The Helplessness of the Materialist
We find that a materialist, while possessing all means and materials, does not reach the ultimate objectives he desires. All his material possessions do not enable him to do so. He then becomes helpless. He perceives no ray of hope in the darkness of his failure. He does not like anything. His life becomes a burden to him. He feels no interest in life and in his despair he may commit suicide. He lives like a corpse devoid of life. As compared with this, a person who knows the reality makes an effort to gain worldly wealth, but knowing that the Lord is the ultimate Cause of all causes, leaves the fruits to Him and surrenders gladly to His will and pleasure. The Lord may do whatever is good for him, for it is only the Lord who knows what is good for us (See chapter on Will, Hukam and Fate). If the result is in accordance with his wishes, he is thankful. If it is to the contrary, he submits to it cheerfully, because he knows that whatever is happening is in accordance with the order and will of the Lord. He asks for the Lord's help at every step, because he knows that there is always something that is beyond the reach of his own efforts. Crying for help in this way is called prayer.
In reality, prayer is the gathering and stilling of the waves of the mind at the inner centre1. When some desire springs up in the mind or one is worried by some worldly affliction, he thinks in his heart of the power of the Lord and looks to Him for inspiration. The heart of man is the dwelling place of the Lord. The Lord is the great storehouse of power. He is the true and complete ideal. By contemplating on Him a man gains peace within himself and becomes powerful. When he gets this power, he is able to think of ways of getting out of his troubles. The mind gets power to put forth effort. By offering prayers, the mind gets one-pointed2. A patience-giving current of thoughts is generated which makes a man alert and active. He develops habits of patience, contentment and forbearance, and acquires courage and strength with which to face difficulties. These are the fruits of prayer.
The wise know that there is great strength in the soul of man. The mind is related to the soul. Therefore, when the waves of the mind are stilled, they come under the influence of the soul and gain strength from it. The soul is conscious and powerful, since it is a particle of the Lord. The Lord permeates it. Man considers himself to be limited and feeble, and it is indeed true that one becomes what he thinks himself to be. But the soul is a particle of the Lord, and the Lord is infinite. If the particle thinks of the infinite for some time, it finds itself to be infinite.
You are a particle of the infinite, and if you think of the infinite for some time you will become infinite.
When the soul is connected with the Lord, it receives infinite strength from His current of powers. Although you are finite, there is a power within you which is infinite. This is the Lord Himself. On understanding this, one begins to understand the reality of the fact that the soul and the Lord are One. The soul takes the dye of the Lord and becomes One with Him.
The Father and son are dyed in the same hue.
Bhairo M5, 1161-15
I and my Father are One.
Those with true intelligence go inside and pray. They then get benefit from the merciful current of the Lord. Those of lesser wisdom worship symbols or go to mosques or temples where there are idols, and pray before them. There are those who know the spiritual regions and go inside and get direct help through the mind3, while there are others who go to certain holy places such as rivers and so forth, and pray there. All of them get results according to the one-pointedness4 of their mind and faith. No such action is without results.
Some deny the existence of God, and do not think it proper to offer prayers. The Lord is invisible and unseeable. He cannot be seen by the senses. But He permeates our soul. He is not separate from us, whether we believe in Him or not. He is the soul of our souls. He sustains them. He is in truth one – Mahatmas call Him by various names (see chapter on Name).
We have already said that prayer can be described as the stilling of one's inner feelings at the mind centre. In this are included detachment and practice, knowledge and contemplation and worship and recitation.
Footnote: 1) This refers to the eye-focus behind and between the eyebrows.
2) This term is also used in man-made yoga paths to describe the concentration on one point, which is intended to calm the waves of the mind. In Surat Shabd Yoga, concentration at the eye-focus on the Shabd, Which reveals Itself as Inner Light and Inner Sound, leads to the desired focusing. The Shabd, Which is eternal and comes directly from the Father, has the power to calm the mind.
Listening to the Dhun, the mind gets stilled, none of the myriad of ways can work this miracle. The yogin practices yogic exercises, the Jnani is immersed in Jnana. The hermit tires himself out in lone solitude, the anchorite does endless austerities. Those who meditate on the mental patterns, they too suffer from a great delusion. Learning and knowledge are of not much avail, for the wise in the end have to rue their wisdom. The Pandit engages in the recitation of the Vedas but all his sacred lore fails to take him any nearer to God. No other means are of any consequence whatever, the only beneficial way is that of Shabd. When a Master of the Sound Current appears on the scene, the disciple too begins to feel the yearning of the new birth. With the practice of the Surat Shabd Yoga, the mind-stuff gradually sinks within itself till nothing remains.
Swami Shiv Dayal Singh, Sar Bachan 216
3) This refers to the universal mind.
4) See 2).