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Shriyantra Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas Swami Omkarananda



Thought for the Day:


Swami Omkarananda


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Prepare the Ground for the Grand Aim

Prayer and Meditation are two aspects of the same movement towards God. Prayer is indispensable, but it may not be the prayer that is generally understood by people. There are hundreds of forms of prayer.

What really is prayer? A means, by which you are seeking to commune with the divine presence and power. It is a condition in you heart and mind, by which you put away your little personality and its problems and put yourself in tune with the divine Reality.

Meditation is an advanced development on this line. In meditation you have transcended the conditions of prayer. You are not merely conscious of the divine power. You are not merely contacting the divine presence, but you have become one with it. Everything in you is lost in Godhead. In meditation you become as God Himself. This is an advanced stage which is not given to one, unless one constantly, by small prayers, goodness, service and divine knowledge, seeks to prepare oneself for this condition and high attainment.

By day-after-day's struggle and striving, all in us must be constantly prepared towards this high aim. We should have prayed millions of times, before we can arrive at the first step in meditation. Besides that, as nature has produced us, we are very crude. Though our bodies are clean and neatly dressed, though our minds are disciplined and trained by the university, yet the dangerous devil of passion, lust, greed, selfishness, hypocrisy and falsehood have to be completely thrown out of your system. It is only then, that we are really civilised. It is only then, that we are cultured. It is only then that we are eligible for the grand aim.

Everything in us has to be transformed, transfigured and prepared. We have to throw out the roots of nature, which are so ugly, nasty, barbarous. In order this may be achieved, there should be not only growth in love and purity in us, but growth in every refinement. There has to be an exaltation of the heart and the mind, a readiness to take more pain and to work more hard, a readiness to sacrifice animal functions for the sake of development of the higher powers. Simultaneously with this grand process of transformation and divinisation there must be continued prayer, and meditation. There must be also some devotional act, deeds of divine love.

The point is, there are many misconceptions. Unfortunately, people take up some book on meditation and fascinated by this interesting subject, they try to meditate. Now, they meditate for ten years. They come and ask, why there is no result. Therefore I have sought to draw your attention to the grand preparatory ground that has to be discovered. When you prepare the inner basis and foundation, meditation comes to you automatically.

Sometimes it so happens, as you are walking in the street, that your heart is uplifted and inspired. As you walk, you feel: 'these human beings are expressions and embodiments of God. Is this nature merely a material formation? Or is it infinite Godhead?'

Such thoughts are automatically thrown up from your inner heart. Let us not forget that you are yourself undeniably the grand manifestation of God. Your heart is an ocean of infinite knowledge. All the millions and trillions of books are there inside yourself. When you have prepared the ground as I have just described, automatically new ideas, new intuitions and illuminations spring from your heart.

When everything in you is ready and radiant, you will see that wisdom is being poured into you; indescribable grace and strength are being poured into you. At this stage, even if you do not want God, everything in you will be turned towards God. At this stage, even if you do not want to pray and meditate, all in you automatically sinks into prayer and meditation.

A time arrives in your life, when even if you do not want to meditate, automatically everything in you strives to meditate. A time arrives in your life, when even if you do not want God, God will be working in you, through you, around you, with you, and you will be able to perceive Him. Those who have arrived at a higher stage of perfection, will be able to perceive Him in you. All that you have to do, is to discover that the goal of God-Consciousness is already in you.

Let us take away the animal about us. Let us wash out all that is earthly and human. Let us polish our mirror so thoroughly, that whenever we look into it, it is not at ourselves that we are looking, but at Reality, at God.

Before we can experience infinite Truth - God - as absolute perfection, absolute peace and joy we first have to experience God as love in the heart of the people surrounding us. We have to experience God as life and its endless dignity within ourselves as well as in others. We have to experience God through the unfoldment of great goodness and selflessness - selfless service and selfless love for all creation. We have to experience God through the unfoldment of higher virtues, through the power of great perseverance and rare patience, for God dwells in these qualities. This is the base.

It is when this base is erected that we can experience God in visions and intuitions. When the base is ready and the heart is rendered pure then higher powers of perception unfold themselves and one experiences what is hidden to others: the presence of the Divine, a strength that is superhuman, a peace that cannot be disturbed through the challenges and tragedies of daily life however great they be.

Before we can experience God as He is in Himself, we have to experience Him as He reveals Himself in those around us. We have to grow morally and ethically through hard work. And work means discipline, Yoga, sacrifice, a good character, a character free from animal qualities like hatred, jealousy, envy, anger, vanity etc.

One has to experience God in intense prayer and meditation, before one can demand the experience of God as unending perfection, eternal life, endless, beginningless Truth.

- Swami Omkarananda


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