Asking for Grace
Shri Anandi Ma gave the following address at Ram Navami, the celebration of Lord Ram’s birth, on April 19th. This special day always falls at the end of Chaitri Navratri, a special period of nine days in the spring when spiritual energy is especially high and an ideal time for spiritual practice.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
During the nine days of Navratri, Guruji used to read the Ramayana, written by Tulsidas, and asked us to continue that tradition. Every time you read that scripture, there is always something new that is discovered, something new that is learned, something new that is known about Ram.
One of the verses that touched my heart this time says that grace from Lord Ram is such that it is impatient to fall upon the devotee. We also are asking for such grace that we become so pure, and we desire that grace so deeply that it truly becomes impatient to enter our beings and our lives.
Tulsidasji also very beautifully writes that the name of Ram should always reside at the tip of the tongue. If it does so, it is like being on the threshold of your home. By putting a lamp at the entry of your home there is light both inside as well as outside. Similarly, with the name of Ram on the tip of your tongue, there will be inner light as well as light around and outside you.
The whole trick in these steps of correlation at the human level is that we should rise beyond the physical structure of what we relate to. A statue or a photograph of the Lord or of the guru are not limited to the physical; we should see what lies beyond that physical state to the true reality, the absolute force that operates through that physical aspect.
Of course, the most important thing to do is practice. Constant, regular, consistent practice is the key. Just as you have your meals regularly, similarly your spiritual practice, whatever it may be, is a must. It’s the food of the soul, as Guruji said, so you should not practice for a day or two and then take a week off and then start again because that will never take you to the goal. Be regular and consistent, with love and faith.
Many people still come to us and say, “After so many years my mind is unstable and I cannot meditate. There are lots of thoughts running through the mind; why is all this happening after so many years?” It’s happening because the fruits of the karma of all previous lifetimes need to be burnt away. This is a tremendous process and takes a long time. Patience is a virtue, and it is consistent practice that will take you to the goal. The day, the minute that is achieved, there will be that blast and realization will be there for you.
But you have to understand that just being able to meditate or having a vision is not everything. Also watch out for the changes that have occurred during the course of your life since you started the practices. Has your fear lessened? Has your anger lessened? Have all those inner negative qualities of lust, jealousy and so forth gone away? Are the useless things that were bothering you so intensely still bothering you now? These are the things to watch out for, to observe. How much of your ego has dissolved? How much work still needs to be done to dissolve that? Is your fear of tomorrow, the fear of falling sick, the fear of death still bothering you?
Observing all these factors and training yourself to see God in every heart, in every human being is the key to progress. Other factors are of course good and do indicate growth, but the true markers of growth are not in your ability to sit endlessly in meditation for hours. That of course is good and essential, but just as important are external changes as we continue to interact with persons and circumstances around us; being balanced is also key.
Once you train yourself and once you are able to see God in every heart, in every being, then you have basically reached the goal. Whether the mind settles down or not is still a secondary process.
So on this auspicious of Lord Rama’s incarnation, I pray to Him and to Guruji that by their grace you may achieve that infinite energy and grace, and fulfill the goals of realization; that you transcend above the karma, both negative and positive.