Second Maxim

"Begin your Puja with a Prayer for the spiritual elevation, with a heart full of Love and Devotion."
PRAYER is the sign of devotion. It shows that we have established our relationship of devotion with the Holy Divine. When we take One as Divine Master, we become His serf. A serf is concerned with service only. Take the case of Bharat as an example, who did not give any room in his heart for anything other than great regard and worship of his Master. We should always keep this example in view for maintaining the relationship of devotion. This alone can be called as the relationship of love. This is the link which establishes the connection from the beginning to end. The principle of telegraphy may be known to the people. When one end is connected to electricity, the message is carried over to the other end. Similar is the case of a devotee who makes himself known to his Master by the electric current of his own power. That part which with the Master, begins to come towards the devotee by the effects of his Prayer, through the wire which has established the connection of the devotee with the Master. Gradually, everything of the Master begins to reach the devotee. The devotee had only conveyed his message to the Master in the beginning. A good deed indeed! The devotee started devotion. Consequently, the Master started to get closeness to him. He progressed and went further on. The thought of sitting with Him sprang in the heart of the devotee. Communion commenced. Divine Revelations and Nature's Orders began to descend. The first phase of initiation thus came into effect. Further on -- it is a mystery -- the tongue is tied. People generally say that devotion has made us slaves. But the theory of invertendo comes here again. Whoever has taken up this principle has reached perfection. Neither the perception of the people has ever reached this philosophy nor has the mystery been revealed till now.

The reason why Prayer should be offered with a heart full of love and devotion is we should create within us a state of vacuity so that the currents of Divine Grace may descend smoothly. We should create room for that due to which so much attraction may be created as to make the Divine currents begin to descend directly on us. A poet has said: "O thou, thirsty for the Divine wine, empty thy heart of every desire; for the head of the wine bottle bows only over an empty cup." Continuous practice brings one gradually to a state in which he feels himself as the Prayer itself all through. This state is acquired when an abhyasi practices fully according to the above-mentioned rules, and Divine Grace begins to get set into motion fully. When the final stage is reached, he begins to dwell in a state of Prayer all through even while discharging his worldly duties, and the same state prevails during all his worldly engagements without the least disturbance or interruption. "I do not ask you to detach yourself from the world, but I ask you only to attend to everything with a conscious idea of the Divine," (a poet's view).

If someone has developed such a condition it means that he is in the state of Prayer only. The purpose of Constant Remembrance is that he has realised his own serfdom and the Lord's Mastership. The link of devotion has been established. He has realised God as Master, and has come to the real etiquette of devotion. Can everybody attain this? Yes, but after sufficient practice. He who has acquired this condition, is within the circle of Prayer, He is at liberty to humbly put up before his Master anything he likes. Everyone has to assume that state at the time of Prayer; then alone Prayer is accepted. This is the relationship of love, which having been established in the sphere of self, extends up to that of Master. This is the link which once established is never severed. All know that the Destination is far off. But the power of thought makes it easy. Remembrance brings the lover close to the beloved.There is no limit to this relation. The greater the love and affinity developed, the more is the advancement towards That. We have brought this relationship along with us. It is our duty to develop it. We have to develop and improve it to such an extent that we may find ourselves always very close to Him. The state of Prayer is of the devotees and it gets strengthened by love and devotion only. This is the ladder which takes us to the Self. Innumerable are such ladders which, getting joined up, help in taking us to Him. All the stages of approaches or degrees of spiritual progress lie within it. No particular time is fixed for Prayer. One may Begin to do Prayer when one feels his disposition to have become like that mentioned above. If the disposition does not become like that, he should make it like that. One should always pray to Him (that Master) who is the Real Master, and who is fit to be called as Master. I do not consider it proper to pray to slaves, that is, to those powers which are subordinate to man and which are potentialised by man only. The ravages of time have reduced them to a consumptive state. It is also a sheer folly to pray to the Great Master for worldly gains except in the most special cases. Of course, it is right to pray to Master for that which He has ordained. This comes within the perfect and noble human etiquette, and proves that we are accepting Him as Master from the bottom of our heart and have entrusted ourselves entirely to His care.

Now, a question arises as to what method of Prayer should be adopted for the benefit of others. The answer is they should be brought to that state which we had developed in us at the time of Prayer. The feeling that he is approaching Master as a humble servant and as an insignificant beggar must be impressed upon his mind. He should open before Master everything regardless of the consequences, resigning himself completely to His Will. In other words, he should surrender all of his to Master and assume his pure form. He should withdraw himself from all sides and turn completely towards Him, losing all attraction for the world. The remembrance of everything should merge in the remembrance of One -- the Ultimate, resounding all through in every particle of his being. This is called as complete annihilation of self. If one develops this state, in my view, he should be considered as an embodiment of Prayer from head to foot. Every thought of his will be synonymous with that of the Master. He will never turn towards anything that is against Divine Will. His mind will always be directed towards that which is his Master's Command.

People should be prepared to do such Prayer. If one achieves and settles down in it, what else remains for him to do except to remember Him, and that too such that it never comes to even his consciousness. Even great persons remained thirsting for it without even getting up to its brink. They remained longing for it forever. It is not an ordinary thing. One will be struck with wonder if he grasps its real significance. There is extreme simplicity, and in spite of the vibrations in it, there is perfect calmness which can hardly be termed as such, to say nothing of emotional excitations. If we call it 'light', it may not be correct. Similarly, 'darkness' may not be an appropriate expression for it. It is a state which none may perhaps like. It is, in fact, the end of everything. All stages end at this point. It is Absolute Reality – the Source of everything, and the Ultimate Mark which we have to finally arrive at. What to say of the beyond! ... May the Lord bestow upon you all the opportunity to be blessed with its realisation. Amen!

Perfect calmness prevailed all over before Creation. That brought the Real Essence with itself when it descended. The condition of both was nearly the same. Veils after veils went on covering That. You atone were the doer of it. The ripples of river raised a sea. A river was formed by the gathering of many drops. The Origin was the same point, or the atom, or the essence, or Reality which came down with That. The basis of the river was the falling of a few drops of water. The gist of all this is that extraneous drops mingled in That Drop, and began to take merely the reflected form of the Original Drops by hiding That. In other words, made That dense or solid. If one observes a thing its solid form always comes before view. If it is observed continuously, a time will come when its solid form also begins to vanish, and only its outline remains, which also begins to disappear if tried further. One must try still further when even that, which has combined to expand it, will also go away. All those will be getting lost, and finally, That alone remains which exists there. How is this possible? It happens when we practice to such an extent as to carry out every work keeping in view the Original Thing which has come to our share. This pointed attention on the Real Thing may be taken as the point of Prayer. This done can be called as the beginning, and the superfluities which we have removed can be called as the first state of Prayer. People may wonder as to why I have called it as the beginning. That which is called as the beginning is the state of consciousness. Consciousness exists in every part, but this is the consciousness of a higher layer. I have not shown the stages which are after (beyond) this because it is very difficult for the view to reach that condition, and the view can never be fixed on its final condition. Oneness is felt in entering That condition. Prayer is done from the outside of it. These three stages (or two-and-half to say, because 'awareness' is lost after that may, for the sake of understanding, be taken as the entire beginning and end. The intermediate state is also implied in it. This, which I have termed as the beginning, is, in fact, the real abode. People will not understand that which is termed as the first state of Prayer. The idea is analogous with that of a child who starts learning alphabets with a view to securing an understanding of higher subjects through it, and possibly at some point of time, may start from the point where real problems and deeper thoughts began. That is, even though he is still confined to learning alphabets, he has got that higher aim in view. He may be called either a learner of alphabets or a beginner of the primary state of education. On the whole, all these are still included in the superfluities as compared to that. This first stage will be found in everybody who starts to do Prayer; but if the final point is kept in view, it will influence the grosser things too, and gradually, he will attain the state where the Original Point alone will be before him, and he will have his abode or stay on it. When one reaches this point with courage, let him proceed expanding this point. Expanding does not mean swelling like a balloon, but to develop it by introducing the real substance, or power into it. And when that grosser thing, which is much lighter and subtler than the previous thing, begins to appear very subtle, and finally, it too vanishes, we may consider that we have entered that sphere where just a faint ghost (reflection) of the idea of the subtle existence of something is left to remain.

Many forms of the current came into being from the Origin. All these things had descended, or in other words, had come from their original source. All these things were not useless, but these were the powers which started functioning in different forms; and these powers showed their such influence which was needed wherever required. In fact, they were powers which began to act in numerous ways, and produced their specific effects according to the needs. All these powers manifested from their Original Source in the form of currents and displayed their specific actions. Take the case of a baby which could not even move at one time. He came and developed to stand, sit, talk, and run. That is to say, those capacities which were in him began to develop and grow. The full vigour of man did finally bloom. That which was compressed in a baby in the beginning, has taken up a different form after development and growth. What was the Original? It was the same drop which came to its share. Now, many things began to get mingled in it, which we have named as veils within veils. How has it happened? The habits of the mother and their effect, the thoughts of the father and the method of training, and thereafter the things created due to the influence of others all these began their own actions and reactions, and established the superficial impressions. And those too which were thus established began to act. Actions within actions went on happening to such an extent as to defy any detailed description, and finally, they brought him into such a condition that he became entirely devoid of the awareness of his passing through innumerably different actions. All these actions, which have taken place, have taken up a form of solidity. Now, this thing or condition defies all efforts of removal. It has arrested or enveloped him in itself to such an extent that he lost even the awareness as to what has happened. New phase blossomed further on. He saw the world. The way of living created impressions. The influence of behaviour set in. Speech and hearing influenced him. Events created their impressions. Worries took possession. Now, he assumed an entirely different form. Now, listen further. These things, which had come into him in the form of blemishes started to attract things synonymous to themselves. They get still more plastered up. Just consider for yourself as to what form it was of and what it has become! The Original particle or droplet was so suppressed that even its tint does not come to view now. Not only this, but the thing which has entered fully, and which you have made so powerful, and are still making it more so, is also having very intense actions in it. And you are drawing the influence from the natural forces in direct proportion to the intensity of the actions happening in it. It is like the condition of a waterfall before forming into a river. Some drops came down the mountain, and collected behind the river head and began to drop down. Some of the snow and some of the water aided it; thus its quantity and the magnitude of water went on increasing and gradually, it took the form of a rivulet. It went further ahead. Some water percolated in it from here and there. The stream grew up further. Some where it dropped down to a low level and thence rose up comparatively to a higher level till self springs issued forth in it. What happened further on? The pool of water which had collected from here and there mingled in it. The flow began to grow more. Since the plane ground, or the (matter) catchment area has got much more expansive due to the earlier flow, the water began to come in great torrents. The river has grown up to such an extent as to be denoted by the word 'Ocean' only. Now, what is its condition? What was the beginning and what is the end. It is the same as that of a baby, which becomes man after sufficient growth and development. The origin of waves, which are manifest in the river, is nothing but the result of those karmas (actions) which have helped it in taking up that form, by joining on the way. These are the very same ripples which people consider as the waves of bliss in the end. This condition prevails to a great extent during the period of youth in the life of a man, when enough plastering would have happened. The condition of the Ocean can be considered when man comes to that form which should be considered as the result of many actions.

An important point that remains (to be clarified) in this connection is that why a thing begins to fade out from the view when observed continuously, and only its outline remains, which too does not remain further on. The reason is matter possesses the capacity of seeing matter alone. The capacity to see beyond it lies only in the finer power which is beyond it. This goes on further in the same way till the very power of seeing becomes extinct. Still much remains even beyond it, which will be appearing in the form of consciousness. Thereafter that too does not remain. And what should I say thereafter? Existence too does not exist and this too does not remain. What happens now? It is the same state of Negation. That is the very Reality. Has any person got the ability to understand it? Yes, only he who has reached up to it. This again is erroneous. Or, he, who has dived in Negation and Negation only, can be said (to have that ability). But, dear brother, even this Negation is something or other. If it is not so, why has it been denoted as such? Proceed still further on....

One more question remains; why have the currents got to become gross while descending from the Original Source? It is a very difficult point to explain. Why does a man become half-dead on the way down when he falls from the top of a high mountain? People may say it is due to the gravity of earth. I say that his heat gets drawn downwards when his thought is formed to fall down as though it received a shock and begins to get out of him. Thus it may be considered as similar when the currents take a descent from above. Grossness means solidity, and solidity may be thought to exist in that in which there is no life. Now, people may question as to how it is possible that there may be no life in the Divine Currents. The reply is that everything has come from the Divine. Vegetables, animals, and minerals are all its examples. But can they be considered to have life in them (as in man)? Never. Even if it is considered to be there, it is a latent life, as explained above. The same can be considered to be the case with the Divine currents. Man gets himself related with that by his karmas (actions) and adopts harmony with that itself.

When we have fixed the principle that Prayer is compulsory, it becomes imperative to have the words in which to offer the Prayer. I consider the following short Prayer to be compulsory for every abhyasi; even though there can be other forms too, yet I prefer this short one:
"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."

Peace and calmness prevailed everywhere before the creation of the Universe. When the world emerged into the present form, that Central Point got fully entrenched in the hearts of all persons. That Point, being a part of the Supreme, made it imperative for us to turn our attention towards our Real Source. We do the same in Prayer, i.e., we try to reach up to that Central Point. This is possible only when we create the same state in ourselves. It needs practice to create such conditions so that we can have the approach to the Real State. It can be attained when we resign ourselves in toto to the Divine Will, which is absolutely simple and tranquil.
Apparently, it seems to be very difficult. But, in fact, it is not so for specially those who want to rush into it. When a person creates this strong craving in himself, he is in a state of Prayer. This can be the state of whoever is striving for it. The Prayer of one, who enters into that state, even for a moment, is certainly granted. This requires daily practice.