Questioner: Namaskaram Sadhguru. I have a question about grace. I’m not sure exactly how to put it.
Sadhguru: About what?
Questioner: Yes. To me it seems to be a sort of an accidental thing. In the sense, it comes and goes according to I don’t know what really. I seem to lose it very easily once it’s there. I wondered if you could talk a little bit about grace and how it works or Like, here in the ashram it’s very easy to access or to feel it, but once you go outside it’s quite difficult to be connected to that energy or the grace. If you could talk something about that. Thank you.
Sadhguru: You’re asking me to talk about the fragrance of this flower – how to do that? Only if you have a sensitive nose (Gestures smelling) – fantastic, otherwise somebody has got their nose stuffy today (Gestures someone else to smell it) – means nothing. So, grace means nothing to a whole lot of people. It’s not that you have to think about it or you have to talk about it, it is just that only if you’re too full of yourself you can be unconscious of grace. In the sense, you don’t even have to go to school and know about planets and solar system and galaxies and stuff, just as a human being if you look up, you don’t know where this begins, where this ends. In the middle of nowhere, here you are sitting on a planet spinning and see, you’re fine. Definitely not your doing, isn’t it? Definitely you can’t do this. Whatever is holding all this up, one title for it – grace. Now, whether you’re available to it or not is the question.
If you are walking through a street which is stinking of something rotten, now if I ask you to (Gestures deep inhalation) – you want to block it (Referring to nose) and go. Because it does not mean rotten things, filth is a bad smell, there’s no such thing. It is good for many other creatures. The moment they smell something rotten they will all move in that direction. Yes or no? There is no such thing as a bad smell. What is unpleasant for us is bad for us.
My first experience of Coimbatore, I must tell you. This is 1987. So I come to Coimbatore and I happen to know a family, who was a Doctor Rajagopal, was a wonderful man. He was over seventy years of age but a very lively, nice man. And his wife, a very devout person. His daughter was a very skilled potter who had established a pottery workshop in Mysore close to where I had a farm. So because I knew her and she introduced me to her parents, I came and stayed with them for the first program in Coimbatore City.
This is a family from Kerala – they live on fish. Nothing fishy about that because it’s the coastal state, it’s a strip of land along the west coast of India, so naturally fish is the most dominant part of their diet. So he was telling me a story about a situation that happened in the family. His daughter, not the one I knew, the elder daughter, she was studying somewhere in UK and she had come home for a vacation. It happens if you’re driving sometimes towards Salem or Bangalore, there will be a truck going in front of you – it’ll suffocate you because they’re carrying dry fish. Dry fish is a certain delicacy. The fish is dried and it is prepared in a certain way, it’s a delicacy. So this girl who’s been studying in UK came home for the vacation, and that day the cook is preparing dry fish.
When they prepare dry fish, if you want your neighbors to vacate, that’s it! So a strong smell of dry fish starts from the kitchen. This girl who’s been outside the country for some time, the moment she smells it she loves it and she’s coming running from her bedroom towards the kitchen, but Doctor Rajagopal’s wife, a devout lady, she’s turned vegetarian many years ago, she can’t stand this smell! She’s running away from the kitchen. Both of them crashed and the lady broke her nose Because when I saw her she was still in a state of injury – when I inquired how this happened, the good doctor told me. He was laughing his head out. One was running away from the smell of fish, another was running for the smell of fish. So there is no real bad smell, I’m saying. It all depends what you’re aspiring for, you know?
So I’m not talking in terms of good and bad smells, but different things have different impacts on your system - there’s no question about that. Every reverberation, smell, sound, light, everything, every form is a certain kind of reverberation. You yourself are a reverberation, so you cannot be helped from being influenced by this. When we say Grace, we are not looking at a certain kind. We’re looking at that which is the basis of everything, because you do not know how this solar system is held in place, you do not know how the whole universe is held in place, you do not even know how you happened, really. How so many cells are staying together and make your life happen – you don’t really know. You have explanations and explanations, but you don’t know. If you knew, you would create one right now. If you knew exactly how, we would make it, isn’t it?
So when there is so much that you do not know, everything is still happening great, obviously it’s not an accident. So whatever is making all this happen – that energy, that force – we call it grace. But now the question is about making yourself available. If you have a stuffy nose, the flower means nothing to you. If you’re blind, light means nothing to you. If you’re insensitive, nothing means anything to you. So it is a question of becoming sensitive. Most people are ego-sensitive, they’re not life sensitive. Right now you have to be cautious about what to say and what not to say to a whole lot of people because they’re horribly ego-sensitive; for everything they will crash within themselves. First of all, you create one illusion, then you create another illusion of it falling and rising; it’s a very bad game. You must be disillusioned soon. If you’re truly disillusioned, absolutely, you will always be available to grace. If you have no illusions of your own, you will wonder about everything. How can you not wonder about everything, about your very existence? If you have no conclusions in your mind about anything, simply here, you will be soaked in Grace. Even now you are, but you cannot enjoy it unless you’re conscious, that’s all. It will not work for you because you’re not conscious. It is working for you, but still you cannot fully benefit from that.
See, it is a fact, a medically established fact, if two people eat the same food, both of them will not get the same nourishment. Exactly same food two people eat, they will not get the same level of nourishment because it depends on your ability to draw sustenance from that. All of us are in grace, but to develop the capability to draw sustenance from that so that this life becomes an expression of that grace. You know, if you have smelled this flower (Gestures) – this is typical to southern India – phenomenally fragrant – you think our garden department is pouring fragrance at the roots? No, they’re putting filth, believe me. Yes. Even if you put filth, see how fantastic it became because that’s its nature. Because it does that, we’re planting the tree, nurturing it, taking care of it, everybody’s concerned how it is growing. Suppose it was giving out a smell that was unpleasant to you, suppose it just took the filth and threw out the filth through the flower – we would have taken it out, isn’t it?
So, grace brings many benefits. Once you’re exuding grace, everybody wants to nurture it, everybody wants to promote it, everybody wants to be a part of it because you’re exuding grace. Now, the question is not at all about whether you’re in grace or not. You are, otherwise you cannot exist. The question is only about, are you exuding Grace or are you transforming this into something nasty and letting it out on everybody? If you serve a pleasant meal to two people; let me tell you a very well-known story in India. It’s a folklore, just about everybody in the country should know this story probably.
There was a sage living in a jungle, blind of vision – he has no vision, simply sitting in one place. Rarely people pass this way. When they pass this way they give him something and he lives by that - no vision. One day it so happened the king and his retinue of soldiers and ministers, whatever, they all went out hunting. In the hunt, in chasing a deer, a spotted deer, they lost their way and the king got lost, separated from the group, because, you know, the king has the fastest horse. The best one he rides, so he went away ahead of them and got lost. They were all searching, searching, they all got lost. And then the soldier came and asked the sage, “Did you see the king?” He said, “No.” Then a commander came and asked, “Did you see?” He said, “No.” Then the minister came and asked, “Did you see?” “No.”
Then the king himself came there, then the blind sage immediately recognized he’s the king, “Oh, your people have been looking for you. First your soldier came, then your commander came, then your minister came.” The king observed and saw that the person was blind and then he asked, “Oh, Divine being, how do you know that first it was a soldier, then the commander, then the minister?” The sage said, “Well, the first one who came said, ‘Hey, blind one! Did you see our king coming here? Did anybody come this way?’” So I knew he must be your soldier. The second one spoke with authority but without respect, I knew he must be one of your officers. The third one, the minister came, he spoke with great respect so I thought he must be your minister. Now you came, now you touch my feet and refer to me as the Divine one – you must be the king.”
Whether you eat food or breathe or drink water, anything – it is Grace, otherwise, how? Two parts of hydrogen and one part of oxygen becomes life-making water – this is Grace. Okay, you can give it an explanation, but you don’t know why this should happen, isn’t it? All that is happening is grace. Now you drink this or you eat this or you breathe this, will you also exude grace? Because you consumed Grace, you must also conceive grace and exude grace, isn’t it? But unfortunately people take in fantastic things into themselves, turn it into nasty nonsense and let it out. But look at the tree – you give it filth, it gives out fragrance. It’s time, if you learn the way of the tree, if you learn the way of the rock, you will exude grace. So the question is not whether you’re in grace or not – definitely every creature is in grace – are you capable of exuding the grace that you consume? That’s the question.