Grace evokes beauty and gentleness, serenity and sweetness, a pleasant persona and admirable spirit. In the spiritual context, Grace is much harder to describe, grasp, or achieve. Divine Grace leads to enlightenment, awakening of our deeper Self, thus liberating eternal reunion with God.
Sikh scriptures introduce God as One: Immaculate, Supreme Creator, Self-Existent, Self-illuminated, All-Knowing, Compassionate, Forgiving, Father and Mother of all Beings with indescribable attributes, countless names, and beyond human comprehension; “God is revealed to us by the Grace of Guru (Divine Teacher).”
Grace is a Divine blessing that God in His infinite mercy and benevolence can bestow. Grace cannot be achieved by our own endeavors; by lifetimes of meditations, sacred recitations, monastic living or learning; nor by extreme measures, austerities, pilgrimages, and false rituals to seek God’s favor.
“God’s favor is not attained by endeavor or service; spontaneous is it attained, whoever has God’s Grace, lives the Master’s teachings.” Guru Granth Sahib (The Sikh Holy Scripture).
In Sikh doctrine: no one is outside God’s Grace, regardless of faith, culture, gender, or social status. One must follow the wisdom enshrined in sacred scriptures, faith legacy, and honored tradition: Acknowledge God’s Divine Light and Presence in every living being; understand God’s Timeless Truth but remember that, “Higher still is Truthful Living.” Dwelling in a spirit of optimism, engage in righteous labors and serve God’s Creation with unconditional surrender to His Will. God’s Grace restores one’s faith; freedom from self-centeredness; invitation to come closer to Him.
Human life is our time to know God. “Without the Name of the Lord, the chamber of the soul remains dark.” Only through all-embracing love, seva (selfless service), gracious acceptance, we may discover God-Light within and all around. God alone determines our worthiness of His Nadar (Glance of Grace); when to bestow emancipating liberation (salvation) from the cycles of life and making eternal union with God possible.
We have all experienced the power and spirit of Grace in our lives or in the life of someone we know. I have had the privilege and honor to see Grace personified. As I prayerfully reflect on my life and my journey, a personal testimony about God’s Grace and incredible benevolence and a sense of deep gratitude keeps reverberating through my mind:
I am where I am today because of the prayers, blessings, and sacrifices of my family, friends, and many who I do not personally know. God heard their prayers, and God in His limitless mercy and boundless compassion showered His amazing Grace upon me in my darkest moments and made many undreamed-of moments and blessings possible for me.
For those moments of rebirth and renewal of faith in God, humanity, and my destiny, I am eternally grateful.