A well-to-do lady told Ramana Maharshi, ‘I am blessed with everything that a human being would like to have’. Her voice choked. Controlling herself she continued slowly, ‘I have all that I want, a human being may want… but… but… I do not have peace of mind. Something prevents it. Probably my destiny’. There was silence for a while. Then he spoke in his usual sweet manner: ‘All right, you have said what you wished to say. Well, what is destiny? There is no destiny. Surrender, and all will be well. Throw all responsibility on God and do not bear the burden yourself. What can destiny do to you then?’
D: Surrender is impossible.
M: Yes, complete surrender is impossible. Partial surrender is certainly possible for all. In course of time that will lead to complete surrender. Well, if surrender is impossible what can be done? There is no peace of mind. You are helpless to bring it about. It can be done only by surrender.
D: Partial surrender – well, can it undo destiny?
M: Oh yes, it can.
D: Is not destiny due to past karma?
B: If one is surrendered to God, God will look to it.
D: That being God’s dispensation, how does God undo it?
B: All are in Him only.
It is asked, why all this creation so full of sorrow and evil. All one can say is that it is God’s will, which is inscrutable. No motive, no desire, no end to achieve can be attributed to that infinite, all-wise and all-powerful Being. God is untouched by activities which take place in His presence. There is no meaning in attributing responsibility and motive to the One, before it became many. But God’s will for the prescribed course of events is a good solution for the vexed question of free-will. If the mind is worried over what befalls us, or what has been committed or omitted by us, it is wise to give up the sense of responsibility and free-will, by regarding ourselves as the ordained instruments of the All-Wise and the All-Powerful, to do and suffer as He pleases. Then He bears all the burdens and gives us peace.
To a devotee who was praying that she should have more frequent visions of Siva, He said, “Surrender to Him and abide by His Will, whether He appears or disappears; await His pleasure. If you ask Him to do as you like it is not surrender but command to God. You cannot have Him obey you and yet think you have surrendered. He knows what is best and when and how to do it. His is the burden. You have no longer any cares. All your cares are His. Such is surrender. That is devotion.”
God’s grace consists in the fact that He shines in the heart of every one as the Self; that power of grace does not exclude anyone, whether good or otherwise.Seekers should, overcome afflictions with a cool mind, and the firm faith that they occur by the grace of God, to help to steady the mind.
The man who has the sense of the body being himself cannot possibly worship God as formless; whatever worship he makes will be worship in form alone, not otherwise.
When any act has become fruitful, do not become proud, thinking ‘This was achieved by my enterprise’; (on the other hand), become convinced that God is gracious.When the desired success is not won, it should not be thought that the action has proved unfruitful; the fruit (of it) is just the understanding that actions become fruitful (in the usual sense) by the grace of God, not by mere human effort.
After doing a wrong action, one should not hide it from self-love; one should resolve to act rightly in future, avoiding faults.
Success and failure are due to destiny, and not to willpower or the lack of it. One should try to gain equipoise of mind under all circumstances. That is willpower.It is better for the seeker to be in a worldly position arousing compassion from other men, than for him to be in a state to be envied by them
If a person overlooks the faults of others, and sees only their merits, and thus keeps his mind serene, his whole life will be happy. To be unconcerned in all things, with the mind cool, free of desires and without hate, is beautiful in a seeker.
The enemy hates the ego, which the seeker wants to kill; thus, like the anvil to the goldsmith, he is actually a friend.
On account of some arbitrary standards about the duration of the experience and so on, we call one experience a dream and another waking experience. With reference to Reality both the experiences are unreal. A man might have an experience such as getting grace in his dream, and the effects and influence of it on his entire subsequent life may be so profound and abiding, that one cannot call it unreal – whilst calling real some trifling incident in the waking life that just flits by, which is casual, of no consequence and is soon forgotten.
I have been saying all along that the Heart Centre is on the right side, even when learned men differed from me. I speak from experience. I knew it even in my home during my self-absorption. Again during the incident recorded in Self-Realization, I had a very clear vision and experience. All of a sudden a light came from one side erasing the world-vision. I felt that the heart on the left had stopped and the body became blue and inert. Vasudeva Sastri embraced the body and wept over my death, but I could not speak. All the time I was feeling that the Heart Centre on the right was working as well as ever. This state lasted fifteen or twenty minutes. Then suddenly something shot out from the right to the left like a rocket bursting into the sky. The blood resumed circulation and the normal condition of the body was restored.
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