Surrender and Grace

From Guru Tattwa, Swami Sivananda Saraswati

If you want to drink water at the tap, you will have to bend yourself. Even so, if you want to drink the spiritual nectar of immortality which flowsfrom the holy lips of the Guru, you will have to be an embodiment of humility and meekness.

The lower nature of mind must be thoroughly regenerated. The aspirant says to his preceptor, "I want to practise yoga. I want to enter into nirvikalpa samadhi. I want to sit at your feet. I have surrendered myself to you." But, he does not want to change his lower nature and habits, old character, behaviour and conduct.

One's individual ego, preconceived notions, pet ideas and prejudices, and selfishinterests should be given up. All these stand in the way of carrying out the teachings and instructions of one's Guru.

Lay bare to your Guru the secrets of your heart. The more you do so, the greater the sympathy, which means an accession of strength to you in the struggle against sin and temptation.

The aspirant, before he desires the grace of the Master, should deserve it. The supply of divine grace comes only when there is a real thirst in the aspirant, and when he is ft to receive it.

Guru's grace descends upon those who feel utterly humble and faithful to him. Faith is confidenceand trust in Guru. Faith is firmconviction of the truth of what is declared by the preceptor by way either of testimony or authority, without any other evidence or proof. The disciple who has faith in the Guru argues not, thinks not, reasons not and cogitates not. He simply obeys.

The disciple's self-surrender to Guru and Guru's grace are interrelated. Surrender draws down Guru's grace, and grace of Guru makes the surrender complete. Guru's grace works in the form of sadhana in the aspirant. If an aspirant sticks to the path tenaciously, this is the grace of the Guru. If he resists when temptation assails him, this is the grace of the Guru. If people receive him with love and reverence, this is the grace of the Guru. If he gets all bodily wants, this is the grace of the Guru. If he gets encouragement and strength when he is in despair and despondency, this is the grace of the Guru. If he gets over body-consciousness and rests in his own ananda swarupa, this is the grace of the Guru. Feel his grace at every step, and be sincere and truthful to him.