In the audio message on that night, Pujya Swamiji said, "If you ask Gurudev for spiritual progress, he will give you....When I first entered the spiritual path, I think that the demons must have shouted with joy. To think that I of all people, was entering the spiritual path, because my condition was such! I joined the path only because I wanted to get rid of my bad habits. Perhaps someone else also smiled in return and that was Gurudev himself. He wanted to demonstrate that there is a great power called the Guru's Grace and that Grace can work marvels and that is what I have seen in my life.
"So, if I place before you whatever I want to say, it is the path of Divine Grace. It means that if you do your duty properly, whether it is your family duty or your duty in the Ashram, you don't have to ask God for anything. It will come by itself. For example, a Guru is like a father to us, he is more than a father. You don't have to ask him for anything. But we have to make ourselves worthy of that Grace and that Grace can work marvels. All that you have to do is to do your duty faithfully, then marvellous things can come to us.
"If I have not experienced Divine Grace then I will have no right to talk to you about it. It is better to speak from your own experience than to quote from the books. That there is such a thing as Divine Grace, we know. Now I am not referring to our external success, like the many schools we have built. Anyone can do that! And, it is not difficult to get money. It is not difficult to build an Ashram. It is not difficult to print books. But it is very difficult to change your nature. What is important in our life is the transformation.
"I can remember that it took 23 years for the first light to dawn—23 years when the band around my chest loosened a little bit and I could breathe a little bit freely. Another 6 years went by when the breathing became freer; another three years when I felt that I was fairly free. And all came without my asking! Nothing changed externally. No situation changed. In fact, it became worse. But, what Gurudev gave two months ago surpasses all that he had given previously.
"When I first found Gurudev and he rescued me from that life, to a life of Sadhana, I made one resolution and I said that in this birth, I will try to serve him with all my heart and soul in repayment. I felt that I should express my gratitude to him. And that is what I am trying to do. Gurudev does not expect us to do spectacular things. We have not done anything spectacular at all. I asked Gurudev how and why did he give me this knowledge. Am I worthy of it? What have I done? And I found that there is nothing spectacular that I have done. Nothing that could be called great! But I felt that whatever I did, I did with all my heart and soul. I thought of the books and I said, "Gurudev, this is all that I have given you." I didn't even print 50 or 100 books. All that was printed was about thirty books. But in those 30 books went every drop of my blood, every fibre of my being. My concentration went into that. So perhaps, that is what made Gurudev grant me.
"So, like that, I have no fear of what is going to happen in the future. When the Master solves a problem, he makes a thorough job of it. He solves it once and for all."
The theme of the reading for the evening was spiritual transformation. Taken from "Conversations with Gurudev" in Guidance in Daily Life Pujya Swamiji gives us an insight into the inner struggles and successes in spiritual life. Herewith a few excerpts from the conversations.
Swamiji: Gurudev, when we ask for material things you fulfil our wishes quickly, even without thinking, like Lord Siva. But when we ask for spiritual transformation, you are very hard on us, Gurudev. Again, like Lord Siva sitting with His closed eyes on the Himalayas, you seem to ignore us.
Gurudev: This is because spiritual treasures are valuable and more lasting. They are not like things that perish.
Swamiji: Gurudev, you remarked to one of our devotees who came to you from South Africa, "I know when to give and what to give." Your Divine Grace works in mysterious ways, Gurudev. It is unpredictable, especially when it comes to spiritual transformation.
Gurudev: Yes, the mystery of Divine Grace can only be understood through Divine Grace.
Swamiji: Gurudev, parts of my nature resisted transformation for many years. I was in despair and always had a lurking fear that it will never be possible, because I had heard that even some great spiritual personalities did not achieve a complete transformation of their external nature. They did not achieve the integral transformation as described in your books and teachings, that is, a transformation amidst all the distracting and frustrating situations of daily life.
Gurudev: Such a radical transformation is possible only through the Guru's Grace.
Swamiji: I can well believe it, Gurudev. No amount of vows and resolutions helped me to overcome some of my cardinal defects. When I gave up every effort and felt helpless, your Divine Grace manifested. Gurudev, I woke up one morning with the distinct feeling that I was a changed being, that some great power of yours had descended upon me and was effecting the transformation. Gurudev, when I realised what was happening, tears of gratitude began pouring for several weeks, as I felt I was not worthy to receive such Grace. I marvelled to note with what precision and perfection your power was working. The higher knowledge seemed to be descending in me.
From time to time you were giving me a formula to repeat, together with my Mantra, so that what you were giving could be stabilised. Gurudev, the distracting external conditions did not change a bit. The attitude of those around me was the same. But the miracle I noticed was that it was I who was changing.
Gurudev, kindly permit me to add something more. Over the years I knew all along that those around me were all your own forms, and that their frustrating actions were meant to help me in my spiritual progress. However, this intellectual acceptance did not help me much, Gurudev. But when your divine power descended upon me, the positive results were at once noticeable.
On this most auspicious day we thank thee Pujya Swamiji, for thy supreme sacrifice and dedication, for moulding us and preparing us for God-realisation, either in this birth or in births to come. We express our eternal gratitude to thee.