I love that story from the Rumi, about the man praying out loud calling to God. A cynic asks him if he has ever heard a response and this give him pause. His lips are no longer sweet with praise. He goes home and has a troubled sleep. In a dream, he is asked why he stopped. The answer was the longing he felt that caused him to call out.
“This longing you express is the return message.”
The grief you cry out from draws you toward union.
Your pure sadness that wants help is the secret cup.
Listen to the moan of a dog for its master.
That whining is the connection.
There are love dogs no one knows the names of.
Give your life to be one of them.
There is something universal in that, something every man and woman can connect with and to me that is longing. That sincere longing that makes us ask “is there more to this than what I have seen?” that sincere longing takes us away from all the edifices we have built outwardly to the throne room of the heart. Within that longing there is a bridge in this very moment between the creator and the created waiting to be crossed.
We unite to worship Thee, O Spirit!
To worship Thee, O Spirit, with a myriad living thoughts of devotion we have built a universal shrine – domeless, immeasurable. In reverence niches we place lustrous wisdom lamps from all temples, tabernacles, viharas, pagodas, mosques, and churches.
The commingled incense of our divine yearnings soars in spirals from the bowl of our hearts. In the unutterable language of love we pour out to Thee our paeans of praise.
Within our silenced beings the mighty organ of Aum plays the canticle of all aspirations, the lament of all tears, and the swelling shout of all joys.
In this wall-less soul structure we, Thy children, are united. We feel the grace of Thy pleasure, O Father of All! Amen, Hum, Amin, Aum.
– From Whispers from Eternity by Paramahansa Yogananda. Reprinted by permission of Self-Realization Fellowship.
In the realm of longing there is are no labels, even the concept of you and or I seems false, there is a great silence that is the true language for which all else spoken is a lesser elaboration, it is a loving ‘no where’ ; immanent in all and everything, but nowhere. The finite and infinite are locked in this eternal embrace. To me the words of prayer are what is being said between both parties within the ambience of this embrace. Through the finite we can break through through the infinite and vice versa. I think because of these views I feel prayer is somethingvery sacred. Something so private that I never talk about.
Honestly, I didn’t even know yesterday was the National Dayof Prayer , and I have never heard of it before fortunately I was reminded by a friend at the SRF (The Self Realization Fellowship). Today the members of the Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) will offer special prayers for the healing and upliftment of all humanity. Paramahansa Yogananda –– the great yoga master who founded SRF, spoke often of the power of prayer. “Words saturated with sincerity, conviction, faith, and intuition are like highly explosive vibration bombs, which, when set off, shatter the rocks of difficulties and create the change desired,” he said.
The members of the SRF and I both share the sentiment that prayer can bring people of all faiths and backgrounds together and foster a deeper understanding of the underlying unity of all religions. To this end Paramahansa Yogananda’s “Prayer for a United World” is as relevant today as it was when he first composed it many years ago, and it would be a travesty if I didnt mention it here.
Prayer for a United World
May the heads of all countries and races be guided to understand that men of all nations are physically and spiritually one: physically one, because we are the descendants of common parents — the symbolic Adam and Eve; and spiritually one, because we are the immortal children of our Father, bound by eternal links of brotherhood.
Let us pray in our hearts for a League of Souls and a United World. Though we may seem divided by race, creed, color, class, and political prejudices, still, as children of the one God we are able in our souls to feel brotherhood and world unity. May we work for the creation of a United World in which every nation will be a useful part, guided by God through man’s enlightened conscience.
In our hearts we can all learn to be free from hate and selfishness. Let us pray for harmony among the nations, that they march hand in hand through the gate of a fair new civilization.
–From Metaphysical Meditations by Paramahansa Yogananda. Reprinted by permission of Self-Realization Fellowship.
I hope that no matter outwardly how diffferent we are we can stand together and look at the present and see clearly what is unfolding not just within the context of our lives, or our countries, our planets but within our hearts.
Wishing you all the best