Principle 2 - Babuji Commentary
Begin your puja with a prayer for spiritual elevation with a heart full of love and devotion.
Prayer is the sign of devotion. It shows that we have established our relationship with the Holy Divine. When the idea of Divine Mastership is established our position turns into that of serf. Now service is the only concern of the serf. Take for example the case of Bharata. He never allowed his heart to be contaminated with anything but the esteem, regard and devoted worship of the Master. This example must be kept in view for maintaining the relationship which is the true form of devotion. This is the connecting link between the Master and the serf.
Everyone is familiar with the principle of telegraphy. When one end is connected to electricity, the message is immediately carried over to the other end. Similar is the case with the devotee, who makes himself known to the Master by the current of his own power. Now by effect of devotion, that which is with the Master begins to flow towards the serf through the medium of the connecting link set up between the two. Gradually everything of the Master begins to flow into the serf. In the beginning the devotee (servant) had only conveyed his own cognizance to the Master but subsequently by the effect of devotion, the Master began to adopt nearness to him, which went on developing the till the thought of actual communion began to pervade within him. Divine revelations and Nature's commands then begin to descend upon him and the first phase of initiation thus comes into effect. Now further on.It is mystery; the tongue is tied up. Generally people think that devotion makes us slaves, but here the invertendo rule comes in again. The human concept never extended so far and the mystery remains sealed until now.
The reason why prayer should be offered with a heart full of love and devotion is that one should create within himself a state of vacuity so that the flow of Divine Grace may be diverted towards him. A poet has said, "O, thou thirsty for the Divine intoxication! Empty thy heart for the purpose, for the head of the bottle of wine bows down only over an empty cup." Constant practice brings a man to a state in which he begins to feel himself in prayer all through. This state is acquired when an abhyasi practices in the way directed above and the Divine Grace is set into motion. When the final stage is reached he begins to dwell all through in a state of prayer 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 only to attend to everything with a conscious idea of the Divine." (A poet's view.) If a person develops that state of mind he is constantly in a state of prayer, which implies he has realized his own serfdom and the Lord's Mastership and has established a permanent link of devotion. Everyone can attain this state but only after sufficient practice. He who acquires it abides in the state of supplication permanently. He is at liberty to put up humbly before the Master anything he likes. Everyone has to assume that state at the time of prayer; then alone is the prayer accepted. This is the relationship of love which having been established in the sphere of self extends up to that of the Master. This is the link which once established is never severed. But still the final destination is far off, though the power of thought, which is enormously great, makes it easily accessible. Remembrance brings a lover close to the beloved. There is no limit to this closeness. The greater the love or affinity, the more does one advance towards Him. This relationship comes to us by inheritance. Now it is up to us to develop it as far as to secure utmost nearness to Him. The state of prayer is that of a devotee and it is strengthened by love. This constitutes the first step in the ladder which helps us to climb up to the Ultimate. All stages or states of spiritual advancement are within it.
No particular time is fixed for the prayer. One can do it when he feels inclined to it or else he should try to create a disposition for it when required. One should always pray to Him alone who is the Master in the true sense. I do not think it proper to pray to the slaves, i.e., to those powers which are subordinate to man and which are potentialised by him. The ravages of time have now reduced them to a consumptive state. It is also sheer folly to pray to the Great Master for worldly gains except in most special cases. Of course it is right to pray to the Master for that which is ordained. This comes under the rule of true etiquette and signifies our acceptance of Him as the Master, entrusting to Him our entire self.
Now for the form of prayer which may ensure the greatest good to everyone. I may say that one should be brought to the same state of mind which is usually developed at the time of prayer. The feeling that he as a true servant approaches the Great Master in the humble capacity of an insignificant beggar must be engrossed upon his mind. He may put up everything before his Master, resigning himself completely to His will. In other words he may assume his real form after surrendering everything to the Master. He should withdraw himself from all sides and turn completely towards Him losing all worldly charms. The remembrance of everything should merge into the remembrance of One the Ultimate, resounding all through in every particle of his being. This may be known as complete annihilation of self. If one develops in this state, in my view he should be considered as an embodiment of prayer. Every thought of his will be synonymous with that of the Master. He will never turn towards anything that is against the Divine will. His mind will always be directed towards that which is the Master's command.
People should be exhorted to offer such a type of prayer. If one achieves and settles down in it what else remains for him to do except remembrance and that too such a one as never comes in consciousness even. Even great saints 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, and 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 to appreciate. It is in fact the end of everything. All stages finish at this point. It is the absolute Reality the Source of everything the Ultimate Mark which we have finally to arrive at. What beyond? May the Lord bestow upon you all an opportunity to be blessed with its realization. Amen.
Before creation perfect calmness prevailed all over. When it descended, it brought with it the real essence. The condition of both was nearly the same. Veils after veils began to set in, and we ourselves were the doers. The waves of the current raised a huge sea. Numerous drops joined together to form a river. The origin was the same drop the essence, which came down with it. The basis of the river was nothing but a few drops of water, which trickled down from a mountain crevice and flowed down in the form of a river. In other words the unnecessary additional drops mingled with it, enclosing the real essence all over and giving it an assumed form which was thicker and grosser. Now generally the grosser form of a thing alone is open to view. By constant observation its grosser form melts away after some time and only an imaginary form remains in its place. This too by constant endeavour disappears from sight. Finally all things which had swelled up the original point will be lost sight of. This state can be achieved by the continued practice of doing everything with our thought resting all the while on the real point which forms the very basis of existence. This pointed attention upon the Real may be taken as the essence of prayer. This is the starting point, and the removing of superfluities is the first step towards it. People may wonder why I have called it as the beginning. It is in fact a state of consciousness. Though consciousness is present at every step, yet this one is the higher and superior. I do not take up the subsequent states for it would be very difficult to grasp them, and the final phase cannot even be conceived of in any way. Oneness prevails there in full swing. Prayer comes before this state is entered into. These three stages, or two and a half as one might say because after that 'awareness' is lost may for the sake of understanding be taken as the entire space from the beginning to the end. The intermediate state is also implied in it. This, which I have termed as the beginning, is in fact the real abode. Perhaps there may be some difficulty in accepting it as the beginning or the first stage of prayer. The idea is analogous with that of child who starts learning the alphabet with a view to secure higher approaches, so that subsequently he may start tackling higher problems and deeper thoughts. That means the ideal was before him, though at the time he was entangled only in the structure of words and letters. This preliminary stage may appear to be a superfluity in comparison with its final phase. This first state exists in every man who starts prayer, but if the final point is in view it will influence the grosser thing too, and by and by he will attain a state where the main point alone will be before him and he will have his stay on it. When this preliminary state is attained one must then try to get it expanded. Expanding does not mean swelling it up like a balloon but to develop it by introducing into it the real substance or power. When it develops to the extent that grossness begins to be converted into lightness almost up to the point of extinction, then he must understand that he has entered the sphere where only the faint ghost of the idea of the subtle existence of something remains.
The currents flowing down from the Origin manifested themselves in diverse ways. They had descended not without purpose. They were in fact powers which began to act in numerous ways, producing the required results. All these powers had emerged from the Origin and began to manifest their actions. Take the case of a baby. At the time of birth he could not even move about. Subsequently he began to sit, stand, talk, walk and run. That is to say, the capacities lay dormant in him, which now began to develop into action till he attained blooming youth and acquired the full active vigour of a man. The elements contained in the composition of the baby developed in various forms, though the origin of all these was the same tiny drop. Veils after veils began to set round which were caused by the effect of the mother's habits, the father's thoughts, the type of training and all external influences which began to display their respective actions. All these influences had a touch of materiality. The multiplicity of actions made him uncognizant of all the various changes which he had undergone during his march towards grossness. Now he is so intensely engrossed in it that it defies all efforts to get out of that state of complete grossness. Later on it took another turn. He came in touch with the world around and was influenced by the dealings and associations of others. The environment caused its own effect. Desires began to creep in and attract his attention. His entire existence being coloured thus, he assumed a changed form and began to attract material for the same. What was he, and what has he now quite out of view? Not only this but the elements thus introduced went on growing stronger by the effect of his own thoughts. Consequently their action grew still more powerful and intensified, with the result that they began to draw in greater power from the forces of nature. Just as a tiny spring composed of a few drops of water trickling down from a mountain crevice flows down in the form of a petty rivulet, and goes on swelling by the additional supply of water from the melting snow or from tributary stream till it develops into a huge sea of water, so does a baby, when the things introduced into him at the primary stage have attained full development, attain maturity. The origin of the ripples present in the water is nothing but the result of the Karmas (actions) which had helped him during the course to acquire its final form. These are the waves which are lastly considered to be the waves of joy often misinterpreted as 'Anandam'. In a man's life this phase comes during the period of youth when he is sufficiently coated with contaminations. When a man comes into this form which is the result of all the actions, his state is similar to that of the ocean.
An important point in this connection is that a thing when observed continuously begins to fade away from sight, and only its reflection remains, which to finally disappears. The reason is that matter possesses the capacity of seeing matter alone. The capacity to see beyond 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. But still something remains even beyond it which comes up in the form of consciousness. Further on, this too becomes extinct and even the feeling of existence fades away. That which follows then is the state of negation the very Reality itself. In fact it is very difficult to understand it unless one actually reaches the point, nay rather he submerged in that state. But even this negation is something existent, for if it is not why do we call it so? Proceed on still further!
The currents which descended from the origin began to grow thicker and grosser. Why? It is a very difficult point to explain. When a man jumps down from a great height he becomes almost half dead during the course of the fall. The reason is generally attributed to the gravitation of the earth. But I may say that the awareness of the downward fall diverts the heat of thought downwards and it begins to get out of him by the force of the push. The same is the case with the downward currents. Solidity implies grossness and it has no life. Now the divine currents being without life may not be generally appealing. But I may say that though all minerals, vegetables, and animals have come down from the Divine yet all of them are not said to be possessing life. But if they do at all it must be a form of dormant life. The same is the case with the Divine currents. But man associating them with his own karmas begins to get engrossed in them.
Since we have accepted prayer as essential, it now becomes imperative to understand how it should be conducted. I consider the following short prayer to be essential for an abhyasi; though there may be other forms too I prefer this short one:
Thou art the real goal of human life.
We are yet but slaves of wishes putting bar to our advancement.
Thou are the only God and power to bring us up to that stage.
When the world emerged into the present form the central point was already rooted deep in all the beings. This being a part of the Supreme, it turns our attention towards the Source. In prayer we try to reach up to that central point. This is however possible only when we create a similar state within. This requires practice. It can be attained by resigning ourselves to the Divine Will which is absolutely simple and tranquil. Apparently it seems to be very difficult, though in fact it is not so. It is not difficult for those who aspire for it. When a man creates in himself a strong craving for the Absolute, he is indeed in a state of prayer and it is for everyone to strive for it. Whenever a man enters into that state even for a moment, his prayer is granted but it requires continued practice to accomplish it.