Vaiṣṇava - Radhe! If you find the time, how would you answer this:
"I have a question. Here our Gurudev said that
"It is the perseverance and enthusiasm in the devotee's practice that unleashes the Lord's grace"
and that it is "the practitioner's anxious prayers that unlock the grace of the beloved deity"
... which infers that grace will not descend if we previously not do something.
Our Gurudev confirms this "the Lord's grace will never descend" (if the devotee neglects his bhajan).
So these points are implying that there is a cause for the Lord's grace.
Then, if there is a cause for the descending of His grace, how is it possible to say that it is causeless?
Also in Bhagavad Gītā we may see many ślokas spoken by Kṛṣṇa that confirms that He will give His grace if they surrender to Him, if they dedicate to devotional service or if they meditate on Him (4.11, 9.22, 10.10, 18.64) and that for those who discards the scriptural injunctions (16.23) His mercy (in the form of perfection, happiness and the Supreme destination) will not descend which seems that His grace has a cause.
Advaitadās - Although we have no free will and no independent agency, still śāstra encourages bhakti in this way. And yes, kṛpā eva hi kevalam - mercy is everything. Still we pray and endeavour. Rūpa Gosvāmī speaks of two types of siddhi - right? sādhana siddhi and kṛpā siddhi
Vaiṣṇava – Yes.
Advaitadās - In the end it is all only kṛpā-siddhi. sādhana siddhi is a lower understanding.
Because we are not agents, neither materially nor spiritually - ekala īśvara kṛṣṇa - Kṛṣṇa is the only controller.
So it is according to level of consciousness of being an agent and also - very important - to maintain a devotional attitude.
Vaiṣṇava - Purity of heart is necessary. Yes. that also - Humility.
Advaitadās - bhakta, bhakti, bhagavān and guru. They are all one but if we see it like that then bhakti is gone. So we maintain this 4-fold conception.
Vaiṣṇava - Yes. We have to be able to receive that mercy. The mercy is always causeless...but can we receive it?
Advaitadās - We cannot call anything down. Like 'I want to get siddhi before my Indian visa expires' I really thought like that in the 1980s. Silly me...
Vaiṣṇava - Some still think like that....
Advaitadās - It will happen in its own time. Slow for some, fast for others. There is no rule in that.
Vaiṣṇava - Then why bother with sādhana? Endeavors must be there...
Advaitadās - We are conditioned to mathematical and causal thinking.
Vaiṣṇava - It's not a cheap ride either.
That also depends on the individual. anāyāse govinda bhajibo, Narottam Thākur Mahāśaya sang. "I will easily worship Govinda."
It comes when it comes. Surprise surprise! For others, however, it is a steep climb.
Vaiṣṇava - So, in a nutshell "We cannot call anything down."
Advaitadās - That is the gist. Ask for the definition of mercy. It is - getting something you do not necessarily deserve. It is not earned in any way. sādhya kobhu noy - The notoriously misunderstood verse. This nitya siddha bhāva is the goal, it is not to be achieved artificially.
One sādhu, a śiṣya of my dādu, said 'I did staunch tapasya for 25 years but I got nothing out of it'. brāhmins may not get it, mlecchas may get it.
Vaiṣṇava - In the end, mercy means being able to do sādhana bhakti.
Advaitadās – Yes, and sādhya bhakti. All the way. Mercy is gotten within a moment or not in many lifetimes.
Vaiṣṇava - Yes. So the causeless point...And our endeavors. It has no cause, but our endeavors make our hearts a fertile place for kṛpā to descend.
Advaitadās - Our concept of endeavor is created by Guru and Kṛṣṇa too - sādhana abhimāna. That gives sweetness to bhakti - a sense of doership.
Vaiṣṇava - All our endeavors stem from kṛpā. But we think we do it.
Advaitadās - Yes, but even the awareness of kṛpā is nice too.
Vaiṣṇava – Sweet.
Advaitadās - It is natural for everyone to think they are the doer. It gives sweetness to sādhana.
Vaiṣṇava - Thank you.