Nature of Grace

Swaminarayan T tvswaminarayan at YAHOO.COM
Tue Feb 4 18:19:11 CST 2003

 Rolando Santos <sivadancer at YAHOO.COM> wrote:

Dear Rolando ,

Thank you for your response to my post.Actually,translations of Upanishadic scripts can sometimes be interpreted wrongly when the correct import of the Upadesa is not grasped by the person who goes through the script and translates it for the benefit of others.Compare the translation and notes provided by SwamiSarvananda of Sri Ramakrishna Math with respect to the two verses postedby you:

Verse 3: The Self is not attained through discourse,nor through intellectuality,nor through much learning.It is gained only by him who longs for it with the whole heart.For to such a one the Self reveals Its own nature.

Self reveals Its own nataure:The Self is always of the nature of one's innermost being:it has not to be brought  from anywhere else.Only ignorance veils it.True longing of the heart dispels that ignorance,and then the Self,which was always there,reveals itself.

The passage,interpreted from the purely religious point of view,has been made a sanction for the doctrine of grace. In this sense it may be translated thus:"The Deity is not attained through discourses,nor through intellectuality,nor through much learning.He is attained only by one whom He chooses:to such a one He reveals His own person.

Verse 4:The Self is not gained by men of weak spirit,nor by the careless,nor by those practicising improper austerities.But wise men who strive with vigour,attention and propriety,attain union with Brahman.

Men of weak spirit:  The original word 'balahina' may indicate also a physically weak man.While a fair degree of physical strength is absolutely mecessary for success in spiritual life,what is still more needed is an abundance of faith,self confidence and inner toughness that keep one uncowed by failures and obstacles.

 Improper austerities : The literal meaning of the expression in the original is 'by tapas devoid of proper insignia (linga)'. According to Sankara,Tapas here means not mere austerity,but the disciplines of inner cogitation and concentrarion,leading to the knowledge of Atman.He also holds that the linga or insignia referred to is due entry into Sanyasa or the fourth order of life.Spiritual discipline without the proper external garb does not lead to the highest result-so he thinks.In justification of this view it may be said that the association of hoary sacred traditions with the life of Sanyasa,and the checks that the garb imposes on conduct,both conciously and unconciously,are all factors that safeguard an apirant from going off the track.The expression may also mean 'false notions of austerities' or 'flesh-torturing ascetic practices' which are condemned in the Bhagavad-gita.


 Brahman IS
somehow concerned...


Yes! This enquiring Self is surely concerned about it's own ignorance and when, by the grace of the Guru ,the ignorance is dispelled,The Self realises that It is "  BRAHMAN"

Brahman as Self  is concerned,But,Self as Brahman ?? No concern at all ,Is it not?

Hari Om!


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