13 | Prayer: Part I | The condition of the heart | Dr Harbhajan Singh
Prayer goes beyond being a mere tool to satisfy worldly desires or solve temporary issues. It is a state of the heart, a reflection of our thoughts. Although each individual has their unique approach to prayer, its purest and most innate form originates from the depths of our hearts. It doesn’t require us to enter some church, mosque, or temple or recite learned words or poems; instead, it beckons us to explore our own souls. Within this introspection, we discover Love – the profound connection that binds us to the creator of life, the very essence of our existence. By surrendering to the Divine Power, we gain the wisdom to overcome the challenges we face.
Location: Sankt Gilgen, Austria
Transcript of “The condition of the heart”
Dear brothers and sisters,
There are many prayers. Some people make prayers just to fulfil their wishes on the level of mind and senses. Prayer is the condition of the heart, prayer is the condition of one’s thought. Maybe it is not spoken, but it is there like the fire which is dormant. Some people make prayers just to get rid of some problems. Some people make prayers to be very rich in the world, to be good in the eyes of others, they want to be popular. Some people pray for salvation. Some only pray for the sake of the love of God. The prayer which we do on the level of senses is for worldly pleasures, and if our prayers are heard, we are very happy.
In the world, you see, people say, “No, I am not happy”, some people say, “Oh, we are very happy!” We are happy, but we are not contented from within. We use the God-Power, we wish Him only on the level of the worldly way. If our wishes are granted, or if these are given, we say, “Oh, God is very happy with us.” If those wishes are not fulfilled, we even abuse the God-Power, “Oh, who is that God-Power? He has not done a good thing for me.”
What is the most important, the most lovable prayer which all Masters stressed on for us? Guru Nanak prayed, Sant Kirpal Singh also prayed, all other Masters prayed for Him – they wanted Him, only Him (God). What is there? When one cries helplessly, the God-Power comes to help; then help is there. So far we do it and pray with our own help (in mind), help is not possible. Help is only possible when you become helpless, when you surrender to that Power – then this Power comes to help you.
You know, there was one wife of the Pandavas, Draupadi. And there was a test for her, because the other party could win her and she came into the possession of the Kauravas. And now they wanted to make her naked in the presence of a lot of people. She prayed to Lord Krishna, because she was devoted to Lord Krishna, but Lord Krishna did not reach. Then she became helpless. Then the Power that is innate in us (helped her), we can call it by many names Christ-Power, Master-Power, God-Power; that is within each one of us and He is the Master of the whole creation. That is within us, that is the Life of our life. We are in the body due to Him, due to that Power. When that Power withdraws from us, we are no more in the world, we have to lose this body. So that Power which can materialise, can manifest, has all possibilities. He is self-consistent, He is self-existent, there is no barrier for that Power. That Power came to help her.
Who was that Power? The ninth Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur writes, it was Karunamae. Karunamae was that Power; He was the Power who created the highest post, the highest place in the domain of God. He became the Creator. As Kabir came in all four ages, as Sat Sukrat, Muninder, Karunamae and Kabir, Karunamae was that Power who came in the Silver Age. This Power is within us, that is called the Christ-Power. When we cry helplessly, this Power comes from within and solves all our problems. That is what is also written in the Holy Bible, “I shall never leave thee nor forsake thee till the end of the world.”
That Power would not leave us. He is our Father or He is our Beloved. So far the Lover does not yearn and does not become the Beloved himself then he cannot find the Beloved. He has to mould himself in the life of the Beloved. That is what happens in the life of all Masters. They were love-personified forms, because the love was overflowing through them. Wherever they went, they gave the radiation of that love everywhere, they scattered this love. If something is holding the whole creation, the whole manifestation – that is out of love. Love is a binding factor and you cannot separate it from your life. This is innate in the soul. We are of the same essence as that of God.
When Lord Krishna reached there, she said, “I remembered you and you did not come, why have you come now?” He said, “Whom did you remember?” She said: “Lord Krishna.” “Of which place?” “From Bindraban.” He used to live in one place called Bindraban. “Oh, then I had to come from Bindraban.” He said, “This Power was within you”. She said, “Yes, that Power helped me.” This Power is too close, this is why it is said that we have direct and independent contact with the God-Power. There should be no person in between – that is the Power.
All that we have to get, all that is our heritage – we can find it in love. That is something told everywhere. But there is something higher than love and that is the outcome of love. When love knows no limits… You know there is much difference between worldly love and the love of God. Worldly love is when our eyes do not bear the love. It transmits to the heart and from the heart it transmits to the eyes. And in the form of tears it comes out. When you weep over for some time, then you lose some of the love – this is a worldly love. Sometimes it happens and people say, “Oh, let her or him weep!” so that the extreme love and the extreme separation are then minimised. That is worldly love. This is not a (real) love, this is attachment. But God-love is: The heart of the Saint is over here, at the seat of the soul. From there it arises and goes everywhere, and then it comes back over here. It has a power that can radiate everything. That can create (love) in its way, it has a colour, a special colour. When you are dyed in this colour you are the same as that of love. You cannot leave. It is a binding force, it will bind you, it will tie you in love. You do not feel any separation. Then what comes out of it? Devotion. Love is good, but devotion is still higher than love. But still higher is surrender.
This is the outcome of the various phases of love. When you have love then you have devotion, then you have the power to surrender. Surrender only comes when you rise above the plane of senses and the shackles of the mind. Then these stages come in the life of man, he says, “It does not matter. Let people ask, let people say – what I am, I am.” One does not care. He is fully embedded in His Master. These things are there – love, devotion and yearning. You know, yearning finds its place in the ruling passion. When you yearn for something you have a ruling passion for it, to get it, “Okay, I will have, I certainly should have it.” You are determined, you determine your life, “Yes, I am after it.”
This is a way of life, an art of life. Our life is really full of love. Because it is of the same essence as that of God. We cannot separate it. Why do we feel different? Because we are simply identified with the mind and the matter. Our attention is moving outside, if we come back to our house and start right from the house, then we seek these things. We do not start from the house. This is a forgetfulness, we forget it. We have forgotten our way of life. The actual way was to start from this man-body. We did not start it from our own self. We did it as people do. We take the steps as others are doing it. No, we have to follow the footsteps of our Masters, and they remind us to start from our own self. It is a way of life. So far you do not start it from your own self, you are ignorant. You are misled right from the house – right from your own self you are misled.
Masters tell us how to create love, devotion and yearning and the ruling passion in life. These are the devotional services unto ourselves. Because only through it we can find God, otherwise there is no way out.
One time it happened that Lord Krishna had to go for six months to a distant place. And Radha, his wife, was very much loving Him, and they had to separate, they had to leave. Sometimes separation also creates all these things. It creates love, it creates devotion, it creates yearning, and then it creates a ruling passion in life. We are separated from God. And once we know all the attributes or the competence of the Master then this separation leads us (to the place) from where we once separated. We can go back by learning, yearning, by ruling passion. We can come very close to the perennial source. When you come back to the perennial source you are dressed well, you are at the right place, you say, “I am now fine there.” All Masters have claimed that status. They said, “Now we have decided, now we have determination, and our determination will bring the fruit into our life.” They started like this.
Radha, due to this separation, was in sweet remembrance of Lord Krishna, so much so that one day, after six months, Lord Krishna knocked on the door. She said, “Who are you? Who is knocking on the door?” He said, “I am Lord Krishna.” She said, “Now I do not need you, because I myself have become Lord Krishna.”
This is a way of life. It is very pure love. Pure love only comes through, not only love. Because when we only create love then we create hope, we create some hopes to have that love. No, hope is not there. There is no need for any hope. Hope is also a state of mind. It is a hindrance of the mind, it is an obstruction in the way of love. It is a barrier. All these hopes are the worldly way. We cannot put hope in those things. It is your heritage, you must get it, why hope is there? You are given this birth, so you are entitled to come only in the man-body to have your heritage back. You are a love-personified form, you are the same essence as your Father. We have to become like Him. Our purpose is to create all these attributes – these are the attributes in life. The more you gain, the closer you are to Him.
Master tells us how we have to create them. It is such a thing that comes into (one’s) life that will change the life at once. Then you would never have a darkened view. You will always have a bright view. Because once the love settles in, then you have a lot of attributes. What are the main attributes you get? You know how to sacrifice everything for the sake of love, for the sake of meeting the Lord within you. You have a sacrifice. You wish to sacrifice everything, and you say, “Oh, I do not need it.” What does the negative power do? He will create a lot of wishes around you. When you have a ruling passion, you say, “No, I have sacrificed everything.” Those wishes would not have any meaning with you. You repel them like anything.
One Master, the third Master of the Sikhs, Guru Amar Das, said, “If all the good things and all the riches of the three worlds are put together, a person who has a yearning for his Godhood will never even look at it.” Because this is useless for him. This is just like a matter and he is very dreaded of this matter. Because he knows that we spoiled our life and we are spoiling our life for a lot of reasons.
And these reasons do not leave us. We are fully entitled to them and they are entitled to us. And we cannot be free from those facts. These can be the very hard facts of life. Masters went through them and they taught us the very lesson to get rid of those hard facts. If we have to go through the hard facts of life, the teaching is there, so nicely written – we should believe it. Believe the testimony of the Masters because whatever is there – it is for us. It is not for the beasts or for the animals, it is for those who have the discriminating power. We have the discriminating power. We are in this holy body, it is the true temple of God because of the discriminating power. When our Master comes to you, whenever the God-into-action-power dwells in human form, dwells in flesh, He always comes with discrimination power. He blesses all, He multiplies our discriminating power in a lot of ways.
How many ways are there? A lot of people have different ways. It is the Master-Power, it is the Beloved – how can she (the soul) please her husband? She knows it. Master is the Beloved. She has all art, the beloved has all art to please her husband. She knows, “I have not to leave my husband, I must cooperate.”
Like a good mother. So far the child is having those sighs in the breast, the mother hugs him again and again till the child is silent. “O, my child is happy now.” Master makes us happy. He knows from where the problem has started and how the problem will end, He knows already. He knows the beginning and He knows the end. He knows our habits and He also knows how to overcome our problem – if we live with Him, if we surrender to Him. And that is only possible when you have a love for Him and when you are fully devoted to Him. Otherwise not, no yearning is there. Yearning is there when we say, “O Master, now we want You, we wish You.”
Maulana Rumi has said: “O God, bless me with this very turn of life.” This is a turn of life, a rare opportunity that we are given in this human birth – it is to meet God. He says, “I have been in this world like grass. I was cut millions of times and millions of times I grew again. I was cut, I was growing. O, I am knowing my plight. I was so much disturbed and this much I know with Your Grace that (now) it is my turn, please bless me! Please bless me at this very moment! I don’t want to come again. I want to join You. Because I have come from Your source. And there is no source, hundred thousand births, ages upon ages I have been here, I have not found any source in this life where I may be adjusted anywhere. I could not adjust, I did not find any place in the three worlds where I am entitled to. I have no heritage anywhere. Your source is loveable to me. Please, bless me with your source. Bring me to Your lap.”
All Masters yearn for it. They make prayer after prayer, a thousand prayers. One Master said, “How should I thank the Master? If my eyes became a thousand eyes it will not fulfil my desire to see Him, (not even) if from each pore of my body I started to look at my Master.” Who is the Master? That is the radiant form of the Master. You don`t look at Him from the outside, try to see Him in the radiant form, He is something else. He is very lovable. And so the Master of the whole creation is only the One, He is the Doer. If really you cross over all these phases of life (you can leave the world). These phases are the barriers without which we cannot live in this world. But why should we live in this world when the purpose is to leave this world and go back? Master reminds us in many, many ways.