Q & A: Prayer, Enlightenment

KartikDear Baba
“O God, grace me with insight and keep your hand on my head so that I may do something for others and finally attain my goal of life (enlightenment).”
Is this a prayer or demand?

– Kartik Sood


Swami Akhil SaraswatiKartik,

There is No ‘God’ as a person listening to our requests and picking some to be fulfilled and igonring the others or punishing us by doing the opposite because we have ‘sinned’.

Anything addressed to such ‘God’ is plain ignorance and has nothing to do with prayer. It is just begging; begging for this or that or even to fulfill the goal of life heard from some masters, ‘Enlightenment’!

As I see it, the first prayer arises out of the state of knowing that I know nothing!

And an authentic prayer can only say, “Thy Will Shall Prevail“, “Teri Raza – Meri Raza“!

Also the word enlightenment is very interesting. Rather than making it a goal lets understand what it means:

En Lighten ment = a state in which the darkness of ignorance/ unconsciousness is completely dispelled and all that is left is pure consciousness.

Hence the prayers:
Asato Ma Sad Gamaya
Tamaso Ma Jyotir Gamaya
Mrityor Ma Amritam Gamaya

These prayers arise only when we become aware of the Asat, Tamas and Mrityu. There are millions who live and die completely unaware of these.

Only a man of awareness can enter into these prayers, someone who has a deep longing of the unknown. Someone who realizes, “what I see and know is finite, as my senses, as well as the intellect is finite“.

And yet there is a calling, a longing for the infinite, call it truth, call it god, call it whatever, it doesn’t matter.

And remember without naming the longing is much deeper and profound!

So the prayer arises from every cell, every fibre of the being, unaddressed; just a deep deep longing in its purity.

Sometimes there are just tears, sometimes there are words, sometimes there is just silence…

And the beauty is such a prayer is heard. Heard by the whole existence.

And the whole existence conspires to bring you close to a master.

Remember the saying “When the disciple is ready, the master appears“!

All that is needed is your readiness.

And when you are ready, the master shows you the path inwards – to the very core of your being.

First you go through a process of “Neti – Neti” (neither this nor that) cutting through all that is False, Pseudo, Peripheral.

And one day you arrive at the point of “Tu Hi – Tu Hi” a point when you encounter the divinity and start to Let-go.

That is the day you can say “Thy Will Only Prevails“, “Teri Raza Meri Raza“!

Remember this is not the end of the journey. The master further pushes you to see the truth “Tatwamasi“, That Art Thou!

Moving deeper into meditation merging into the very core of your being you realize you are part of the Whole, ‘That Which Is‘ and no longer separate, “Ayam Atma Brahma“, I am this Self that is Brahma.

And that is the day another prayer arises: “Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah“, May all beings be happy… you are no longer bothered about yourself, you pray for the well being and light in everyone’s life.

Do not stop here either, let the master guide you further so one day when you look around and you may realize, “Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma“, All of this is Brahma!

Now there is no prayer as you realize “Who will pray to whom and for whom“? All is ONE!

The journey continues further with the blessings of the master and one day we may realize the Whole is part of me, “Aham Brahmasmi“, I am the Brahma, the “Supreme Self“!

And yet this is not the end, some day the realization may dawn upon us that there is no Atma, no Brahma, there is absolute Shunyata, “Zero“, state of Para Brahma (beyond Brahma) in which creation “Srishti” and destruction “Pralaya” merge, in which manifest and un-manifest merge!

And eventually, purely by grace, you may realize, there is no realization – and you are Pure Ordinariness!

~ Ma Anand Divya &
Swami Akhil Saraswati