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Re: God's Grace

From: Mohan Sagar (mohan_r_sagar_at_yahoo.com)
Date: Thu Jun 21 2001 - 04:44:36 PDT

Mani Varadarajan wrote:

> I'd rather avoid technical and emotinally charged terms
> such as 'upAya', 'nirhEtuka', 'sahEtuka', 'prapatti', etc.,
> and merely examine the issue using everyday reason.
>
> There is no disagreement that we should never think
> of anything that we do as a *purchase* of God's good
> station. This is the principle of sAttvika tyAga
> or enlightened renunciation enunciated by the Lord
> Himself in the Gita.  For nothing we do can be
> considered equal payment to the gifts that God gives
> us. And certainly one who has realized that God alone is
> the Means and the Goal should be even more steadfast in
> this belief. However, to imply that God acts randomly,
> and that such action is at the same time impartial
> from an objective standpoint, does not stand the test
> of reason, nor does it stand up to the careful writing
> of our pUrvAchAryas.

My compliments to Sri Mani on his insightful observations.  I think part of
the problem is that we tend to look upon "kripa" merely in terms of mOksham.
When taken into a more wholistic concept, and perhaps more in line with those
who see God as the Means and Goal for everything, God's Grace is something
that is there with us all the time, whether or not we aware of it, or whether
or not we choose to accept it.  Works like Sri Vachana Bhushanam speak of
this wondrous nature of our Lord who, despite being in His Eternally Joyful
Abode, is restlessly and impatiently struggling to find ways to bring Himself
to the scores of souls that are suffering in the endless cycle of birth and
re-birth, trapped in the struggles of their own self-interested actions.
Such a restless mood drives Him to be there with us in every moment, to guide
us in the right path, share in our  our joys and sorrows, and make Himself
visible and accessible to us as the archAvAtharan, all in the hopes that one
day our heart will simply turn to Him.  His ever-present and compassionate
natrure is an unceasing and boundless act of His own volition, requiring
nothing on our parts other than to become humble receptacles to it.   Our
AchAryans have used the example of the sun in describing this
all-encompassing and boundless nature to Sriman Narayana's Mercy to
illustrate its impartial nature and the ways in which we conditioned souls
respond to it.

As we know, the sun is there with us all the time, providing us with the
life-giving energy that we need for our very existence and sustenance.  The
sun showers its rays on each and every thing in this world, constantly,
unceasingly, day or night, 24 X 7.  It rays go in every direcion and every
part of this solar system without condition.  But, based on their natures,
human beings respond to the sun's rays in different ways.  Those of us who go
from our climate controlled homes to our air conditioned cars to our climate
controlled offices hardly take note of  the sun.  Then are those people such
as postal workers and construction workers whose arduous jobs put them in
direct contact with sun.  These people often are averse to the sun, and often
are found complaining about the heat that is interfering with their work.
Then are those farmers who depend on the the sun's rays to provide them with
healthy crops.  They need the sun at times when it is necessary, at times
that it will be profitable for them. Finally, there are those rare souls who
can simply enjoy the beauty and majesty of a sunny day for what it is,
revelling in its warmth and the tapestry of light and shadows that it
creates.   The sun is the same, its rays are the same, so what is it that is
changing?  People's responses that are products of their own lifestyle and
experience.

Analogous to the rays of the sun, the Lord's Boundless Grace is there for
everyone, everywhere, all the time, and with no other cause or motive other
than His Unconditional Love which seeks to Protect and Save us.  What changes
is how choose to respond to it, with apathy, with aversion, with selfish
material interest, or with unconditional acceptance.  What is interesting is
that even if we simply take note of it for just a moment, our lives become
blessed.

But this does not answer the original question of why Arjuna was chosen over
everyone else to receive the message of the Gita directly from Sri Krishna
Himself.  I would like to share my crude understanding of what was taught to
me. But, as this is somewhat involved, I would like to reserve this for
another posting.

adiyEn rAmAnuja dAsan
Mohan


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