Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Salvation: Through Self-Effort or Grace?

In the Introductory Essay of ‘The Bhagavadgita’, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan talks about two prevalent Christian thoughts imparted by Augustine and Pelagius relating the issue: “whether man as a fallen creature is to be saved by the grace of God or whether he can make something of himself and contribute by his own effort to his salvation. 

Pelagius believed in free will, questioned the doctrine of original sin and asserted that men acted of their own moral effort. 

Augustine disputed the Pelagian theory and taught that Adam before the Fall had possessed free will, but after he and Eve ate the apple, corruption entered into them and descended to all their posterity. None of us can abstain from sin of our own power. Only God’s grace can help us to be virtuous. Since we have all sinned in Adam, we are all condemned in him. Yet by God’s free grace some of us are elected for heaven, not because we deserve it or we are good but because God’s grace is bestowed on us. No reason except God’s unmotived choice can be given as to why some are saved and others damned. Damnation proves God’s justice because we are all wicked. That in spite of it, some of us are saved shows God’s mercy.…...St. Augustine and Calvin adopt the view of universal guilt”. (Introductory essay Page 6/3)

The view that we cannot win the grace of the Lord by our own efforts, Radhakrishnan says, results in an intense emotional pietism. 

The doctrine of ‘grace’- of ‘special election’ creates a confusion; as to why God would randomly bestow his grace upon some - while all others are damned. That some people receive ‘God’s-mercy’ and others receive ‘God’s-justice’.  This shows favoritism and ‘injustice’, and such a concept conflicts with the general trend that ‘God loves all’ and that ‘all are equal in God’s eyes’. 

Though, the grace of the Supreme Lord is involved in achieving the Moksha, man’s effort is also required in the total surrender to the Supreme. Bhagavad Gita describes three paths or methods called Yoga to deserve God’s grace: Gyan Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and Karm Yoga; path of knowledge, worship and action or service respectively. No ‘Reaction’ (fruit or reward) can be achieved without an Action, the Karma. 

Lord Krishna Says "Surrender to me O' Arjuna. I will free you from all your sins and grant you Moksha. Do not fear"
                                                         (Bhagavad Gita 18: 66)

But 'surrender', we have to do. We need to put our effort in surrendering and moving towards Him.

It is said that if we take one step towards the Supreme, He would come a million steps to meet us. 

“Charan Sharan Guru aik paindaa jaai chal, 
  Satguru koat paindaa aage hoye lait hai”
                                            (Bhai Gurudas ji)



1 comment:

  1. Its always true....Satguru aur
    Gurusikh ka Prem illahi hota hai.yeh Prem bahut km insaano k paksh Mein aataa hai...dhan nirankar ji ��

    ReplyDelete

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