It is natuaral for every sadhaka to get doubts. He tries to solve them by the study of sacred books, by questioning elders and by serious application of his own mind to problems raised by those doubts. Sometimes the mind is not satisfied with the replies or explanations of others. Sometimes the books are not sufficiently explanatory. Sometimes the mind requires certain statements in the books to be confirmed by a great living teacher, in the light of his personal experience. Sometimes it thirsts for the grace of a Guru for its rapid spiritual growth and development.
What is the value of the grace (kripa) of a sadguru in the spiritual field? How to obtain the grace? If sufficient quantity of grace is not received what should one do? Which is the easiest way to permanent happiness? Is God really so merciful? These are some of the questions which arise in the mind and the following replies of Sri Ramana Bhagavan in this connection are very interesting and instructive.
Question: It is stated that “by the grace of a Guru the highest state is reached in a moment.” Is this true?
Bhagavan: Yes. If the disciple is in a ripe state. The ajnana will be removed only by the avalokana (look) of the sadguru.
Question: Is the kripa, flowing towards one proportional to one’s merit?
Bhagavan: If the vessel is small, the kripa that he receives will be small. If the vessel is big, the kripa will be proportionately more.
Question: If the vessel is small, how to make it big?
Bhagavan: The water in all vessels is the same. [After a pause]. There is no question of more kripa or less kripa for one who surrenders (saranagata).
Question: What is meant by surrender or saranagati?
Bhagavan: When one surrenders there is no kartrtwa bhava, i.e., there is no sense of agency in him. There will be “udasina bhava” and he will not feel any anxiety about acts or results. He does not commence any work for his own sake, and he becomes a “sarva arambha parityagi” (vide Gita, chapter 14). He will have no ahamkara (feeling of ‘I’). The feeling of I, ahambhava will vanish either by jnana marga or by saranagati.
Question: In the books it is stated that Bhagavan, is an ocean of Mercy. Is it a fact?
Bhagavan: Ocean? Ocean (sagara) has a limit, a boundary (or coast line), but the kripa of Bhagavan has no such limit. It is limitless. It knows no bounds.
This explanation of Sri Bhagavan gave us great satisfaction, roused new hopes, and opened a new chapter in our spiritual lives.