Whom to Address
ONE must pray to the Lord God alone
who is Omnipotent and competent to grant all wishes.
There is nothing which God cannot grant.The various gods and goddesses have a limited scope and sphere of action and so work within limitations. They themselves draw their powers from Him and may not grant the petty boons that lie within their sphere and certainly cannot grant salvation to the soul. A freed soul can grant freedom and no one else can. Guru Arjan tells us that God alone can remedy all types of maladies, no matter whether physical (like aches, ailments and various types of diseases), astral (like unforeseen and unpredictable disasters from accidents, thunder and lightning, floods and earthquakes, etc.), or causal (ingrained and inherent evil propensities like lust, anger, greed, attachment and egoism).
Rich indeed is one who has Nature at his beck and call. (3)
God! Thou art the dispeller of all evils and bestower of peace,
Whosoever prays unto Thee, can have no ill. (4)
The dawn of Heaven's Light makes one a worshiper of Truth alone,Again, Guru Arjan says:
The blossoming of loving devotion makes one forget lifeless objects of adoration,
The knowledge of Him shows the futility of all rites and rituals,
The manifestation of the holy light within, distinguishes the pure from the impure.
GURU GOBIND SINGH
I pray to Him who is the bestower of all blessings and savior from all ills,
Shower Thy mercy, O Merciful! for then will my efforts be well directed. (5)
Remember the One and sing thou His praises,
Chant His holy name and keep Him ensconced in thy heart.
Ceaselessly meditate on His endless attributes,
Serve Him with all thy heart and soul.
God is one, peerless and precious,
Complete in Himself, all-pervasive and permeating,
Creator of the vast creation is that One.
Worship then the One and none besides,
Be saturated, body and mind, in His love,
O Nanak! through the Grace of the Master, is that One realized. (6)
If ever thou hast a wish, ask the Lord for its fulfillment,
It shall be granted unto thee, the Master is witness thereto.
Boundless riches come from Him and so doth the Elixir of Life,
Merciful is the dispeller of all fears and ever abideth with His slave. (7)
GURU RAM DAS
I pray to Thee, 0 Lord, the Lord Thou art of my body and soul.
Nanak attributes his greatness to Thee, for none knew him ever before. (8)
Thou art the woof and warp, O Lord, and I pray unto Thee,
For Thou art my altar, whether in pleasure or in pain I be. (9)
GURU RAM DAS
In vain we pray to the people of the world full of troubles as they are,
Pray alone to the Lord if wishest thou to cross the ocean of life. (10)
In the holy Koran, it is clearly stated that God alone need be invoked, for an invocation to Him is the only true invocation in the correct sense of the word. Similarly, Abraham, while denouncing his own followers, declared:
I leave you and all the gods that you worship.Again he addressed them thus:
I just call upon my God and I am confident that I shall not remain empty-handed.
O ye faithful, let us unite and come to a common ground--the ground of Divinity--and worship none else but God and consider not anyone else on par with Him, for none can equal Him. (11)
The instinct of love cannot come into play unless one sees the beloved. As long as we do not see Godhead or the glory of God, we cannot have any faith in the existence of God; and without this all prayers go in vain. But Guru or Godman is the abode of God's Light and is a radiating center of the same. We can pray with equal efficacy to the Master, who is at one with God. Connected as he is with the Powerhouse behind him, he is equally competent to grant our desires and fulfill our wishes. It is said that,
God manifests Himself in the form of a Sadh (a disciplined soul). (12)Again, the Bible tells us:
Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. (13)In Gurbani we have:
God speaks through a Sadh.A Muslim divine tells us:
His (the Master's) words are Allah's (God's) words, though seemingly these may appear to be coming from a human tongue.A prayer to the living Master is as good as a prayer to God. One must, therefore, wholly and solely depend on the Master and turn to Him for the fulfillment of his desires.
So all prayers should be addressed to one who holds the mystery of life and death in his hands. We must have perfect faith in the living God, who lives and moves amongst us in a human form. With the attention fully focused on Him, we ought not to think of anyone else. This is the one way we can commune with Him. Kabir Sahib tells us that distance does not count in the relationship between the Master and the disciple. The two may be separated by vast oceans in between, but the very thought of the Master, in the disciple, is bound to attract the Master's attention and he can direct him (the disciple) wherever he may be. It is said of Vivekananda that when he rose to address the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago he felt diffident. He asked for a glass of water, closed his eyes for a moment, and thought of his Master (Paramhansa Ramakrishna, the sage of Dakshineshwar) and in an instant the floodgates of inspiration opened within him, and he delivered an unprecedented and impassioned discourse lasting for several hours. A Godman is a veritable king, and at his door all the mighty kings of the earth bow down their heads in humble supplication and seek the fulfillment of their cherished desires and attainment of their otherwise unattainable ambitions.
Guru Arjan says in this context:
He has within his controlling power all the potentates,A Godman has within his grasp all that one may need--the gifts of Dharma, Artha, Kaama and Moksha (the merits of righteousness, earthly riches and possessions: fulfillment of wishes and desires, and salvation itself).
Nay, the vast creation itself is under his sway.
His will reigns supreme everywhere,
And nothing lies outside his Divine Will;
O offer thy prayer to thy Master alone,
For he shall fulfill all thy heart's desires.
His seat is in the highest heavens, and
Devotion unto him lies in communion with His Word.
All-pervading, He is complete in Himself,
And His light shines in every heart,
His remembrance dispels all sorrows,
Even the angel of death does not come near his devotee.
The dead come to life by the Power of His Word, and
The lowliest and the lost are received and honored.
O Nanak! thy prayer has been heard and accepted, and
Through the Grace of the Master,
His Light has been made manifest within. (15)
If one wants any of the four great boonsFrom the above it is abundantly clear that we must go in prayer unto God or a Godman and after being able to commune with Him, we should depend on Him alone and not on any other power; for He alone is capable of drawing one out from the mighty swirls and eddying pools of mind and matter, and of applying a healing balm to the lacerated hearts torn by wild desires and temptations. He is the strength of the weak, the sheet anchor in the storm and stress of life and a haven of safety for the homeless. His glance of Grace soothes the broken hearts.
He must take to the service of a Sadh.
If one wishes to have riddance from affliction and sorrow,
One must commune with the Word, in the depths of one's soul.
If one is alter name and lame,
One must lose his ego in the company of a saint.
If one be afraid of the pangs of birth and death,
One must seek shelter at the lotus feet of a saint. (16)
A perfect Master attends to the heart,It behooves a disciple to unhesitatingly unburden his mind to his Master and place his difficulties before him, wherever he may be, for the Master is above time and space and can attend to his disciple's tale of woe.
And from heart to heart, a life impulse darts.
Rip open thy mind before thy Master;In the holy Koran, we have:
Cast aside all thy cunning and cleverness, and
Take refuge, body and soul, at His feet. (17)
Except him, there is none who listens to the woeful tale of the distressed and the agonized cry of the helpless and renders solace unto him.Christ's remarks in this behalf are significant enough:
That whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, He may give it you. (18)Since God or a Godman is the treasure-house of all blessings, we must offer our prayer to either of them and to none else.
If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it. (19)
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