The Bhagavad Gita talks about qualities that brings about Grace in a Human Being. The Chapter 16 is devoted to qualities that define graceful beings and certain tendencies that needs to be checked that may bring disgrace as well. A good understanding of this Chapter shows the difference between a Deva and an Asura. The Deva and Asura are well within us. Our directions and intentions define which way we swing.
(Image Credit – Cassandra Rae)
Courage is a sign of knowledge. Look at our daily lives – be it work, studies, home, friends, colleagues, competition and so on. The more we know about ourselves and the more we know about our surroundings and people that matter, the more courageous we are. In other words, Fear is caused by ignorance.
Going by the Shastras, everything is Self, everything is Atman. So, the more Self we realise, the more we realise the nature of everything. This concept is a little difficult to digest. How can knowing more about self reveal the nature of the world itself? But, the Rishis who understood the truth talk beyond doubt that Absolute Self Knowledge is Knowledge about everything. How else could Ancient Indian Saints talk about Nuclear Science and Space Research with accuracy millennia before they were revealed by Modern Science?
Not just in India, but all schools of thought and philosophy across the world across time talks about the importance of Purity. Purity of thought, intentions and actions go a long way in defining our character. “The Secret” talks about the Law of Attraction where in our thoughts become our reality. It is said that War begins in the minds of men much before it manifests on the battlefield.
Today, we focus on cleanliness of cities and countries. The Developed West considers their clean streets and buildings to be role models to all growing nations. India aspires to get cleaner in the coming years as well. But, what about Human thought? The number of rapes, murders, shootouts and divorces are rising by the hour. We live in clean rooms and homes, but our minds are polluted with competition, lust, pride and anger. This manifests as Newsroom debates on TV that looks more like a reflection of our minds rather than debates on important national issues. There is no doubt there are many debates and News shows that are quite civilised and high quality. But, they may not be the “most watched shows of the nation”.
Love arises out of purity. We have a lot to learn from children who love unconditionally. Even animals have a special quality of love that arises within them. Even though we speak of human beings as the most evolved of all living creatures, we need to learn from our less evolved neighbours a thing or two about purity of intentions and thought.
Indian Thought is never against earning wealth. Even though there is no clear formulae on tithing, Charity is considered to be a very noble cause by the Scriptures. Giving creates a karmic connection between the donor and receiver. Indian Knowledge grew so much because the Sadhus in the country never had to labour hard for food. They could focus their energies on finding wisdom and sharing wisdom. All homes considered it their dharma to support the learned men.
Donation of wealth is good. But, donation of food is considered to be the most supreme form of donation. A man could desire more wealth, in spite of huge amounts received. But, once the stomach is full, he is truly satisfied and do not ask for more. Donation of knowledge is again a very coveted donation. Good knowledge could sustain generations together. It is no wonder that charity is considered as a very noble means to attain grace.
Scriptures talk quite highly about the reading and understanding of Shastras to attain grace. It not considered merely as an intellectual exercise. But, learning is a means to realising the Self and the ultimate sense of Bliss and Freedom. Even the US Declaration of Independence talks about the Pursuit of Happiness. It is a different matter that this pursuit is interpreted more as a pursuit of material wealth and bodily comforts. Yet, today there are many Americans who realise that true knowledge and insight bring them happiness as well.
How far have you come in your way of grace?