This is the time of year when the Aadhi Yogi’s attention first fell upon the seven now celebrated disciples. We are in the month when an ascetic and yogi, who is completely uninvolved with what is around him, is beginning to get involved. Slowly, the intention of sharing his experience is beginning to blossom. From the last full moon day to the coming one, which is referred to as Guru Pournami, Shiva could not take his attention off the Sapta Rishis, who prepared for 84 long years without even a moment of attention from him. And now, his attention upon his disciples was undivided.
This month is seen as one where even a completely heartless ascetic could not ignore the intensity of longing to blossom in the seven disciples and he became compassionate. Somebody who had hardened himself in such a way that the world could never touch him, loosened up, became compassionate and was compelled to become a teacher or a guru, for which he had no intention at all.
So this month is seen as the best time to receive the Grace of the Guru. This is a good time to seek Grace. This is a good time to make yourself receptive.
“What should I do?” is always the question. If you don’t do anything of your own, if you are less of yourself, that is the best way to be receptive. The sadhana is always structured like this; it absorbs you into activity in such a way that in the daily process of living, you forget who you are. You forget what you are. You forget what your life is about. You are just absorbed into what is happening.
There is a beautiful story in the Zen system of allowing human consciousness to grow. A disciple goes to a Zen master and asks:
‘What should I do for my spiritual growth?’
‘Sweep the floor, chop the wood, cook the food. That’s all.’
‘For that, why should I come here? I can do that at home!’
‘But if you are sweeping the floor at home, it’s your own floor. You will not sweep the neighbor’s floor if it is dirty, you will not. Chopping the wood and cooking would be for your own use and who you consider as yours. You are using every activity to enhance who you are instead of using every activity to dissolve who you are.’
This is all the difference between making our activity, or our karma, either into a bondage or into a process of liberation. Either you are acquiring karma, or your karma is becoming yoga. That’s all it is. You are doing your activity to enhance yourself or are you are doing your activity to dissolve yourself?
Just sweeping the floor, cooking food and planting a tree – not on your property, not only for you and your children to sit under its shade – simply planting it so that anybody, even your enemy, may sit under its shade and enjoy it. Is it okay? If you plant a mango tree, your enemy and his children may eat the mangoes. Now this activity becomes a process of dissolution. Otherwise, every activity is a way of imprisoning yourself.
It is activity which is entangling people. Human ability to do things, unfortunately, is being used to imprison themselves.
So this is the month of Grace. Grace is like manure for growth. With Grace, a human being can catapult himself to another dimension of existence, capability and possibility. And to make use of Grace, what should we do? Nothing to do. The less you do of what you consider as me and myself the more available you become to Grace.