"The quality of a yogi's meditation and other actions, the guru's help, and God's grace—these are the three requisites of liberation. No matter how much a devotee strives for salvation — and he is required to make the effort wholeheartedly for God — that effort constitutes only 25% of the requirements for liberation. Another 25% depends upon his guru's blessing, spiritually stimulating the disciple's striving. But the guru's help and the devotee's effort notwithstanding, it is necessary to have also God's grace, which may be said to constitute the remaining 50% of the requirements."
"In all cultures there are legends about a war between demons and divine beings, and often the forces of light lose the battle. In Indian mythology the defeated bright souls either run to higher powers for protection or hide in remote regions, often on isolated mountain peaks, and commit themselves to intense spiritual practices. Only after they have gained the grace of God and attained inner strength do they challenge their opponents again and reclaim their rightful status. During these 'divine calamities' the sages come forward and help the defeated souls gain self-mastery by gathering up the virtues of fearlessness, self-confidence, unwavering faith, and the indomitable power of will and determination. Self-mastery entails cultivating all of these qualities collectively. It enables us to conquer our subhuman tendencies and allows us to become fully human. But achieving mastery over ourselves is a gradual process which keeps unfolding as we continue to walk on the path of self-transformation. The purpose of life, as Swamiji often said, is not to know God as an external being, but to transform ourselves so that we are constantly aware of the divine within - which is our essential nature."