Importance of Grace in Devotion

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Date: 27th September 2021

साधना ते ही मिले तोहिं, साध्य हरि रति  प्यारे 

 sādhanā te hī mile tohiṅ, sādhya hari rati pyāre

“Only by doing spiritual practice one can receive the Divine Love of God.”

We all have a sadhya. Sadhya means the thing which we want to achieve – our aim. What is our aim?  Hari-Rati. Hari means God, Rati means Love. Our aim is to attain Divine Love of God. This Divine Love is our biggest treasure. All other treasures and possessions become insignificant in front of this treasure. Shree Maharajji says:

अस रस महँ मोहिं सद्गुरु  बोरी 

asa rasa mahañ mohiṅ sadguru borī

“My Gurudev has completely drenched me in the nectar of Divine love. So sweet is this nectar that compared to it, the combined fruits of ‘dharm’ (virtuous deeds), ‘arth’ (wealth), ‘kaam’ (material pleasure) and ‘moksh’ (liberation) are absolutely tasteless.”

muktānām api siddānām nārāyaṇa parāyaṇaḥ sudurlabhaḥ praśhāntātmā koṭiṣhvapi mahāmune

Even the highly evolved yogis search for this Divine love of Radha Krishna. This Divine Love of Radha Krishna is very rare to attain. So, how will we get this Divine Love? Chaitanya Mahaprabhu explains to us that we cannot attain this Divine Love by doing Sadhana or devotional practice.

नित्य सिद्ध कृष्ण प्रेम साध्य कभु नाय 

श्रवणादि शुद्ध चित्त कराय उदय 

nitya siddha kṛiṣhṇa prem sādhya kabhu nāy 

śhravaṇādi shuddh chitt karay udāy

This Divine Love is an eternal entity that cannot be created by any means not even by Sadhana.  And Shree Maharajji says Divine Love can be attained by doing Sadhana. Now here comes a contradiction. Our scriptures have such apparently contradictory philosophies and knowledge that without a true Saint or a Guru we cannot understand them. On one hand the scriptures say:

नानुग्रहस्तव विना त्वयि भक्तियोगं

nānugrahastava bina tvayi bhaktiyogam

Without the Grace of God, one cannot receive real devotion (Bhakti).  On the other hand, the scriptures also say:

नानुग्रहं तव विना त्वयि भक्तियोगः

nānugraham tava binā tvayi bhaktiyogaḥ

“Without doing devotion one will not receive the grace of God ”. Now these two precepts seem to be contradictory. How will one receive devotion? Through Grace. How will one receive Grace? Through devotion. So, what comes first? The chicken or the egg? Did the tree come first or the seed? If you say the seed came first, how could it come into existence without the tree?   And if you say the tree came first, how did it come into being without the seed?

There is a similar contradiction here. One can ask, without the grace of God how can we do Bhakti? So, first God should shower His grace and then we will start doing Bhakti. But how can God shower His grace if we do not do Bhakti? It seems like there is no way out of this puzzle. Does that mean we should not do anything and sit quietly? Well, this circular logic is resolved quite easily.

Shree Maharajji says that there are two forms of Bhakti (Devotion) – one is that which we have to practice and the other is that which we will receive when our devotional practice is complete. The one which we must practice and observe is called Sadhana Bhakti. The one which we will receive is called Siddha Bhakti (Prema Bhakti). This Siddha Bhakti will be attained by the grace of God. It is possessed by Rasik Saints who have been graced by Radha Krishna. So, we need to do Sadhana Bhakti and then God gives Siddha Bhakti.

Ved Vyas says in Bhagwat:

भक्त्या सञ्जातया भक्त्या बिभ्रत्युत्पुलकां तनुम्

bhaktyāsañjātayā bhaktyā vibhratyutpulakañtanum

“To receive Bhakti, one must do Bhakti”. What does that mean? How can someone practice and receive the same thing in return? The verse means that we have to practice Sadhana Bhakti and once we have perfected it, we will receive Siddha Bhakti. However, even for the Sadhana Bhakti that we are supposed to do, we tell our Guru, “Guruji! Please grace me so that I can do Sadhana Bhakti”. This is impossible. If without our efforts, merely by the Guru’s grace everything could be done, then the world would not have remained.  The Guru would have bestowed Siddha Bhakti on everyone and released them from the bondage of maya.

God and Guru ask us to first realize and utilize the Grace that They have already showered on us.  God has showered His grace in many ways – God has given us this human life. On top of that, we were born in India where we got a spiritual environment. We were bestowed with faith in God. Again, by His Grace, we developed a desire to come to Satsang. And the biggest Grace was that we met a God-realized Saint and got attached to Him. He gave us the knowledge of God, showed us the right path of devotion, and taught us how to practice it.  After so many graces, if we do not utilize them, we have only ourselves to blame for it. In spite of knowing the importance of devotion we become lazy, careless and procrastinate in our spiritual practice. The more we realize and utilize the grace that God has showered on us, the more grace we will receive. If we do not utilize what we have already received, how can we expect more?

Shree Maharajji says, “I do not expect too much from you all.  I know you cannot enter Golok in one day.  But you do not do as much as you can do, and that is what makes me feel sad.” The reason for this is our own laziness.

आलस्यं हि मनुष्याणां शरीरस्थो महान् रिपुः

ālasya hi manuśhyāṇām śharīrastu mahān ripu

The biggest disease of the human body is laziness.  We know what we are supposed to do, but being lazy, we do not do it. Hence, in the preparatory stage, we must work hard to overcome carelessness and do proper Sadhana.  What is this sadhana, and how is it to be done?  This is explained by Shree Maharajji in subsequent lines of this excellent kirtan.

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Meenu Nanda
Meenu Nanda
30/09/2021 9:41 pm

What a wonderful wisdom and explained so well . Just loved it . Loads of Gratitude

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