Source: DAY BY DAY WITH BHAGAVAN
The gentleman who asked about creation said, "I never thought I was going to have the good fortune of visiting Bhagavan. But circumstances have brought me here and I find in his presence, without any effort on my part, I am having santi. Apparently, getting peace does not depend on our effort. It seems to come only as the result of grace!" Bhagavan was silent.
Meanwhile, another visitor remarked, "No. Our effort is also necessary, though no one can do without grace."
After some time, Bhagavan remarked, "Mantra japa, after a time, leads to a stage when you become Mantra maya i.e., you become that whose name you have been repeating or chanting. First you repeat the mantra by mouth; later you do it mentally. First, you do this dhyana with breaks. Later, you do it without any break. At that stage you realise you do dhyana without any effort on your part, that dhyana is your real nature. Till then, effort is necessary."
Please check these: Excerpts from a discourse by our Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji