Two types of prayer

We are crying for the divine life, for Peace, Light and Bliss. We know that this is what we need and what we want, and there comes a time when we see who possesses these things. God possesses all these qualities. Then we can do either of two things. We can say, "I need these qualities to reach Him. When I have Peace, Light and Bliss in abundant measure, naturally my divinity will come to the fore and I will become one with God." So we can pray for these good qualities. Then there is another way. If we can have a free access to the Possessor of these qualities, then we can go to Him and say, "I am at Your Feet. If it is Your Will, please give me what I need. If it is not Your Will, then don't give me anything."

So these are the two approaches. One way is to gain God's divine qualities — His Peace, Light and Bliss — so that we can become a perfect instrument or image of God. We try to gain a little Peace, Light and Bliss and then grow into His Divinity or our own divinity. The other way is to approach the Supreme, when we are feeling His Presence during our meditation, and say, "Give me what You feel is best, or don't give me anything. If you want me to remain in this imperfect world, in ignorance, then keep me here. If you want me to be in illumination, then I will be illumined." At that time, even if we remain in imperfection, still we will be the happiest person because we are consciously fulfilling God in His own Way.

Now, you have to know that God will not take you to ignorance. But again, if He wants to test the sincerity of your unconditional surrender, you have to pass the examination. Somebody once came to Swami Vivekananda and asked to become his disciple. Vivekananda said, "Are you sure?" The seeker said, "Yes, I want to become your disciple." Then Vivekananda said, "Come up to the roof and jump. If you can jump, then I will accept you as my disciple." The seeker was about to jump but Vivekananda pulled him back. The seeker came with the idea that Vivekananda would be very pleased that he wanted to become his disciple and would give a talk on Peace, Light and Bliss. But first Vivekananda wanted to see if the seeker was sincere. That particular seeker passed Vivekananda's examination. So if the Supreme or your teacher wants to examine you, you have to be fully prepared. He is not giving you ignorance; far from it. But if he wants to examine you to see if you are really sincere, then you have to pass the examination.

Since we need Peace, Light and Bliss, we have every right to pray for it and meditate on it. This is not bad at all. If we receive an iota of Peace and we go on increasing and increasing it, eventually we enter into the vast Infinity. Again, if we feel that we do not need anything, it is not because of pride or vanity. Far from it! Here we feel that God knows what is best for us and He is bound to give it to us. This is the highest attitude.

The one way is for us to go up; the other way is for Him to come down. When we have to go up, we may stumble; but if we can bring Him down, He is an expert climber and He will climb down most easily. So daily when we pray and meditate, we can slowly climb, climb up, or we can ask Him to come down and give us what we need. The second way is very easy.