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Sep 07, 2020, 17:48 IST

Prayers bloom in a Divine Heart

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The highest form of knowledge in the world is in the Vedas. There are very few fortunate people who have access to the Vedas, and even among them, fewer are those who know the principles enunciated in these Scriptures. There is hardly one out of billions of people in whose heart the light of truth has appeared after mastering those principles. Those who stay put in performing mere rituals remain ignorant of the Vedic principles. The priest is worshipping but he has no love for the Master. The hunger for realizing God has not arisen in his being.

There was a priest who was going somewhere in the jungle. He goes to a Shivalaya [Shiva temple] and worships there. He says,

“Where have you been hiding, my Lord?

For how many days have I been calling you? Where are you? I want to see You, meet You. Once I meet You all my desires will be fulfilled. Kindly appear before me. Be kind to me. I have read a lot of mantras. I have a lot of knowledge.” He was appealing to God for a Darshan. A faqir was sitting in a corner of the temple. Hearing the pleas of the priest first he laughed, then he took the priest out of the temple, and took him to a pond of water with flowers. He asked him to look at them. Then he told him to look at the tall trees around. He said to the priest, “You are calling God, but he is in the waves of the water in the pond! He is in the flowers. He is in the sweet sounds of the birds. He is in the gentle and wafting breeze. He is present everywhere. He is in your heartbeat. He is ready for you but, alas, you are not prepared for him. Do not play this drama. Your daily practice of rituals (Karma-kand) or mantras will not serve any purpose. Only pure love in your heart will do the job. Despite all these mantras, you have not been able to

learn the mantra of love.” Once the tears of joy roll down, a voice immersed and over- flowing with love sings His praise, then God appears.

Wherever you Experience or Realize Him, you should Salute Him there Itself. 1300 years ago, Rabia Basri was sitting contented in hermit. She was a very famous saint. Hasan Sufi, a saint of that time, came to see her. As dawn came and the first rays of sun burst out turning the sky crimson red, Hasan came out. He saw that the buds of yesterday had become flowers today. Some buds had a smiling face. Dewdrops had fallen on them. Birds were hopping in the trees. A cool breeze was blowing. It seemed that not only the whole world has arisen but that the doors of every one’s heart stood open. Hasan came out and began to hum. He spreads his arms and was is lost in joy. He calls out Rabia! “Come out, see the beautiful sun and its golden rays. The world looks very beautiful from here. See the buds wet with dew; listen to the songs of the birds; enjoy this beauty.” Rabia refused and did not come out. She called Hasan in and

said, “I am seeing Him from inside, I am seeing Him, Hasan, who made the Sun and the Moon, created rivers and let them loose, who opened our eyes and left them wide awake, who taught dawn to dance, who taught birds to twitter. Hasan, all this is visible inside.”

Let one who is seeing it outside, dance outside and enjoy himself outside and thank God. One, who is experiencing Him inside, should celebrate Him there. Wherever you experience or realize Him, you should salute Him there itself. Celebrate that happiness inside and get ecstatic. You should go near Him by all possible means, offer the flowers

of prayer because none is dearer than Him. It is said that when Rabia was a slave, she prayed to God. Sometimes try to listen to the tingling pain in the hearts of these saints, faqirs, and Rishis. That pain is the longing for God, their pain is evident in their prayers…

Ek hook si dil mein uthati hai, ek dard sa dil mein hota hai,

Ham raat ko uthakar rote hain, jab sara alam sota hai.

Saints sit and cry in the pain of God, persuade Him, sing for Him. They create a yearning for Him. One day Rabia prayed, “O God! Pardon me, because during the time of my love for You I do not pray because I am a servant, a slave. I must be in service. If I had full time as my own, I would have showered each one of my breath upon You. I do

not complain to You for my helplessness, but I pray for Your pardon. Excuse me because I am not in a position to devote full time to You.” These words were heard by the master whom she served. He came running and began

to look in the face of Rabia. It bore a strange brightness; it bore the glow of God. He sat in front of her and said, “You are a devotee of God. You love God so much, whereas I stand as a block in your road to God. I free you, and you free me from my sins. I have given you a lot of suffering, knowingly and unknowingly. I have heard that no sin or

crime is bigger than the one of torturing the dear ones of God. Therefore, I beg your pardon.” When Rabia got full opportunity she prayed, “I am poor and have no one to support me. I am not sad due to this miserable plight but I pray to You to keep that fire burning in my heart so that I do not forget You so that I continue to love You, and

realize You. Do not let the fire in me extinguish. Accept this prayer of mine. Hear this beseeching of mine.

”These persons were steeped in the love of God. When you hear the yearning of their heart you will feel that they were overflowing with love for God. Each word of theirs was offered to God as a flower. Therefore, pray, “May I like You, call You, accept You forever! May I recognize none as greater than You! You are the dearest. You are the

source of bliss. I do not have anyone more closely related to me than You. All my relations are with You, from You. Therefore, O Master! Let me cry for You. You are the truth, beauty and happiness. I do not have anyone better than You in the world. You are loved by all. I call You, Great One! I crave for You, Great One! I want to get lost and intoxicated in Your love.” Let a wave, a current rise in your heart, and then call Him. Rabindra Nath Tagore has expressed a very beautiful feeling. One time he said a prayer to God, “You destroy all weaknesses inside me with Your force. I pray to live with equanimity in the house in which You have placed me. Kindly keep its one door open.

Keep this door open amidst all my activities, amidst all my leisure. You open that door and come close to me. Let me reach You through that door. By the time I reach You, let my love attain its wholeness. O Lord! May this job of meeting You not be snatched from me! Leave only one joy for me, the joy of my desire to meet You. Are You also ready with the way I yearn for You? I want to be conscious about this joy. Let nothing of the

world cloud or cover my joy! Let the dust of the world not fall on it. Let my love be lit like the burning coal. You may or may not give me all other joys but do give the happiness of realizing You. Bless me so that my faith in You remains intact, even if I lose faith in the world. I may forget the desire and illusion for the world but my desire for You should

remain intact. I may bear all kinds of sufferings on account of the world but my love and fire of love for You should always be alive and burning. I can bear all things for Your sake. I can bear the harshest words, but I cannot bear separation from You. I pray to live for You, and You for me; and both of us should live together. You are my father; I

am your son. May this son of yours sit in Your lap and have total rest. This is all my submission. O Lord! Please accept it.” So, this was the prayer of Tagore in which he prayed to God to keep a door open for him, only him [Tagore], and not for the world. These words of Tagore are very sweet and touching. These are the wonderful words coming out of the heart of those who were madly in love with God. One may write words, using mind; but they will be different.

Those words will limit themselves to lips; they will never reach deeper to the heart. These people never wrote to impress the world. They sang and wrote because they wanted to sing and write for Him; they wanted Him to hear them. They wanted to call Him.

Ram Krishna Paramhansa was so deeply engrossed in God that if someone accidentally uttered the name of Paramatma before him, he would immediately forget the world, and would start singing “Govind, Govind” and dance. People accompanying him in the journey feared that if someone innocently mentioned the name of God,

Paramhansa will stop there and would start singing and dancing, and the journey will never be completed. The moment you hear the word lemon your mouth begins to water. Likewise, other sour things as tamarind, chat-masala and baked potatoes garnished with lemon juice touch your palate and heart together. Your mind gets fixed there. If

someone places chocolate or rasagulla before a child, he will dance and sway in excitement. Likewise, every cell of the body of those persons who love God is stirred as soon as they hear His name. These people were crazy for God. The ecstasy of the crazy people is a class apart.

Ram Krishna Paramhansa also known as Thakur Ram Krishna Dev sang soulful prayers. He was praying at the feet of Maa Jagadamba, “O Jagadamba Maa! I surrender myself to Your grace. Always keep me totally immersed in You. I am not seeking the pleasure of senses. I do not look for fame or supernatural powers. I am only searching for love for You through my heart. Allow the Ganga of my love to grow and expand. Let this current of my life immerse in You, as it moves. O Jagadamba Maa! Give or do not give other things to me but do give me love for Your feet.” How fascinating is this prayer! It is rare love, unsullied by any desire – ‘I love You, but let me not ask for worldly things in the name of Your love. Do not dissuade me.

Treat me as a child and do not persuade me to accept worldly gifts because I am not at all interested in worldly possessions. Let passions not blind me in my love for You! Let me never forget You. Maa, do not you know that I do not have anyone else other than You in this world. I want to sing Your glory. I want to dance for You. I want to call You. Fill that energy in me which drives me to You. Let me not get lost in the world as I crave for Your grace. Kindly accept this. I do not want anything else.’ There is a very innocent prayer in the Vedas.

When you think of this prayer you say:

Should a man speak like that and use words like that. Prayer is never a play of words or to play on words. If you think carefully or ponder then it is not a prayer. It is not that he listens to mantras only. Someone prayed in a very strange manner. He wrote alphabets from A to Z on his palm and then folding his hands he said to God to frame a prayer of his choice because that man was not literate. He said he did not know anything. Therefore, God should combine those letters and form a suitable prayer for Himself. He folded his hands and bowed his head. He did not know anything more than this. The prayer in the Vedas is, “O God! Is it ever possible that You become me, and I

become You? Is there a possibility of Grace so that I am not I, but assume Your form? You may not remain You but take my form. Then Your blessings to me will certainly materialize. The way You want to see me that which You want me to become – all those things will be realized. Therefore, let there be an opportunity that I am transformed into

You, and You become me.” God has been straight way invited, given an offer of exchanging positions. He becomes me; I become Him. You saw me crying and let me cry, but dear God when You will weep in the form of man, I assure You that I will not let You cry. Whatever is within my competence will be showered upon You. God! Then I

will forget all rules and regulations because no rules or regulations work for the crying

and tormented person. Only grace works. I will bathe in Your grace. You give me an

opportunity so that I assume Your status and You mine.”

For Krishna, too, the souls immersed in his desire also prayed in a similar fashion, “O Krishna! Let this happen once, that You assume our position and we occupy Your status.” Such wild currents do rise in devotion – Bhakti. This wave has its own pleasure. Therefore, pray for the formation of this wave, and never allow this wave to disintegrate,

“Asato ma sadgamaya tamaso ma jyotirgamaya mrityorma amritam gamaya.” This prayer means: Take me away from untruth and lead me to truth. Separate me from suffering and take me to happiness. Tamaso ma jyotirgamaya – Take me out of darkness and lead me to light. Free me from sufferings, death, and allow me to attain immortality. We should do what we do with children initially. We ask them to repeat their lessons. You should do something in prayer at home, in the family. Recite the prayers, ask the family to repeat them, just as the priest does in the church. There too, it is the devotees who are asked to recite the prayer, “O God! Show me the way. Let me learn about my relationship with You and take me onto the path of truth. You alone are the God of my redemption. Open my eyes of wisdom, so that I may be able to see You in your loving and wonderful creation, so that I may recognize Your love. O Aura of light! Lead us on the right path. Let us get wealth and facilities as we traverse the path of the correct life. Do not give me happiness and conveniences if I must walk on the wrong path. Take me also on the righteous path as You have taken great men of knowledge. Snatch away from me all my bad habits such as harshness, shrewdness, deceit, fraud, the habit of cheating and manipulations. Enable me to sing songs of Your glory, your praise in many ways. Give me the spirit of dedication. Give me strength to sing for You and the courage to bow before You and to persuade You to like me.” It is a special prayer, here, “God! You are the leader of the right path. Show me the way.”

“O God in the form of knowledge! Lead me on to the right path. O God! Show me the path which has been adopted by the men of wisdom and contemplation. Take me to piety” Jews pray. Understand their prayer, “Let us be the men who obey Your order and be competent to follow Your rules and regulations. May we never sin. May we never be

greedy and should we never be insulted by anyone. Keep us away from all kinds of evils. Enable us to receive Your grace. I thank You, God.” Here the words are worth observing – ‘You have blessed Your devotees with Your kindness and grace. Your grace has no boundaries and Your blessings are for Your devotees, wherever they may be.’

There is one more prayer, “O God! If you can give, give me that strength, those resources which enable me to help the poor and needy. Bless me with the boon of resources. Let me not come to Your door, begging for myself. Whenever I ask, allow me to ask for others. Let me wish well for others.” The next prayer has another wish, “O God! Give me good qualities, good feelings and good conduct. But before You give me anything, test me on the criterion whether I deserve it or not. If I do not deserve then do not give me anything.

‘Listen to the prayers of all others for they are entitled to pray to You and grant them more than what they deserve. But to me, give less than what I deserve. Additionally, grant me the love of Thy Holy feet O’ God. These are the flowers of my prayer. Accept them.” We pray at the feet of God with these flowers that there is well-being in all hearts

and homes, peace and happiness in all families. Prayers are there in all religions and in all sects just like plants and trees all over the world have flowers blooming and wafting sweet scent. One, who can appreciate good qualities, loves and appreciates every flower. It does not matter where the flower has blossomed – in India, in Europe, in the

North or in the South. Every flower is valuable and precious, and every fruit is important. Prayers are flowers blooming in a heart overflowing with Divine Love. Be a person of soulful prayers. Empower your prayers and at the same time be inspired by prayers offered by many of the God-realized souls who lived ordinary lives like you.

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