God’s Grace

From the teachings of Bhakti Yoga Sagar, Volume One

Spiritual life is difficult, and few people can make it. If spiritual life were easy, thousands and thousands would have reached the pinnacle of spiritual life, but nobody has. Everybody should try. Sometimes God will be gracious. Who knows?

Sometimes God, out of mercy,
And without any reason for his affection,
Bestows a human body on someone.
The body of a man is like a ship,
Crossing the ocean of the world,
And the grace of God becomes a favourable wind.

Uttarkanda, doha 43

A thorn has to be removed by a thorn. If a thorn is lodged in your body, use another thorn to remove it. In the same way, remove rubbish by rubbish. You may ask your guru or somebody else to remove your rubbish for you but, in this way, you are only adding more to your waste bin. That is why your rubbish basket is always full. The municipality removes the old rubbish, but the new garbage accumulates again. When God’s grace is there, then all the rubbish of life is removed instantly, just as sheets and sheets of darkness are removed by the first rays of the sun.

O Lord, without the water of love and bhakti,
The inner filth can never be cleansed.
Without satsang,
No talk of God is possible.
Without spiritual discourse,
Delusion is not removed.
Unless there is an end to delusion,
Intense love at the feet of Rama is never possible.

Uttarkanda, doha 48

Samskaras from many different births vanish or subside only with the Lord’s grace. However long you work at removing your rubbish, you will not be able to do it. Nothing is possible without divine grace. If you think you can remove your rubbish, that is ego. You are speaking the language of ego. How can you remove it? First of all, you do not know what is rubbish and what is not. Sometimes you may be throwing away the diamonds and keeping the stones, because you do not know the difference between them. What is rubbish? What are you going to remove? You do not even have the discrimination to know what is true and what is false.

Therefore, leave it to God. Try to attain His grace through prayer, remembrance and satsang. The first sadhana is satsang, where there is talk about God, about spiritual life or where there is singing of bhajan and kirtan. This helps you purify yourself and your inner environment. Satsang must be compatible with your inner environment. Everything is written in the shastras, or scriptures. Nothing happens without God’s grace. Whatever I received was through God’s grace, not my own. God’s grace is required. You need His grace, and in order to receive His grace, you have to be innocent like a child.

Heart of a child

I have decided once and for all to tell the people who come that they have to be a light unto themselves. You have to be a light unto yourself. It is of no use knocking at my door. The most innocent person, who does not know the ABC of spiritual training, can get realization at any time, if he wishes. No qualifications are required. You do not have to be truthful, celibate or sincere. You do not have to be Christian or Hindu, or put on a sacred thread.

Darshan of God can be had by any one, any time, any where. For God’s grace you do not have to qualify yourself. Many great, truthful, honest and pure people have missed the bus. Rama himself says in the Ramacharitamanas:

Now, listen to what I say,
Which is highly pure, true and simple,
As has been described in the Vedas.
I am telling you of my principles.
Listen and bear them in mind.
And remember me, abandoning all else.
This world has been created by my illusion,
Along with all the beings, sentient and insentient.
They are all of different categories.
Among them are the twice-born
And among the twice-born
Are those who know the Vedas.
Among them also are those who live
According to the Vedas and dharma.
Even among those who are detached and wise,
The especially wise are dearer to me.
But my servants, who have no hope
Except in me, are dearest to me.
I tell you truly, again and again,
That no one is dearer to me than my devotees.

Uttarkanda, doha 85

He who has the heart of a child receives God’s love. God’s grace is for the one who is simple like a child, who considers toys to be real, the moon to be cheese, who marries his dolls and starts crying when a doll is broken. God’s grace is for those with childlike innocence. God is not a matter of intellect. On that basis, you will fail for centuries, for thousands of lives. God is captivated by bhavana, feelings.

It is not the bhavana of an academic or an intellectual person. It is the feeling you have when you throw away all your superiority and ego and say, “I am not an academic, a scientist, an author, a teacher of so many disciples, or a pontiff. No, I am nothing! Who am I? Five feet two inches tall ‑ one heart attack and Hari Om Tat Sat!” A man dies after falling from a rickshaw, yet he thinks he is great. He is so egotistical, so full of pride and vanity! One may engage his vanity before others, but he has to go like a child, without any clothes, before God. And I don’t mean that you leave your pants on. The Lord himself has said:

O sage, listen to Me.
I am telling the truth firmly.
Those who remember Me,
Abandoning all supports,
I care for them always in the same manner
As a mother cares for her children.

Aranyakanda, doha 42

Become simple-hearted like a child, and then you will receive God’s blessings. If you think that becoming a tyagi, renunciate, or tapasvin, ascetic, being charitable and dharmic is the way to God, you may find you are wrong.

Only love

First, God can be reached only by love. There is no other way. Second, God will meet you only if He wishes, not by your wish. You must remember this. God is approachable only through love and devotion. He will reveal Himself only if He wants to, not because you have tried all the methods.

There is no method. The methods written about in the Bible, the Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads are only given because one has to do something. But actually, nothing except bhakti is necessary to find God.

The simple person who does not use his head too much finds God very soon. God gives darshan easily to people who have the heart of a child. Those who are adult at heart, who are very intellectual and talk about the shastras and knowledge, do not reach God. It is not even essential to be a good person to reach God. It becomes essential to be good for social reasons, otherwise there would be riots and terrorism. To get God, it is simply necessary to learn to love. That is all.

Leaving aside all the relations
Rama always prefers the relation of love.

—1994, Rikhiapeeth