What is guru kripa? What are the prerequisites to obtain it? What changes happen then and why doesn't the grace of guru last longer?
The grace of guru will only last for the time you open yourself to receive the grace. The moment you close yourself, it stops. You can fill a bottle with urine, cork it and place it in the middle of the Ganges river for a thousand years, in the belief that the Ganges will purify the urine in the bottle, but when you remove the bottle and uncork it, the water inside will still taste like one thousand year old amaroli. However, if you fill a bottle with urine, leave it uncorked and put it in the river, in one day it will be washed clean and there won't be any trace of amaroli.
Which category of bottle person are you? Closed or open? This is not a joke. Despite our mutterings and musings, we all bottle ourselves up and we don't have the ability to uncork ourselves. It is a fact that you wish to see the guru according to your expectations, aspirations and impressions and do not accept the guru as the guru is. If this is the mentality, then how can we open ourselves to accept, to receive the grace?
The relationship with God is similar. We say to God, "You are the master but become my servant and do my bidding." We order God around by praying to Him to help us with this problem, to help that person with that problem, to help with a disease or a nervous breakdown or by providing someone with a child. That is how we relate with God. "Oh, God you are the master but please do my bidding and help A, B, C, D, my uncle, my niece, my nephew, my wife, my child, my friend, my this, my that."
By praying like this we hope for the grace to descend. Guru's grace or God's grace does not descend until there is absolute selfless projection of one's ego, ahamkara. For the selfless projection of the ego to take place, all the dross of the human nature and personality has to be removed first. It is not an easy process. People say, "Surrender". Surrendering is not easy. People say, "Love." Loving is not easy. People say, "Obey." Obeying is not easy. People say, "Have pure intentions." Even that is not easy.
Nothing is easy in life. One has to work to make things happen. One has to work to purify oneself and to open the channel by which the grace can come. The channel which opens is the channel of sincerity. The channel which opens the flow of grace is the channel of innocence. Learning to be innocent, humble, simple, uninhibited and free from the effects of ego is the sadhana, the training given to be able to receive the grace of God or the grace of guru. It is much more complex and difficult than any yoga practice which one may perfect. We take great pride in having performed the headstand or the wheel pose or the peacock pose. Why can't we take equal pride when we are able to perform some good work with ourselves, with our mind, with our ego? Therefore, although we talk about guru's grace or God's grace, it is a very distant reality in our lives. One has to strive to purify the mind of raga and dwesha, of the experiences which give pleasure, satisfaction and contentment, and of the experiences which give displeasure, dissatisfaction and discontent. This is the first level of purity that is demanded - not recommended but demanded.
The second level of purity is being innocent. When you are innocent you don't apply your intellectual mind to decide things according to your choices and wishes. Rather you become like an empty flute through which new melodies can come when played by an expert player.
So guru's grace will only last for the time that you have uncorked yourself. Sometimes we even fear removing the cork - "I will lose myself, I will lose my identity. What will happen to me?" The insecurities come forward and they bind us to this plane. If these things did not exist, then we would not exist, we would all be enlightened. So it is important that they have a say in our life, but only a say. They should not control our life; we should be able to control our life. Do that and you will see the sky burst and a ray of light fall on your head.
—Ganga Darshan, December 8, 2000