Home Spiritmails
466ste Spiritmail

The Grace of Refusal

Friday April 29 2005 12:04 IST

By Karmayogi

Man appreciates the Grace that gives; he does not like the grace that refuses. To him, it is not grace that refuses to give. There is a philosophic truth behind it.

Still further, there is a yogic reality that is the origin of Grace. Man sees the surface. The surface is all for him.

Like Tolstoys Simon, man is unable to see God if he comes as an old woman, young child or an invalid.

God should explain to him that it was He who came in those guises and received Simons services. Simon, who called God, saw Him but he was unable to know.

Man requires an explanation at each point. Ramana Maharshi received a postcard from a devotee who asked him permission to take to sannyasa. He did not reply.

A reminder came. Maharshi did not answer. For a long interval, Maharshi never heard from him or of him. Then came a letter from the Himalayas that he had taken to sannyasa. In reply to this third letter, Maharshi sent him his blessings. In doing so, he explained to those around him the concept of the Grace of Refusal.

In this case, the devotee was unable to decide whether to accept sannyasa or not. He asked Maharshi for Blessings and guidance. In fact, he wanted Maharshi to decide on his behalf.

Sannyasa is too great a decision which one has to decide for himself. Not even the guru can do it. Maharshi wanted to give him the strength to decide.

His refusal to answer gave him that strength. Had he answered, his answer would have initiated a discussion which would have absorbed the energy that was needed to make that decision finally.

Gods ways are mysterious. Man too matches all the mysterious ways of God. What Man most longs for, if brought to him unasked, he has a way of readily refusing.

He thinks it is magnanimity. It can be that. It can be petulance. Usually it is negativism. Gods ways of meeting the refusal of Man is Refusal. Indian spiritual tradition knows thoroughly the myriad ways of Mans functioning and even existence.

The Gita honours mans swabhava, wants him to honour it and warns him of the dangers of forcing it. Grace acts not only through Refusal.

It acts through acceptance, good will, gratitude, attention, indifference, knowledge, ignorance and every conceivable way of Nature. If Grace wants to act, it can act through any human trait or temperament. It can also choose NOT to act.

The definition of Grace is the Force that acts on its own, uncompelled by any other circumstance. There are occasions when we expect Grace to act. Expectation cancels.

Can we not make Grace act? The more Man tries that, the more Grace refuses. Grace will act when Man forgets Grace. It is unconsciousness.

One must be conscious of the Presence of Grace all the time in all places and then not expect it to act according to ones demands. To trust in its WISDOM is Patience in the human soul that evokes its action.

Contact: info [@] sriaurobindo.nl