“Those who know do not speak
Those who speak do not know.”
Thus wrote an ancient sage. Mother does not teach anything; she is Mother and not the teacher. ‘She alone is the Mother who understandably bestows what is needed for its welfare on the child, even without being asked to do so’ – This is the substance of one of Mother’s sayings.
Does the Holy Mother of Jillellamudi bestow Her grace on her visitors? No. When someone sought her grace, She only replied “Grace is always there. It is not what is bestowed upon one only on his asking for it. Sufferings are as much a matter of grace as are joys. Grace is always there. You recognise it only sometimes, and only in some of its manifestations. At other times only you do not recognise it; it does not cease to exist on that account” – this is the gist of what I heard her say on several occasions and of course, this is how I understood her words.
Bhagwan Ramana said: “The Supreme Lord is eternal grace. Therefore there is really no such individual act as bestowing grace; and being ever present, the manifestation of Grace is not confined to any particular period of occasion”.
“God, Grace and Guru are all synonymous and are both eternal and immanent. Isn’t the Self already within? Is it for the Guru to bestow it by his look? If a Guru thinks so, he does not deserve that name”.
In us is nurtured by what we hear from self-styled teachers and guides (see quotation from Ramana given above for the complete meaning of this phrase) the idea that whatever we do is owing Karmabandhu (or Prarabdha?) and that grace is we are outside it normally. Therefore we often tell ourselves, “Let us do our part of the job and leave the rest to God”!. If we succeed, we say – “It’s all His grace” (if at all !). If we fail, we say ” I am unlucky” or ” God is not gracious to me”. Therefore we try to seek His grace, pray for it and try to placate His sweet will with our vows. Unconsciously we reduce Him to the level of a corrupt officer or a boss who is fond of flattery. When we fail to taste His grace in our failure, we are unconsciously regretting having prayed, or else we would not have prayed for a purpose! In our prayers we admit unwittingly that it is the fulfillment of our desire that we have loved and really cared for. God is only a kind of a scapegoat, a safety valve, a back-door. Only when we have failed repeatedly and suffered continuously do we ever think of God with any sincerity of purpose (which is to understand what really the word signifies). That is the moment when we have really started tasting His grace which has been there along. “In fact your very desire for grace is due to grace that is already working in you”, Ramana told one of his devotees. For, only when we sincerely desire to know the truth regarding individual effort, God and His grace, can our self be said to be really seeking liberation from the veil of ignorance – not when we glibly talk in that vein. “If the Atma complains about the veil, then the Atma will remove it” – this is another saying of Bhagavan. “Yearning for Liberation is itself Liberation ” said Mother.
According to Mother, “It’s not correct to speak of God’s grace. Grace itself is God”. The one who ordains everything has itself ordained the moment of one’s Liberation. Therefore “The ordained moment is itself God”. This moment at which the grace of God comes to be recognised by the individual as such, is already preordained, that is to say, even what we the ignorant ones consider to be grace (i.e., apart from what usually happens in the course of Time) has been ordained even when the whole creation has come to be. Grace does not constitute any violation of the preordained pattern. God is grace, it is grace that has laid down the pattern of creation and its unfoldment. As far as we the ignorant ones are concerned, the moment of recognising grace as such constitutes grace. This does not come as the result of any endeavor. If it does, it’s a reward and not grace. Thus it is that Lord Krishna said that a vision of His Universal form (viswaroopa) does not come from any charity that’s done or rigorous self-modification that’s practiced.
Na veda yagna adhyayanair na daanai –
Rna Cha Kriyaabhir na tapobhirugraihi,
Evam rupaha sakya aham Nriloke
Drashtam Tvadanyena Kurupraveera.
Grace manifests itself, not out of any consideration of deservedness. For as Jesus said, nothing except the Father is Good. That’s why Mother said “when I do not discriminate between qualities where is discrimination between castes (for me)?”. “The (benign) look that does not discriminate is itself Grace” said Mother. Mother gives what is necessary for the child to receive, not whatever the ignorant child asks for. It’s our ignorance that prevents us from accepting it as such when what we are given does not happen to be what we looked for. It is our ignorance, once again, that makes us feel that we are graced, when we happen to get what we longed for.
“What’s grace?” asked someone.
“Tell me what grace is not,” Mother retorted.
That is the place of Grace in Mother’s teaching. That’s the grace of Her way of teaching about everything by not teaching about anything!