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Anugraha: Divine Grace

Can you look back at your life and remember moments when you thought you received something far beyond what you deserved? Have you ever felt grateful for things or accomplishments that were bigger than you expected? Then you have experienced the beauty of Anugraha, or grace in life. Once grace dawns, one realizes their life is no longer mundane or ordinary—it has become a mystical and divine journey toward light.

Anugraha is divine grace from a higher power beyond what our little minds and physical selves can hold or deserve. Anugraha is when the infinite compassion and love from the divine find an expression in our lives.

Grace is Transformative

Anugraha is a transformative blessing from the divine, and ancient scriptures tell us that for someone to attain liberation and siddhis (perfections), they need grace. In an interesting circle of life, even for a seeker to experience their infinite nature, the veil can only be removed through Anugraha. And while we experience small increments of it in our daily lives, a yogi, devotee, or seeker experiences it when they are fully awakened in the light of universal consciousness.

Silence Can Bring in an Experience of Grace

Sage Patanjali’s yoga sutras, one of the highest and most authoritative texts on spirituality and yoga, says, “Nirvacharavaisharadye adhyatma prasadaha”—the experience of the state of thoughtlessness, being in the undisturbed state of hollowness, brings to the fore the grace of the being.

The more one experiences silence, the more fertile and ready to welcome in divine grace the mind becomes. In this way, the grace of the soul is manifested. Nirvichara vaisharadye means ‘mastery over the emptiness.’ The grace of the being blossoms only when you become hollow and empty.

The Heart Can Blossom Only Through Grace

We are all seeking grace—trying various practices, rituals, and meditations so our hearts can blossom and bring in light. But Sage Narada professes in one of his sutras, “The heart can blossom only by the grace of the Master.” In the presence of an enlightened being or a master, their grace triggers something within, and the heart begins to blossom. Just a glimpse or an experience of divine love can make this happen, but even for that to manifest, you get it only by grace from the Divine—this is the primary means to it.

What Comes Without Effort is Grace

Global humanitarian, spiritual master, and founder of the Art of Living, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar offers the most exquisite definition of Anugraha, “When you receive a lot without making efforts for it, then it is said that you are blessed with Anugraha. Usually, you work hard at your job and then receive your salary. So you say, ‘I have earned my money.’ But if someone gives you a gift, you do not say, ‘I have earned these gifts.’ Can something that is earned be called a gift? No. You receive gifts without any effort. So when you receive a great gift or an award that you feel you did not deserve, that is called Anugraha. When we receive something that we do not deserve or exceeds our capabilities, that is grace.”

Comes with Gratitude and Stays with Gratitude

When we see that we have received far more than we deserve or are capable of, gratitude dawns on us. We become thankful, complaints disappear, and abundance grows. Gratitude is like a magic wand. When you are grateful, everything else flows to you. An element of grace is needed to be happy in life. This is what people often refer to as luck! “It’s the glow of one’s life. Grace comes from being grateful. Gratitude is contagious. A grateful person purifies his entire environment, and everyone around him feels uplifted. Only knowledge can take you out of discontentment and grumbling.” says Gurudev.

Bring a Bigger Cup

The way to receive more grace is by increasing your capacity to receive. Gurudev explains this with an example, “We say that we want blessings and Grace. Blessings are available in plenty, but if your vessel is small, then what can one do? If you bring a tea cup and say give me two liters of milk in this, how can two liters of milk fit in the little cup? To get more, you must expand your capacity. Then more will come to you.”

How can one expand one’s capacity to receive more grace?

  1. The intention to increase one’s capacity does half the job.
  2. Be natural, simple, and humble. Humility from within naturally increases one’s capacity.
  3. Engage more in meditation, spiritual practices, service to society, and knowledge.
  4. Practice Shat Sampatti, a form of mental training to develop mental discipline and control for strength of character, six virtues, or wealths, including Sama (calmness of mind), Dama (self-control), Uparati (satiety), Titiksha (power of endurance), Shraddha (faith), and Samadhana (equanimity.) Learn more about these six virtues here.

This is what we must focus on in life. By enhancing these virtues, your capacity to receive blessings will increase. — Gurudev


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