Very often when my disciples hold meetings in my absence, I tell them to make a programme with a specific amount of time for meditation, say fifteen minutes or half an hour, and then to have some discussion and reading of my writings. But when the time comes for singing The Supreme, our Invocation, at that time if somebody says, “Now I am in a very high meditation; I don’t want to sing,” then I feel that he is doing something wrong. Meditation is extremely necessary, but we also have to invoke the presence of the Supreme twenty-four hours a day. This is the most important thing in our spiritual life.
Everything has a place of its own. During the hour and a half that you have your programme, you can meditate, you can discuss, you can read. But when the time comes to sing our invocation in a group, if you feel that you are too deep and withdrawn to sing, then unconsciously you are standing in everybody else’s way. Consciously you are in a very deep meditation, but those others who are singing — who are now one and want to bring down Light or Grace from the Supreme — will find it difficult to sing because they will feel a kind of unconscious resistance from you. You may say, “I am not resisting. I am doing my own job and they are doing theirs.” But when you are in a group, if the rest of the members are doing something, it is better for you to join them. Of course, you have to know what it is that they are doing. If they are singing our invocation or doing very soulful chanting, then you are obliged to join. But if one of them is inspired to sing ordinary songs and somebody else joins, at that time you have every right to refuse to participate. In the case of other songs if anybody says, “I don’t feel like singing that song,” he or she is at perfect liberty not to sing. But when it is a matter of singing our invocation, I feel everybody has to join because the invocation is our mantra, our realisation.
When we say, “Supreme, I bow to Thee,” at that time we offer Him our whole inner and outer existence — everything; what we have and what we are enters into our Source. So the invocation is the real meditation for us. I always ask my disciples to learn that song first and then to sing that song at least once a day. When you sing the Invocation, it serves the purpose of prayer and meditation together. If you are unable to meditate early in the morning because of family pressures or because of your children, then the best thing is to sing The Supreme most soulfully on your way to work. That will help you.
Again, you can create circumstances in your favour. If you know that at a particular hour your children or your husband will demand food and create problems for you, then you can easily get up ten minutes earlier. If you know that at six o’clock they may create problems for you, then you can get up at five-thirty and meditate in secret, like a divine thief. Some spiritual Masters say, “Meditate, but do it in secret; do it like a thief, a divine thief.” Since you know that you are missing your meditation from time to time, you can play a trick: in the morning get up a few minutes earlier than your family does and meditate. After you have finished your meditation, then you can feed your husband and children and go to work. But if this is sometimes impossible, if you have gone to bed late and you get up at the same hour as your husband and children, then what can you do? At that time, the best thing is to sing The Supreme most soulfully.