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Prayer and Meditation

- Sri. K.C.Narayana


The child cries whenever there is a need. It cries and cries whether the mother or father responds or not. It is thus natural for a child to cry. Similarly we too cry, pray and beg according to our needs. Thus, different concepts of prayers have come into vogue. But what exactly we pray for and to whom should we pray, are the two basic questions demanding an earnest enquiry. Firstly, should we pray for some material comforts or favours? Secondly, should we pray to the ultimate, unseen and probably unknowable God or to many of His phenomenal forces which seem to be controlling our lives? That we speak to people who can help us to solve our problems is one level. That we appeal to people who matter to solve our problems is another level. But there is no point in projecting these two levels on to the Ultimate God. When we seek absolute peace in our heart, absolute oneness with our brothers and sisters in thought, action and feeling, when we seek coherence and integration in life, I think we can appeal to God who is all pervading even as stated in 'Isavasyopanishad'.

When we appeal to Him, what should we appeal for? It can only be total unselfishness, because, any thinking man can discern that it is only his point of self, his own personality or settlement, against an adjustment. We have to transcend this selfishness and we know that it is not in our hands. We are painfully aware of this weakness. I am reminded of the great men of our Puranas, King Duryodhana more than anybody else. He was a great man. No doubt about it. A man who could give away a part of his kingdom to a person whom he thought deserved it, could not after all be a mean person. He knew that he was living with God. When Lord Krishna asked him, "Don't you know that I am God before you and is it not necessary for you to adjust with Pandavas?" he said, "I know, but I cannot help myself. I am aware of my feelings. I cannot cheat my conscience, which says I should give nothing to them". He was painfully aware of his limitations. Similar is our predicament today. In our daily life we find ourselves forced to do so many things which we would not normally do. This is the torture of the soul of modern man. If we are prepared to quit our jobs and live in seclusion, these problems will not trouble us. But Natural Path says that we should live in this world because we are here to bring in a regeneration of man, to try to take life one step above man, to pray to make man live a fuller, more integrated and meaningful life, where his selfish interests are subdued and where he could see more of what is right in others, than what is right in himself. It is very difficult and for this you require the help of Nature itself. You call it God, Babuji, Master, it makes little difference.

According to sastras, the prayer starts with that particular goal which solves all our problems. "Thou art the real goal of human life" - which is Nature itself. In our Samstha we call this goal Babuji: and I have no hesitation when I share with you my conviction that he is God. This may sound exaggeration to a rational mind. But still that is my feeling and I have as much a right to keep it.

Having settled the goal which solves our problems, now we are also aware of how hopelessly bad we are to achieve that state. It has become a fashion for the modern scientists to talk of conquering. This concept seems ridiculous to me and it should make no sense to anybody when we understand that he is himself a part of the nature. These people do not believe in living along with Nature, in sharing with it, in allowing it to do what is good for mankind. Such people assume an eternal existence for themselves and attempt to struggle with nature. One thing definite is that the moment you are born, death is there with you. Life is a continuous activity against this inevitable event and how best we can live depends upon the values we cherish and particularly an awareness of our temporary existence here. My point is why should we try to conquer Nature. Why can't we live with it, adjust with it and lead a balanced life. It is our greediness, envy and jealousy that come in our way of living according to Nature's dictum, these are our shortcomings "we are yet but slaves of our wishes putting bar to our advancement".

Who should help us out?

If only Duryodhana had surrendered to Krishna, the problem would have been solved. He thought he was going to solve it himself. That is why Revered Babuji says, you pray. "Thou art the only God and power to bring me upto that stage". Give yourself totally to Nature. You get what you deserve namely oneness with God.

There are some problems here. It assumes a capacity on your part to accept that you are weak, hopelessly bad, depending on another personality, on power to help you out of this priority. It is not easy, for the modern world demands more assertiveness and more ego rather than totally surrendering the ego to God. In the beginning definitely we do not know God. It is here that we have got to go on faith, a dimension not easily accepted in the modern world. I had faith in my father and that is the reason why I am in the system. But that faith was based on a philosophy. It is the 'Aptavachana' as our vedantins say. When I was introduced I was hardly 16 or 17 years. I was fairly successful in studies and sports with no time for all these things. But simply because my revered father said this is the way out of the human limitations that govern most of our decisions, I accepted it. We should have that much of a faith in a friend, father or brother. Otherwise one can never take up sadhana. Kindly note Revered Babuji's sentence, "I make Masters. Not disciples". If he had any other intention of exploiting he would not have said it and that is one sentence by which you can definitely lay your faith in Him. It is heart's language; not minds. Many Gurus and Mahatmas said that they will they will prepare disciples. They need not be accused. It is we who go and fall at their feet to become disciples that are to be blamed. In the entire history of man it is Revered Babuji alone who said "I will make Masters". Faith in such a Guru is what the vedantins call "Mahaviswasa", which is one of the six angas of prayer, the others being "Anukulya sankalpa", "Pratikulya varjanam", "Gotrptva varanam", "Atmanikshepa", and "Kripanatva". Thus Mahaviswasa and Kripanatva are the two things fully stressed in our prayer. The total helplessness to achieve the goal is stressed in the last two sentences of our prayer. It may be very easy to go on reciting the Upanishads, for there you love your own voice, your capacity to recite and congratulate yourself for your competence. But here, you are confronted with your total incapacity, helplessness and incompetence. The 'I' in man, the ego, does not so easily accept this proposition. That is why most of us in our Samstha also repeat the prayer but do not meditate on its meaning. If we really meditate on the meaning, tears shall roll down. We will feel how hopelessly bad, incapable, and miserably incompetent we are in this great task of trying to be one with Nature. We are incapable of even to be worthy disciples of the great Master. The problem is that we are pitted against ourselves in this grand task. It is easy to confront some enemy, to conquer Nature, perhaps. But when pitted against your ownself, you are aware of your utter humility, incapacity. "Kripanatva". It sinks deep in our heart. Then and then alone, the descent of the Divine starts. We empty ourselves from the heart and God enters there. Give room for God. Let there be vacuum first, feel constantly your helpless situation. Even Arjuna could come to that position only when a couple of impossible situations confronted him. Otherwise, he would not have sought God. Traditional Prayer is but a nityakarma. Can a yogi be satisfied with such a routine prayer when he wants to be with God? Definitely not. Prayer should be in that absolute supplicant mood inviting God into your heart.

Regarding meditation on the heart supposing that there is Divine light. It is very simple. But many people who come to me say that they are unable to meditate. When they say they have been meditating. I ask "on what'? we find it easy to meditate on ourselves, our problems of day-to-day life, like daughter's marriage or child's education. Our mind is accustomed for this kind of "external meditation" or concentration. But when we try the simple method of supposing Divine light in the heart and begin to meditate on it, the mind starts wandering. The mind from the childhood is allowed to wander. It is oriented to the external world. We know so much how a biscuit is manufactured but we know very little what happens in the stomach. We close your eyes and try to locate the Divine Light in the heart, the heart which is the seat of life, of interaction between the bad and good, between the pure and impure blood, the small muscle, the functioning of which we just do not know. Saints all over the world said that it is in this heart that you can find God. The only problem is the external orientation of our mind. Had it been any other traditional system, the only answer would be, "Struggle", practice for years and you will locate this light. But in our Institute we have this greatest assistance, the will of Babuji. If we permit, the will of God is there to enable us to meditate, to locate this light in the heart. This light is not in the form of luminosity. It is neither light nor darkness. Please be confident of God's help in this job. Actual experience alone proves it.

In meditation, the right attitude is to accept whatever that comes as a divine gift. The thoughts that trouble you, if taken as gifts, cease to trouble anymore. That "yielding attitude", which again is a word by Babuji, is most essential in sadhana. In meditation yield to Him. Then, he descends. You feel Him as calmness and peace. Among the other instructions for aspirants the most important and noble idea is evening cleaning. When the Divine descends, when the Divine agrees to enter your heart, naturally the darkness, dress and dirt go away. When there is light there shall be no darkness. So, when vibrations start flowing into you, automatically, the dirt, namely the samskaras standing in your way, get washed away. Various questions are asked by aspirants regarding this simple practice. Whether one should clean before meditation, or pray before cleaning, or clean each point and so on. My revered father used to reply all such questions by saying, "Look, this is the wall and that is my ante room and I have got my broomstick. Whatever is dirty I sweep it". Should you clean yourself or not, you should know more. If you know you are pure there is no need to clean again. But do you at all feel in your life that you are pure? By normal standards I am a fairly decent, well behaved person. But still I am conscious of what Freud called Id, the unconscious desires; the unconscious cries; the pleasure principle, I don't allow it to play any active part in my day-to-day life. But that does not mean I am above it or conquered it. So, the necessity for cleaning is a continuous affair for all of us. I may share personal piece of information and knowledge I got from Babuji. In 1979 he said, "Narayan, look! My job is cleaning 75% of time". That was the message for me and I ask you also to take the message. This cleaning process should be followed with so much humility and awareness of your limiitations. Then only "Kripanatva" develops and the question of progress arises.