Amazing Grace: A Mystical Force

By Swami Shrutananda

“Amazing Grace” is a song I heard growing up, for my parents were active in our local church.  Eventually, my father became a minister. “Amazing Grace” was one of my favorite hymns.  Even to this day, it’s a hymn I remember, and I find myself humming it.

One of the most recognizable songs in the English-speaking world, it’s estimated to be performed about 10 million times a year, which averages to 27,397 times a day!  This hymn touches many hearts. Why?

For me, it is the meaning of the words and the experience they evoke.  This hymn evokes an incredible longing — a longing to be delivered from the human condition through God’s Grace.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found
T’was blind but now I see.

T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
We have already come.
T’was Grace that brought us safe thus far
And Grace will lead us home.

— John Newton, published 1779

This poem touches your heart whether you’re looking outside for God or you’re looking inside to find God as your own Self, your own inherent Divinity.  In yoga, when you look outside, the One Reality is called Brahman.  When you look inside, the One Reality is called Atman, the Self. That Ultimate Reality is the only One, whether you are looking outside or inside.

Yoga specializes in looking inward to see, to know and to experience the One Reality that has become you — and is being you.  The yogic process is one of coming home to the knowing of your own Self. That knowing has a feeling — a feeling of being home in your Self.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.

Yoga describes the human condition as the painful delusion of wretchedness.  Before yoga, you may feel abandoned, not good enough, miserable, dejected, even desolate. This feeling is what motivates many people to begin yoga.  You yearn to be happier, to feel better about yourself, to find meaning in life.  Swami Nirmalananda says, “It’s the yearning to know God.  You will know God when you know your own Self.”

I once was lost, but now am found…

I truly felt lost.  Fresh out of college, in my first job, I thought I finally had it made. Life was going to be good from now on. I had more freedom. I could do what I wanted.  Within a few months, I realized my life was very repetitive.  Five days a week, I got up, had breakfast, went to work, came home, had dinner and went to bed. On weekends, I worked hard at having fun.  After a few months, I called one of my wiser older brothers.  I asked, “Is this it?”  He said, “Yes.”

I was extremely disappointed.  Life was not what I had been promised.  Unfortunately, since my brother was not Self-Realized, he couldn’t really help me. Was I going to be stuck in this meaningless existence for the rest of my life? I was lost with no way out.  Yoga calls this “the human condition.”

To fill the gap, you look for meaning in what you do and in your relationships. Yet you never feel fully satisfied nor complete.  You are always looking for more, even when you don’t know what the more is that you are looking for. What are you searching for?  The song promises, “…but now I’m found.”  You want to find your Self. This is yoga’s specialty; it is yoga’s goal.  To see and to know and to experience your own Divinity — within.  To discover, technically it is to re-discover, your Divine Essence which is hidden within, the One Reality which you have always been.

T’was blind but now I see.

Looking back to life before yoga, I realize that I was going through life wearing blinders. Yoga makes your blinders fall away.  You perceive more of what is really here — inside and outside.  Yoga empowers your perception, so you see yourself more clearly, even more deeply.  You see through the surface levels of your being, body and mind, all the way to the Divinity that is your own existence.

And Grace, my fears relieved…

Unfortunately, most thoughts are fear driven.  Anxiety is acknowledged as a growing epidemic.  In 2018, almost 40% of Americans were more anxious than they were a year earlier [poll by the American Psychiatric Association (APA)].  Fortunately, through the Grace-filled practices of Svaroopa® yoga, you experience freedom from fear.  You lengthen your tailbone, decompress your spine, breathe, repeat mantra, chant and meditate.  You are growing into your Self, an inner experience that is beautifully described as “freedom from fear.”

And Grace will lead us home.

You may not yet be attuned to the Grace that can lead you home.  How do you access more Grace?  The mystical secret is that the Guru is the embodiment of Grace.  Nirmalananda says, “You need the Guru, one who takes you from darkness (gu) to light (ru). You’ve probably already had a few rugus in your life, those who have taken you from light to darkness. It’s time to go the other way.”

It’s the Divine power of Grace that is named by the word ”Guru,” not the person or personality.  The title Guru honors one who has given her or his life over to the Divine force of Grace. Thus, the Guru becomes a reliable source for others. Just as you can count on getting wet when you step into a shower, you can count on being saturated with Grace in the Guru’s presence.

A Shaktipat Guru like Swami Nirmalananda invokes the mystical force of Grace to arise within you.  She awakens your own inner power of upliftment, Kundalini, to arise within you and reveal your own Self to you.  Svaroopa® yoga is the Yoga of Grace, specializing in Shaktipat, this profound and life-changing inner awakening. With Svaroopa® yoga, you get outer support from a real live person, someone who has been through the whole process and knows what you need.  The process begins with Shaktipat, bringing you home to your own Self. Supporting you outside and inside, Amazing Grace leads you HOME.

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