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Date Posted: 08:07
Author: ketch - 23 Sep 2001
Subject: Re: Any comments?
In reply to:
Gerti - 21 Sep 2001
's message, "Any comments?" on 08:05
Otherwise our prayer is our advice to God about how things should happen! Who are we to advise God?
Sometimes on these boards we find requests for prayers for the victims of various tragedies. I am always reminded of the following story in "Autobiography of a Yogi".
With a large fruit orchard and twenty-five fertile acres at our disposal, the students, teachers, and myself enjoyed many happy hours of outdoor labor in these ideal surroundings. We had many pets, including a young deer who was fairly idolized by the children. I too loved the fawn so much that I allowed it to sleep in my room. At the light of dawn, the little creature would toddle over to my bed for a morning caress.
One day I fed the pet earlier than usual, as I had to attend to some business in the town of Ranchi. Although I cautioned the boys not to feed the fawn until my return, one of them was disobedient, and gave the baby deer a large quantity of milk. When I came back in the evening, sad news greeted me: "The little fawn is nearly dead, through over feeding."
In tears, I placed the apparently lifeless pet on my lap. I prayed piteously to God to spare its life. Hours later, the small creature opened its eyes, stood up, and walked feebly. The whole school shouted for joy.
But a deep lesson came to me that night, one I can never forget. I stayed up with the fawn until two o'clock, when I fell asleep. The deer appeared in a dream, and spoke to me:
"You are holding me back. Please let me go; let me go!"
"All right," I answered in the dream.
I awoke immediately, and cried out, "Boys, the deer is dying!" The children rushed to my side.
I ran to the corner of the room where I had placed the pet. It made a last effort to rise, stumbled toward me, then dropped at my feet, dead.
According to the mass karma which guides and regulates the destinies of animals, the deer's life was over, and it was ready to progress to a higher form. But by my deep attachment, which I later realized was selfish, and by my fervent prayers, I had been able to hold it in the limitations of the animal form from which the soul was struggling for release. The soul of the deer made its plea in a dream because, without my loving permission, it either would not or could not go. As soon as I agreed, it departed.
During a true prayer, you do not utter a word. Rather the Word comes to you."
St Teresa of Avila writes of four stages of prayer. The first being what we normally think of as prayer, either repeating some well known words, or talking to God, or saints etc. without usually receiving any obvious reply. The second stage she writes about is the Prayer of Quiet, where no words are used, but the attention is still and upon God.
In one sense prayer as we normally understand it is something of a beginners spiritual practice. To the yogi that type of prayer is only the fourth stage of yoga, a form of pranayama, an aid to concentration. Much higher stages of divine contact exist beyond ordinary prayer. I believe these are what Shibenduji is referring to as "True Prayer".
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