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God’s Grace Is All You Need

It was the battlefield of the Great Mahabharata War (an ancient battle that was fought between Pandavas—a clan of five brothers, symbolizing righteousness; and Kauravas—a clan of hundred brothers, symbolizing evil). When the Pandavas were emerging victorious, Ashwathamma, a great warrior in the Kaurava army, out of desperation, released the unfailing “Narayanastra”—a weapon that can never fail in causing complete destruction. The divine weapon was such that there was no remedy, nor any protection against its fury. The weapon created havoc in the Pandava army. Soldiers were dying by the millions; it appeared as if the entire Pandava dynasty was in the brink of extinction.

Finding themselves completely helpless, the Pandavas surrendered to Lord Krishna, their protector and sole refuge. In times of adversity, it is only the Lord who comes to the rescue of his devotees. In response to their heartfelt prayers, Lord Krishna advised the Pandavas to follow the most unusual strategy. He advised them to drop all weapons and humbly surrender to the weapon. Ordinary individuals would have never followed such advice, but the Pandavas were no such. With implicit obedience, they immediately complied with God’s command. The weapon, though destructive, was one of divine origin. As soon as the Pandavas bowed to it in reverence, it immediately calmed down and disappeared.

Indeed, the Lord’s grace had saved the entire Pandava army from destruction. The Lord’s “will” must manifest and even nature will obey the command of divinity with utmost reverence. Such is the power of God.

At the beginning of the Mahabharata War, Lord Krishna gave an option to both Duryodhana, the Kuarava king, and Arjuna, a Pandava prince. One would get Krishna’s huge army and the other, Lord Krishna Himself—unarmed, though. Arjuna chose Krishna, whereas Duryodhana, His mighty army. Arjuna was wise in choosing the Lord and hence he won despite the mighty forces and wicked strategies deployed by the Kauravas. It was only the Lord’s grace that helped Pandavas achieve victory. Following Arjuna’s example, in the battle of life, the wise man always chooses God, and not his mighty army—a mere illusion of worldly pleasures. The one who chooses God and wins his grace will always emerge victorious in the battle of life and attain the final goal of liberation.

The Sage Markandeya. According to a divine boon, Markandeya, an ancient sage, was allotted a lifespan of only 16 years. The parents of this young boy were very perturbed on the arrival of the sixteenth year of this boy. On his sixteenth birthday, the parents revealed to the young boy the truth about his short lifespan.

The young lad was not disturbed. He had firm faith in the Lords’ grace and knew that His sankalpa [will] could alter the writ of destiny itself. With this faith in his chosen deity, Shiva, Markandeya, on his sixteenth, and supposedly last birthday, visited the temple of Lord Shiva. At the temple, he immersed himself in deep prayer and clung to the Shivalinga [a symbol of Shiva]. At the allotted time, Yama, the God of Death, appeared on the scene and cast his noose around the young boy’s neck. The lad, however, did not yield and prayed to Lord Shiva to such an extent that he literally became one with Shiva. Pleased with his devotion, Maheshwara [Shiva] appeared on the scene and rescued his beloved devotee from the jaws of death. Not only did he save Markandeya’s life, he also bestowed on him the boon of immortality—thus overruling the writ of destiny itself. God’s grace had saved the boy.

God’s grace confers all else. A mother-in-law was complaining against her new daughter-in-law that she consumed large quantities of milk, curds, cream, butter, and ghee. The girl’s brother, on hearing the story, called her, and after reprimanding her, advised her to give up stealing all the items, except milk. “Milk, you can drink any quantity you like but why steal these other by-products of milk.” (Prashanti Vidwanmahaasabha, Ananthpur, 07/31/1967). Milk is nothing but the Lord’s grace and once you have it, all other byproducts will naturally follow it.

Another story comes to mind: A man who had four wives was once traveling on business. When the time to return home came, he sent a word to his wives, asking each what they desired. The three oldest wives sent a long list of desired things. The youngest, on the other hand, only asked for the husband to return. On his arrival, the husband, sent each of the three wives what they desired but, personally, with all his wealth, visited the youngest wife. God’s grace is like that. It will confer on you whatever you choose, but you must ask for the Lord Himself, all else will follow him like loyal slaves.

Hanuman. Hanuman, the great protagonist of Ramayana was born among the species of monkeys. Despite the birth among monkeys, Hanuman’s devotion, purity of heart, and surrender, won Rama’s heart, and hence his grace. With this grace, Hanuman performed the most impossible of feats as if they were mere child’s play. Hanuman lifted and transported an entire mountain from Sri Lanka to Ayodhya, made rocks float on water, and destroyed the most terrifying demons—all because of Rama’s grace.

God’s grace is for everyone. God’s grace, contrary to human fancies, is not reserved for a chosen few. He is the most generous of givers and confers His grace on one and all.

The door will be opened, but did we knock yet? When we knock someone’s door, don’t we wait patiently till it is opened? If there is a delay, don’t we keep knocking till the call is answered? God’s door is like that. We must knock and wait till He answers the call. Till the call is answered, we must pray without giving up, as He has promised to answer every knock on His door. Patience and faith are the twin virtues that Shirdi Sai Baba, Swami’s previous incarnation, taught to all His followers.

No karma, no sin, no imaginary shortcoming of ours, can come in the way of God’s grace. His grace will spare no barriers and change our lives once and for all. Remember, our Swami can alter the writ of destiny itself. Why fear and despair then? He is always with us. Let us strive for nothing short of God’s grace. God’s grace is all you need. All else will follow.

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