Bhagavad kr^pa (grace of God)
sada at ANVIL.NRL.NAVY.MIL
Tue Jan 6 14:00:02 CST 1998
While agreeing with Vidya's comments, Sri Murthy made some interesting
remarks related to the grace of God. I could not but venture into making
further remarks from my understanding.
There are various ways of looking at this grace of God and purusha
prayatnam in relation to it.
>I whole-heartedly agree with this. It is indeed God's grace that makes
>us what we are. I am glad to note that the human contribution in attaining
>moksha has been put at a minimum and is correctly not even mentioned at
If God's grace is the same for all and if it makes us what we are, then why
we are all different? If so, where does the Purusha yatnam comes in?
Since the difference is the nature of the creation, the differences must be
related to the differences in the texture of vasanaas, which are product of
our individual ego centric actions (I am including thinking also as an
action). Then what we are - is the product of our own vasanas.
Then where does the God grace come in?
On the other hand, if grace is not the same for all, then that God ceases
to be God.
Krishna declares in B.G.
samoham sarva bhuteshu name dveshhyosti na priyaH|
I am equal for all being neither hating anybody nor favoring anybody.
Essentially my grace is the same for all. But he does not stop with that
ye bhajantitu maam bhaktyaa mayi te teshu chaapyaham|
But those who worship me with complete devotion they are in me and I am in
Worship is an action.
Here the means to tap that grace, the purusha yatnam is indicated even
though it is available to everyone equally.
It is true that realization is not by self effort. Since it involves
knowledge, knowledge cannot be willed and hence it not the result of
In acquiring knowledge, any knowledge for that matter, purusha prayatnam is
required even though the prayatnam itself does not yield the required
knowledge. What it does is it prepares the mind - For realization,
purification of the mind is essential - This is what is involved in
Krishna's statement - those who worship me with full devotion. He declares:
This Maya of mine is of divine origin and is very difficult to cross. By
surrendering to me only, one can cross this maaya.
Let us not underestimate the purusha prayatnam. Only by yoga one can
purify the mind. Knowledge is revealed to the pure mind that is not by
purusha prayatnam. Just like going to sleep. We prepare ourselves for
sleep but sleep has to descend on us - and that part is not by effort.
Grace also manifests as the merits of ones actions. This aspect of the
Lord as karma phala daata - who gives the results not only tangible but
intangible in terms of punya and paapa based on ones action. This is the
adR^ishaTa or unseen since we are not fully conscious of our prarabda
karma or sanchita karma.
In vivekachuuDamani Sankara says:
durlabham trayamevaitad daivaanugraha hetukam|
manushyatvam mumukshutvam mahapurusha samsrayaH||
The three things are very difficult indeed - birth as a human being, after
that desire for liberation and then help of preceptor - they are obtained
by the grace of God.
In avadhuuta Geeta Dattatraya says: One acquires the liking for Advaita
(advaita vaasana) is due to the grace of God.
Here grace is the adR^ishTa phala and it is the graceful way of saying it.
It has to be earned. It is the result of ones own effort in the past.
Grace of god and purusha prayatnam are intimately interrelated. One has
make an effort to tap that grace by ones effort. Geeta statements:
Uddare atmanaa atmaanam - one uplifts oneself by oneself.
dyanenaatmani pasyanti kechidaatmaana maatmanaa|
One sees oneself by oneself through oneself by meditation.
The role of self effort is also clear while understanding that by effort
one cannot gain the knowledge!
>Now, let us take it a step further. By God's grace, we mean Saguna
>Brahman's (personal God's) grace. It is so, because Nirguna Brahman
>is beyond the characteristics of grace. Further, we are Nirguna Brahman
>and Nirguna Brahman's grace to the individual soul is an oxymoron.
>Also, Saguna Brahman, although controller of mAya, is also a product
>of mAya. Thus, when we say that there is a supreme God (Saguna Brahman)
>who will enable the devotee to attain moksha, we are still in mAya.
>Can we define the parameter bhagavad kr^pa, the grace of God ? Whatever
>that is, obviously, it is the same for and toward all embodied souls.
>What that means then is, there is no individual moksha. It is only
>ignorance which makes us think that there is a moksha for each
>individual and that "God's grace" is different for each individual
>(depending on karma). The following quote from T.M.P. Mahadevan's
>book "Time and the timeless" is quite apt: "Moksha is not freedom
>for the individual, but freedom from individuality". What that means
>is: if an embodied soul has his/her avidya removed [by whatever
>mechanism, saguna Brahman's grace or ? ? ?], the recognition of
>identity of all necessarily follows.
>... aham bhAvodayAbhAvo bodhasya paramAvadhih ...
> Shri Shankara in Viveka ChuDAmaNi (verse 424)
>The end of the rise of the sense of "I" of the ego is the culmination
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