Prayer-life, meditation-life, contemplation-life1Dear seekers, here we are in a prayer room. This prayer room is dedicated to the United Nations to serve the spiritual life of the United Nations. In this prayer room I wish to give a very short talk on Prayer-Life, Meditation-Life and Contemplation-Life.
Why do we pray? We pray because we want to become great. We pray because we want to become good. When we become great, we feel that the entire world is at our feet, that the entire world is at our command. When we become good, we feel that the entire world is in us and that the entire world is for us.
By praying we can either become another Julius Caesar and Napoleon, or a Christ and a Krishna. When we become a Caesar or Napoleon, we will try to conquer the world to serve ourselves. But when we become another Christ or Krishna, we plead with the world to grant us the opportunity to elevate and illumine the world-consciousness and make other human beings feel that ours is the task to serve and fulfil them the way the Eternal Beloved Supreme wants us to fulfil them.
A life of prayer is a life of simplicity. Simplicity is a very simple word, but it houses the highest truth. It houses God, who is all simplicity. When we are simple, we come to realise that there are very few things that we actually need. Each time we can eliminate one need from our list of necessities, we derive an iota of peace of mind. And it is peace of mind that is of paramount importance in our earthly life.
Right after simplicity we see that there is something else. This is a friend, a real friend, who is waiting for us and welcoming us. The name of that friend is sincerity. When we become sincere, we are bound to feel that our goal can be reached, that the goal need not and cannot remain always a far cry. The life of sincerity makes us feel that we are eternal travellers along the road of Eternity, and are constantly reaching a certain goal. Today's goal, as we reach it, becomes the starting point for tomorrow's new adventure. We are in the process of an ever-transcending goal, an ever-transcending reality.
Then comes the life of purity. Each time we pray, we feel that something within us is coming to the fore, and that something is purity. This purity-friend of ours is liked most by our Eternal Father, our Beloved Supreme. Our Eternal Father feels that His Vision, His Dream, His Reality — whatever He has and whatever He is — can be expressed, revealed and manifested most soulfully, divinely and supremely through purity. A breath of purity holds God the Infinite, God the Eternal, God the Immortal.
Each prayer leads us to an experience. This experience can at times make us feel how helpless we are in comparison with infinite Light and Delight. And again, this experience can make us feel that Infinity, Eternity and Immortality are not vague terms but real realities within our easy reach.
After we have had the experience of the reality, we go one step ahead: we knock at the door of realisation. When we enter into the room of realisation, we see that the things we wanted to achieve, the things we have spent years or even incarnations trying to achieve, are already within us. From Eternity they have been within us, only we did not have the vision to see them. Now, we not only see them but claim them as our very own.
Each individual here is a seeker. That means each of us has a prayer within us and also something else within, which is called meditation. When we are in the prayer-world, each time we think of our body, our physical consciousness, we are reminded of something else, something more fulfilling. When we think of our physical consciousness, our earthly frame, we feel that we need something else to satisfy ourselves and to satisfy the needs of the rest of the world. But when we dive deep within and establish a free access to our life of meditation, we see that we have everything; only we have to offer it and distribute it to others. When we consider ourselves as the soul, as the divine representative of God, the highest absolute Truth, then we see, we feel, we know clearly that we have everything within us; only we have to reveal it and offer it to the world at large.
Here we are at the United Nations Chapel. When we look at the United Nations Secretariat building from the outside, when we look at the body of the United Nations, we feel that the United Nations is like a beggar: it needs everything, everything in God's creation. A beggar needs everything for himself, not for anybody else. His is an unquenchable thirst. Once we are inside the Secretariat building, we feel the infinite Light, Peace and Harmony that is inside the soul of the United Nations. This soul is crying at every moment to be of service to mankind. If we can become one with the soul of the United Nations, then we see that it has everything: world peace, world harmony, world union, world oneness.
But if we look at the body of the United Nations, then we feel that it is infinitely worse than a street beggar. A street beggar feels in the inmost recesses of his heart that some generous persons will give him alms. If we think of the United Nations as begging from country to country for support, then we feel that there is no certainty that the United Nations can last even a day beyond its present existence.
This is the case, not only with the United Nations, but also with each human being. Each time we pray with the body, in the body, for the body, we have to feel that we are acting like beggars. We feel that there is something else that we need in order to satisfy ourselves. But if we remain in the soul-consciousness, in our inner life, then we become the real emperors: we have everything.
There is a slight difference between a human emperor and a divine emperor. When a human emperor gives something to his subjects, he feels a sense of gratification. He feels that his subjects are at his mercy. They depend on his boundless compassion. But the divine emperor has a different story to offer. He feels that each human being on earth is part and parcel of his own existence. He is composed, like the ocean, of thousands of drops. Each drop is equally necessary. When he does something for an individual being, for the individual drop, he feels that he is only pleasing, satisfying, fulfilling his own dream, which is blossoming like a lotus, petal by petal.
The body reminds us of the necessity of prayer. The soul reminds us of the necessity of meditation. Each time we pray, we feel that the finite consciously or unconsciously is trying to enter into the infinite. And each time we meditate, we feel that we are cheerfully, devotedly and soulfully welcoming the Infinite to manifest itself in and through us. Then comes something else, a living reality which we call contemplation. In our prayer-life we go up to see, to feel, to bring down something. In our meditation-life we just become the recipient. In and through us the high, higher, highest Reality is manifesting itself. But when we contemplate, we feel that the finite and the Infinite are interdependent. The finite needs the Infinite; the Infinite needs the finite. Earth needs Heaven; Heaven needs earth. The divine lover needs the Supreme Beloved; the Beloved Supreme needs the lover divine. In contemplation we embody both earth-consciousness and heaven-consciousness. We embody the divine lover and the Eternal Beloved. We embody the finite; we embody the Infinite.
Now, when we want to sing the song of the many in the One, we play the role of the Heaven-consciousness, the Infinite and the Supreme Beloved. And when we want to play the role of the One in the many, then we embody the earth-consciousness, the finite consciousness and the divine-lover consciousness. Each individual has to feel that this moment he is the tree of the one absolute Reality and the next moment he is the branches and the countless leaves, flowers and fruits. God the Creator and God the creation each seeker embodies and each seeker at every moment has the boundless duty to fulfil. And this duty he fulfils only when he feels that he is of the One for the many and he is of the many for the One.
When the seeker identifies himself inseparably and eternally with earth-consciousness, he feels that there is a constant hunger in him, a hunger that constantly mounts high, higher, highest. Then, when he identifies himself with Heaven-consciousness, he feels there is constant nourishment, boundless energy, infinite nectar-delight in him; he feels that Immortality is growing in and through him. He is at once infinite hunger and infinite Delight and immortal Life. In the body-consciousness he needs. In the soul-consciousness he not only has, but also he eternally is.
RD 6. 7 November 1975, Chapel of the Church Center for the United Nations↩