What is the right method of worship? What is the right method of prayer?
These questions come up very often. Because today, if you see in the world of spirituality, things have become every transactional. You give something, expecting something in return. The essence and the purity of prayer has completely vanished. A true prayer is only a prayer of gratitude, where there are no words. It’s from the heart. Not articulated. If you want to articulate something, you articulate the highest brightness possible, remember that.
Today, in the time of Kali – in the Kali Yuga, everything is very fast. By the time you wake up, it’s almost night. So, we are moving at a speed which is uncontrollable. We don’t get enough time to sit down and meditate, to sit down and pray. First of all, what is essential today is to learn to accept life as it comes. This is also a prayer, a meditation. Accept things as it happens. Avoid resistance. Okay, this is happening now, let me handle it. This situation has come, let me handle it. These are all situations. We can make it a problem, or we can make it an opportunity. It is up to us; it’s up to our disposition. If we are positive, we’ll make every problem, every situation an opportunity, a possibility, a positive thing. Or we can look at everything as a problem. That is our mind-set. It is important to change our mind-set.
When you are connecting to Masters, especially someone as powerful as Sai Baba, first and foremost, do not expect or think that he does not know you. If you go there, he has called you. Without his calling, you can’t reach there. We must understand that it was not our decision to go to Sai Baba. There are numerous people in the world who do not know Sai Baba. And there are numerous people who are connecting as we talk. So, who made this possible? Not me or you. Sai Baba made this possible. If you are connected to Sai Baba, Baba facilitated it. He arranged it.
Then, what will you tell him? If he arranged your connection with Baba, Baba knows everything. You don’t have to tell him anything. Then, what can you tell him? “Thank you for receiving me. Thank you for having me. Thank you for accepting me. This is the right prayer.” That will solve everything. You’re also saying, “Now I have come to your house, whatever you give me is fine for me. My life is settled at your feet.” This is the right prayer. The right prayer is to say, “Thank you, I am fine at your feet. Whatever you desire, or whatever you wish for me is the right thing for me.” If that understanding is clear, all your pains, all your pleasures, you will surrender at Baba’s feet.
Surrender is not from the mind. Surrender is from the attitude of being one with the Supreme Consciousness. Surrender is spontaneous. Just like letting go makes it forgiveness. When you let go, it becomes forgiveness. Forgiveness is a mind game. You tend to forgive, like we talk about tolerance. Tolerance is from the ego. You tolerate another. That is an ego exercise. We should have nothing to do with tolerance, we accept everybody. We accept everything. But that doesn’t mean if something is harmful, we allow it, it is not so. We must make sure that we and our society should remain non-violent. This is our responsibility. If you belong to a community, you must ensure that you and the community remain non-violent. That has to be through discussions, through transfer of awareness and through orientation, not through punishments. Punishment comes last. If you cannot correct something through discussions and orientations, then comes punishment, not punishment first. This is very important to understand.
Whenever you are connected to any Master, whenever you are visiting a Master, do not think that the Master knows nothing. He might know much more than you know, including why a situation happened. Actually speaking, in the true path of spirituality, ‘why’ is not a good word. There is a cause; otherwise, there won’t be an effect. There is always a cause behind every effect. Accept it. When you resist the effect, the cause remains for a longer time. When you accept the effect, then the cause does not have its value anymore. This is the truth of existence, through perpetual acceptance of yourself.
We all have weaknesses. 7.5 billion people of the Earth all have weaknesses. Nobody has only strengths. This is sure. If somebody says I have no weaknesses, they are lying. Everybody has weaknesses. Everybody has strengths. We are all a mixture of weaknesses and strengths. Why don’t we accept our weaknesses? Why do we desire that we should only have strengths? Whenever we desire we should only have strengths, we are fighting with ourselves. We are resisting ourselves. Or we are not accepting a part of ourselves. And that part becomes a glaring pain in our life. What you have not accepted becomes a problem in your life. Instead, you accept, I have weaknesses, I have strengths. Both are fine, this is me. As this incarnation, I am all these.
Baba knows this. When you come to Baba, Baba understands. You are weaknesses and strengths put together. Baba is not looking at you only as strength. You don’t have to hide all your weaknesses from Baba. You tell Baba, this is me, you know it very well. Now, if something is not good in me, I request you to take it away. You leave it to Baba. Then don’t look back. You tell Baba, “Whatever you think is a hindrance to my path of liberation, take it away. I don’t need it. Let it be anything.” This could be painful when it’s removed because most of these things have become a habit. Habits have created comfort zones. And these habits and comfort zones have bound us. They have created patterns. We know it very well. But it’s okay. That’s how life is. So, allow Baba to work on it, and say take away whatever is not good for me. Take it away. This is a good prayer. Prayer of surrender. You’re not asking anything. You’re not requesting, you’re telling Baba, “I have decided to merge with you. You brought me here because without your permission I would not have come here. I would not have known you or met you or reached Shirdi.” Baba says, “If somebody steps on the soil of Shirdi, they become my responsibility.” Play that role very well. Accept that promise very well. Don’t take away yourself when you go. Leave it there. Leave yourself there.
When the mind is with the Master, you are with the Master. When your body is with the Master, there’s no guarantee you are with the Master. Your mind is elsewhere, that’s where you are. It’s not that you’re not visiting Shirdi or you are not in Shirdi, it doesn’t matter. If your mind is in Shirdi, you are in Shirdi. If your mind is with the Master, you are with the Master. If your mind is with alcohol, you are with alcohol. So where is your mind, that’s what you are. This is exactly the truth. So, release all your burdens at Baba’s feet and walk away. Now, what follows you, Baba is giving you that. That is to purify. Understand, Baba will not give you anything which is not good for you. The Tradition won’t do that. The Tradition of Liberation will not do that. If you’re surrendered completely, it will only give what is good for you. Your mind may not accept it because the mind is used to patterns, comfort zones, feeling good. But feeling good has no value on the Path of Liberation. Usually what the mind likes, what the mind loves may not be good sometimes. What you have to do, what is given to you, that’s the right thing to do. No resistance.
So, a true prayer is the prayer of gratitude. Humility is the result. When you are fully in gratitude, you’ll be very humble. Even if you are going to see Baba, you will go with a level of humility where you are receiving. This is how prostration is designed, prostration where your heart and your head comes in one line, in sublimation. That means your ego is fully surrendered at the feet of Baba. When your ego is fully surrendered, you are extremely receptive. That is why our temples are places of rejuvenation. They are places of transformation. Because, through the eyes, the mind gets rejuvenated. Through the ears, through the mantras, the mind gets rejuvenated. Through the smells and the fragrances, through the nose, the mind gets rejuvenated. Through the sandalwood paste, through the vibhuti and udi on the skin, mind gets rejuvenated. Through the prasad and teerth, through the tongue, the mind gets rejuvenated. When you prostrate, from the energy that you come in contact with at that sanctum sanctorum, the mind gets rejuvenated. When you circumambulate, you are soaking your aura in the pure energy of Baba, the mind gets rejuvenated, and the mind gets purified. When you give dakshina or donation, whenever you give money, fruits etc, that amounts to sacrifice. Again, purification of the mind, the mind gets rejuvenated.
When you go to a temple and when you come out of the temple, you are different. You are totally transformed; it’s not just a place of worship. These are places of transformation. Shirdi is a place of transformation. Vaishno Devi is a place of transformation. Sabarimala, all these great places are places of transformation. This is why thousands flow to these places, not just to get a few things happening in life, that’ll happen anyway.
If you are eligible, if you accept life, usually there’ll be no blockages. Blockages happen only when you resist life. Blockages of life are connected to resistance. Otherwise, there’ll be no blockages. Things will flow smoothly, everything will flow smoothly. Life will be good and when you’re able to accept sorrows, as much as you accept happiness, you will have a smooth existence because you are not afraid. In the path of Liberation, fear has no value. The antidote of fear is faith. If you have an overwhelming fear, that shows you are not in alignment. You’re not in alignment with the Guru, you’re not in alignment with yourself. So, when you feel a lot of fear, it is time that you reinvented your faith. Surrender everything. This fear is not mine, I leave it to you. That way, if you surrender, the Master takes over. Master can easily bring light and remove the darkness. You need to open your doors and windows for the light to enter you. Open your heart, faith enters, and grace enters. Where there is faith, there is grace. This is the right way. So, if you want to give something to Baba, give yourself. Say, “Baba, I belong to you, you take care of me.” He does.
Don’t go to Baba as you, you go to Baba as Baba. You have given yourself to Baba means you’ve become Baba. You are Sai Baba. Go there, give yourself and then come back empty. Leave everything there. Your whole life will blossom. If hardships are happening, if pains are happening, understand, Baba is reducing your lifetimes, the number of births. This is a big deal. How else will you reduce it? The usual karmic pattern is when you have a desire, you need fulfilment. Desire – fulfilment, desire – fulfilment. This is how life goes. And it is never ending because each pattern produces more desires.
How will you come out of it? How will you break the pattern? Baba. That’s the prayer, the prayer of gratitude. Thank you for bringing me here. Thank you for accepting. We may not know Baba, but Baba knows us. Never underestimate that. Baba knows our weaknesses very well, and Baba is not discriminating you because you have weaknesses. Because you have failures in life, Baba will not throw you out. Everything is okay. You are as you are. When you’ve come here, you’re part of the family. You have to be part of the family. That’s what Vittal Babaji said, “Aao beta.” That’s all he says. Even if people have done harm to you, when they come back, you receive them saying, “Come in, come in, aao beta – come my son.”
Masters will never say go away because someone harmed them. When somebody threw a stone at Baba, and he was bleeding, he said, “Injury is here, pain is there.” When you hurt a Master, when you speak ill about a Master, when your mind is contaminated because of others’ words, I always say, “Never look at the world, never see the world through your ears. You always see the world through your eyes. Then only you’ll see reality.” If your mind is contaminated because of others, they also take the burden of contamination. Just like purity, when you give purity, when you do annadan, when you give food and make other people happy, people of all species and everybody happy, you become rich. When you contaminate minds, you become poor. So, what you deliver to the world has a lot of impact on you. When you’re contaminating the minds of people, always remember, you’re taking their burdens also. You’re responsible. Have nothing to do with all this. Don’t go that way. Be pure, deliver purity. Always be steady with Sai Baba. Always be there, and Baba will take care of everything.
Transcribed by Tijana Sladoje
Proofread by Shyama Jeyaseelan