There are, of course, innumerable inspiring instances of total graceful acceptance. Let me cite two such examples. One is of a young Brahmachari of our Order and the other is of a paralysed old lady in Digboi, Assam.
The first example of the Brahmachari comes to the mind spontaneously whenever I think of indomitable courage and the capacity for total surrender to the will of God. This young Brahmachari from the south, a very nice person was very ill and sent to our Ramakrishna Mission Seva Pratisthan for treatment. When I went to see him there I came to know that he had cancer and was about to die. He said to me with a smile, "Brother, I know I am suffering from incurable cancer but due to the grace of Sri Ramakrishna and my guru I am able to accept the fact that the body is temporary and it will go. But there is something beyond it which will survive. And that is my higher nature. Through His grace even here in the hospital I keep my mind on my own inner self which Swamiji told us is birthless and deathless." His words created an indelible impression on my mind. He was merely a Brahmachari, not even a Sanyasi yet. As he lay there in hospital I could see a divine glow on his face. After a few months he passed away and the Bulletin of Belur Math paid a fitting tribute to this exceptional Brahmachari in a sentence which said that he faced his disease with fortitude and was reconciled to his fate in a manner which was exemplary. I would like to repeat that such grace under pressure is possible only when we know how to accept an adverse situation wholeheartedly.
The second example is equally powerful and mov-ing. It is about an old lady devotee whom I knew be-fore corning to Delhi. In those days I was posted in Narottamnagar, in the Tirap district of Arunachal Pradesh. Every month I used to go to Digboi for a dis-course at a private centre. There I invariably made it a point to visit this lady who could not atttend the dis-course because she was bed-ridden due to an attack of paralysis. She was the disciple of Swami Sankaranandaji, the sixth President of our Order, and everytime I asked her about her health she would say, "Maharaj, I am fine. I am all right as Thakur has kept me." Not even once did I hear a word of complaint from her, no negative expression ever passed her lips. She was all the time happy in the bliss of Thakur's grace. I knew that she could say such words only be-cause she was able to accept her situation completely.