Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Grace


The concept of "God" as a individual person - either a very old man in white robes beyond the pearly gates, or a Kaislash-pati, or a shankha- chakra-gada-wielding Lord of Vaikuntha - is perhaps what may be considered on a superficial level to be alien to Advaita, and perhaps this concept is what some people feel gets "sublated". Advaita considers Ishwara to be non-different from His Order. There is a Divine Perfect Order in play in manifest Srshti. One aspect of this Order is that one begets the fruits of one's karma, one's actions. This Order that faithfully bestows this karmaphala itself is Ishwara. So every karmaphala is His Grace. Lets take a simple example I play with fire - karma - my hand gets scorched - karmaphala - in other words, Ishwara. What was the anugraha - I learn not to play with fire again. I learn, I mature, I evolve. The culmination of all learning, all maturity, all evolution - is moksha - I learn about my nonseparateness from Him. Once this is clear, then every knock in life which we face as a karma- phala is nothing but Ishwara's anugraha. So we look upon Ishwara not as a person who is watching a live telecast about "His creation" and then deciding when and on whom to bestow Grace but as the very Intelligence, the Chaitanyam that is immanent in and through every pore of manifest srshti. And it is this Intelligence delivers the goods, the Grace. When I pray, I tap into that Grace. The Grace is ever present in potential form. My prayer is a karma that helps me invoke It for my benefit. What more Grace can even the Paramtman bestow than to help me reap the fruits of my actions. And can anything He bestows be considered anything other than Grace. He is powerless to bestow on anyone anything but His Grace. Take the mahamrtyunjaya mantra OM Tryambakam Yajamahe Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam Urvarukamiva Bandhanam Mrityor Mukshiya Mamritat We worship the three-eyed Lord (Siva) who is full of sweet fragrance and nourishes us human beings. May he deliver me from bondage into immortality, even as the cucumber is severed from the vine. What is beautiful in this example is that as the cucumber is ripened the creeper itself lets go of it -with no effort to break away from the cucumber..the cucumber (unlike other fruits) doesnt fall - it stays where it is!....maya or avidya lets go of you when with a supremely purified mind the words of the mahavakyas are understood by you - this is the meaning. And whose Grace does the cucumber need to grow and obtain nourishment so it matures - the gardener - "pushtivardanam" - Ishwara! How beautiful! Through Grace alone, does the jiva mature, and through Grace alone does he ultimately attain the Self of Being. I may said this before - Ishwara as Paramatman never gets sublated - it is not a conceptual crutch that an unprepared seeker holds onto only to discard it when his mind is more prepared - that is never what advaita is about - what happens when the seeker matures is that the "seeking" gets sublated, the "phantom ego" which was involved in the "search" realizes that what Is real about him is only the Is-ness and that Is-ness is the only thing real about Ishwara as well. "Ishwar Satya Hai, Satya Hi Shiv Hai, Shiv Hi Sundar Hai, Jaago Uthkar Dekho, Ye Jeevan Jyot Ujaagar Hai" "Ishwara is the only thing that is True, and What is True is what is Auspicious, what is Blissful, Wake up O Mind and see that Life is nothing but Living Consciousness." If there is any "imagination" involved it may simply be in a name and form that this phantom jeeva projects onto the Whole, the Divine. And for Him who is beyond Forms, and for Him who is beyond Names, any name and any form that i, the ignorant mind, wants to project to have an altar to worship, to have an "entity" i want to relate it, is perfectly fine. I cannot exactly talk to the very vastu that enables speech, I cannot see that by vitue of which sight is, but I can certainly relate to a Ganesha or a Shiva or a Jesus or a Divine Mother - and of all the other ephemereal relationships that i the ignoramus persist in fostering and nurturing, this is the one relationship I know is as Real as I know I am Real.

And in this
cognition there is freedom - a space which is safe and sacred - where the mind can rest and ponder on the Real, the Whole, and on me, and on how i relate to the Real, the Whole.

What this process culminates in is not a sublation of the Whole, who
Is always Real,
.............but in a sublation of me, who was never Real.

Then
Being Is.

Hari Om

Shri Gurubhyo namah

Shyam

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