Daily Readings from the Works of Swami Venkatesananda

Venkatesa Daily Readings Vol 2 (Insights & Inspirtaitons) - Becoming Ready For Grace

November 22, 2020

Becoming Ready For Grace
Becoming Ready For Grace

     I have a funny theory. The Bible says “God made the world and He saw that it was good.” Obviously it was good and it is good even now. But  in such a good world as God created, why is there so much unhappiness, suffering and pain? He must be capable of avoiding them.  My theory is that pain and sorrow whether it is physical or psychological pain, were introduced into our lives merely to train us and to help us look within. Otherwise it would be very difficult to look within. Where am I going to look?  Can you, without a shirt, feel the center of your back?  It is very difficult. But let one small ant crawl there and you can pinpoint that spot on your back. You become aware of it. In the same way sorrow is there in order that we may be able to look within and see that where it hurts, what hurts and what it hurts, is the ego. As long as it hurts, there is some problem within. This hurt is meant merely to turn our gaze within and help us find it.

     I am reminded of a very beautiful saying of  Vivekananda in connection with renunciation: “Work hard. Get something and then renounce it. Otherwise what does a beggar have to renounce?” So work hard, become good, very good, better. Then say, “it’s not me, it’s God. This is not mine.” At that point all the evil qualities which met their match individually in the good qualities are seen as just the play of the mind, nothing more. ‘I am’ is not me and ‘I am’ is not mine. ‘Mine’ is seen to be nonexistent and ‘I am’ is absorbed into the Divine. That is moksha.

     If you feel that ‘this is my body’ or ‘this is my house’ and you are happy with that, nobody, no God, can take it away from you. One must reach that point where it hurts. It is then that you discover that however hard you work, it’s not possible for you to get rid of the powers, spiritual experiences, visions and so on, and this ego owns all of them. “You are mine, these are my experiences, this is my philosophy, my teaching.” Even that should hurt. Then you are ready for grace and that grace instantly frees you.

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