“Prayer establishes our link with Master whom we surrender with love and devotion. In prayer we stand before Master as a humble suppliant presenting Him our true state, completely resigning to His Will”.
This is the gist of prayer.
What is our true state?
“Entire Universe is His playground, and all are His instruments”. Every activity starts from Him and ends in Him involving Him in all phases of life. For ex: If two persons want to hear each other a medium is required i.e. air. If they want to see one another light is required. Air, water etc. (basic necessities) which are inevitable for human to survive are all provided by Him and Him alone. Thus we are totally dependent on Him for everything. Realization of this naturally develops a state of helplessness, surrendering oneself totally to Him. One realizes his true state i.e. Total Resignation to His Will and presents it humbly before Master. This is called true form of prayer which links oneself with Master.
A true disciple is always synchronized with the Will of Master. That’s why it is said that if prayer is offered in such state it seldom goes unheard or unrewarded. Prayer to Master is for only that to which He has ordained and it is sheer folly to pray Master for petty worldly ends. Presenting true state before Master is accepting Him as Master from bottom of our heart and having entrusted ourselves entirely to His care. This is the perfect and noble human etiquette.
Prayer is the sign of devotion. When we take one as Divine Master, we become His serf. A serf is concerned with service only. Bharat of Epic Ramayan is an example, who maintained the relationship of devotion with Ram. Right from childhood Ram was given higher status from all the three brothers. In fact there was slight difference in age between Ram and Bharat. But Bharat considered Ram always superior. Ram was very well aware of this. When Ram left Ayodhya and was staying in Chitrakoot, Bharat comes and insists Ram to come along with him to Ayodhya. Then Ram tells him, if it is an order of king, he will obey. But Bharat says, he is servant of Ram and a servant cannot command but only obey and leaves to Ayodhya. The relationship of devotion was maintained throughout. This devotion establishes the unbroken link from beginning to end.
Embodiment of Prayer:
The principle of telegraphy can be applied to comprehend link between Master and devotee. The devotee makes himself known to his Master by his own power (thought of goal). The other end with the Master begins to come towards devotee by effects of his prayer. Gradually, everything of Master begins to reach the devotee. The devotee started devotion by conveying his message to Master in the form of prayer. Consequently the Master started to get close to him. It advances to such a level that the differentiation between Master and devotee is lost. Think of an insignificant beggar (devotee) having a bowl in his hand, who is near the door of Master. His eyes are on Master. He is not aware of his begging, to whom is he begging and what is he begging. Master too doesn’t know what to give. Both are in same state. Can it be called as integration? Or living dead? Or merger? The only difference which signify beggar (devotee) is bowl in his hand. Here bowl implies one’s heart. Duality is lost. Oneness is predominant. For the onlooker the devotee appears to be living. But his real state is dead, as he has got nothing as his own. This is in fact living dead.
The One Ultimate, is resounding all through in every particle of his (devotee’s) being and this condition is said to be the embodiment of prayer from head to foot. Every thought of his, will be synonymous with that of Master and it is taken as Divine revelations and Nature’s order. In fact his Will becomes God’s command. He will never turn towards anything that is against Divine Will. He accepts the decision of Master without discriminating it as good or bad, for or against. One should be prepared to do such prayer.
Abudiyat- The state of subdued:
Before creation perfect calmness prevailed. That brought the Real Essence with itself when it descended. The Central Point (Real essence) got fully entrenched in the heart of all beings. That Point being part of Supreme made imperative for us to turn our attention towards Real Source. We do prayer to reach that Central Point. When a person creates strong craving in oneself he is in prayerful state. It makes him realize his Base and when this state grows he enters the region of attribute of poverty or humility. Permanency of this state means one has actually become the subject of Lord in real sense. This is the essential object for the subject and this is called Abudiyat (subdued state). It is Real state of prayer from top to toe. To live in that state is the human culture.
Why prayer should be offered with heart full of love and devotion?
With heart full of love and devotion we create a vacuity within so that currents of Divine Grace may descend smoothly. In this state one even forgets prayer. Vacuity means receptivity and smooth descending takes place when there is no awareness of self. One feels oneself as prayer itself all through and begins to dwell in it even while discharging his worldly duties. Hence it is said to attend to everything with a conscious idea of Divine.
Point of Prayer:
Every task carried out keeping in view the ‘Original Thing’ that has come to our share, it becomes pointed attention on ‘Real Thing’. This is ‘Point of Prayer’. It is clearly demonstrated with this example: Two persons are seated face to face seeing one another. It continues for some time. Later on they close their eyes. They observe figure disappearing gradually, leaving behind its outline. Further on outline too disappears and mind gets focused to a point. This is Point of prayer. Then for quite some time idea remains and later on even idea vanishes. This is the state of prayer.
Prayer redefined in Sahaj Marg:
From time immemorial, prayer is considered as demanding something from God. Most of them flatter God and want to get their selfish motives fulfilled. In our system, Prayer is something unique and different from traditional ones. There is no demand of any kind because we seek Master (Ultimate Principle) not outside but in one’s own innermost core of the heart. The state we seek for is ‘State of Nothingness’. Thus Sahaj Marg redefines Prayer as ‘State of Nothingness’, as against conventional thinking of expecting something from God. In fact God referred here is to That State. Still philosophers, priests & prophets are not able to conclude the argument whether God is Sakar or Nirakar, Saguna or Nirguna. The Ultimate Principle itself descended down in the form of Shri Babuji Maharaj, our beloved Master and revealed to whole world Original vibration in 4 lines, as per the need of time, which remained so far unknown or hidden. None else can give such a prayer other than Master which addresses to Master from another master i.e., innermost core of heart of all His manifestation. These are not just lines but factual statements or principles of Ultimate. Hence prayer is for all His beings who are part and parcel of Master.
Our prayer is:
Tu hi hamaari zindagi ka maksad hai.
Hamaari khwayashat hamaari tarakhi mein rukhne andaaz ho rahi hai.
Tu hi Khader-e-mutalaq aur hamaara mabood hai.
Bila teri madad ke tujh tak hamaari rasai muhaal hai.
O ! Master,
Thou art the real goal of human life,
We are yet but slaves of wishes putting bar to our advancement,
Thou art the only God and Power, To bring me up to that stage.
Master of the Universe himself says Aey! Malik-e-kul, Tu hi hamari zindagi ka maksad hai!, (O Master, You are the only Goal of our life). It means Master is in everyone, everything is in Master and all is from Master. There is nothing in the Universe other than Master. The speciality of our Master (Special Personality) is He includes Himself in prayer and attributes everything to Master, being his insignificant and dependent serf. Second statement means, the only veil between ‘He’ and ‘I’ is desires. If one transcends it or dissolves it then real slavery is realized making one eligible to address Master as ‘Master’. Third statement means, He is the only God and object fit to be worshipped for. Last statement is, without His help nothing is possible i.e., even to approach Him, His help is required.
As everything is bestowed by Master alone, one naturally feels state of total resignation to His Will having no concern for salvation or liberation or anything else. One becomes Upakaran (instrument) or serf of Master in real sense allowing Him to use the way He wants for His Divine Leela.
A serf cannot demand, request, complain or differentiate in His manifestation. Take an example: there is Sun, Moon, Earth and oneself. Moon has come in between Sun and Earth hence the visibility of Sun is lost. All the four are His creation. One cannot demand or request to remove moon for visibility. It is entirely His prerogative to take any action by removing moon, or earth or sun itself. One has to wait for Him in prayerful state and accept His decision. The purpose of meditation, cleaning, prayer and constant remembrance is to make one realize one’s serfdom and Lord’s Mastership.
Prayer in Sahaj Marg is principle of Ultimate which presents one’s true state. Whether one agrees or not, neither it gets affected nor it ceases to be truth. Prayer can be comprehended as it is by one who has unflinching faith in Master and His Grace. One has to mend to the earliest as per Master’s Wish & Will. Thus Goal of abhyasi is total resignation to His Will.