TM and Prayer

Prayer

Q.: “Maharishi, in the light of your discussion of God Consciousness, could you perhaps discuss the distinction between Transcendental Meditation and prayer?

MAHARISHI: “Prayer has its value in culturing the heart. It cultures the heart. But the culturing of the heart from the level of Cosmic Consciousness directly helps to develop God Consciousness. Before one has realized one’s Self… one does not know who one’s Self is – prayer is just on the level of faith which doesn’t do much to life. We see the lives of the people who continuously keep on praying and continuously keep on suffering. It sounds too cruel to such a beautiful word of “prayer” but the reality is such.

When one has realized the Self, then the praying person is established. Otherwise, who is praying? If the man who is praying is in ignorance, where his ignorant emotions will fall? The prayers gain substantial value when the man who is praying has that unbounded level of consciousness. The level of the almighty Creator is on that level of omnipresent life. Having raised one’s Self to that level when one prays, the prayer is answered.

The answer of a prayer is like the answer of an application in a governmental department. There are offices, here and there and there… you file an application and you address it to some office and from there you’ll get the answer. [When] you stand on a street addressing your prayer to no office, calling: “Government help me! Government help me! Government help me! Government…” (audience laughs) From where the help is coming? (audience laughs) Because you are calling: “Government help me!” you feel confident that “some day the government will help me!” (audience laughs) But there is a procedure of application in any department, and the help will come from the government – certainly – but it must come through some department.

[If] you have to pray to someone and if you want to reach him, better you “knock at the door”! And knocking at the door of God means that you bring your consciousness on that omnipresent level of Being which is enormous and which encompasses the whole field of Creation. And from that level the Creator’s door could be knocked and the reply is received.

There is a proverb, and a very significant proverb in this connection: ‘God helps those who help themselves.’ Someone who does not know even himself – how is he going to receive the help from someone? The first step to help oneself is to know oneself! At least, know oneself! And then the prayers are answered… Otherwise, you keep on suffering and keep on praying…

It’s good to be a man of faith but it’s better to realize the objective of faith… and not only remain a man of faith. It is the inability of the preachers of God that keep the people hanging in the name of faith and prayer etc. It does not help in life. And that is the reason why they come out to say: “Oh, you must suffer” and “Suffering is good”, and all that… “Through suffering you purify”… all kinds of glory to suffering. The whole field [of prayer] is in a mess.

And that is why suffering clings to every nation, it clings to the followers of every religion, it clings to every nationality. It almost forms the basis of every culture today! What is needed is a campaign against suffering! (applause from the audience) Building of these [Maharishi Peace Palaces and meditation] academies is a campaign against suffering. It will remove suffering.”

– H.H. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, in a public lecture, Los Angeles, 19. Sept. 1967

 

 

Prayers

MAHARISHI: “The answer of a prayer is like the answer of an application in a governmental department. There are offices, here and there and there… you file an application and you address it to some office and from there you’ll get the answer. [When] you stand on a street addressing your prayer to no office, calling: “Government help me! Government help me! Government help me! Government…” (audience laughs) From where the help is coming? (audience laughs) Because you are calling: “Government help me!” you feel confident that “s o m e day the government will help me!” (audience laughs) But there is a procedure of application in any department, and the help will come from the government – certainly – but it must come through some department.

[If] you have to pray to someone and if you want to reach him, better you “knock at the door”! And knocking at the door of God means that you bring your consciousness on that omnipresent level of Being which is enormous and which encompasses the whole field of Creation and from that level the Creator’s door could be knocked and the reply is received.”

—Los Angeles, 1967

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