ROLE OF GRACE IN OUR LIFE
The root word for grace is a Latin word gratia – meaning gratefulness or thankfulness. It also means possessing sophistication or elegance or kindness which has been bestowed by our God. The grace may be in our thoughts, actions, attitude, form, approach, natural ease and poise, grace in behavior, etc. These positive traits change the very course of our life. The one who is lacking in grace is not welcomed anywhere but one who is having grace in his/her attitude/approach is sought after. Even for their invites, it is exclusively mentioned; ‘ you are requested to grace the occasion’.
Graceful dealings with others win us friends and well-wishers. Individual conducting with grace and poise are bestowed with magnetism and consequently, they win friends and well-wishers whereas lack of it brings about repulsion and enemies as a consequence.
GOD GRACES ALL HIS CREATIONS EQUALLY
Mother Nature (Prakriti), the God’s own creation, does not discriminate while giving her priceless gifts of air, water, and sun. Also, God’s love and affection besides all other graces for the benefits of all without discrimination are always there whether we merit it not. He is always there for showering us His graces including final liberations (Moksha). Here Souls and Super Souls are inter-related. For becoming a contender for all His graces, one of the important factors is our sincerity in our prayers.
GOD’S GRACE PLAY PREDOMINANT ROLE INTO THE LIVES OF GREAT PERSONAGES
There are so many amongst us humans who rose from the ordinary backgrounds or although with different disabilities yet they stood out and showed to the world at large that they are second to none. This happened due to the bountiful graces of our Creator. They even changed the irrational religious thoughts and in many cases changed the destinies of hapless people with or without any infirmities. This is all due to the benevolent graces of our Source. I shall cite a few examples where God’s grace played seemingly a prime role.
The life of Adi Shankara from his birth during the reign of Vikramaditya (788 CE – 820 CE) was inclined towards spiritualism. When he was at the age of eight, he went to have a bath with his mother. During his bath in the river, he was caught by a crocodile. He called out his mother loud and asked her to permit him to have a life of sannyasin otherwise he would be killed by the crocodile to which his mother agreed. The crocodile leaves him and he gets a free life to follow his life of hermitage. He had his education at different places like Kashi, Badrinath. Omkareshwar near river Narmada. He studied Vedas, Puranas, Brahmasutra and many other Hindu scriptures. His teacher Govinda taught him Gaudapada. He established and founded monastic centres (Maths) in north, east, west and south India.
He lived for 32 years during which he was so much graced by the Almighty God that he travelled so much, not only within India but also South Asia with a view to propagate and spread Advaita Vedanta philosophy, wherein, he had debates and discussions/discourses with different sages and dharma gurus, wrote commentaries on so many scriptures. What a normal person cannot do in hundred years, he had done in just 32 years. This does not happen without the grace of God.
Shankara traveled across India and other parts of South Asia to propagate his philosophy through discourses and debates with other thinkers. He is reputed to have founded four maths (monasteries), which ultimately helped in the spread of Advaita Vedanta philosophy.
God bestowed upon grace on personages like Mother Teresa – the apostle of love and mercy – her selfless and inspirational work provided succor to multitudes.
Going through the life of Helen Keller, it was obviously heart-rending. She lost her eyesight, hearing and speech at an early childhood due to a strange brain fever. Due to these handicaps, she was forced to remain aloof in a confused state with no communication with others with her state of health. But due to her inner strength and grace of Almighty God, she worked tirelessly and became one of the best international speakers of repute besides authored many books even in Brail which helped the blind and mute people. She became an inspiration and a pillar of strength for those with different infirmities. If it is not due to God’s grace then what!
GRACE OF GOD OR GRACE IN OUR ATTITUDE BENEFITS US IMMENSELY
- Grace in our approach. Our composure and mannerism while facing emergent and daunting contingency is tested. There are the ones who just cannot face sudden emergencies. In other words, they lack requisite grace and poise. They get stressed while facing a piquant situation. Therefore, the way we approach in solving the problem count. Thus grace in our attitude not only helps us in our workplace but also becomes a bulwark in fighting negative tendencies in our character.
- Grace in Conduct of Foreign Affairs of a Country. There are countries who possess grace and poise in pursuing their foreign policy outlook. They do not bully others with disrespect words and phrases while conveying their viewpoints.
- The grace of God comes with sincere effort. It is not so easy to get God’s graces because to qualify for His graces, In other words, we’ve to possess all the positive traits – compassion, empathy/understanding, humane approach including our work culture, our relationship with others, etc. Having followed a way of life which is for them based on love and affection with our fellow human beings. It is also a fact that when we follow a spiritually oriented life; based on religious principles, following all the constructive characteristics, refinement in our thoughts and Karmic deeds so that we are self-aware. This could bring about a qualitative change in our day to life. Having achieved self-awareness and removing negativity, we naturally come under the shadow of our God.
It has rightly been enunciated in Holy Quran: He specially chooses for His mercy whom He pleases, and Allah is the Lord of mighty grace.
- The grace of self-improvement. I happen to meet a parent, who has two twin sons studying in the same class, school and having the same lifestyle besides same congenial environment at home. One son scored 9.8 CGPA in 10th CBSE Board examination while the other one could just get 6.2 CGPA. While saying so the father continued, the former is studious, hardworking, very inquisitive about what he does but the latter has to be reminded about his homework, does not understand the subject matter to be studied but crams his lessons.
- The grace of Goddess Lakshmi for material possession. Goddess Laxmi is the Goddess of wealth. She lives in a home who is sincere in attitude. She graces those who put in sincere work and render selfless service, generous, compassionate to the humanity.
- Total surrender and attainment of peace. It has rightly said in Bhagwad Gita that if we wholeheartedly surrender to God, then by His grace, we shall get eternal peace not only in this birth but also will get liberation (Moksha).
In Holy Bible, it has been said that bounties of God include all the all the activities of God towards humans. It could be favored which the humans merited or unmerited, forgiving and finally salvation. All the natural bounties are due to God’s graces.
Guru Nanak Devi Ji says: Knowledge of the ultimate Reality is not a matter of reason; it comes by revelation of the ultimate reality through Nadar (grace) and by mystical experience.
Conclusively, it could be said that it could be the grace of God or self-imbibed trait, play the predominant role in our life. Grace helps us in having peace and calmness in our lives. To be the candidate for God’s graces, we require having sincerity in our prayer beside having purity in our thoughts and actions. Grace thus pays in the long run. One who possesses this trait leaves a trail of the fragrance of benevolence and positive feel. God’s graces may remain in all of us so that there is an air of amity and brotherhood amongst all.