An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Misinterpretation of a Realized Master’s powers and Grace

krishnagrace.jpgLast night I happened to listen to a speech by Vivek Shauq – the comedy actor in Hindi and Punjabi movies (well known for his association with Jaspal Bhatti) – on his take on Spirituality. He died young at 47 earlier this year on Jan 10. What he said seemed very interesting and very nice as well. His central theme, which is expressed by many as well, was:

Every thing moves by the acquiscence of the Realized Master so why should I worry because even if something goes wrong, it must be His doing. Everything that happens to me is his “Grace”. All my success and failures are His doing and due to his Grace.

Now, this seems to be a recurring theme in many sects and with many disciples. Honestly, and in my humble opinion, these disciples completely miss the point. Let us understand a few things a little more clearly.

I have not come across any Avatar or a Realized Master, whose life situations were completely in his/her control. It seems very devotional to appropriate Cosmic powers to your Guru or your deity – such that every thing moves due to his decision, but that is not borne by fact. No Guru, No Realized Master or even an Avatar has had 100% control over the situations around them.

So, does that mean they are powerless? No. Not at all. Because, Spiritual process is not about fixing the world. Its about fixing ones ownself. Due to better handle on the energies, these Masters have more control over the situations around them – they can do what we (or even scientists) will call miracles – but this control over outside sitiuations is just in degrees – never complete.

Their complete mastery is over ones internal situation. How one’s being works or engages with the world is completely their decision. There would be many thousands of forces and energies working together to create a certain external situation, but if one is in complete control of ones ownself, the external situation will not be a factor in one’s response to the world.

Krishna, Buddha or Nanak never turned around the world so it behaved the way they wanted. They handled themselves in such a way, that no matter how the world behaved, they were always the same. Their compassion or love was not impacted by an external situation.

So, if its “only” (which seems small – but is a BIG thing) internal situation is what these Masters can impact – then what is the value of Grace? And what is Grace after all, if Masters can’t give you more success or failure?

Unfortunately, we are viewing the notion of Grace also from our limited lens. We are treating a Spiritual Master as if he were a politician. Does he give us free rice? Yes, then he gets our vote.

Spiritual Master’s presence is not to make you successful at your work. If pressured, he may give you some tools that may help you, but that isn’t the aim. Spiritual Master’s Grace is to help you realize the inner self. Outer World is not worth tampering with, as it changes regularly.

Grace should therefore be viewed in proper context. Spiritual Grace is in how the compassion of a Master helps you progress in Spiritual terms. There is no success or failure in that. There is just progress. Some progress faster some slowly depending on how much they let the Grace of a Master enter their lives.

Those who keep expecting Grace to work for them on the worldly subjects and situations, lose the entire plan of things.

So, Grace is not benevolence. We have just assumed that is how it is… just that Grace is Benevolence of a higher degree. That cannot be so. Grace is not different from Benevolence in quantitative terms, but in qualitative terms. The quality of Grace and that of Benevolence is different. One depends on altruism – where the urge to give wins over urge to hoard. Its a triumph of humanity in your against your animalistic instincts – a special act and a special achievement.

Grace is not a triumph. It is an expression of pure and crystal humanity emanating on its own. No fight has occured for it to be expressed. It has been done in the most normal manner. It is the nature of a Realized soul. That is how it is.

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