There is a building known as the Grace Building in New York City. It is on the 42nd street across the Bryant Park. The architecture of this building with its concave vertical slopes of its north and south facades remind me the namaskar gesture.
When I say namaskar with this gesture I first touch my forehead with my thumbs and then touch my heart. When I say namaskar to you I salute the divinity within you. Namaskar gesture also symbolizes my personal journey from intellectuality to spirituality.
The Grace Building was designed principally by Gordon Bunshaft who is the architect of many famous buildings in NYC. The Lever Building and the Solow Building are worth mentioning. The Solow Building on the 57th street has facades with concave vertical slopes as well.
I worked at Fermilab between 1988 and 1993. The architecture of the main building at Fermilab is very similar to the Grace Building. It also has facades with concave vertical slopes. This form must have some universal appeal.
The Fermilab building was designed by the founder of Fermilab Robert R. Wilson. I don’t know what Gordon Bunshaft was thinking when he designed the Grace Building but R.R. Wilson was inspired by the idea of a cathedral. He wanted to build a cathedral for physics.
Cathedrals are soaring external expressions of humanity’s search for divinity. The namaskar gesture is a personal expression of the same instinct.
I pass by the Grace Building every day. I often notice the name of the building and I am very conscious of its meaning and symbolism but I am not always fully conscious of God’s grace in the hectic, clock-bound, schedule driven routine of my life in the city.
This morning I witnessed a grace of God that made me fully conscious. When I realized what happened a jolt of electricity went through my body. The shock was followed by joy.
But, after a while I felt embarrassment. I get distracted from the spiritual goal so easily. I forget God so easily but God never forgets me. I felt embarrassed that I don’t love God as much as God loves me.
Usually, I become aware of God’s grace when I am saved from danger. Sometimes God saves me from myself. This time I was not saved from a difficult situation but I was given a concrete proof that God hears my every thought. I know this intellectually, of course, but I don’t always appreciate the miraculous nature of it. Today I did. The proof does not have to be concrete. God showers us with grace all the time. We don’t have to have a concrete proof to appreciate His grace. All we have to do is to open our hearts and be receptive.
God is not an abstract entity. God is the very essence of everything and everyone.