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Sadhana versus the Grace of God
by Swami Krishnananda

Visitor: After so many years of practising sadhana, I wonder whether anything can be attained through practice alone, or does it all depend on the grace of God?

Swamiji: You are asking me if there is a difference between the effort of the individual in practising sadhana, and the descent of God. You are asking me whether they are two different things. They are not two different things. God Himself is doing sadhana through you. There is a great book called Panchadasi written by Sage Vidyaranya. There he says īśaḥ puruṣa kārasya rūpeṇāpi vivartate (Pan 6.177): God can enter you and make you feel that you are doing sadhana. God Himself is doing sadhana through you, so why are you attributing it to yourself? Your individuality is wiped out completely. He is doing it. He has entered you, and is impelling you towards meditation. That is the grace of God entering into you, and wrongly you feel that you are doing it.

In the Mahabharata war all the work was done by Lord Krishna, and yet the glory went to Arjuna only. Arjuna felt that he had done the work but it was done by the grace of Lord Krishna. Everything that we do is by the grace of God only, but when it enters through us, we feel that we are doing it. It is a mistake on our part. The sadhana that you are doing is the work of God only, so you must be grateful to Him. Be happy.

Visitor: So the thing that prevents me from realising God is the feeling that I am doing it?

Swamiji: That sense of I, that is the obstacle. You have not fully surrendered yourself. You are a shape taken by the grace of God. God Himself has created you for His purpose. This is actually surrender. You cease to be there independently working. We have no right even to lift a hand unless the centre of the cosmos operates.

There is a very interesting book, beautifully written in very good English. The author is trying to bring about a rapprochement between relativity and quantum. I was reminded of the mantra tat tvam asi. Tat means That, tvam means you. How can the two be reconciled, That and thou? But it can be reconciled. Tat tvam asi: Thou art That. The relativity is the quantum. Tat tvam asi means that relativity is the quantum. Then asi is the unified field theory, from the Upanishadic point of view. It is a very well-written book. I liked it very much. It is a very pleasant style of writing.

Yes, everything is done by God. We are only tools, instruments. God is playing this drama of the universe, making us dance to His tunes and play the part that we are expected to play. We have our exits and we have our entrances, as Shakespeare mentions. Everyone is playing different roles allotted to them in the drama of this universe. You come, and the curtain falls and there is an exit; another comes, and the curtain lifts. This is what is happening. It is all One Being, the Great Master of the universe working, for whose pleasure?

The Brahma Sutra, the great text, says you cannot explain why God is doing like that. It is said lokavattu līlākaivalyam (B.S. 2.1.33). It is a kind of play, that's all. There is no logical reason behind it. No logic can be applied to God's activity. It is a superabundance of the glory of God; that's all they say. The world is a superabundance of the flooding of the glory of God. The whole world is the glory of God's flooding, like a universal ocean rising in high waves. This universe is a high wave, a tidal wave of God's blessing. Be happy. We have every reason to be happy, and there is no reason to be sorry. Ānandād hy eva khalv imāni bhūtāni jāyante (T.U. 3.6.1) says the Taittiriya Upanishad: From the bliss of God the universe has come, by the bliss of God we are sustained, and to the bliss of God we will enter. We have every reason to be happy, and we have no reason to be sorry. Be happy.