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Night Prayer Meditation

"One thing more by way of practice is to offer daily the brief prayer: (Oh, Master, thou art the real goal of human life. We are yet but slaves of wishes putting bar to our advancement. Thou art the only God and Power to bring us up to that stage.) at bedtime in the most suppliant mood with a heart overflowing with divine love. Repeat the prayer in your mind once or twice and begin to meditate over it for a few moments. The prayer must be offered in a way as if some most miserable man is laying down his miseries with a deeply afflicted heart before the Supreme Master imploring for his mercy and grace, with tearful eyes. Then alone can he become a deserving aspirant...

"Prayer remains the most important and unfailing means of success. Through it we have established our link with the holy Divine. The reason why prayer should be offered with a heart full of love and devotion, is that one should create within oneself a state of vacuity so that the flow of Divine grace may be diverted towards him. When the world emerged into the present form, the central point was already rooted deep in all the beings. This central point rooted in us being a part of the Supreme, turns our attention towards the source. In prayer we try to reach up to the same central point. This is possible only when we create a similar state within. This requires practise. It can be attained by resigning ourselves to the Divine will, which is absolutely simple and tranquil. Apparently it seems to be very difficult, but in fact is not so, though only for those who aspire for it. When a man creates in him a strong craving for the Absolute, he is indeed in a state of prayer, and it is for everyone to strive for. Whenever a man enters into that state even for a moment, his prayer is granted. But it requires continued practise to accomplish it. People should be exhorted to offer such a type of prayer."

(Shri Ram Chandra, Complete Works, Vol. I, pp 348-350)

"To me it is a cry from inside, addressed to we know not whom, for the fulfillment of a need within. Take a tiny baby. It cries when it is hungry and its mother rushes to feed it. But does the baby know it is hungry, and that it should cry to express that hunger? Surely not! It is a cry of nature from within for the fulfillment of a need which it does not know, and nature in the form of its mother responds from outside to fill the need thus expressed inarticulately by the baby. I would therefore define prayer as a call from nature within to nature outside for the fulfillment of a need of which the self is not consciously aware. But the inner nature recognises the need and gives utterance to it. If we view prayer in this light, then we find that the idea of asking or begging for something, generally associated with prayer, no longer exists. Master himself has said, "Prayer is begging," and it is an unfortunate fact that that has been the only attitude in prayer - to beg for something. But we should not misunderstand Master as saying that prayer has to be an act of begging. All that Master means is that through the religious history of mankind, prayer has rarely risen above this attitude of begging to anything higher.

"Our Sahaj Marg prayer is profoundly different. It is different in content and in purpose. It is a mere statement of facts with no request attached to it. Master says that by uttering this prayer mentally just once, a connection with Him is created, and that is its only purpose. The flow of transmission commences thereafter. It is like a switch which, when activated, permits electricity to flow. It is therefore vital to our purpose. If the system we are following is to help us achieve our goal, the use of the prayer is of absolute importance. I would remind you that Master prescribes the mental recitation of prayer just once in the morning, before meditation is commenced. Now if the prayer is what connects the abhyasi to the Master, then if the prayer is not mentally repeated, the connection is not established. It is perhaps for this reason that many abhyasis show lack of progress! In our morning practice, it therefore works as a connecting switch. The prayer is used a second time at bedtime. Master asks us to repeat the same prayer mentally a few times and then to meditate on its meaning. Now what is the function of prayer here? I believe the function is now of an entirely different order. By meditating on the meaning we are embedding the spiritual meaning of the prayer in our deeper consciousness, in the sub-conscious, to keep it alive there right through the period of sleep. In the morning, when we repeat the prayer just once, the spiritual consciousness is brought out into our waking consciousness again, and thus a twenty-four hour cycle of permanent, uninterrupted spiritual consciousness is maintained."

(Shri Parthasarathi Rajagopalachari, Principles of Sahaj Marg, Vol. I, pp 94-96)