By Sanskrit Kannan (SRCM Preceptor)
After knowing why we should pray, we come to the next important question, how should be pray? All of us, knowingly or unknowingly, when we go to temples or at home or when we go to saints or before the Supreme Master, offer our prayer. At that time, we forget what we are; we do not have the feeling, “I am a Scholar”, “I am an Executive” or “I am a Scientist” etc. Because before the Supreme Master, we are the same – His children. He does not look at our beauty, our wealth, our health, our intelligence etc. He looks at our heart. So, the main attitude of our prayer should be humility. This does not require any specific time or place. Rev. Babuji Maharaj has said (Deva Vani p.285), “No particular time is fixed for the prayer. One can do it when he feels inclined to it or else he should try to crete disposition for it when required”.
Since in Prayer, we try to establish our link with God (or the Divine Master), it is necessary to offer our prayer in a supplicant mood with our heart full of love and devotion. Rev. Babuji Maharaj has written in detail regarding this aspect. I reproduce here the summary of His writing taken from Deva Vani (p.283-85):
“In Prayer, we stand before Him as an humble supplicant presenting to Him our true state and completely resigning ourselves to His will. This is the true form of prayer and as a true devotee, we must also feel satisfied with the will of the Master.
“Constant practice brings a man to a state in which he begins to feel himself in prayer all through. This state is acquired when an abhyāsi practises in the way directed above and the divine grace sets into motion. When the final stage is reached, he begins to dwell all through in a state of prayer even while discharging his worldly duties, and the same state prevails during all his worldly engagements without the least disturbance or interruption.
“When the world emerged into the present form, the central point was already rooted in all the beings. This central point rooted in us being a part of the Supreme, turns our attention towards the source. In prayer, we try to reach upto the same central point. This is possible only when we create a similar state within. This requires practice. It can be attained by resigning ourselves to the Divine will, which is absolutely simple and tranquil. Apparently, it seems to be very difficult but in fact, it is not so, though only for those who aspire for it. When a man creates in him a strong craving for the Absolute, he is indeed in a state of prayer, and it is for everyone to strive for. Whenever a man enters into that state even for a moment, his prayer is granted. But it requires continued practice to accomplish it. People should be exhorted to offer such a type of prayer. If one achieves and settles down in it, what else remains for him to do except remembrance; and that too in a way that it never comes into consciousness even”.
Thus, when we read Rev. Babuji Maharaj’s advice, we can understand that the feeling ‘I’ should not exist when we offer prayer in a supplicant mood. Then, there is a vacuum in the heart, which attracts the Divine grace of the Master. Therefore, when we pray in this way, our Prayer is bound to reach Him.
I would also like to narrate to you what Rev. Chariji Maharaj told me during a discussion - “Rev. Babuji Maharaj said, “I know my associates love me. But it is only skin-deep. They also pray to me. But it does not reach me”.
When Rev. Babuji Maharaj went on a foreign tour (in 1982), He gave special powers to two abhyāsis in India to pray for Him. But, He told Rev. Chariji Maharaj that even their prayers do not reach Him. Even when Babuji was in hospital in 1982, no prayer of the abhyāsis reached Him. Rev. Chariji Maharaj also told us, “If there is fear, you cannot pray to Him. Prayer comes only from Love”. “All of us pray with selfish notion. “I” is predominant”.
Rev. Chariji Maharaj also told us once, “Many abhyasis say that they pray for Master’s welfare, but I don’t receive the prayer. It is not deep. It is only the wish of the abhyāsi that Master should live long and not Prayer. In Prayer, ‘I’ should not be there at all. As Rev. Babuji Maharaj has said, “You should be like a beggar with an empty bowl in your hand, without any consciousness of what you are begging for”. I would like to add that I tried to pray as suggested by Rev. Chariji Maharaj. After two days, I succeeded in it, but this condition for a few minutes only and I felt my ego came as a barrier to remain in that condition for a longer duration. It was indeed a very great lesson for me and I thank my Master for the same. Let us get to the next important question in the next article.