwin, Freud, and all these people. They, too, especially Jung, after going through all the various facets of psychoanalysis, had to admit that there is a power, there is a God, there is something that moves the world. I think the Greek Philosopher Archimedes said, “If you can give me a standing place apart from the earth, I could move the whole earth.” But there is no standing place outside the earth. The upright place is inside the planet, and you have got to move the earth, and it can be done by pushing yourself.
Whenever you do your spiritual practices, never have the desire for self-realisation or passion for grace because that will only breed begging and bargaining. Just do them innocently, and you will find the rewards on their own. Try chasing your shadow, running away from the light; you will never catch it. But try running towards the light, and your shadow will be behind you – behind me, the devil. I stand free, and you, the devil, stand behind me. By the devil, I mean all the suffering and the obstacles, for that is the evil created by ourselves, by our little mental selves. And yet, the mind is so vast. It is as vast as the universe; even poor old Einstein could only use eight per cent of it. So, what is the sense of chasing that little mind when even Einstein could reach eight per cent only? You will not even be able to get one per cent. Instead, pursue the Heart within and capture it.
YOU ARE GRACE
I do not know if I told you this story before. There was a King who had a big gala party in his Palace. He was generous, and all kinds of beautiful things were displayed in his Palace. The King said that anything you touch will be yours after the party. So, of course, people went for the jewels, diamonds, various golden statuettes, and all the fine things. But the King had a maidservant who, when everything was over, went to the King and asked, “Sire, you said that anything that people here would touch would be theirs.” The King repeated his promise, and the maidservant touched the King. The King was hers; if you have the King, you have all his treasury. Touch the King through your spiritual practices so that grace is there; you have caught grace and got grace. Kiss her, cuddle her, love her, for no one else but you are loving you. It is the small self of yours loving the big self. But that love becomes so strong that the big self interpenetrates the small self and makes the small Self Divine. So, the small self merges into the significant self, and you have all the bliss and grace, not only descending upon you but emanating from you to all those around you.
GURUSHAKTI IS NOTHING ELSE BUT GRACE
Since my experiences of oneness with Divinity, I have never met a person whose face, after five or ten minutes in my company, just would not relax. A calmness would descend, and a serenity would come about. So, by finding that inner source, you are not only using it for yourself, but it is spreading; you are emanating that Divine Force, that Spiritual Force that is within you. So, you are not only helping yourself; you are swimming in the ocean of bliss, and you allow others to swim in that ocean of bliss. Wherever Buddha went, wherever Christ went, wherever Krishna went, for that time they were there, people’s troubles disappeared. Their minds were gone from their problems, which can be perpetuated if we continue our spiritual practices.
If I give you a mantra, and I have explained to you many times how that sound is derived not from the conscious or the subconscious level of the mind but right from the superconscious level of the mind, and bringing it down to the conscious level it is given forth so that it becomes utterable and audible. But that is not the only thing. That is only one-quarter part of it. Three-quarters are Gurushakti, the spiritual force of the guru that goes with the sound given to you. No one who has practised meditation by repeating their mantra as they are taught to repeat it for twenty minutes feels nothing within themselves. I guarantee that and challenge anyone on that. It is the Spiritual Force. That is the Grace. Gurushakti is nothing else but grace.
SELF-REALISED GOD-MEN DO THE GIVING, AND WE MUST BE WILLING TO RECEIVE
Why the guru? Okay, why him? Why Jesus? Why Krishna? Why Buddha? Why? Do you need an intermediary if you want the Grace of God? You do not need an intermediary; it is a mistaken conception. There is so much hydroelectric power in the water, but that electricity from the water cannot come into this room to give us light. You need the generator, meaning the middleman. The generator has the mechanism to draw that electricity to itself and pass it on. That is why these great men are of such great importance. They could be worshipped and revered, for we would never understand grace without Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Mahavir, and Muhammad. And how is that understanding gained? It works in two ways. They give you the experience, and you must be willing to understand. They do the giving, and you must be ready to receive. But if you build a wall, how will you get that grace? If you close the window, how will the fresh air come in?
ALL SPIRITUAL GIANTS ARE CRAZY IN GIVING THEIR LIVES TO HELP HUMANITY
In the worship of Christ, Krishna, or Buddha, these great self-realised God-men, men-God call it what you want, are used as nothing but a focal point. Because when a person reaches self-realisation, he becomes that Divine energy. Then, you should not judge him by his external environment. No. Those things are to learn from. Jesus used to go and wine and dine with the moneylenders and Pharisees and this and that, and he used to get peed up or something, but that did not detract from his Spiritual Force.
What he was doing is very, very beautiful, which the priests and the bishops will not explain to you; he was trying to show the world that I identify myself with you. He would bring out the whole gamut of human emotions. He would make people hate him purposely. He would make people love him consciously. He used to draw out, draw out, draw out. Ramakrishna, one of the great Masters of the world, who lived at the end of the 19th century, was a genuinely God-Realised man. He once was seen going down the road and saw a dog eating from his bowl; he sat down with the dog and started eating with the dog’s bowl. If any of our modern psychologists or psychiatrists would pass there, they would think he is a madman and all spiritual giants are crazy. They are crazy in giving their lives to help humanity. So, a psychiatrist passing there would say he is a madman. But what did Ramakrishna show you? Eating food with the dog from the dog’s plate, he showed you the identification, the unity that the dog is me and I am the dog. There is no difference because the Divine energy in the dog is also within me, and I found that unity of powers which are seemingly separate, yet not separate at all. You have reached somewhere if you can identify yourself with the little worm crawling. There can never be any hatred when you find this unity, grace itself.
If someone smacks you on one cheek, you turn the other. Who is smacking who? You, thou art myself, and if thou art myself and I am smacked, I am hitting myself. After all, what does it matter? It might sting for a minute or two and be gone. But by offering the other cheek, I will make the person who smacked me realise, “Oh, I am in the presence of such great love and compassion.” What a great lesson to a person who could understand. So, no one does you any wrong, no one. Let all the wrongs come. They will pay for their karma of doing wrong, but at the same time, they are taking some of your karma away.
WE HAVE TO BE REGULAR IN OUR SPIRITUAL PRACTICES
Birds of a feather flock together. That is an old saying. So, if our minds are filled with negative thoughts, we draw all the negative thoughts around us to us and make our negative thoughts flourish. If our minds are filled with positive thoughts, we draw all the positive thoughts floating around because no thought is ever destroyed. All the positive thoughts are also drawn to us, and we become more positive. So, we do need to work on our spiritual practices. Do not worry about grace; that girl will always be at your side. She is beautiful. So, we have to be regular in our spiritual practices. If you do not till the ground, whatever you plant will not grow. So, doing spiritual practices is not the end and aim but the path. It is the clearing of tilling the field where all this food grows, and the food that grows by you tilling the field will feed you.
Tilling the field and planting is not going to make the food grow. Those seeds will draw the minerals from the earth. You have taken one step by planting; all the minerals will be drawn to it, the right amount of water will come, and the right amount of sunshine and air will go there. Because you planted, you are drawing all these forces, and the flower grows beautifully. The food grows lovely, and you make your bread. That bread is grace. In the Lord’s Prayer, we say, “Give us this day our daily bread,” but I would say as another thought underlying that, “Lord, I must also work for it, for I know you are going to give you are not going to refuse it.” And that work is spiritual practices, and you will find that by doing spiritual practices, you become so gentle. I can see the faces of most of our meditators here, some of whom I met seven, eight, and possibly nine years ago. I can see gentleness, beauty, and love in their faces. And it gives me great joy for the gardener who likes to see the flowers grow and be beautiful. And that is not me; it is that Guy up there, as we usually say.
OUR SPIRITUAL PRACTICES GIVE US INNER STRENGTH
We always point up. Why do we always point up? Is God up there? No. He is everywhere; he is inside me first. But we always point out for one reason: we have the unconscious and the subconscious desire to rise. We want our own lives to grow. We do not want to fall, that is down; we want to increase, and strong is the man who can rise every time, even if he falls a thousand times. He is the more extraordinary man. It is more accessible to fall but more challenging to rise. So, if there are any failures, one should not even worry about them because afterwards, when you succeed, remember that the failure was the cause of your success. If you had not failed, you would not strive that much harder. So very, very simple.
It requires some work in our daily lives, such as self-help. For example, we have to make an effort in self-help. We have to help ourselves in specific modes and specific ways of life. Lead me not into temptation. It is straightforward to say. We pray it every day: “Lead us not to temptation.”” But we are going to be tempted because we have not got that inner strength. It is only spiritual practices that give you the inner strength because you are drawing from that vast source inside, that reservoir of that strength. Your spiritual practices draw up that strength through the subconscious to the conscious level of your mind and make you feel strong. Your resolve becomes stronger.
Sitting down to meditate or doing other spiritual practices are very, very pleasurable, very pleasurable. At first, they seem arduous, “Oh, I am going to sit still for twenty minutes or half an hour, rose, rose, rose, rose, apple, apple, apple.” At first, it becomes a bit arduous, but once you get into it, you will love it. We have initiated thousands and thousands of people around the world, and many, many people tell me that they just wait to get away from the office so they can reach home and do meditation because it is a pleasurable experience. When they come out of meditation, they feel so relaxed and calm.
When a person has genuinely meditated for a little while and when you come out of meditation, someone else might say a furious word to you, and you will not react. It is not the action that is harmful; it is the reaction that is more harmful. But the other person’s anger or whatever will subside if you do not respond. What, in standard terms, we call “Oh, let the guy blow the steam off” or something like that. But one thing is very sure: this has been proven for thousands of years.
THROUGH YOUR SPIRITUAL PRACTICES, YOU WILL VIEW THE ROSES OF LIFE
Being an old civilisation, it had started a lot in India – and they do not hold any monopoly. There have been great, great spiritual giants in the West as well. It started there, being about the oldest civilisation. Therefore, the knowledge accumulated and accumulated and accumulated, and we in the West are still babies compared to the cultures of the East. When people in Europe were running around as Barbarians, they had the highest civilisations in India. When they excavated the cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro in India, they found the finest sanitation systems. With all our modern science and technology, we do not know how the pyramids in Egypt were built. There have been many theories, but theories are just theories. Go to build a pyramid today in the same circumstances and see if you can do it.
I do not preach or talk about Eastern ways of thought or philosophies. As you all know and see in our symbol, our thoughts are universal. We take the goodness from the East and the West and everything. I was giving a talk in India about three or three and a half years ago to a crowd of thirty thousand people. In India, with all the millions there, you shout, a few press reports over the radio and things, and they just gather. And I told them that you people are supposed to be so spiritually advanced, you were, but today you are not; you are down in the dumps. I have not seen more wars and riots anywhere else as I have seen in India. At the drop of a hat, there is a riot. One Muslim just beats a cow with a stick, and the Hindus will? – and then the others will come, and millions of people die. Even Gandhi with all his teachings of non-violence, despite his teachings of non-violence, millions of people have been killed in utter, utter violence. Look what happened to my sister, not blood sister, but we knew each other as brother and sister, we were close as brother and sister, Indira Gandhi, whenever I used to go to Delhi, I used to stay with her. She was assassinated. I had warned her many times, “There are many things that you are doing that are not right,” but the time demanded that bit of dictatorship, and it made a lot of sound despite an assassin; her bodyguards spilt her blood. So these things, all these turmoils, all these upheavals will go on in the world, not only in countries and cities but also in your personal lives. Remember that English pop song, “I never promised you a Rose Garden.” But I promise you that if you rise above through your spiritual practices, you will view the roses and find pleasure in them because you have risen above them. Those spiritual practices give you the grace to consider things differently and gracefully.
… Gururaj Ananda Yogi: Satsang UK 1984 – 11