Ask for the Lord of the Lord
For the needed help cry to the Lord or His incarnation, the Master, "Oh Lord! We are cunning, hard-hearted, crafty and lustful. But take us across in spite of all this. You are all-powerful, You can give us refuge. Save us through Your Grace." Jap – repetition of names –, Tap – austerities –, rules of discipline, cleanliness and self-discipline cannot rid us of our faults. "Oh Lord! We are in utter darkness. Pray take us out of it. Favour us with a kind and merciful glance."
Guru Nanak says:
Cunning, hard-hearted, crafty and lustful am I; oh Lord! take me across despite my faults. You are powerful and the giver of refuge. Preserve me by Your will. Jap, Tap, Name, cleanliness, self-discipline will not rid me of my weaknesses. Oh Lord! through Your Grace take Nanak out of this utter darkness.
Kanra M5, 1301-18
He again prays: "Oh Lord! save us. We can do nothing by ourselves. The only way to control the mind is to listen to the melody of the Name. Please give this to us. (See chapter on Kirtan and Name). Oh Lord! save us."
We can do nothing by ourselves. By Your Grace give us the Name.
Dhanasri M5, 675
To those who pray to the Lord through the Master and holy men and take refuge in Him, the light of the Name is revealed.
Gojri M4, 492
Yogis of the past, learned men, ascetics, yatis – self-disciplined men – and men of letters all became tired of their efforts to find the true way and failed. Nothing they did was of any avail against the mind. None of their efforts succeeded in controlling the mind. The only effective way is the practice of the true Shabd or Name, and this can be had only from a Master.
Control the mind by listening to the melody. It will not be controlled by any other method. The mind can only be controlled by hearing the melody; the yogi practices yoga, while the learned increase their knowledge; the ascetics are tired of austerities, and the practice of self-discipline also failed them; the devotees engage in mental contemplation. and are deceived; the pandits read the Vedas and enlarge their knowledge, but fail; keenness of intellect does not help, and inaction leads to regret. No other practice can help, practice listening to the Shabd. When the Shabd is realised the Master is found, and the disciple attends on Him with detachment; when the practice of Surat Shabd is perfected, then only is the mind controlled.
Sar Bachan, 216
After receiving the wealth of Naam, the wandering of the mind comes to an end. It then does not wish to remain away from the Lord, but wishes to live with Him for ever.
Oh mother! I have been given the Lord's Name; my mind has stopped its wavering and is now still.
(For further details see chapter on the Mind.)
In this state the devotee feels that the Lord is always with him. He hands over all his sufferings and worries to Him and is unmoved by either pain or pleasure. He is convinced that the Lord is thousands of times more intelligent, wise, strong and merciful than himself and that He looks after His devotee and is his greatest well-wisher. He hands over his worries and his intellect to Him, and remains content with His Will. His intellect becomes keen, and his prayers become perfect. He surrenders everything to the Lord and says, "O Lord! You are the refuge of all living beings. You came here for the sake of all. Whatever You will is good for me. This is my only prayer."
Whatever meets with Your approval is right conduct. You are the ever-existing formless One.
Jap Ji, Stanza 4-2
All living beings depend on You, and You take care of them; whatever You will is good for me. This is the prayer of Nanak.
Belawal M1, 765-13
Oh Nanak! Praised be the Name. May You bless all.
In the end, after attaining joy in surrendering to the Lord's Will, the seeker gives up praying. He knows that the Lord knows all. He remains happy in the state ordained by the Lord; he loves all actions of the Lord.
Wherever I look, You are there. This is my firm conviction. To whom should I pray, when the Lord hears everything?
Gauri M5, 205-9
Wherever He dwells, there is heaven.
Majh M5, 106-7
Your acts are like Nectar to me. Nanak prays for the gift of the Name only.
Asa M5, 394-4
When the omniscient One knows all, to whom can we pray? When He is present in every heart, to whom should we make our supplication?
The Lord knows all and is omniscient. To whom then should we pray?
Sorath M5, 625-1
What can the lowly say in prayer, when the Lord is present in all hearts?
Kama M4, 1304-10
The Saints have attained this state and it seems to Them to be infidelity to pray and to doubt His Grace. Saints always remain reconciled to His Will. They are absorbed in Him. The devotee and the Lord become One. The Lord is in control of the devotee, and whatever desire springs up in the heart of the devotee is at once granted by Him. Wherever the devotee may go, the Lord goes, and He helps him at every step, just as a mother helps her little child.
Guru Arjan Sahib says:
Whatever is asked is given by the Lord; oh Nanak! Whatever is said by Him proves to be true.
Dhanasri M5, 681-19
Whatever the work of the devotee may be, the Lord hastens to do it, He always shows Himself to be with the devotee. Whatever he asks from the Lord, the same comes to pass at once.
Asa M5, 403-15
Kabir Sahib says that his mind became as pure as the water of the Ganges. The Lord followed him, saying, "Kabir, Kabir," He further says that the Lord was always waiting for him to ask for something so that He might give it to him.
Oh Kabir! The mind has become pure, like the water of the Ganges. The Lord follows me, saying, 'Kabir, Kabir.'
Kabir, Salok, 1367-8
The hunger of the devotee is satisfied when he meets the Lord, and he then no longer feels hungry or thirsty. He receives from the Lord the treasure of Naam, and this gives him all the nine powers. He gets whatever his heart desires. His prayers never remain unanswered.
When You are his Father, oh Lord, how can he be hungry? He receives the Name and the nine miraculous powers from You, and he gets whatever he desires.
Malar M5, 1266
His supplications never go in vain.
Bilawal M5, 819-11
He now knows the reality of prayer. To pray means that one is still not perfect. But when the Lord makes a man perfect, he lacks nothing.
My heart responds to Your Will, since it is perfect.
Ravidas, Dhanasri, 694-6
What can a devotee ask for when the Lord is always with him? The devotee is absorbed in the form of the Lord. Both become One. Who is to ask and from whom?
What a wonderful description of this state has been given by Guru Arjan Dev Sahib:
He is deathless, so I am fearless; He does not desert me, and I am not a prisoner; He is not a pauper, and I am not hungry; He has no cares, and I have no trouble; Him no one can destroy; He is the One who gives life; He is free from bondage, and we are not bound; He does not have to toil, and we are not slaves; He is not attached, and we are not attached; He is bliss, and we are happy in His Will; He is not worried, and we have no cares; He is not stained, and we too are not stained; He is not hungry, and we have no hunger; He is pure, and we are pure because of Him; we are nothing; He is the only One; He is both in front and behind; oh Nanak! the Guru removes all delusion and doubts; I have become One by uniting with Him.
Asa M5, 391-1