In order to better understand this article, please do study – Who is a Guru?
1. Introduction to the path of Guru’s grace
While there are many generic paths to God, the path of Guru’s Grace (Gurukrupāyoga) is the most important from the point of view of achieving the ultimate in spiritual evolution. In every aspect of life, it is best if we have a guide or a teacher to help us understand, learn and progress. Making spiritual progress is no exception to this Universal rule and it is only by the grace of the eternal Guru Principle (the Teaching Principle of God) acting through a Guru in human form, that a student makes rapid spiritual progress.
No matter what spiritual path we are on, if we try and do it on our own, we can reach only up to a particular spiritual level. Beyond this, Guru’s grace is an absolute necessity to take us to the next level.
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2. Definition of the path of Guru’s Grace
The word krupa has been derived from the Sanskrut word ‘krup’ which means to be compassionate. Krupa denotes compassion, initiation or a blessing. Accordingly Gurukrupayoga is the spiritual path where through Guru’s grace, the embodied soul is united with God.
3. Importance of the path of Guru’s grace
3.1 Time to progress
- The most important advantage of following the path of Guru’s grace is the time taken to grow spiritually. By serving a Guru’s mission of spreading Spirituality a seeker acquires His grace and makes rapid spiritual progress. While there is no worldly achievement that can compare to acquiring a Guru’s grace, the following example will help in understanding the spirit of the previous sentence. Imagine a student who is poor, but by sheer hard work catches the eye of a billionaire who then gives him a scholarship to a top university and takes care of his future career prospects. Just as that student gets saved from years of slowly climbing up the corporate ladder, so also a seeker of God who earns the grace of a Guru bypasses years of spiritual practice in any other spiritual path.
- With spiritual practice through any other path, one makes progress on average at the rate of 0.25% per year. If one undertakes spiritual practice as advised by the Guru then one can progress up to 2-3 % annually. If a disciple is able to acquire the grace of the Guru, then spiritual progress of even 5-8% per year is possible.
3.2 Progressing beyond a certain level
- There is a well known saying in Sanskrut: ‘Gurukrupa he kevalam shishyaparammangalam’. It means that only by the grace of the Guru can the disciple attain his ultimate benefaction, that is spiritual progress.
- It is impossible to reach the level of a Saint (i.e. the 70% spiritual level) and dissolve one’s mind and intellect unless one has the grace of a Guru.
- No matter what spiritual path one follows other than the path of Guru’s Grace no path can completely purify the mental body (manodēha), causal body (kāraṇdēha) and supracausal body (mahākāraṇdēha). Consequently none of these paths have the capacity to make one attain the final liberation (Moksha).
- Other spiritual paths such as the path of action (Karmayoga), path of knowledge (Dnyānyoga) and path of devotion (Bhaktiyoga) are significant in a seeker’s life only till one is blessed by a Guru. Since the disciple undertakes only the spiritual practice as advised by the Guru thereafter, only the path of Guru’s grace remains. All paths to God finally culminate in a seeker acquiring the grace of a Guru to finally merge into God.
4. How does Guru’s grace function?
The Guru’s grace can function through 2 mechanisms:
- Resolve: Only when a Guru makes a resolve, ‘may this disciple progress spiritually,’ does the disciple make real spiritual progress. This itself is termed as Guru’s grace. Even a mere thought like ‘may it occur’ in the mind of the Guru is sufficient for the occurrence of an event. Nothing else is required. However, this is possible only in the case of a Saint whose spiritual level exceeds 80%. Resolve for Gurus at the spiritual level of 70% is mostly limited to worldly help for their disciples.
- Presence: Mere presence, proximity or company of the Guru, is sufficient for a disciple’s spiritual practice and progress to occur automatically. A good example to illustrate this is the sun that awakens everyone and makes the flowers bloom when it rises. This happens simply with its existence. The sun does not ask anyone to wake up or the flowers to bloom. The mission of a Guru of a spiritual level of more than 90% is of this nature.
5. Spiritual practice according to the path of Guru’s grace
SSRF recommends the path of Guru’s grace to make rapid spiritual progress in this lifetime itself and to take advantage of the current times that are very conducive for spiritual growth.
The path of Guru’s grace comprises of the following 8 practices:
We have provided more detailed information about this on our page on spiritual practice.