“O God, grace me with insight and keep your hand on my head so that I may do something for others and finally attain my goal of life (enlightenment).”
Is this a prayer or demand?
– Kartik Sood
The very first thing we need to remember is that there is No ‘God’ as a person listening to our requests and picking some to be fulfilled and ignoring the others, or punishing us by doing the opposite because we have ‘sinned’.
Anything addressed to such ‘God’ is plain ignorance and has nothing to do with prayer. It is just begging; begging for this or that, or even to fulfill the goal of life as we might have heard from some masters or read in various books to be – ‘Enlightenment‘!
And yet, the really intelligent, those who are ready, find a deep prayer arising in their hearts. Knowing that they know nothing their hearts long for the truth!
Let’s contemplate over it. The word enlightenment is very interesting. En-Lighten-ment = a state in which the darkness of ignorance/ unconsciousness is completely dispelled and all that is left is pure consciousness.
Hence the prayers:
Asato Ma Sad Gamaya
Tamaso Ma Jyotir Gamaya
Mrityor Ma Amritam Gamaya
Now, these prayers arise only when we become aware of the Asat, Tamas and Mrityu. There are millions who live and die completely unaware of these. Only a man of awareness can enter into these prayers, someone who has a deep longing of the unknown. Someone who realizes, “what I see and know is finite, as my senses as well as the intellect is finite“.
And yet there is a calling, a longing for the infinite, call it truth, call it god, call it whatever, it doesn’t matter. And remember without naming, the longing is much deeper and profound! Such a prayer arises from every cell, every fiber of the being, unaddressed; just a deep deep longing in its purity. Sometimes there are just tears, sometimes there are words, sometimes there is just silence…
And the miracle is, such a prayer is heard. It is heard by the whole existence. And that is when the existence conspires to bring you close to a master. Remember the saying “When the disciple is ready, the master appears“! That is exactly the case. All that is needed is your readiness. And when you are ready, the master shows you the path inwards – to the very core of your being.
When God Blesses You ~ You Recognize The Master,
And When The Master Blesses You ~ You Recognize God!”
First you go through a process of “Neti – Neti” (neither this nor that) cutting through all that is False, Pseudo, Peripheral. And one day with the blessings (Initiation) of the master, you arrive at the point of “Tu Hi – Tu Hi” a point when you encounter the Divinity Within, and start to Let-go. That is the day you can say “Thy Will Only Prevails“, “Teri Raza Meri Raza“! Remember this is the real beginning of the inner journey, you have found the highway. The master further pushes you to see that you and the Divinity Within are not separate, “Tatwamasi“, That Art Thou!
Moving deeper into meditation merging into the very core of your being you realize you are the Drop in the Ocean of all pervading Divinity, also referred to as ‘The Self’, or ‘That Which Is‘. Now you are no longer a separate entity, “Ayam Atma Brahma“, I am this Self that is part of Brahma.
Do not stop here, let the master guide you further so one day when you look around and you may realize, “Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma“, Nothing but the Self exists, All Is Brahma! And that is the day another prayer arises: “Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah“, May all beings be happy… you are no longer bothered about yourself, you pray for the well being and light in everyone’s life.
The journey continues further with the blessings of the master and one day you may realize, the Ocean is in the Drop, ALL EXISTS IN ME, “Aham Brahmasmi“, I am the Brahma, the “Supreme Self“! Now there is no prayer as you realize – Who will pray to whom and for whom? All is ONE!
And yet this is not the end, some day the realization may dawn upon us that there is no Atma, no Brahma, there is absolute Shunyata, “Zero“, state of Para Brahma (beyond Brahma) in which creation “Srishti” and destruction “Pralaya” merge, in which manifest and un-manifest merge!
And eventually, purely by grace, you may realize, there is no realization!
~ Swami Akhil Saraswati