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Shriyantra Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas Swami Omkarananda

 

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Swami Omkarananda

 

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God's Answer to Your Prayers

People pray to God for enlightenment and grace, but when God comes, they are not ready to receive Him. They are speechless and try to avoid Him, because - seen from a worldly standpoint - God means renunciation and the loss of all their self-made misery, and people love their misery; it gives them enjoyment.

Take an example. A man is lame and crippled. Though may be unconsciously, he loves his handicap, it attracts the sympathy and attention of others. He therefore clings to his condition. There are millions of such phenomena and God stays far from such people who love their old misery and are not willing to change.

Let us take another example. There is a pious lady, throughout life she has been praying and visiting every temple. One day God appears before her and says: 'Come with me.' 'Oh,' says the lady, 'that would be wonderful, but I still have so many duties towards my grandchildren. I cannot come. I feel obliged to serve my granddaughter for whom I feel great affection. She has no one else.'

The granddaughter has everything, but the lady thinks she depends on her. 'Good,' says God, 'in this case I will come again when your granddaughter has grown up and your duties are over.'

After twenty years God returns. Again He says: 'Come with me.' But although this lady has always prayed: 'Lord, grant me Your experience, I want to be with You,' she now excuses herself 'O Lord,' she says, 'see, my granddaughter has a small child and I feel responsible to help her. When this child goes to Kindergarten there is no one to assist her. I have to stay.' 'That's good,' says God, 'I am going back.'

Thereafter what happens? The great-granddaughter grows up and becomes a big problem. Yet this lady feels attached to her. One day the great-granddaughter approaches her: 'Look, I am short of money. You have got bonds worth five-thousand Dollars. Give them to me and I shall return the money with interest later. But the old lady refuses: 'That's not possible, it is my only financial security.' Now a quarrel ensues. The great-granddaughter begins to hate and trouble the old lady. In this way there are thousands of problem-creating attachments that bind the human heart and keep it away from the Divine.

But there are also wonderful people who are pure at heart. What do they do, if God comes? Immediately they leave everything and follow Him. Such persons are very rare, but you can be absolutely sure that the grace of God will look after their grand- and great-grandchildren. They need no old lady or grandmother. God's Omnipotence cares for them and protects them. His unlimited wealth provides for them. The boundless abundance of the Divine alone can really sustain everyone.

There are countless forms of life in this vast creation of God. There is life in every stone. Who nourishes them all? God. He sustains the whole of creation by His wisdom and all-loving care.

Your heart must be ready to receive and enshrine the Divinity. Daily many people repeat prayers: 'Come, O Mother Divine, dwell in my heart.' Immediately the all-seeing, all-hearing, omnipresent Divinity reacts and stands at the door, waiting. But these praying people are surrounded by beings. Who are they? Mr. Egoism, Mr. Vanity, Mrs. Ignorance, and so on. Where is there space for God to live in such a heart? On the one hand they call God, on the other hand there is no space for Him, because their hearts are already filled with attachments and aversions, jealousy, arguments, envy, gossip and criticism, which destroy the spiritual life and prevent God from revealing Himself to the heart of the seeker.

People meditate and pray and then gossip or go to the city where they lose themselves in shop windows and in fashion shopping, forgetting God entirely. And yet they are surprised when all their meditations and prayers are fruitless.

We have to fulfil the conditions for the Divine to dwell in us. People pray: 'From ignorance lead me to truth. From darkness lead me to light.' But they are not ready to fulfil the preconditions for such a guidance. Therefore they keep praying and meditating for a lifetime without achieving any significant progress. They call themselves spiritual and want to live in a divine place among spiritual people, but in reality they are all the time consciously or unconsciously occupied with unnecessary and worldly thoughts. Such a life only leads into deeper darkness, disease and death.

It is not enough merely to pray and meditate; you have to fulfil the conditions for success on the spiritual path. As long as your heart and mind are preoccupied with other things and persons, God is helpless. Not even His omnipotence can help Him enter your heart. You have to make yourself receptive to the omnipresence of the Divine and remain truthful to His wonderful love and wisdom.

There are people who know what is right and do what is wrong. They long for the spirit, but follow the body. But then it is useless to complain that God is not compassionate and caring.

- Swami Omkarananda
 

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