A Devotee asks Sri Ramana Maharshi: How to overcome regrets?
Maharshi replies: By practice. D.: What kind of practice?
Maharshi: Meditation. D.: Mind is not steady while meditating.
M.: It will be all right by practice. D.: Shall we add prayers, etc.?
Maharshi: Yes. (from Talks #377 p. 356, 22nd March 1937)
There is so much that can be said about a smile; indeed the exaltation it brings is indispensable even for saints. Saint Francis de Sales once said: “A saint who is sad, is a sad saint!” Indeed, smiling opens the heart and lets your light shine. Scientists claim that it encourages good health; it reduces stress, increases the endorphin flow (the inner happy chemicals in the blood) and it is contagious. When people smile others are attracted, for unconsciously they think: “Gosh, that person is happy, maybe I can become happy too by association.” We learn from those who have unlocked the secret, and have found therein ‘stillness, peace, happiness and purifying energy’, and we know that this is God shining through them; because it is all derived from a “heart in union with the Divine.”
A friend once told me that in a lecture given at Alexandra Palace in London about 15 years ago the Dalai Lama was the key speaker. After the talk he was walking along the park with all his bodyguards to get into his car and she just happened to be there by the car and he turned and gave her this huge smile — at once she received an amazing flow of grace and of uplifting loving kindness from him. She still remembers that his smile was absolutely full of grace, genuine and a huge gift. It was as though he was carrying all the power and joy of his lineage.
Mother Teresa said: “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” (Mother Teresa’s smile towards mankind was conveyed through the compassionate labor of her life!)
Everyone understands in a totally intuitive way what a smile means. It transcends language and cultural barriers. It is the clearest, simplest manifestation of the joy that lies within us. It is the quickest and most direct way to connect with another human being. A smile is shorthand for ‘I recognize and acknowledge the God within you’.
These truths are undeniable. With a clear understanding of the ability of every human to communicate with a smile ‘stillness, peace, happiness, positive energy and uplifting compassion’, let us attempt to consider what actually happens to humans when God smiles.
There is a beautiful saying from the scriptures of India:
Devi priya prahasant. Devi prahasant priya.
The love of the Devi manifests as a smile,
Therefore She loves to smile!
It is said in the Holy Bible: “God is glorious in His saints.” God is even more glorious in His smile! The most learned scholars who have sought to plumb the depths of the Bhagavad Gita universally agree that the actual teaching of Lord Krishna begins in the eleventh verse of Chapter Two: The Blessed Lord spoke:
“You have mourned those that should not be mourned;
The wise do not mourn for the dead or for the living.”
Many of the very wisest of these scholars, those who strive to comprehend the Gita in it's highest mystical sense, profoundly declare that the Lord’s teaching to mankind actually begins with the tenth verse of Chapter Two. They boldly go further and declare that the Gita’s entire message is actually conveyed by the very first action Sri Krishna makes before Arjuna — and us!
As if assuming the manifestation of Dakshinamurti, Sri Krishna being named as the ‘Lord of the Senses’ (Hrishikesha), responds to the despondency of Arjuna in silence. From the uncompromising position between the two opposing armies drawn up for battle, the Lord smiles...
“There is a secret language
of silence and smiles
understood by mutual lovers,
but not noticed by onlookers;
in the same way
the operation of grace
is secret and not spectacular.”
Ramana Maharshi Five Hymns,
Marital Garland of Letters
A Smile, the Highest Operation of Grace