Read Summary of Grace
It is the Power, the Happiness, the Light, the Knowledge, the Bliss, the Love, the Peace that flow from the Divine Grace. 
- 1 Flower that Signifies Grace
- 2 What is Divine Grace?
- 3 Experience of the Divine Grace
- 4 Why Divine Grace Matters?
- 5 How to Receive Divine Grace?
- 6 How to Walk the Path of Sadhana?
- 7 How Not to Distance from the Divine Grace
- 8 Living in Grace
- 9 More On Grace
Flower that Signifies Grace
The Divine Grace
Hibiscus mutabilis Cotton rose, Confederate rose mallow
Thy goodness is infinite, we bow before Thee in gratitude.
[According to the Mother, each variety of flower has its own special quality and meaning. By establishing an inner contact with the flower, this meaning can be known.
Flowers speak to us when we know how to listen to them, the Mother said. It is a subtle and fragrant language. As if to provide a key to this language, she identified the significances of almost nine hundred flower.]
What is Divine Grace?
A Divine and Mysterious Power
If you would know what is the Divine Grace, it is necessary first to realise that it is something which contradicts the law of the world, for it is outside its normal rule and not of its nature. There is here something which does not seem to govern at all the cosmic action, but only to intervene, and yet it is always there; an element without which this universe would be either a tremendous machine or a fortuitously and yet inexorably ordered chance… ...there is probably something else beyond the intellect which alone can give him[man] the Light—something beyond his mind and greater than himself—a Grace that intervenes, the law of a supernormal Light and Will, a help, an opening from above. 
…but this divine grace, if we may so call it, is not simply a mysterious flow or touch coming from above, but the all-pervading act of a divine presence which we come to know within as the power of the highest Self and Master of our being entering into the soul and so possessing it that we not only feel it close to us and pressing upon our mortal nature, but live in its law, know that law, possess it as the whole power of our spiritualised nature. 
I have said also that the Grace can at any moment act suddenly, but over that one has no control, because it comes by an incalculable Will which sees things that the mind cannot see. It is precisely the reason why one should never despair,—that and also because no sincere aspiration to the Divine can fail in the end. 
A state of Grace is prepared in the individual often behind thick veils by means not calculable by the mind and when the state of Grace comes then the Grace itself acts. 
It [Divine Grace] is an action from above or from within independent of mental causes which decides its own movement. We can call it the Divine Grace; we can call it the Self within choosing its own hour and way to manifest to the mental instrument on the surface; we can call it the flowering of the inner being or inner nature into self-realisation and self-knowledge. 
The Divine Grace is something not calculable, not bound by anything the intellect can fix as a condition—though ordinarily some call, aspiration, intensity of the psychic being can awaken it, yet it acts sometimes without any apparent cause even of that kind. 
The Divine Grace cannot be explained through words and mental formulas. 
…no matter how great your faith and trust in the divine Grace, no matter how great your capacity to see it at work in all circumstances, at every moment, at every point in life, you will never succeed in understanding the marvellous immensity of Its Action, and the precision, the exactitude with which this Action is accomplished; you will never be able to grasp to what extent the Grace does everything, is behind everything, organises everything, conducts everything, so that the march forward to the divine realisation may be as swift, as complete, as total and harmonious as possible, considering the circumstances of the world. 
Grace is not an invention, it is a fact of spiritual experience. Many who would be considered as mere nothings by the wise and strong have attained by Grace; illiterate, without mental power or training, without "strength" of character or will, they have yet aspired and suddenly or rapidly grown into spiritual realisation, because they had faith or because they were sincere… Strength, if it is spiritual, is a power for spiritual realisation; a greater power is sincerity; the greatest power of all is Grace. I have said times without number that if a man is sincere, he will go through in spite of long delay and overwhelming difficulties. I have repeatedly spoken of the Divine Grace. I have referred any number of times to the line of the Gita:
Ahaṁ tvā sarvapāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ
"I will deliver thee from all sin and evil, do not grieve." 
In the whole manifestation there is an infinite Grace constantly at work to bring the world out of the misery, the obscurity and the stupidity in which it lies. From all time this Grace has been at work, unremitting in its effort, and how many thousands of years were necessary for this world to awaken to the need for something greater, more true, more beautiful. 
I should like to say something about the Divine Grace—for you seem to think it should be something like a Divine Reason acting upon lines not very different from those of human intelligence. But it is not that. Also it is not a universal Divine Compassion either, acting impartially on all who approach it and acceding to all prayers. It does not select the righteous and reject the sinner. 
Q.Sri Aurobindo speaks of the influence of the Divine Compassion and the Divine Grace. But what is the difference between the two?
A:The compassion seeks to relieve the suffering of all, whether they deserve it or not.
The Grace does not recognise the right of suffering to exist and abolishes it. 
Decoding Divine Grace
There are these three powers: (1) The Cosmic Law, of Karma or what else; (2) the Divine Compassion acting on as many as it can reach through the nets of the Law and giving them their chance; (3) the Divine Grace which acts more incalculably but also more irresistibly than the others. 
The Divine Grace is there, ready to act at every moment, but it manifests as one grows out of the Law of the Ignorance into the Law of Light and it is meant, not as an arbitrary caprice, however miraculous often its intervention, but as a help in that growth and a Light that leads and eventually delivers. 
It is a power that is superior to any rule, even to the Cosmic Law—for all spiritual seers have distinguished between the Law and Grace. Yet it is not indiscriminate—only it has a discrimination of its own which sees things and persons and the right times and seasons with another vision than that of the Mind or any other normal Power. A state of Grace is prepared in the individual often behind thick veils by means not calculable by the mind and when the state of Grace comes then the Grace itself acts. 
Experience of the Divine Grace
Of course in many cases there is a true experience first, a touch of the Grace, but it is not something that lasts and is always there, but rather something that touches and withdraws and waits for the nature to get ready. But this is not so in every case, not even in many cases, I believe. One has to begin with the soul's inherent longing, then the struggle with the nature to get the temple ready, then the unveiling of the Image, the permanent Presence in the sanctuary. 
And, moreover, there are days when one is in contact with the divine Consciousness which is at work, with the Grace, and then everything is tinged, coloured with this Presence, and things which usually seem to you dull and uninteresting become charming, pleasant, attractive, instructive—everything lives and vibrates, and is full of promise and force. So, when one opens to that, one feels stronger, freer, happier, full of energy, and everything has a meaning. 
But it's so lovely when this Harmony comes. You know, puttering about, arranging papers, setting a drawer in order.... It all sings, it's lovely, so joyous and luminous... so delightful! And all, all, all.... All material things, all activities, eating, dressing, everything becomes delightful when this harmony is there, delightful. Everything works out smoothly, it's so harmonious, there's no friction. You see... you see a joyous, luminous Grace manifesting in all things, ALL things, even those we normally regard as utterly unimportant...
It makes you sense so clearly that things in themselves don't count. What we call 'things in themselves' are of no true importance! What really counts is the relationship of consciousness to these things. And there's a formidable power in this, since in one instance you touch something and drop or mishandle it, while in the other it's so lovely, it works so smoothly. Even the most difficult movements are made without difficulty. It's an unheard-of power! We don't give it importance because it has no grandiose effects, it's not spectacular. Yes, there are indeed states of grace when one is in the presence of a great difficulty and suddenly has all the power needed to face it—yes, but that's something else. I am speaking of a power active in ordinary life. 
As soon as you are in contact with It, there is not a second in time, not a point in space, which does not show you dazzlingly this perpetual work of the Grace, this constant intervention of the Grace... If one were in union with this Grace, if one saw It everywhere, one would begin living a life of exultation, of all-power, of infinite happiness. 
The best meditations are those that one has all of a sudden, because they take possession of you as an imperative necessity. You have no choice but to concentrate, to meditate, to look beyond the appearances. And it is not necessarily in the solitude of the forest that it seizes you, it happens when something in you is ready, when the time has come, when the true need is there, when the Grace is with you. 
If one can see it, feel it, experience its action, so to say, be conscious of its presence and movement, then one has the joy of the movement, the progress, the realisation; but this does not mean that if one doesn't feel this joy, the action of the Grace is not there, the realisation not there. 
For, as to this "Grace" [first experience of the Self], we describe it in that way because we feel in the infinite Spirit or Self of existence a Presence or a Being, a Consciousness that determines—that is what we speak of as the Divine,—not a separate Person, but the one Being of whom our individual self is a portion or a vessel. But it is not necessary for everybody to regard it in that way. Supposing it is the impersonal Self of all only, yet the Upanishad says of the Self and its realisation, "This understanding is not to be gained by reasoning nor by tapasya nor by much learning, but whom this Self chooses, to him it reveals its own body." Well, that is the same thing as what we call the Divine Grace,—it is an action from above or from within independent of mental causes which decides its own movement. We can call it the Divine Grace; we can call it the Self within choosing its own hour and way to manifest to the mental instrument on the surface; we can call it the flowering of the inner being or inner nature into self realisation and self-knowledge. As something in us approaches it or as it presents itself to us, so the mind sees it. But in reality, it is the same thing and the same process of the being in the Nature. 
Why Divine Grace Matters?
It is only the Divine's Grace that can give peace, happiness, power, light, knowledge, beatitude and love in their essence and their truth. 
The complete consecration is undoubtedly not an easy matter, and it might take an almost indefinitely long time if you had to do it all by yourself, by your own independent effort. But when the Divine's Grace is with you it is not exactly like that. With a little push from the Divine now and then, a little push in this direction and in that, the work becomes comparatively quite easy. 
The boon that we have asked from the Supreme is the greatest that the earth can ask from the Highest, the change that is most difficult to realise, the most exacting in its conditions. It is nothing less than the descent of the supreme Truth and Power into Matter, the supramental established in the material plane and consciousness and the material world and an integral transformation down to the very principle of Matter. Only a supreme Grace can effect this miracle. 
The Divine Grace is with us and never leaves us even when the appearances are dark. 
At each moment of our life, in all circumstances the Grace is there helping us to surmount all difficulties. 
In failure as well as in success, the Divine's Grace is always there. 
Man is a mass of imperfections—it is only by the divine Grace that he reaches the Divine. 
The Divine Will works in all things—it may work out anything whatever. The Divine Grace comes in to help and save. 
The difference between knowledge and ignorance is a grace of the Spirit; the breath of divine Power blows where it lists and fills today one and tomorrow another with the word or the puissance. If the potter shapes one pot more perfectly than another, the merit lies not in the vessel but the maker. 
Grace and Justice
An act carried out has always a consequence and this consequence brings along another and so on. And this is absolutely ineluctable. That is universal justice. You have a bad thought, it has a result. And that result has yet another. And you cannot escape it except through the intervention of Grace. Grace is exactly something which has the power of changing all that. But only the Grace can change it. 
If you make a mistake without knowing that it is a mistake, that does not protect you, you are punished. Well, in Nature it is the same thing. If you take poison without knowing that it is poison, it will poison you all the same. Do you understand?... Unless the Grace intervenes. And as the Grace is omnipotent, it can change everything. That is what I have explained. But without the Grace there is no hope. For precisely it is ignorance that's the constant factor of mankind. 
Grace and Karma
Destiny in the rigid sense applies only to the outer being so long as it lives in the Ignorance. What we call destiny is only in fact the result of the present condition of the being and the nature and energies it has accumulated in the past acting on each other and determining the present attempts and their future results. But as soon as one enters the path of spiritual life, this old predetermined destiny begins to recede. There comes in a new factor, the Divine Grace, the help of a higher Divine Force other than the force of Karma which can lift the sadhak beyond the present possibilities of his nature. One's spiritual destiny is then the divine election which ensures the future. 
When one does not repeat one's past mistakes, the divine power, the power of the divine Grace, abolishes their consequences—their karma—in the being. But as long as mistakes are repeated nothing can be abolished, because one re-creates them at every minute. When a person has made a serious error, say, a serious mistake (it can be serious or not, but we are concerned primarily with the serious ones), such mistakes have their consequences in life, a karma which has to be exhausted. The divine Grace, if you call upon it, has the power to abolish that karma, to cut short the consequences—but the Grace can only do this when you, within yourself, don't begin all over again, when the mistake committed is not renewed. The past can be completely purified and abolished, on condition that one does not keep making it into a perpetual present.
...the Divine Grace completely contradicts Karma; you know, It makes it melt away like butter that's put in the sun… ...if you have an aspiration that's sincere enough or a prayer that's intense enough, you can bring down in you Something that will change everything, everything—truly it changes everything. An example may be given that is extremely limited, very small, but which makes you understand things very well: a stone falls quite mechanically; say, a tile falls; if it gets loose, it will fall, won't it? But if there comes, for example, a vital or mental determinism from someone who passes by and does not want it to fall and puts his hand out, it will fall on his hand, but it will not fall on the ground. So he has changed the destiny of this stone or tile. It is another determinism that has come in, and instead of the stone falling on the head of someone, it falls upon the hand and it will not kill anybody. This is an intervention from another plane, from a conscious will that enters into the more or less unconscious mechanism. 
Imagine the world as a single whole and, in a certain sense, finite, limited but containing potentially innumerable possibilities of which the combinations are so numerous that they are equivalent to an infinite (you must be careful with words, however; I am very much cramped by words, they do not express exactly what I mean). So, the universe is objectified by the Divine Consciousness, by the Supreme, according to certain determined laws of which we shall speak later. The universe is a single whole, in the sense that it is the Divine—it does not contain the whole of the Divine, but it is as though the Divine deployed Himself so as to objectify Himself; that is the raison d'êtreof the manifestation of the universe. It is as if the divine Consciousness wandered into all divine possibilities following a path it had chosen. Imagine then a multitude of possibles of which all the possible combinations are equivalent to an infinite. The divine Consciousness is essentially free—It wanders therein and objectifies Itself. The path traversed is free in the midst of an infinite multiplicity which is at the same time pre-existent and absolutely undetermined according to the action of the free divine Will. It may be conceived that this Will, being free, is able to change the course of the deployment, change the path and, although everything is pre-existent and consequently inevitable, the road, the path is free and absolutely unexpected. These changes of the route, if one may say so, can therefore change the relations between things and circumstances, and consequently the determinism is changed. This change of the circuit is called "the effect of the Grace"; well, through the aid of the Grace, if the Grace decides it, things can change, the course can be different. Things can change their places and instead of following a certain circuit follow another. A circumstance which, according to a particular determinism, should occur at a certain place ahead, for instance, would instead occur behind, and so on. The relations between things consequently change. 
Grace and Love
Q.Are Divine Love and Grace the same thing?
A:Essentially, all things are the same. In its essence everything is the same, it is a phenomenon of consciousness; but Love can exist without Grace and Grace can exist without Love. But for the human consciousness all manifestation of Grace is a manifestation of the supreme Love, inevitably. Only it goes beyond human consciousness. 
How to Receive Divine Grace?
The supreme Power has descended into the most material consciousness but it has stood there behind the density of the physical veil demanding before manifestation, before its great open workings can begin, that the conditions of the supreme Grace shall be there, real and effective. And the first condition is that the Truth shall be accepted within you entirely and without reserve before it can be manifested in the material being and Nature.
A total surrender, an exclusive self-opening to the divine influence, a constant and integral choice of the Truth and rejection of the falsehood, these are the only conditions made. But these must be fulfilled entirely, without reserve, without any evasion or pretence, simply and sincerely down to the most physical consciousness and its workings. 
Say―"I have received his Grace: I must be worthy of it", and then all will be well. 
Let us offer our will to the Divine Grace; it is the Grace that accomplishes all. 
The Grace is always there, eternally present and active, but Sri Aurobindo says that it is extremely difficult for us to be in a condition to receive it, keep it and make use of what it gives us. 
In the final analysis everything really depends on the Divine Grace and we should look at the future with confidence and serenity, progressing at the same time as quickly as we can. 
By Being Aware of the Workings of the Divine Grace
It is not indispensable that the Grace should work in a way that the human mind can understand, it generally doesn't: it works in its own "mysterious" way. At first usually it works behind the veil, preparing things, not manifesting. Afterwards it may manifest, but the sadhak does not understand very well what is happening. Finally, when he is capable of it, he both feels and understands or at least begins to do so. Some feel and understand from the first or very early; but that is not the ordinary case. 
People are not aware of the workings of Grace except when there has been some danger, that is, when there has been the beginning of an accident or the accident has taken place and they have escaped it. Then they become aware. But never are they aware that if, for instance, a journey or anything whatever, passes without any accident, it is an infinitely higher Grace. That is, the harmony is established in such a way that nothing can happen. But that seems to them quite natural. When people are ill and get well quickly, they are full of gratitude; but never do they think of being grateful when they are well; and yet that is a much greater miracle! 
When you are in a particular set of circumstances and certain events take place, these events often oppose your desire or what seems best to you, and often you happen to regret this and say to yourself, "Ah! how good it would have been if it were otherwise, if it had been like this or like that", for little things and big things.... Then years pass by, events are unfolded; you progress, become more conscious, understand better, and when you look back, you notice―first with astonishment, then later with a smile―that those very circumstances which seemed to you quite disastrous or unfavourable, were exactly the best thing that could have happened to you to make you progress as you should have. And if you are the least bit wise you tell yourself, "Truly, the divine Grace is infinite."
So, when this sort of thing has happened to you a number of times, you begin to understand that in spite of the blindness of man and deceptive appearances, the Grace is at work everywhere, so that at every moment it is the best possible thing that happens in the state the world is in at that moment. It is because our vision is limited or even because we are blinded by our own preferences that we cannot discern that things are like this.
But when one begins to see it, one enters upon a state of wonder which nothing can describe. For behind the appearances one perceives this Grace―infinite, wonderful, all-powerful―which knows all, organises all, arranges all, and leads us, whether we like it or not, whether we know it or not, towards the supreme goal, that is, union with the Divine, the awareness of the Godhead and union with Him.
Then one lives in the Action and Presence of the Grace a life full of joy, of wonder, with the feeling of a marvellous strength, and at the same time with a trust so calm, so complete, that nothing can shake it any longer.
And when one is in this state of perfect receptivity and perfect adherence, one diminishes to that extent the resistance of the world to the divine Action; consequently, this is the best collaboration one can bring to the Action of the Divine. One understands what He wants. 
People believe that the Grace means making everything smooth for all your life. It is not true.
The Grace works for the realisation of your aspiration and everything is arranged to gain the most prompt, the quickest realisation. 
Q. Does the intervention of the Grace come through a call?
A: When one calls? I think so. Anyway, not exclusively and solely. But certainly, yes, if one has faith in the Grace and an aspiration and if one does what a little child would when it runs to its mother and says: "Mamma, give me this", if one calls with that simplicity, if one turns to the Grace and says "Give me this", I believe it listens. Unless one asks for something that is not good for one, then it does not listen. If one asks from it something that does harm or is not favourable, it does not listen.  We must learn to rely only on the Divine Grace and to call for its help in all circumstances; then it will work out constant miracles. 
The Grace is always with you; concentrate in your heart with a silent mind and you are sure also to receive the guidance and the help you aspire for. 
Q. But, Mother, when one prays sincerely for the intervention of the Grace, doesn't one expect a particular result?
A: Excuse me, that depends on the tenor of the prayer. If one simply invokes the Grace or the Divine, and puts oneself in His hands, one does not expect a particular result. To expect a particular result one must formulate one's prayer, must ask for something. If you have only a great aspiration for the divine Grace and evoke it, implore it, without asking it for anything precise, it is the Grace which will choose what it will do for you, not you. 
No one is fit—for all human beings are full of faults and incapacities—even the greatest sadhaks are not free. It is a question only of aspiration, of believing in the divine Grace and letting the Divine work in you, not making a refusal. 
However a man may stumble, the Divine Grace will be there so long as he aspires for it and in the end lead him through. 
The Grace is equally for all. But each one receives it according to his sincerity. It does not depend on outward circumstances but on a sincere aspiration and openness. 
It is not that [yoga relying on tapasya], but the soul's demand for a higher Truth or a higher life that is indispensable. Where that is, the Divine Grace whether believed in or not, will intervene. If you believe, that hastens and facilitates things; if you cannot yet believe, still the soul's aspiration will justify itself with whatever difficulty and struggle. 
And then, if you become aware that it is only the Grace which can do that, that the situation in which you find yourself, from there the Grace alone can pull you out, can give you the solution and the strength to come out of it, then, quite naturally an intense aspiration awakes in you, a consciousness which is translated into an opening. If you call, aspire, and if you hope to get an answer, you will quite naturally open yourself to the Grace. 
Do not allow these [of unfitness] ideas to gain on you or even to occupy your mind. It is not by their merit or their effort or the capacity they show that men advance in the spiritual path, but by their opening to the divine help and grace. For that you must have the confidence that whatever your own weakness, the grace will not fail you. 
It is quite true that it [a great wave (or sea) of calm and the constant consciousness of a vast and luminous Reality] is a grace sent and the only return needed for such a grace is acceptance, gratitude and to allow the Power that has touched the consciousness to develop what has to be developed in the being—by keeping oneself open to it. 
To practise Yoga implies the will to overcome all attachments and turn to the Divine alone. The principal thing in the Yoga is to trust in the Divine Grace at every step, to direct the thought continually to the Divine and to offer oneself till the being opens and the Mother's force can be felt working in the Adhara. 
By Faith and Trust
The Grace is always there ready to act but you must let it work and not resist its action. The one condition required is faith. 
"At the very moment when everything seems to go from bad to worse, it is then that we must make a supreme act of faith and know that the Grace will never fail us." 
The Grace will never fail us―such is the faith we must keep constantly in our heart. 
...even if one has no knowledge at all but has trust in the divine Grace, if one has the faith that there is something in the world like the divine Grace, and that this something can answer a prayer, an aspiration, an invocation, then, after making one's mental formation, if one offers it to the Grace and puts one's trust in it, asks it to intervene and has the faith that it will intervene, then indeed one has a chance of success. 
Put your trust in the grace of the One and Divine which has already touched you and opened its door and rely on it for all that is to come. 
Faith is certainly a gift given to us by the Divine Grace. It is like a door suddenly opening upon an eternal truth, through which we can see it, almost touch it. As in everything else in the ascent of humanity, there is the necessity—especially at the beginning—of personal effort. It is possible that in some exceptional circumstances, for reasons which completely elude our intelligence, faith may come almost accidentally, quite unexpectedly, almost without ever having been solicited, but most frequently it is an answer to a yearning, a need, an aspiration, something in the being that is seeking and longing, even though not in a very conscious and systematic way. But in any case, when faith has been granted, when one has had this sudden inner illumination, in order to preserve it constantly in the active consciousness individual effort is altogether indispensable. One must hold on to one's faith, will one's faith; one must seek it, cultivate it, protect it. 
If one has within him faith in the divine grace, that the divine grace is watching over him, and that no matter what happens the divine grace is there, watching over him, one may keep this faith all one's life and always; and with this one can pass through all dangers, face all difficulties, and nothing stirs, for you have the faith and the divine grace is with you. It is an infinitely stronger, more conscious, more lasting force which does not depend upon the conditions of your physical build, does not depend upon anything except the divine grace alone, and hence it leans on the Truth and nothing can shake it. 
It is when all seems lost that all can be saved. When you have lost confidence in your personal power, then you should have faith in the Divine Grace. 
What is necessary is not to listen to what resists, not to believe what contradicts—to have trust, a real trust, a confidence which makes you give yourself fully without calculating, without bargaining. Trust! The trust that says, "Do this, do this for me, I leave it to You." 
Have an absolute trust in the Grace, set aside your little personality and allow the Grace to act; it will make you do what is needed and everything will be all right. 
It is in proportion to our trust in the Divine that the Divine Grace can act for us and help. 
The Grace and the help are always there for all who aspire for them and their power is limitless when received with faith and confidence. 
It is only by remaining perfectly peaceful and calm with an unshakable confidence and faith in the Divine Grace that you will allow circumstances to be as good as they can be. The very best happens always to those who have put their entire trust in the Divine and in the Divine alone. 
For the Grace to have a perfect and total result of its action, the faith must be total and perfect. 
By Shedding the Ego
The true spiritual or psychic vision is this, "Whatever I may be, my soul is a child of the Divine and must reach the Divine sooner or later. I am imperfect but seek after the perfection of the Divine in me and that not I but the Divine Grace will bring about; if I keep to that, the Divine Grace itself will do all." The "I" has to take its proper place here as a small portion and instrument of the Divine, something that is nothing without the Divine but with the Grace can be everything that the Divine wishes it to be. 
How many blows are needed in life for one to know to the very depths that one is nothing, that one can do nothing that one does not exist, that one is nothing, that there is no entity without the divine Consciousness and the Grace. From the moment one knows it, it is over; all the difficulties have gone. 
It's narrowness of consciousness, it's division. When you let things work on their own, there's... there's EVERYWHERE a Consciousness and a Grace that do EVERYTHING so that EVERYTHING may go smoothly, and that imbecility is what constantly upsets everything—oddly enough! Self-centered imbecility, that's right: what Sri Aurobindo called "the old man." 
The psychic does not demand or desire; it aspires; it does not make conditions for its surrender or withdraw if its aspiration is not immediately satisfied—for the psychic has complete trust in the Divine or in the guru and can wait for the right time or the hour of the divine grace. 
By Not Insisting on the Grace
After all, one has not a right to call on the Divine to manifest himself; it can come only as a response to a spiritual or psychic state of consciousness or to a long course of sadhana rightly done; or, if it comes before that or without any apparent reason, it is a grace; but one cannot demand or compel grace; grace is something spontaneous which wells out from the Divine Consciousness as a free flower of its being. The bhakta looks for it, but he is ready to wait in perfect reliance, even if need be all his life, knowing that it will come, never varying in his love and surrender because it does not come now or soon. 
Your thesis was, "Once I want God, God must manifest to me, come to me, at least give glimpses of himself to me, the real solid concrete experiences, not mere vague things which I can't understand or value. God's Grace must answer my call for it, whether I yet deserve it or not—or else there is no Grace." God's Grace may indeed do that in certain cases, but where does the "must" come in? If God must do it, it is no longer God's Grace, but God's duty or an obligation or a contract or a treaty. The Divine looks into the heart and removes the veil at the moment which he knows to be the right moment to do it. 
Grace may sometimes bring undeserved or apparently undeserved fruits, but one can't demand Grace as a right and privilege—for then it would not be Grace. As you have seen one can't claim that one has only to shout and the answer must come. Besides I have always seen that there has been really a long unobserved preparation before the Grace intervenes and, also, after it has intervened one has still to put in a good deal of work to keep and develop what one has got—as it is in all other things—until there is the complete siddhi. 
"But whatever you ask for or whatever your effort, you must feel, even while trying your best, using knowledge or putting forth power that the result depends upon the Divine Grace." 
By Being Grateful
Gratitude: it is you who open all the closed doors and let the Grace which saves penetrate deeply. 
Gratitude A loving recognition of the Grace received from the Divine. 
...to be grateful, never to forget this wonderful Grace of the Supreme who leads each one to his divine goal by the shortest ways, in spite of himself, his ignorance and misunderstanding, in spite of the ego, its protests and its revolts. 
The best possible way is to allow the Divine Grace to work in you, never to oppose it, never to be ungrateful and turn against it—but to follow it always to the goal of Light and Peace and unity and Ananda. 
And later—you must pay great attention to this (Mother puts her finger on her lips)—the Grace will answer you, the Grace will pull you out of the trouble, the Grace will give you the solution to your problem or will help you to get out of your difficulty. But once you are free from trouble and have come out of your difficulty, don't forget that it is the Grace which pulled you out, and don't think it is yourself. For this, indeed, is the important point. 
One must have a great purity and a great intensity in one’s self-giving, and that absolute trust in the supreme wisdom of the divine Grace, that It knows better than we do what is good for us, and all that. Then if one offers one’s aspiration to It, truly gives it with enough intensity, the results are marvellous. But one must know how to see them, for when things are realised most people find it absolutely natural, they don’t even see why and how it has happened, and they tell themselves, “Yes, naturally it had to be like that.” So they lose the joy of... the joy of gratitude, because, in the last analysis, if one can be filled with gratitude and thanksgiving for the divine Grace, it puts the finishing touch, and at each step one comes to see that things are exactly what they had to be and the best that could be. 
All discoveries are always graces—wonderful graces. When you discover that you can't do anything, when you discover that you are a fool, when you discover that you have no capacity, when you discover that you are so petty and mean and stupid, well... "Oh, Lord, I thank You so much, how good You are to show me all this!" And then, it's over. Because the minute you discover it, you say, "Now this is up to You. You will do what has to be done for all this to change." And the best part of it is that it does change! It does change. When you do like this (gesture of offering to the Heights), sincerely: "Oh, take it, take it, take it, rid me of it, let me be... only You"... It's wonderful. 
Right use of the granted Grace: no deformation, no diminution, no exaggeration―a clear sincerity. 
Q. What is the way to accept the Grace with gratitude?
A:Ah! First of all you must feel the need for it.
This is the most important point. It is to have a certain inner humility which makes you aware of your helplessness without the Grace, that truly, without it you are incomplete and powerless.
An absolute faith and trust in the Grace is, in the last analysis, the Supreme Wisdom. 
How to Walk the Path of Sadhana?
The closer you come to the Divine, the more you live under a shower of overwhelming evidence of His immeasurable Grace. 
Psychic life in the universe is a work of the divine Grace. Psychic growth is a work of the divine Grace and the ultimate power of the psychic being over the physical-being will also be a result of the divine Grace. And the mind, if it wants to be at all useful, has only to remain very quiet, as quiet as it can, because if it meddles in it, it is sure to spoil everything. 
The divine Consciousness works always, everywhere and in the same way. The divine Grace is active everywhere, and in all circumstances in the same way. And so on. But according to your personal attitude, you create within yourself the conditions for receiving what is done or not receiving it. And trust—indeed, trust in the Truth, trust in the Grace, trust in the divine Knowledge—this puts you in that state of receptivity in which you can receive these things. 
By Reliance on the Divine Grace
There is nobody who can go on in his own strength or by right of his fitness to the goal of the sadhana. It is only by the Divine Grace and reliance on the Divine Grace that it can be done. It is in a strength greater than your own that you must put your first and last reliance. If your faith falters you have to call on that to sustain you; if your force is insufficient against the ill-will and opposition that surround you, open yourself to receive that force in its place. 
To be absolutely sincere, straightforward, open, is not an easy achievement for human nature. It is only by spiritual endeavour that one can realise it—and to do it needs a severity of introspective self-vision, an unsparing scrutiny of self-observation of which many sadhaks or Yogins even are not capable and it is only by an illumining Grace that reveals the sadhak to himself and transforms what is deficient in him that it can be done. And even then only if he himself consents and lends himself wholly to the divine working. 
It is in action, in effort, in the march forward that repose must be found, the true repose of complete trust in the divine Grace, of the absence of desires, of victory over egoism. 
And once you have seen this, you feel you are never equal to it, for you should never forget it, never have any fears, any anguish, any regrets, any recoils... or even suffering. If one were in union with this Grace, if one saw It everywhere, one would begin living a life of exultation, of all-power, of infinite happiness. 
One cannot be perfect in discrimination at once or in rejection either. The one indispensable thing is to go on trying sincerely till there comes the full success. So long as there is complete sincerity, the Divine Grace will be there and assist at every moment on the way. 
Everything should be for the sake of the Divine, this [aspiration for the Divine's Presence] also. As for leaving the result to the Divine, it depends on what you mean by the phrase. If it implies dependence on the Divine Grace and equanimity and patience in the persistent aspiration, then it is all right. But it must not be extended to cover slackness and indifference in the aspiration and endeavour. 
I ask you to have faith in the Divine, in the Divine Grace, in the truth of the sadhana, in the eventual triumph of the spirit over its mental and vital and physical difficulties, in the Path and the Guru, in the existence of things...
No sadhak can reach the supermind by his own efforts and the effort to do it by personal tapasya has been the source of many mishaps. One has to go quietly stage by stage until the being is ready and even then it is only the Grace that can bring the real supramental change. 
Q. With the touch of the divine Grace, how do difficulties become opportunities for progress?
A: Opportunities for progress? Yes! Well, this is something quite obvious. You have made a big mistake, you are in great difficulty: then, if you have faith, if you have trust in the divine Grace, if you really rely on It, you will suddenly realise that it is a lesson, that your difficulty or mistake is nothing else but a lesson and that it comes to teach you to find within yourself what needs to be changed, and with this help of the divine Grace you will discover in yourself what has to be changed. And you will change it. And so, from a difficulty you will have made great progress, taken a considerable leap forward. 
The Grace is something that pushes you towards the goal to be attained. Do not try to judge it by your mind, you will not get anywhere, because it is something formidable which is not explained through human words or feelings. When the Grace acts, the result may or may not be pleasant―it takes no account of any human value, it may even be a catastrophe from the ordinary and superficial point of view. But it is always the best for the individual. It is a blow that the Divine sends so that progress may be made by leaps and bounds. The Grace is that which makes you march swiftly towards the realisation. 
For those who have given themselves to the Divine each difficulty that confronts them is the assurance of a new progress and thus must be taken as a gift from the Grace. 
Later—much later—one day, looking back, we may see that everything that happened, even what seemed to us the worst, was a Divine Grace to make us advance on the way...
All depends on what you want. If you want Yoga, take all that happens as the expression of the Divine Grace leading you towards your goal, and try to understand the lesson that circumstances give. 
It is certain that for someone who has desires, when his desires are not satisfied, it is a sign that the Divine Grace is with him and wants, through experience, to make him progress rapidly, by teaching him that a willing and spontaneous surrender to the Divine Will is a much surer way to be happy in peace and light than the satisfaction of any desire.  [Based on Aphorism 175 – Because a good man dies or fails and the evil live and triumph, is God therefore evil? I do not see the logic of the consequence. I must first be convinced that death and failure are evil; I sometimes think that when they come, they are our supreme momentary good. But we are the fools of our hearts and nerves and argue that what they do not like or desire, must of course be an evil! ]
When the Grace acts on the individual, it gives to each the maximum position according to what he is and what he has realized. And then, there is a super-grace, as it were, which works in a few exceptional cases, which places you not according to what you are but according to what you are to become, which means that the universal cosmic position is ahead of the individual's progress. And it is then that you should keep silent and fall on your knees. 
Leave all care to the Divine's Grace, including your progress, and you will be in peace. 
Let us give ourselves without reserve to the Divine, so best shall we receive the Divine Grace. 
Bhakti in its fullness is nothing but an entire self-giving...Then all meditation, all tapasya, all means of prayer or mantra must have that as its end and it is when one has progressed sufficiently in that that the Divine Grace descends and the realisation comes and develops till it is complete. But the moment of its advent is chosen by the wisdom of the Divine alone and one must have the strength to go on till it arrives; for when all is truly ready it cannot fail to come. 
If you have had even a second's contact with the Grace—that marvellous Grace which carries you along, speeds you on the path, even makes you forget that you have to hurry—if you have had only a second's contact with that, then you can strive not to forget. And with the candour of a child, the simplicity of a child for whom there are no complications, give yourself to that Grace and let it do everything. 
It is never to lose the idea of the total self-giving to the Grace which is the expression of the Supreme. When one gives oneself, when one surrenders, entrusts oneself entirely to That which is above, beyond all creation, and when, instead of seeking any personal advantage from the experience, one makes an offering of it to the divine Grace and knows that it is from This that the experience comes and that it is to This that the result of the experience must be given back, then one is quite safe.
In other words: no ambition, no vanity, no pride. A sincere self-giving, a sincere humility, and one is sheltered from all danger. There you are, this is what I call being greater than one's experience. 
In any case, the only thing which is really effective is to will what the Divine wills, and to keep an unshakable confidence in the supreme compassion of the Divine Grace, for through that it is always the best that happens; not the best according to human ideas but the best according to the supreme Truth. 
And there is no other remedy. It's the only remedy, for everybody without exception. To all those who suffer, it is the same thing that has to be said: all suffering is the sign that the surrender is not total. Then, when you feel in you a "bang", like that, instead of saying, "Oh, this is bad" or "This circumstance is difficult," you say, "My surrender is not perfect." Then it's all right. And then you feel the Grace that helps you and leads you, and you go on. 
Therefore, says the Teacher [Sri Krishna in the Gita], "devoting all thyself to me, giving up in thy conscious mind all thy actions into Me, resorting to Yoga of the will and intelligence be always one in heart and consciousness with Me. If thou art that at all times, then by my grace thou shalt pass safe through all difficult and perilous passages; but if from egoism thou hear not, thou shalt fall into perdition. Vain is this thy resolve, that in thy egoism thou thinkest, saying 'I will not fight'; thy nature shall appoint thee to thy work. What from delusion thou desirest not to do, that helplessly thou shalt do bound by thy own work born of thy swabhava. The Lord is stationed in the heart of all existences, O Arjuna, and turns them all round and round mounted on a machine by his Maya. In him take refuge in every way of thy being and by his grace thou shalt come to the supreme peace and the eternal status." 
It is only by remaining perfectly peaceful and calm with an unshakable confidence and faith in the Divine Grace that you will allow circumstances to be as good as they can be. 
Keep a cool head, strong and very quiet nerves, and a complete trust in the Divine Grace. 
Whatever happens we must remain quiet and trust the Divine's Grace. 
Nothing can be compared to the peace that comes from a total trust in the Grace. 
How Not to Distance from the Divine Grace
But it is not the Grace that recedes, it is he himself who pushes It away, that is, he has put a distance between himself and the Grace. In fact, even "pushing away" doesn't give the correct picture... In one case, you see, he has taken this particular attitude, but the phenomenon is the same; that is, there is a kind of psychological distance created between the Grace and the individual. And due to this psychological distance the individual cannot receive the Grace and feels that It is not there. But It is there, in fact; only, as he has established this distance between the two, he doesn't feel It any longer. This is the real phenomenon. It isn't that the Grace goes away, it isn't even that he has the power to push It away, for if It doesn't want to go, no matter how much he tries, It won't go. But he makes himself incapable of feeling It and receiving its effect. He creates a psychological barrier between himself and the Grace. 
Our senses can discover no visible presence of the Divine, our intellect can do without any idea of its intervention—but it is another experience than that of the intellect and the senses which once it is there will no longer let us escape from the Presence or refuse to see the intervening Will or Grace. 
Strictly speaking, the Grace does not withdraw; people make it impossible for themselves to receive it. But you have only to take the right attitude and keep it, so that the Grace can once more do its saving work. 
Here, for each work given, the full strength and Grace are always given at the same time to do the work as it has to be done. If you do not feel the strength and the Grace it proves that there is some mistake in your attitude. The faith is lacking or you have fallen back on old tracks and old creeds and thus you lose all receptivity. 
By Overcoming Obstacles
Vital difficulties are the common lot of every human being and of every sadhak—they are to be met with a quiet determination and confidence in the Divine’s Grace. 
The Divine Grace and Power can do everything, but with the full assent of the sadhak. To learn to give that full assent is the whole meaning of the sadhana. It may take time either because of ideas in the mind, desires in the vital or inertia in the physical consciousness, but these things have to be and can be removed with the aid or by calling in the action of the Divine Force. 
There is no reason why suffering should be indispensable for making progress. You bring the suffering on yourself by the wrong ideas of the mind and by the revolts of the vital. The Mother's grace and love are there, but the mind refuses to recognise it. If there is confidence, if the mind and vital consent to surrender and have full faith and reliance, then there may be difficulties but there is no suffering. 
Face all these [inner disturbances] things quietly and firmly with perseverance in the endeavour of the sadhana. Trust firmly in the Divine Grace and the Divine Grace will not fail you. 
You must realise that these moods are attacks which should be rejected at once—for they repose on nothing but suggestions of self-distrust and incapacity which have no meaning, since it is by the Grace of the Divine and the aid of a Force greater than your own, not by personal capacity and worth that you can attain the goal of the sadhana. You have to remember that and dissociate yourself from these suggestions when they come, never accept or yield to them. 
All the circumstances of life are arranged to teach us that, beyond mind, faith in the Divine Grace gives us the strength to go through all trials, to overcome all weaknesses and find the contact with the Divine Consciousness which gives us not only peace and joy but also physical balance and good health. [Based on Aphorism 382—For nearly forty years behind the wholly good I was weakly in constitution; I suffered constantly from the smaller and the greater ailments and mistook this curse for a burden that Nature had laid upon me. When I renounced the aid of medicines, then they began to depart from me like disappointed parasites. Then only I understood what a mighty force was the natural health within me and how much mightier yet the Will and Faith exceeding mind which God meant to be the divine support of our life in this body.]
Q. In the present growing conflict what should be our attitude?
A: Faith and total confidence in the Divine's Grace. 
The grace and protection are always with you. When in any inner or outer difficulty or trouble do not allow it to oppress you; take refuge with the Divine Force that protects. If you do that always with faith and sincerity, you will find something opening in you which will always remain calm and peaceful in spite of all superficial disturbances. 
You answer to all the contrary forces, the contrary movements, the attacks, the misunderstandings, the bad wills, with the same smile that comes from full confidence in the Divine Grace. And that is the only way out, there is no other. 
...it is this attitude; if you can tell yourself, "Good, perhaps the divine Grace deserves our confidence", simply this, nothing else, you will avoid many difficulties, many. In fact this avoids many difficulties even in ordinary life, and many worries. And particularly here, if you can do that, well, you will see things which seemed formidably difficult dissolving suddenly like clouds.
When, in your life, you meet with a hardship, take it as a Grace from the Lord and, indeed, it will become so. 
...the lack of faith of the human mind brings complications and pain where with a quiet faith in the Divine Guidance all could be very simple and easy. 
The only question is whether there is something behind all the anomalies of life which can respond to the call and open itself with whatever difficulty till it is ready for the illumination of the Divine Grace—and that something must be not a mental and vital movement but an inner somewhat which can well be seen by the inner eye. If it is there and when it becomes active in front, then the Compassion can act, though the full action of the Grace may still wait attending the decisive decision or change; for this may be postponed to a future hour, because some portion or element of the being may still come between, something that is not yet ready to receive. 
If men had an absolute faith in the healing power of Grace, they would perhaps avoid many illnesses. 
Q. Are illnesses tests in the Yoga?
A: Tests? Not at all.
You are given an illness purposely to make you progress? Surely it is not like that. Actually, you may turn the thing round and say that there are people whose aspiration is so constant, whose goodwill so total that whatever happens to them they take as a trial on the path to make progress. I knew people who, whenever they fell ill, took that as a proof of the Divine Grace to help them to progress. They told themselves: it is a good sign, I am going to find out the cause of my illness and I shall make the necessary progress. I knew a few of this kind and they moved on magnificently. There are others, on the contrary, who, far from making use of the thing, let themselves fall flat on the ground. So much the worse for them. But the true attitude when one is ill, is to say: "There is something that is not all right; I am going to see what it is." You must never think that the Divine has purposely sent an illness, for that would truly be a very wicked Divine! 
Have faith. There is no disease which cannot be cured by the Divine Grace. 
The only thing I can suggest about diseases is to call down peace. Keep the mind away from the body by whatever means—whether by reading Sri Aurobindo's books or meditation. It is in this state that the Grace acts. And it is the Grace alone that cures. The medicines only give a faith to the body. 
When physical disorder comes, one must not be afraid; one must not run away from it, must face it with courage, calmness, confidence, with the certitude that illness is a falsehood and that if one turns entirely, in full confidence, with a complete quietude to the divine grace, it will settle in these cells as it establishes itself in the depths of the being, and the cells themselves will share in the eternal Truth and Delight. 
I aspire for Your Grace to come and lift me from the ordinary consciousness to the spiritual consciousness.
For the Grace to help you, you must fulfil the conditions, and the very first condition is to reject all doubt, however slight. I repeat again: you would do well to read once more, carefully and attentively, the first two chapters of The Mother. 
One is either conscious of the power or peace or other force (light, ananda, knowledge, movements of the divine working) or, if not conscious of that, is aware of the results—either of these things is sufficient to show that one is open. To feel the grace descending and yet doubt whether it is not a vital imagination is a folly of the physical mind; a spiritual experience must be accepted as it is; if one questions at every moment whether an experience is an experience or Grace is grace or peace is peace or light is light, one will spend all the time in these useless and fantastic doubts instead of making a quiet and natural progress. 
But the supreme Grace will act only in the conditions of the Light and the Truth; it will not act in conditions laid upon it by the Falsehood and the Ignorance. For if it were to yield to the demands of the Falsehood, it would defeat its own purpose. 
If behind your devotion and surrender you make a cover for your desires, egoistic demands and vital insistences, if you put these things in place of the true aspiration or mix them with it and try to impose them on the Divine Shakti, then it is idle to invoke the divine Grace to transform you. 
Q. What does the defeat of its own purpose mean?
A: Yes. This means that it would be going against its work, its own work. The Grace has come; well, it works for the realisation of the truth. If it accepts the conditions laid upon it by the falsehood, it can no longer do anything. Of this, you know, I could give you countless examples—of people who insist that things should happen in a particular way as far as they are concerned. They implore, at times even demand that things should be like that; and what they ask for is absolutely contrary to the truth; and if the Grace obeyed their demand, it would go against its own purpose and defeat its own purpose, that is, it would go against its own work and aim. It comes here to realise the truth; if it obeys the falsehood, it turns its back on truth. And people, you see, very often put the cart before the horse—most often through ignorance and stupidity; but sometimes it is also through bad will that they insist on having their conditions fulfilled, that they go in for a kind of bargaining in exchange for their surrender, and they do it.... Yes, many do it unconsciously—I said through ignorance and stupidity. There are others who do it consciously, and so they want their conditions fulfilled. They say, "If it is like this and like that..." And finally they go as far as to say to the Divine, "If you are like this and like that, if you fulfil the conditions I lay down for you, I shall obey you!" They don't put it in this way because that would be too ridiculous, but they almost constantly do it. You see, they say, "Oh, the Divine is like this. The Divine does this. The Divine must respond like this." And they continue in this way, and they are not aware that they are quite simply imposing their conceptions and also their desires on what the Divine ought to be and do. And so, when the Divine does not do what they want or does not fulfil the conditions they lay down, they say, "You are not the Divine!" (Laughter) It is very simple. "You do not fulfil the conditions I lay down, so you are not the Divine!" But they do it constantly, you know. So, naturally, if to please people, the Divine Grace were to submit to their demands, it would be working entirely against its own purpose and would destroy its own Work. 
If you open yourself on one side or in one part to the Truth and on another side are constantly opening the gates to hostile forces, it is vain to expect that the divine Grace will abide with you. You must keep the temple clean if you wish to instal there the living Presence.
If each time the Power intervenes and brings in the Truth, you turn your back on it and call in again the falsehood that has been expelled, it is not the divine Grace that you must blame for failing you, but the falsity of your own will and the imperfection of your own surrender.
If you call for the Truth and yet something in you chooses what is false, ignorant and undivine or even simply is unwilling to reject it altogether, then always you will be open to attack and the Grace will recede from you. 
Insincerity seems to be an incurable defect which nullifies the working of the Grace in a being. 
This is the common idea One says, "God has rejected me", you know. It is not that. You may not be able to feel the Grace, but It will always be there, even with the worst of sinners, even with the worst of criminals, to help him to change, to be cured of his crime and sin if he wants to be. It won't reject him, but It won't help him to do evil. It wouldn't be the Grace any longer. 
Living in Grace
If it is the general compassion and grace of the Guru, that, one would think, is always there on the disciple; his acceptance itself is an act of grace and the help is there for the disciple to receive. But the touch of grace, divine grace coming directly or through the Guru is a special phenomenon having two sides to it,—the grace of the Guru or the Divine, in fact both together, on one side and a "state of grace" in the disciple on the other. This "state of grace" is often prepared by a long tapasya or purification in which nothing decisive seems to happen, only touches or glimpses or passing experiences at the most, and it comes suddenly without warning. If this is what is spoken of in Ramakrishna's ["With the Guru's grace all difficulties can disappear in a flash, even as age long darkness does the moment you strike a match."] saying, then it is true that when it comes, the fundamental difficulties can in a moment and generally do disappear. Or at the very least something happens which makes the rest of the sadhana—however long it may take—sure and secure. 
The Guru's touch or grace may open something, but the difficulties have always to be worked out still. What is true is that if there is complete surrender which implies the prominence of the psychic, these difficulties are no longer felt as a burden or obstacle but only as superficial imperfections which the working of the grace will remove. 
It is not the human defects of the Guru that can stand in the way when there is the psychic opening, confidence and surrender. The Guru is the channel or the representative or the manifestation of the Divine, according to the measure of his personality or his attainment; but whatever he is, it is to the Divine that one opens in opening to him, and if something is determined by the power of the channel, more is determined by the inherent and intrinsic attitude of the receiving consciousness, an element that comes out in the surface mind as simple trust or direct unconditional self-giving, and once that is there, the essential things can be gained even from one who seems to others than the disciple an inferior spiritual source and the rest will grow up in the sadhak of itself by the Grace of the Divine, even if the human being in the Guru cannot give it. 
The Grace of Krishna consists for him [devotee] in Krishna's very lovableness, in his showing of himself to the devotee, in his call, the cry of his flute. That is enough for the heart or, if there is anything more, it is the yearning that others or all may hear the flute, see the face, feel all the beauty and rapture of this love. 
Krishna's Grace calls whom it wills to call without any determining reason for the choice or rejection, his mercy or his withholding or at least delaying of his mercy, or else he calls the hearts that are ready to vibrate and leap up at his call—and even there he waits till the moment has come. To say that it does not depend on outward merit or appearance of fitness is no doubt true; the something that was ready to wake in spite, it may be, of many hard layers in which it was enclosed, may be something visible to Krishna and not to us. It was there perhaps long before the flute began to play, but he was busy melting the hard layers so that the heart in its leap might not be pressed back by them when the awakening notes came. The Gopis heard and rushed out into the forest—the others did not—or did they think it was only some rustic music or some rude cowherd lover fluting to his sweetheart, not a call that learned and cultured or virtuous ears could recognise as the call of the Divine? 
Nothing can be more positive than the Gita's statement in this matter. "And by doing also all actions always lodged in Me he attains by my grace the eternal and imperishable status." This liberating action is of the character of works done in a profound union of the will and all the dynamic parts of our nature with the Divine in ourself and the cosmos. 
Who is worthy or unworthy in front of the Divine Grace?
All are children of the one and the same Mother.
Her love is equally spread over all of them.
But to each one She gives according to his nature and receptivity. 
The Mother's grace is there always; open yourself to it in quietude and confidence. 
Q. Is the Mother's Grace always general?
A: Both general and special. 
Q. Do calm and equality come down from above by the Mother's Grace?
A: When they descend, it is by the soul's aspiration and the Mother's grace.
Q. Can it be believed that the Mother's Grace is acting even when the difficulties do not disappear?
A: In that case everybody might say that all my difficulties must disappear at once, I must attain to perfection immediately and without difficulties, otherwise it proves that the Mother's Grace is not with me.
No sadhak ought ever to indulge thoughts of unfitness and hopelessness—they are quite irrelevant because it is not one's personal fitness and worthiness that makes one succeed, but the Mother's grace and power and the consent of the soul to her grace and the workings of her Force. 
The grace of the Mother does not withdraw; open yourself and you will feel it. 
...a strong will to purification and an aspiration that does not flag and cease, if the Mother's grace is to be there and effective. 
The effort demanded of the sadhak is that of aspiration, rejection and surrender. If these three are done, the rest is to come of itself by the grace of the Mother and the working of her force in you. But of the three the most important is surrender of which the first necessary form is trust and confidence and patience in difficulty. 
Q. Is there any law of the working of the Mother's Grace?
A: The more one develops the psychic, the more is it possible for the Grace to act. 
On the whole aspire for the growth of the psychic and its control of the rest of the nature and for the opening, not to a larger vital consciousness, but to the higher consciousness above. And at all stages open yourself to the protection of the Mother and her grace and call on that for your safeguard and your guidance. 
To walk through life armoured against all fear, peril and disaster, only two things are needed, two that go always together—the Grace of the Divine Mother and on your side an inner state made up of faith, sincerity and surrender. 
The forces [adverse forces] can always be there so long as there is not the transformation of the whole nature. They manifest themselves whenever they can. But if the Presence of the Mother can always be felt vividly and continuously, then one need not be troubled by their endeavours; one can face and repel them in the full consciousness of the Mother's grace and protection. 
...opening yourself at the same time to the Mother in your work, you would receive more constantly the grace and would come to feel her power doing the work through you; you would thus be able to live constantly with the sense of her presence. If on the contrary you allow your fancies or desires to interfere with your work or are careless and negligent, you interrupt the flow of her grace and give room for sorrow and uneasiness and other foreign forces to enter into you. Yoga through work is the easiest and most effective way to enter into the stream of this sadhana. 
The more complete your faith, sincerity and surrender, the more will grace and protection be with you. And when the grace and protection of the Divine Mother are with you, what is there that can touch you or whom need you fear? A little of it even will carry you through all difficulties, obstacles and dangers; surrounded by its full presence you can go securely on your way because it is hers, careless of all menace, unaffected by any hostility however powerful, whether from this world or from worlds invisible. Its touch can turn difficulties into opportunities, failure into success and weakness into unfaltering strength. For the grace of the Divine Mother is the sanction of the Supreme and now or tomorrow its effect is sure, a thing decreed, inevitable and irresistible. 
For when one begins to be conscious in the way you have begun and something from within raises up all that was hidden, it means that the Mother's grace is on your nature and her force is working and your inner being is aiding the Mother's force to get rid of all these things. So you must not be sorrowful or discouraged or fear anything, but look steadily at all that comes out and have the will that it should go completely and for ever. With the Mother's force working and the psychic being supporting the force, all can be done and all will surely be done. This purification is made just in order that no trouble may occur in the future such as happened to some because they were not purified—in order that the higher consciousness may come into a purified nature and the inner transformation securely take place. Go on therefore with faith and courage putting your reliance on the Mother. 
Q. When a sadhak feels the Mother's Grace coming down in him, is it by the consent of the Purusha in him?
A: What do you mean "by the consent"? The Mother's Grace comes down by the Mother's will. The Purusha can accept or reject the Grace. 
Q. Is there any law of the working of the Mother's Grace? Why does the Mother in her universal action act according to the law of things, but in her embodied physical by constant Grace?
A: It is the work of the Cosmic Power to maintain the cosmos—transforming it by a slow evolution. The greater transformation comes from the Transcendent above the universe, and it is that transcendent Grace which the embodiment of the Mother is there to bring into action. 
In her universal action the Mother acts according to the law of things—in her embodied physical action is the opportunity of a constant Grace,—it is for that that the embodiment takes place. 
The great work of the Avatar is to manifest the Divine Grace upon earth. To be a disciple of the Avatar is to become an instrument of the Divine Grace. The Mother is the great dispensatrix—through identity—of the Divine Grace with a perfect knowledge—through identity—of the absolute mechanism of Universal Justice.
And through her mediation each movement of sincere and confident aspiration towards the Divine calls down in response the intervention of the Grace.
“Who can stand before You, O Lord, and say in all sincerity: ‘I have never made a mistake’? How many times in a day we commit faults against Your work, and always Your Grace comes to efface them!
“Without the ceaseless intervention of Your Grace, who would not often times have come under the merciless blade of the Law of Universal Justice?
“Each one here represents an impossibility to be resolved, but as for Your Divine Grace all things are possible. Your work will be, in the detail as in the ensemble, the accomplishment of all the impossibilities transformed into divine realisations.” 
More On Grace
That was the experience: I saw and felt this Compassion working through the meshes of the net, and how the Grace is all-powerful, meaning that the "Law" isn't an obstacle any longer. I saw this Compassion touching everyone and giving everyone their chance; I understood what he[Sri Aurobindo] really meant when he said that it "gives everyone their chance"—equally, without the slightest distinction of importance or condition or anything, or of state: exactly the same chance to all. So then, the result of this Compassion was to awaken them to the existence of the Grace, to make them feel that there is in the universe something like the Grace. And with those who aspire and have trust, the Grace acts immediately—it always acts, but with those who have trust it becomes fully effective. 
The rain is the symbol of the descent of Grace or of the higher consciousness which is the cause of the riches—the spiritual plenty. 
This is a very great progress—to be able to receive the higher consciousness while doing external things with the physical mind and body—it shows that the physical consciousness is fast opening. What you feel is indeed the Grace coming down and bringing the higher divine or spiritual consciousness with it with all that is there. All that (peace, power, Ananda) will develop afterwards more clearly.
Remember also that although here the conditions would be more favourable, yet even at a distance the grace and help can be there with you. Only fix yourself on the goal, make the inner choice once for all firmly and completely; it is there in your soul, fix it in your mind also. Once there, fixed and unalterable, it will prevail over the difficulties of your own vital nature and the physical world's opposition, misunderstanding or reluctance. 
Q. By what puṇya of ours has the Grace granted to us, mere humans, this rare privilege of coming here at the Divine's Feet?
A:It is the call of your soul that brought you here and also some aspiration or connection with the Mother and myself in past lives. 
Q.People make all sorts of effort to have God's darshan; some even weep and weep, yet they fail to obtain it. We in the Asram don't seem to have done very much, and yet we are here with you. What has brought this about?
A:There are many things that have brought it about—a connection in past lives with the Mother and myself, the development of your nature in former births which made it possible for you to seek the Divine, bhakti in those lives bearing its fruit now—finally, the Divine Grace. 
Q. What are the signs of the coming of the Divine Grace? Does the Divine Grace take full charge of the sadhana as soon as the sadhak gives the charge? If not, when will it take full charge?
A:If he gives full charge truly and really, with an absolute sincerity of total surrender and does not come in the way of the divine Grace. How many can do that? It cannot be done by a word or by taking up a mental posture.
Calling on God to do everything and save one all the trouble and struggle is a self-deception and does not lead to freedom and perfection.
All the materialism and positivism in the world have been constructed just because people do not want the divine Grace to come in at all. If they are cured they want to say, “It is I who cured myself”; if they make a progress, they want to think, “It is I who have progressed”; if they organise something, they want to proclaim, “It is I who am organising.” And many, many of those who try to do otherwise, if they look within themselves, would see how seldom spontaneously, sincerely (not as when one says something because one knows it should be said, or as one thinks something because it is the fashion to think like that but spontaneously, sincerely, with all their heart) they knowthat it is not they who have done the thing, but the divine force. 
Because if you are sincere,once you have seen—as long as you have not seen, nothing can be said—but the moment you see is the moment when you receive the Grace, and once you have received the Grace, you no longer have the right to forget it. 
Sri Aurobindo is always with us, enlightening, guiding, protecting. We must answer to his grace by a perfect faithfulness. 
Blessings are a manifestation of the divine grace, in favour of an individual or a collectivity. 
Sanskrit words for "Grace"
Stories on Grace
Footprints in the Sand
On one beautiful night, a devotee after worshiping god went to his cozy bed for sleep. It was cold night of winter season and in his quilt he was having deep sleep. He had a very stunning dream; he dreamed that he was walking along the beautiful beach in the company of his loving God. While he was walking along the sea shore, the scenes of different incidents and situations from his life flashed one by one across the dark sky. He kept moving and watching the different stages of his life, the good times as well as bad ones.
After the last scene of life flashed before him, he looked back and noticed the footprints in the sand. For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand. One belonged to his own and the other one to his Lord. All of sudden he noticed that at many times along the path of his life; especially at the very lowest and saddest times, there was only one set of footprints.
This really disturbed him, so he asked the God about it. He asked, “God, you said once I decided to follow you, you’d walk with me all the way. But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life, there was only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why, when I needed you the most, you were not there for me.”
God laughed and after some silence whispered, “My precious child, I love you and never left you. When you were fine & healthy, I used to walk besides you. So the extra pair of footprints was visible. When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you during your tough times. Whenever you were in difficulties and problems, I was still protecting you.” 
Read Summary of Grace
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