DIVINE GRACE is the unconditional love, care and protection of a devotee by The Supreme. A child-like faith and surrender make one a worthy recipient. Our wisdom cannot grasp the unique ways of God to shower His Grace. All our worries, anxieties, fears and illusions fade away by HIS gushing GRACE. At the right time, our thoughts and actions are oriented and we get an assurance from the Universe………EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE OKAY. Even we may feel various signs like sweet fragrances, butterflies etc symbolic of Grace. I experienced it when I hit the bottom rock in my life.

BACKGROUND

I was facing a chronic stage of depression about two years ago. Memories of those days of helplessness and low self-esteem are like a dreadful dream. You can understand more about my condition ( https://os.me/short-stories/phoenix-2/). I tried everything to emerge from the situation. Finally, I was put on medication. The only thing which I loved about myself was that I didn’t give up.  So badly I wanted to sleep but I couldn’t. I wanted to smile but I cried every time. It seemed I was a burden on this earth. But still, I was hopeful. In those desperate days, I wrote

Every moment it engrossed me,

Day and night it confronted me.

Yes, I am tired and shattered,

But, No, not yet defeated.

Will rise like  the phoenix,

Will again rediscover my resilience.

I surrender to YOU THE DIVINE,

Empower me to fulfil my eternal promise.

There were many overlapping ways which helped me to revive back. Buddhist philosophy, Swamiji’s support and Mother Divine Grace kept me moving on. I was too ashamed of my condition to talk about it openly. Medication, breathing exercises, gardening, Mantra Japa, affirmations for self-love and a strong faith  THIS SHALL PASS TOO made me progress at a slow pace. This write-up is neither to express the agony faced by me nor about my journey to emerge from it.  I’m writing here about hope and unexpected Grace received by me.

Now coming to the point…….  Experience of the Divine Grace. More than one year has passed since that incident. For a few days, even I couldn’t comprehend what has happened? And what was its significance? More important why I’m sharing it now? The first reason ….. I was not convinced something extraordinary could happen to me. But with time I have felt a long-lasting effect of that incident on my overall well-being. So, the second reason…To pay my gratitude to the DIVINE, I am sharing the incident with all of you.

FRAGRANCE OR GRACE

In April 2020, I told about my depression to one of my close friends. She was the person who introduced me to Buddhism also. As a friend, she told me many ways to help me out. But actually, nothing was working. She took initiative for my medical consultation also. At that time she was following Chattarpur wale Guru Ji, HIS devotees consider him the incarnation of Lord Shiva. She used to send me recordings of Satsang on phone. In this Satsang, devotees used to share their experience of grace bestowed to them by following Guru Ji. They used to do selfless service and eat Prasad in the form of Langar. Many have recovered from life-threatening diseases, financial karma or relationship karma. My situation was such that  I only wanted to come out of that hellish life condition. At that time, I was also suffering from the chronic tailbone and lower back issues. So l used to do anything which can give me hope. Whenever I get time, I use to listen to those satsangs. I also had Jal-Prasad given by her. But in my heart, I was an ardent follower of Swami Ji. I considered Buddhist philosophy as a cleanser to adapt to Swamiji’s teachings. So I told her that I’m following  Swami Ji. Although I am not initiated by him formally, in my heart, he is my Guru. She said okay and promised not to force me to follow a particular person. I was relieved but I continued to listen to those wonderful experiences. 

Time passed very fast. In Feb2021, she said Mahashivratri is coming and I have to eat Prasad at Langar organized by devotees in Red Bishop.  That day,  I had to work late in my office.  . But I got free a little early, around7.30pm. On my way back to home, I decided to visit that place alone.   It was a grand event.  Unaware of the route, I parked my car a little far from the entrance. There was a long gallery with many stalls. People were sitting and getting tea, halwa, samosa, pakora and other sweets.  I ate one laddu and tea considering it is medicine for me. In a big hall, bhajans were playing on big speakers. I bowed quietly and came out. There was again a long queue of devotees to take packed Parsad.  I rejected the idea to stand there any longer. It was getting late and I should go home. I moved towards the area where my car was parked. When l was about to unlock it, a strong fragrance gushed into my nostrils. That part of the road was dark and alone. A cool and sweet aroma surrounded me. I thought someone was playing a trick. This place seems to be very dicey, I should go very fast. I sat in the driving seat. And started the car…. And Divine Grace…. My whole car was filled with a stronger fragrance. Some sandalwood or Jasmine or altogether all the sweetness of Universe filled in my smelly car. Yes, at that time, due to covid, I used to keep my apron and shoes used in a hospital in the car. There was no car perfume. I opened, the windows to let in the fresh air. I was driving shockingly amazed.  After reaching home, I called my daughter and a neighbourhood friend to cross-check my car. Both said……  What perfume bottle has broken inside? I was speechless.  That fragrance continued to come in flashes for few months while driving or working, anytime. I shared the incident with my friend. She said it is HIS GRACE, DIVINE GRACE. I experienced that sweet aroma around me many times. I remained skeptical for a long time but noticed that my mind has cooled down. I’m not anxious about the things which I cannot control and my faith in the supreme is increasing day by day.  Materialistic challenges don’t haunt me and physical ailments now no longer bother me. I am much stronger mentally. That fragrance eroded all the negativity from me? What was that? 

MY TAKEAWAY

GOD HELP THOSE WHO HELP THEMSELVES.

In those hard times, I didn’t give up. I tried my best for my mental and physical health. I surrendered to the Divine with faith but worked on myself prudently. I didn’t lose hope and GOD  has showered me with his LOVE……. GRACE….. which has crushed all my negativities. 

Thank you so much, Divine, for the Grace.

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Suman Verma

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