- So far we have looked at three of the foundation stones of successful
meditation practice sincerity, effective technique and aspiration.
In meditation, sincerity consecrates a part of our life to regular
practice; our focus in the heart centre with its powerfully
concentrated spiritual qualities ensures maximum progress; and the
heart's awakening inner cry ignites our aspiration from tiny ember to
mounting flame. This quickening in our inner journeying is an exciting
time of palpable results how different we are beginning to feel!
But personal effort is only one reason for this blossoming of spirit
the second is the transformative power of grace, a recurring theme in
the written and oral teachings of the great masters and spiritual
teachers. Grace is the love and compassion of God responding to
personal effort and falling unconditionally like rain on agnostic and
believer alike. Personal effort, magnet-like, always attracts grace
and grace increases our hunger, deepens our meditation, clears away
the blocks and obstacles and expedites our progress. Grace is the
fourth secret of meditation, the key to the great alchemy that
transforms ignorance into knowledge, disbelief into devotion, seeker
"God is on the third floor and I am on the first floor. There
should be a rendezvous, a meeting place. I have to go to God; I have
to go to the second floor with my personal effort, that is to say,
with my tears, my soulful cry. And then God will come down from the
third floor to the second floor with His infinite Grace, Compassion,
and there we meet together. He has to give what He has, His
Compassion, the flood of Compassion, and I have to give my little
personal effort and my tears, the flood of my tears. Then we come
together, there we meet together." - Sri Chinmoy.
For most of us beginning meditation, personal effort is required
because the concept of grace with its assumption of the existence of
God is simply not a reality. Either we do not believe in God or,
overly conscious of our blemishes and wrong doings, we cannot believe
that a God could love us constantly and unconditionally. Sri Chinmoy
tells us that the opposite is true, that even our little personal
effort is itself entirely due to God's loving grace. God is calling us
our meditation is our response.
"Personal effort cannot live by itself even for a minute, because
its inner nourishment is the Grace from Above. The grace is inside
your personal effort. If grace is not there, personal effort will be
very, very limited after some time you will give up. God's Grace is
responsible for everything... this moment it is using our hands, next
minute it is using our legs, next moment it is using our mind, next
moment our breath or our heart." - Sri Chinmoy.
Grace especially permeates our being when we are in the field of
aspiration, even to the point of nullifying or changing our karma. The
law of karma refers to a cosmic law in which action and reactions,
causes and effects are part of a chain of experiences given to us by a
higher Power. Sri Chinmoy uses the analogy of a child who does
something wrong then runs to the father to avoid the consequences. The
father has compassion for the child. He knows the child has done
something wrong but safeguards the child from the consequences.
"If we have complete faith in God and we surrender to Him and we
immediately run to Him with our wrong doing, our error or our defects,
He will bless us and protect us from the karma which would have
normally come back to us." - Sri Chinmoy.
Belief or disbelief in grace does not alter it's reality any more than
our expectation of a sunny day might stop a sudden downpour and an
open mind/open heart will gradually reveal it's existence. As we
become more conscious of grace in our life, a direct personal
experience, our faith and surrender and our feeling of being God's
child deepen. Anxiety disappears, love and patience come, everything
is being taken care of by God the infinitely loving parent. This is
not a dogma or a philosophy or an idea but Reality you know it, live
it, you can feel it.
Comments Sri Chinmoy: "God's greatest adamantine Power is His Grace.
The moment God uses His Grace for an individual, He offers His very
Life-Breath to the seeker. Grace does everything. Grace is like
sunshine. If you keep your windows open, then only can the sunlight
enter. But if you keep your hearts door closed, then how can sunlight
enter? If we approach God with the heart and the soul, there can be no
dryness, only a constant shower of love and Grace. We feel our love
flowing to God and God's Grace constantly being showered on us."
Sri Chinmoy mentions two important qualities that we need to better
utilise the force of grace in our lives - the first is purity in the
heart, mind and vital; the second is gratitude. "It is through
gratitude, constant gratitude to the Supreme in us, that we expand our
consciousness and come to know our higher vision and reality." With
the Supreme's Grace always in our lives, everything becomes simple and
clear and we know what our life's tasks and purposes are. At this time
we are eager to show our love by serving God in the world. "God does
not want an inactive body, a dead soul. He wants someone who is
active, dynamic and aspiring; someone who wants to be energised so
that he can do something for God; someone who wants to realise God and
manifest all the divine qualities here on earth."
But our inner wealth always starts with God's grace and compassion.
This infinite wealth achieves "first, a free access to His inner
Existence, then a most complete intimacy or oneness with His inner
Will and finally, ecstasy or delight, which is the universal and
transcendental Reality which God Himself is."
- Dear friends, brothers and sisters,
Today I feel inspired to share some of Sri Chinmoy's writings on Grace:
"Grace is our true meal. A true devotee can really and truly live on God's Grace. The Bible has taught us, "Man does not live by bread alone." This is true; but I wish to say that man can live by God's Grace alone. If a spiritual person, an aspirant, really cares for God's Grace, then I wish to say that he can live by God's Grace constantly and eternally.
God's Grace is God's self-revealing, self-fulfilling eternal Existence. We have to know that it is God's Grace that will give us illumination, liberation and realisation. The infinite life, the eternal life, God's infinite wealth will belong to the aspirant who really cares for the Supreme's Grace, which is our only meal."
Excerpt from Life-Tree-Leaves by Sri Chinmoy
Question: Could you speak on Grace?
Sri Chinmoy: "God has various kinds of power, but His most powerful adamantine power is His Grace. The moment He uses His Grace for a seeker, He offers His very Life-Breath to the seeker.
God and God's Grace can never be separated. The divine Grace is constantly descending upon us. He who is aspiring sincerely is consciously aware of this divine Grace, whereas he who is not aspiring is keeping his heart's door permanently closed to the divine Grace.
If we approach God through His Grace, then we are more successful. When we think of God, if we immediately feel that God is Grace within and without, then we will find it easier to approach God. The moment we think of God's Grace, we feel that His infinite Peace, Light and Bliss are already in the process of entering into us. But if we think of God as omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent, then His divine qualities we do not see flowing through us. When we think of God as Grace, then all His divine, infinite qualities we feel entering into us. At that time, they become part and parcel of our inner and outer life.
From now on, let us feel that it is through the Grace of God that we can go to God, not that by going to God we are going to have His Grace. Here is a subtle difference. Let us think of God's Grace, which is constantly flowing, and let the flow carry us into the Source."
Excerpt from Flame Waves, Part 12 by Sri Chinmoy
21 July 1999 8:11 a.m. Before using seated double-arm machine
"My Supreme, my Supreme!
Your sustaining Grace;Is saving me
From danger's destructive face.
I am offering You
My prayerful and soulful Gratitude-heart-tears.
My Supreme, my Supreme!"
Excerpt from My Morning Soul-Body Prayers, Part 7 by Sri Chinmoy
with gratitude, Kamalakanta
- I dunno if it was Grace but how else can I explain how my chronic knee pain for more than 3-4 years was gone just because I prayed.
For 3-4 years, I could not run, even walk or standing to brush my teeth was a painful experience. Trips to see hospital specialists were useless. So one night I decided to surrender and just pray to Guru to heal me. Strangely, I begun to massage the side of my thighs with some thigh stretching. And surprisingly, it worked. Guru's grace helped me to get rid of my knee pain which no doctor could help. Now I am running again without the help of knee guards or supplements.
I went on to help some friends at work ease their knee problems. One of my friends was told by doctor to go for an operation, but by sharing how to message and stretch, my friend need not go for a 10,000 dollars knee replacement operation.