ਗਿਆਨ ਅੰਜਨੁ ਪਾਏ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੀ ਨਦਰੀ ਨਦਰਿ ਮਿਲਾਇਦਾ ॥:
Giaan anjan paaye gur sabadee nadaree nadari milaaidaa:
Through the Gur-Shabad, (one who) applies the ointment of Spiritual Wisdom;
then, through his Grace, the Lord unites him in His Union (sggs 1065).
The Gurbani's edict is that the Divine Grace ("Prasaad", "Nadar", or "Kirpaa") is essential in Spiritual Realization. But who is "Gur" or "Guru" in the Gurbani? Where can He be found? How can we ask Him to give us His Grace? Is His Grace separate from Him? Is He sitting "up there" somewhere, distributing His Grace? What is Grace? Why we need It? Is it lost? If It is, why did we lose It in the first place? Where did It go after we lose It?
As time and again we are reminded by the Gurbani, the Satgur is none other than the All-pervading Divine Presence within. In essence we are That — "Joti-Svaroopa". Also called Shabad, Raam, and so on, most importantly, this undivided Divine Principle dwells within the Heart as the Mool (Source, Origin, Jot...). Clearly, if te Lord is ever present inside the body, then His Grace must also be ever present within; for the Divine and His Grace are not separate from each other. Hence Grace is not exterior. In fact our very longing for Grace is due to the Grace that is already in us!
In nutshell, Grace is our very Mool within (Source, Origin, Jot...). Therefore, Realization of the Mool is Realization of Grace, and vice versa. Since the Mool or Grace is all along there, It's not something to be acquired afresh. It's "here" and "now". The reason Grace is not manifest is our prevailing ignorance (Maya, illusion, ego, deluded mind, etc.). To understand it better, we can use the analogy of the sun. The sun is always present in its full brightness — it's never out of operation. However, due to rotation of the earth, the back portion of the earth experiences darkness. As the earth continues to rotate, when the sun dawns again we say the darkness is gone. But in truth the sun was always there. Similarly, the sun of Grace is always present in It's full Effulgence. Once the phantom of ignorance (Mayaic mind...) is removed, Grace is found to shine forth within. Grace, Spirit, Light, Guru, God are all synonymous with the Mool, and also eternal and immanent.
Grace is none other than the perfect freedom from Mayaic or ego-mind. Hence the nature of Grace is redeeming, enlightening and liberating from the repeated suffering. But when we act egocentrically (reactionary or mayaic efforts...), the flow of Divine Grace become shielded. As a result, even though Grace is always there, but we are unable to experience It fully. Just as an inverted pitcher can not be filled with liquid, similarly, a spiritually unfit mind can not receive or be filled with the Divine Grace. In other words, if we sit inside our dinghies without unfurling the sails, then we cannot expect to go to the other side. Similarly, although Divine Grace always flows everywhere like the breeze, if our efforts and consciousness are not linked to It, we cannot experience It. Without following the Divine guidance and Truth of the Gurbani, our extrovert mind becomes divided (duality or "Doojaa Bhaav") between instinctive and intellectual forces, making it very difficult to become poised or still enough to experience the Grace within.
It is our inner "filth" (Mall-ਮਲ) that covers our Mool and Grace. This inner "filth" is none other than the sense of separateness, wrong identity, body-consciousness, individualness, mental impurities or egoism, which conceal the Presence of Mool and His Grace. When we liquidate all our "filth" through Shabad-Vichaar, we unfurl within ourselves Divine Grace (Gur-Prasaad or ਗਿਆਨ ਦੀ ਕਿਰਪਾ...) or Spiritual Perfection, which is necessary to fathom glory of the Mool. To put it otherwise, with the destruction of the falsehood comes the total loss of duality. When duality is lost, there is Oneness. When there is Oneness, there is the linking with the Mool within (Mool-realization...), the full vision of Divine Grace within.
We are oftentimes reminded in the Gurbani that only a very "rare" one on the path of Spiritual Realization truly yearns for Grace. Why? Because the impetus of most of us is to strive for worldly pleasures (Maya). While some are trying to awaken from this sleep of unenlightened existence, but find themselves caught in between the sensual pleasure and Truth, not knowing which way to go. One thing that need to be remembered here is that Grace can neither be made to an order nor passed on by one person to the other person as a mundane gift. It has to be earned and awakened within by the seeker himself. Nobody else can do it for him.
How then is it possible to have Grace awakened or set in within? Only sincere, unconditional and nonverbal surrender of the falsehood will make us intuitively understand Grace, which will ultimately lead us to Mool-realization. The true state of surrender is accepting that whatever happened happened by Grace of the Eternal Law (Hukam, Bhaanaa, or Will). This attitude of self-surrender helps one accept everything, including our Aatmaan, as the result of Divine Grace. Thus, although Grace is always present within, It's awaken with the earnest Shabad-Vichaar, which unfurls Gur-Prasaad (or ਗਿਆਨ ਦੀ ਕਿਰਪਾ...).
In short, the Divine Grace is man's enduring Wealth (Spiritual Knowledge, Mool-realization, Aatam-Giaan, etc.) which is not to be found outside; for It's ever present deep in the core of man's own Heart. It can only be merited by becoming a Spiritual Being (the Gurmukh). God has no preferences. Whether one is good or bad, His Grace equally illuminates everyone. The reason some experience His Grace more than others is the Inner Purity, refined composure or stillness of the mind — some seekers are more in tune than others. The mind in focus (ਇਕ ਮਨ ਇਕ ਚਿਤ...) becomes pointedly conscious of thought (Manna), word (Bachan), and action (Karma), and cognizes the lesson of each experience of the life. As the soul unfolds, Grace pours forth from within just as fragrance from the incense.
Divine Grace and Spiritual progress go hand-in-hand. In fact, knowing we are "Joti Svaroop" (true image of the Divine Light) is Grace in itself. Further, even to have the intense longing to know the Mool is also Grace. Additionally, to engage in Shabad-Vichaar, or to keep the company of Sat (Truth-ਸਚ) within and without, aimed at Enlightenment is Grace as well in itself.
— T. Singh
Updated on Friday, August 10, 2012 11:15 AM (PST)
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