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Issue #1355 - Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - Editor: Jerry
by Ginny ONeil
America, Strung with
Christian Science Monitor, September 4, 1998
from The Other Syntax
In the universe there is an
immeasurable, indescribable force which
shamans call intent, and absolutely everything that exists in the
entire cosmos is attached to intent by a connecting link. Warriors
are concerned with discussing, understanding, and employing that
connecting link. They are especially concerned with cleaning it of
the numbing effects brought about by the ordinary concerns of their
everyday lives. Shamanism at this level can be defined as the
procedure of cleaning one's connecting link to intent.
The Power of Silence
via The Wheel of Time
The Rationale Behind Prayer
By Sri Swami Chidananda
God, not only being transcendental, but also being immanent, not only
being immanent but also being a specific indwelling divine principle
within each and every body, why is there so much difficulty in
attaining that which is nearer to us than anything else in all the
Even if the most proximate thing is by your side, if you turn your
head the other way and look in the opposite direction, you will not
be able to see it. That is the trouble. That is the problem. There is
nothing wrong with God, nothing wrong with His immanence, nothing
wrong with His immediacy. What is wrong is that our gaze is
elsewhere. So everything is wrong with the direction we have decided
to turn our gaze to.
Therefore, all the saints and mystics have prayed, "O Lord, bless me
and grant that I may constantly remember You. Let my mind be
constantly thinking of You. Let my entire being look only in Your
direction, and may I have no eyes for anything else, no ears for
anything else. Having ears, let me hear nothing except Your name,
Your description, Your glories, Your praise-from saints,
scriptures, teachers, mystics, yogis. Having eyes, let me see nothing
except things pertaining to You, things that will help me to move
towards You. Having a mind, let it think of nothing, but think only
In this way, through all our faculties, let us become only God-
oriented. Let all our faculties move only in His direction. Let us
make up our mind, our entire being, to refuse to focus upon anything
else except the supreme, ultimate, almighty, universal Spirit Divine,
our ultimate goal supreme. This then is the way.
Therefore, we pray to the Supreme Being every morning to bless us
that we may have the ability and strength to so do. We pray to Him.
This leads us into another quandary, another difficulty, another
paradox. All religions, all scriptures, all prophets have declared
that God is omniscient. Does He not know our predicament? When He is
omniscient and He thus knows our situation, why should we pray? Does
He not know? Can He not set it right?
A baby knows nothing; it cannot express itself. But the mother,
through her love and care, intuitively grasps, "Oh, something is
wrong with baby's tummy. It's feeling discomfort; therefore
it is crying." God is more than father and mother. He is everything
to us, ten times more than any earthly mother that Brahma has ever
created. That being so, where is the need to bring anything to His
notice, as though He doesn't know it? Does He need to be told? He
is the eye of our eye, ear of our ear, heart of our heart, mind of
our mind. So what is the purpose of prayer, the meaning of prayer?
This is the paradox and question that faces us when we say, "Prayer
can overcome all things."
A cloth gets soiled. We wish to make it clean, white and shining once
again. So we put it in a bucket of hot water and add soap powder. We
clean it. The water is not in need of the cloth, nor is the soap.
They can serve many other purposes, yet we bring them together. Why?
Because the cloth is in need of water, it is in need of soap.
Therefore, it goes into the proximity, into an active, dynamic
contact with the water and soap. And it comes out clean, white,
completely free from all dirt. It is restored to its original purity.
That is the logic behind prayer. Not because the Lord needs to be
told, not because He does not know. He knows everything. It is
because the one who prays is benefited, is blessed by the contact he
creates through prayer. Prayer has gained an essential place in the
context of the mystical aspects of all the living religions of the
world. They all emphasis prayer. Not because we are telling Him
something that He does not know, that He has to be told, but because
the very act of telling Him elevates us, sanctifies us, blesses us.
Therefore it is that we pray.
Even so, let us pray to revered and beloved Holy Master that by his
blessings we will be enabled to constantly keep ourselves in a state
of continuous contact and communion with the Supreme Being, for that
is the greatest good of man. In that lies the highest welfare of the
human individual. In that lies the fulfilment and success of the
pilgrim soul upon earth, success in ultimately completing this
journey of life by reaching the destination-not having to come
back again to repeat this journey, but making it the final journey.
Supremely blessed are those who are thus graced by the almighty
Spirit Divine and blessed by their spiritual master. May all of you
who sit and hear this word be thus graced by God and guru. God bless
The value of prayer can never be overstated. Prayer is the point
of contact with God. No one can reveal God to another. By
developing the habit of prayer we place ourselves in a position
to receive God-experience, in due time. Spiritual experience can
come only through proper understanding of prayer. Silent prayer
is the preparation of consciousness for the experience of
Divinity within. From childhood one should be tuned up to the
habit of prayer well enough so that at adult age one is ready to
comprehend the inevitable message that unhappiness and suffering
are necessary for the unfolding of the soul within and to stand
that unhappiness and suffering, prayer is the needed nutrition.
PraNAms to all advaitins.
Prof. V. Krishnamurthy
My website on Science and Spirituality is http://www.geocities.com/profvk/
You can access my book on Gems from the Ocean of Hindu Thought Vision and Practice, and my father R. Visvanatha Sastri's manuscripts from the site.
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