The pivotal role and importance of Divine Grace in the spiritual realisation comes about because all humanity is essentially locked into the framework of our normal mental-vital standpoint and thus, cannot truly transform the consciousness without something intervening from outside this framework. This is a dual process of preparation, receptivity and acceptance from the side of the individual, and the influence of the higher principle or force that exerts the pressure for change. This influence and pressure from above is called Divine Grace when we experience it, as it falls outside our normal understanding of the processes of life and the laws of Nature as we experience them in our ordinary mental-vital-physical consciousness.

Sri Aurobindo observes: “There is nothing unintelligible in what I say about strength and Grace. Strength has a value for spiritual realisation, but to say that it can be done by strength only and by no other means is a violent exaggeration. Grace is not an invention, it is a fact of spiritual experience. Many who would be considered as mere nothings by the wise and strong have attained by Grace; illiterate, without mental power or training, without ‘strength’ of character or will, they have yet aspired and suddenly or rapidly grown into spiritual realisation, because they had faith or because they were sincere. I do not see why these facts which are facts of spiritual history and of quite ordinary spiritual experience should be discussed and denied and argued as if they were mere matters of speculation.”

“Strength, if it is spiritual, is a power for spiritual realisation; a greater power is sincerity; the greatest power of all is Grace. I have said times without number that if a man is sincere, he will go through in spite of long delay and overwhelming difficulties. I have repeatedly spoken of the Divine Grace. I have referred any number of times to the line of the Gita: ‘I will deliver thee from all sin and evil, do not grieve.’ “
Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, Chapter 4 The Divine, The Gods and the Divine Force, The Diviine Grace, pp. 91-94

Author's Bio: 

Santosh has been studying Sri Aurobindo's writings since 1971 and has a daily blog at He is author of 16 books and is editor-in-chief at Lotus Press. He is president of Institute for Wholistic Education, a non-profit focused on integrating spirituality into daily life.