Grace happens not because of efforts but on its own. It cannot be created or controlled in any way. It is like a glimpse of the aspirant’s goal that’s meant to motivate him to keep treading the path, to keep internalizing the mind, to keep eradicating the vasanas and so on. But more often than not it is mistaken to be a doing – people think that have worked at getting this grace. What they don’t understand is if it is their doing then it should be under their command to create it again, which is actually not possible. Thus, one should receive grace with all humbleness and gratitude towards the Lord, for nothing of your doing can ever be credited for the grace. All one can do is strive to make the mind more humble and get rid of the bondages, the shackles of ignorance.
It reminds me of a small story from Jesus’ life. Once a very rich man came to see Jesus – it was the time when Jesus was surrounded by hundreds of people who were there to seek miracles from him; these people were not there for any knowledge but for miracles - the lepers wanted to get healed, the old wanted to get vitality, the young wanted to get married, the blind wanted to see again, the deaf want to hear again. It was all about the worldly things and experiences. Jesus was very famous for being a miracle man. Now, this rich man arrived and pushing through the crowd approached Jesus saying, ‘Master I want to enter your God's heaven. How can I do that?’ Jesus looked deeply into the eyes of this man and could make out that a greedy, egotistical, rich brat is standing who had amassed wealth through wrongful means. He is a cruel and sinful man and wants access to God's kingdom. So Jesus answered in the spur of a moment, ‘If you give away all your wealth to these people who are standing here, then I will let you know how you can enter God's Kingdom.’ He couldn't say yes, he couldn't say no, so he just pushed back and got lost in that crowd. And that is when Jesus said that a camel can cross the hole of a needle but an egotistic person can never enter in my God's kingdom. That's the case with everyone! We want the kingdom of God but we don't want to give away our bondages. We want to hold onto that. And the mind that is filled with bondages, ego, is not a pure enough place for God to be.
So, whenever grace happens, then be more thankful and prepare your mind to be more pure, clean, humble, loveful, dispassionate, unshackled. It doesn’t take a dime to desire anything big but one needs to become deserving to receive it. One needs to prepare oneself rather than complaining to Lord for not bestowing the grace. Just imagine if everyone who meditates was to experience samadhi, how wonderful would that be! But it doesn’t happen like that, simply because mind is all cobwebbed and there is no possibility of samadhi to happen in such a mind. And should you attain something, be grateful to the Lord - we didn’t deserve it yet we got it. Such beautiful moments do happen, without being deserving enough, and leave the fragrance behind. But such moments don’t happen everyday!
Keep seeking, keep yearning, for one day Lord will bestow the bliss that one seeks! But you give up soon enough. Keep seeking until you attain. Now, when the mind is filled with attachments, how are you going to seek the Lord? When the mind hankers after money, how will it yearn for the Lord? It's only on a clean canvas that a good painting can be made. If a canvas is dirty, then no painting can be made on it. So even if you go to the most sought after painter with a dirty, greasy, soiled paper, the painter will refuse to do anything on that. He will say, please get me a clean sheet, then only I can do something. So, try to clean up the sheet of your mind to let the Guru add some colours onto that. If your mind sheet is dirty, murkier, greasy, torn i.e. one part is with family and children, another with this and that, yet another part of the mind wants to be with the Guru - this way you are neither here nor there. What can a Guru do with the torn, broken, dissipated mind? Nothing! Guru would say, ‘Purify your mind first, only then can I colour it, for how can a soiled cloth be coloured.’
So, it's a two way responsibility – the disciple is supposed to do his work and the Guru is supposedly to do their work. When both the parties work together then the celebratory colours are showered, sense of achievement and attainment comes. The work is to be done from both the sides. Guru is pouring all the higher wisdom and the disciple is stuck with the murkier mind! Anger, pride, attitude, gossiping, lying – such a mind will not get great experiences! You get what you deserve, you won't get what you don't deserve - that is a non changeable principle. But still if some grace happens, be grateful to the Lord. Getting without deserving is nothing less than a great blessing!