"Grace (of God) is by its very nature beyond cause or reason. When working, one reaps the fruits of one's actions. If for instance you serve your father and he, being pleased with your service, gives you a present, this would be called the fruit of action: one does something and receives something in return. But the eternal relationship that by nature exists between Father and son surely does not depend on any action. The Supreme Father, Mother and Friend - verily God is all of these. Consequently, how can there be a cause or reason for His Grace? You are His, and in whatever way He may draw you to Him, it is for the sake of revealing Himself to you. The desire to find Him that awakens in man, who has instilled it into you? Who is it that makes you work for its fulfillment?
Thus you should try to arrive at the understanding that everything originates from Him. Whatever power, whatever skill you possess, - why even you yourself - from where does everything arise? And does it not all have for purpose the finding of Him, the destroying of the veil of ignorance? Whatever exists has its origin in Him alone. So then, you must try to realize your Self. Are you master even of a single breath? To whatever small degree He makes you feel that you have freedom of action, if you understand that this freedom has to be used to aspire after the realization of Him, it will be for your good. But if you regard yourself as the doer and God as being far away, and if, owing to His apparent remoteness, you work for the gratification of your desires, it is wrong action. You should look upon all things as manifestations of Him. When you recognize the existence of God, He will reveal Himself to you as compassionate or gracious or merciful in accordance with your attitude towards Him at the time - just as, for example, to the humble He becomes the Lord of the Humble."
Sri Anandamayi Ma
Sri Anondomoyi Ma; 30 April 1896 - 27 August 1982) (also Anandamoyi Ma) was a Hindu spiritual teacher and guru from Bengal, considered a saint by many and hailed as one of the prominent mystics of the 20th century. Anandamayi means "bliss-permeated mother", a name given by her disciples in the 1920s to describe what they saw as her habitual state of divine bliss.During her life, she attracted thousands of followers who saw her not only as a teacher and guru, but as a manifestation of God, or Devi.
She was also called Dakshayani, Kamala, Vimala, and "Mother of Shahbag". Swami Sivananda (Divine Life Society) described her as "the most perfect flower the Indian soil has produced." Precognition, healing and other miracles were attributed to her by her followers.
Anandamayi Ma never prepared her discourses, wrote anything down, or revised what she had said. People had difficulty transcribing her talks, as the musicality and alliterative word-play didn't translate well to writing. Only Brahmachari Kamal Bhattacharjee was able to transcribe her discourses with scrupulous fidelity.
The central theme of her teaching, in endless variation, is "the supreme calling of every human being is to aspire to self realization. All other obligations are secondary" and "only actions that kindle man's divine nature are worthy of the name of actions". However she did not ask everyone to become a renunciate. "Everyone is right from his own standpoint," she would say. She did not give formal initiations and refused to be called a guru, as she maintained that "all paths are my paths" and kept saying "I have no particular path".
Sri Anandamayi Ma statues in the Ananda Jyoti Mandir, Varanasi
She did not advocate the same method for all. "How can one impose limitations on the infinite by declaring this is the only path—and, why should there be so many different religions and sects? Because through every one of them He gives Himself to Himself, so that each person may advance according to his inborn nature." Though she was a Tantric, Anandamayi Ma blessed Saivites, Shaktas, Vaishnavas, Muslims and Christians equally. Even now, the Muslim population of Kheora still refer to her as "our own Ma". She taught how to live a God-centered life in the world and provided the living inspiration to enable thousands to aspire to this most noble ideal. She also advocated spiritual equality for women; for example, she opened up the sacred thread ritual, which had been performed by men only for centuries, to women. Her style of teaching included jokes, songs and instructions on everyday life along with long discourses, meditation and reading of scriptures.
The Publication Department of Shree Shree Anandamayee Charitable Society in Kolkata regularly publishes her teaching in the periodical Anandavarta Quarterly. The Shree Shree Anandamayee Sangha in Haridwar organizes the annual Samyam Mahavrata congregation to devote a week to collective meditation, religious discourse and devotional music.
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