The Grace Debate

In India, there is a long-standing debate among yogis regarding how best to obtain divine grace.

One view, which is called the monkey theory, says that a devotee must make a concentrated effort in order for grace to descend to him, just as the baby monkey clings to its mother.

The other view, called the cat theory, says that a devotee doesn’t have to make any effort at all. Rather, through the process of complete surrender, she will be carried like a kitten is carried by its mother.

Which one is correct?

It depends on whom you ask, of course.

Me?

I’m going with cat.

Wanna know a secret?

It only looks like the kitten isn’t doing anything.

Ironically, getting to a place of complete surrender requires, in many cases, years of austerity, study and practice. Or, it can take a single moment.

Regardless, at a certain point, we may realize that our attempt to capture the supreme truth by clinging just isn’t going to cut it. In Bengali, the phrase is canda dharite cahe yena hana vamana –We’re like dwarves trying to catch the moon.

Come of think of it, even a giant wouldn’t stand a chance there.

Anyway. Here’s the beauty:

The moonlight can touch the dwarf. Or the giant.

While it’s true that the finite cannot measure or contain the Infinite, it’s also true that the Infinite can reveal itself to the finite. And why not? The Infinite can do anything.

Our confidence may be lacking. Our grip may be loosening.

We needn’t worry.

Like the kitten, often the best thing we can do is trust.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………….

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Feel free to share your comments or just say helloo! I’m @TheYogaofLiving on Twitter.

Warm wishes.

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