Guruji, is God’s grace and blessings one and the same? Please explain when and how will a devotee earn God's grace?

Grace is something unique. It is different from blessings. Blessings can be given by human beings also, but grace happens only through the Divine. Grace is bestowed only through God and Guru. It is showered on the sadhaka only when earnest human effort falls short, and reinforcement by the Divine is required.  When all that is humanly possible has been done, and there is nothing left to be done, that is when grace happens. It is said that Self-realisation can be attained only through divine grace, and that human effort alone is not sufficient for the devotee’s Self-realisation.

Gurus and scriptures can only create interest, and rouse your spiritual awareness. The wise disciple has to cross the ocean of ignorance through direct illumination, which can happen only through the grace of God. You may put in every effort in your endeavour, yet no matter how much you strive; one percent is always beyond your control. That one percent is called the divine grace – God’s grace.

In order to earn God’s grace, the most important factor the devotee must have, is love for God. You can win God’s grace by simply loving God with your entire being. When your heart overflows with love, you must have noticed that you express your love through generous giving. So, if a human being can be so generous, then how much more generous would the divine be. Grace is the abundance that you receive beyond earned merit.

Never think that you can obtain the grace of God by making huge donations to temples or charities. Sharing through donations is always good, but that alone is not sufficient for the grace of God to fall upon you. So also, following your rites and rituals dedicatedly, is not sufficient to earn the grace of God. Love and compassion and purity of thoughts, words and deeds are a must. If anything is done with love and devotion, the cosmos is immensely pleased. The warmth of the devotee’s true longing for God, earns him the grace of God.

Finally, all that matters is how much love and compassion you carry within you, in your heart, towards your fellow beings. No matter how wise, intelligent, rich, beautiful you may be, your capacity to love all beings without discrimination, is what matters to God. Only pure love makes the world go round. It expands your outlook, and elevates your consciousness, and prepares you to receive the grace of God in abundance. That is the only way to earn the grace of God, by being devoted, loving and compassionate towards all humankind.

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