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God and Prayer

Hoffman's portrait of ChristPart 13 of the Aquarian Gospel for Awakening

“Now, when the morning sun arose the masters and their pupils all were in the sacred grove. Salome was the first to speak; she said,

“Behold the sun! It manifests the power of God who speaks to us through sun and moon and stars; Through mountain, hill and vale; through flower, and plant and tree.

“God sings for us through bird, and harpsichord, and human voice; he speaks to us through wind and rain and thunder roll; why should we not bow down and worship at his feet?

“God speaks to hearts apart; and hearts apart must speak to him; and this is prayer. It is not prayer to shout at God, to stand, or sit, or kneel and tell him all about the sins of men. It is not prayer to tell the Holy One how great he is, how good he is, how strong and how compassionate. God is not man to be bought up by praise of man.

“Prayer is the ardent wish that every way of life be light; that every act be crowned with good; that every living thing be prospered by our ministry. A noble deed, a helpful word is prayer; a fervent, an effectual prayer. The fount of prayer is in the heart; by thought, not words, the heart is carried up to God, where it is blest, Then let us pray.

“They prayed, but not a word was said; but in that holy Silence every heart was blest” (Aquarian Gospel 12:1-12).

God is All

The core idea here is that of Pantheism–that God is everything, absolutely everything without exception. Why, then would we not worship Cosmic Being, for It is also Cosmic Love. God calls to us through all creation and teaches us much about Himself and about ourselves. And in our contemplation of that Infinity our consciousness expands ever wider in the attempt to embrace that Infinite Life as It encompasses our finite life. In time we no longer view the cosmos objectively, but subjectively, as we begin entering into Christ Consciousness as the first step toward attaining God Consciousness.

Meditation for God-communion

The key approach to Divine Consciousness is meditation, for: “God speaks to hearts apart; and hearts apart must speak to him; and this is prayer.” After giving His disciples the Lord’s Prayer, the Lord Jesus then told them: “God walks within the Silence” (Aquarian Gospel 94:17), encouraging them to move from verbal prayer to meditation as the highest form of prayer.

A great deal is said about God talking to us, and countless religionists every day insist that God has spoken to them–but always in words, and usually to straighten out other people. Those who really pray enter The Silence. “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret” (Matthew 6:6). The “closet” is our inmost awareness, and the “door” is our mind. When we have entered into the Silence that is far more than absence of sound, then God speaks to us with the root of all speech–intuition–and even more: by His Presence. This only happens when we take our hearts apart, away from all things and thoughts, heeding the call of Jesus: “Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while” (Mark 6:31) in The Silence. Even during His most active ministry Jesus always took time to go apart for inner communion with the Father (Matthew 14:23; Luke 9:10; Luke 9:18). And so must we. “The Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him” (Habakuk 2:20). In the Silence we must speak wordlessly to God, as He speaks wordlessly to us, saying: “Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee” (Psalms 2:7. See also Acts 13:33, Hebrews 1:5, 5:5) in the renewing of our spirit that can occur only in the Silence. “Know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself:…commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still” (Psalms 4:3,4). God’s message to us is simple: “Be still and know…” (Psalms 46:10).

What is prayer? In Greek the word is prosevke, and in Sanskrit it is upasana. Both mean “drawing near;” there is no connotation of speech whatsoever–for as The Cloud of Unknowing and great mystics such as Saint Teresa of Avila and Saint John of the Cross have taught us, real prayer is wordless.

What prayer is not

It is not prayer to shout at God, to stand, or sit, or kneel and tell him all about the sins of men. If you have ever been a Protestant or attended, watched, or heard their effusions, you know exactly what Salome is talking about.

It is not prayer to tell the Holy One how great he is, how good he is, how strong and how compassionate. God is not man to be bought up by praise of man. This pretty well covers the entire range of religion, East and West. Yogananda said that whenever he heard people say that we should praise God, he would get an image of a pampered and spoiled rich woman who so lacked self-confidence that she had to be constantly complimented and flattered so she would not get into a snit.

A lot of people tell God how compassionate He is because they are afraid of Him and figure that if they speak positively to Him then He will be kind–rather like speaking soothingly to a mad dog or an insane or violent human being. How telling this is about the character of God’s “devotees” and their religions! Those who worship brute force are the most vociferous in telling God how powerful He is. Those filled with self-hate are wont to tell God that He is compassionate because He is not angry with their disgusting evil and vileness and does not destroy or torment them in response. “You are good, but you are not mean to me (at least not at the moment.” “You could kill me–it would even be the just thing to kill me–but You don’t, O compassionate Lord.” Words like this are more fittingly addressed to Nero, Hitler, or Saddam Hussein than to God. Those obsessed with power and control like to remind God how great and mighty He is for creating and ruling the universe and for running human beings around like a little boy “playing cars,” alternately liking them and slamming them into the wall. And of course there are the most pathetic, those who ask God to break out their enemies’ teeth in their mouths, banish them into outer darkness, and destroy them forever in hell.

What prayer is

Prayer is the ardent wish that every way of life be light; that every act be crowned with good; that every living thing be prospered by our ministry. And we actualize this ardent wish through the illumination received in meditation preeminently. From the final clause we see that prayer/meditation, although a personal action, accrues to the good of all living beings.

A noble deed, a helpful word is prayer; a fervent, an effectual prayer. For life itself can be a prayer. Nevertheless, interior life is the basis of prayer, for: “The fount of prayer is in the heart; by thought, not words, the heart is carried up to God, where it is blest, Then let us pray.” “Heart” (kardia) is the core of our being. “Thought” means the intuitional silent movement of aspiration toward God. Saint Teresa of Avila particularly emphasized this.

Perhaps the greatest lesson in all this is Salome’s concluding words: “Then let us pray.” For theory accomplishes nothing unless it is exteriorized by outer action. That is why Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh coined the motto: “Be good; do good.” Being manifests through action.

And so “they prayed, but not a word was said; but in that holy Silence every heart was blest.”

Read the next section in the Aquarian Gospel for Yogis: The Mission of Jesus and John the Baptist

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The Aquarian Gospel—Commentary and Text

The Aquarian Gospel for Awakening—A Commentary on the Aquarian Gospel
by Abbot George Burke (Swami Nirmalananda Giri)

  1. The Mother of Jesus
  2. Prophecies of the Births of Saint John the Baptist and Jesus
  3. The Birth of Jesus
  4. Revelations in the Temple
  5. Coming of the Wise Men
  6. Herod’s Reaction
  7. Revelations in Egypt
  8. The Two Selfs
  9. Deliverance From Gods and Demons
  10. About God the Tao
  11. From India to Chaldea
  12. The Wisdom of Buddha
  13. God and Prayer
  14. The Mission of Jesus and John the Baptist
  15. Sin and the Forgiveness of Sin
  16. The Universal Law of Man’s Free Will and the Divine Will For Man
  17. Understanding Death
  18. The True Teacher
  19. The Value of Ritual
  20. The Law Behind All Laws
  21. Opening To The Truth
  22. In the Temple at the Age of Ten
  23. Revelation to the Teachers and People in the Temple
  24. Jerusalem to Nazareth
  25. Nazareth to India
  26. What is Truth?
  27. What Is Man?
  28. What is Power?
  29. Understanding
  30. Wisdom
  31. Faith
  32. Healing and Healers
  33. Conflict Over Caste
  34. The Destiny of All Men
  35. God and Man
  36. The Voice in the Heart
  37. Seeing the Unseeable
  38. To God Through Man
  39. Who Is Jesus?
  40. The Real Versus The Apparent
  41. The Brotherhood of Life
  42. God…and Man
  43. Relating To God
  44. The Worthy Host
  45. Come to the Light
  46. The Kingdom Revealed
  47. The King Revealed
  48. Perspective On Death
  49. Fire and Sword
  50. Evolution: The Path of Glory
  51. The Real Heaven
  52. Getting to the Essence
  53. New Perspective on Religion
  54. In Tibet and Ladakh
  55. Words to the Worthy
  56. The Thirty-Eighth Chapter
  57. The Origin of Evil
  58. The Silence
  59. The Source of Healing
  60. The Fivefold Gospel
  61. Homecoming
  62. In Athens
  63. The Oracle of Delphi
  64. The Real God
  65. Return to Egypt
  66. First Steps to Wisdom
  67. Strong in Will and Intent
  68. Here Comes the Ego
  69. Blessed are the Merciful
  70. Claiming Our Freedom
  71. The Great Test
  72. Comprehending Death
  73. The Christ!
  74. The Asembly of the Masters
  75. The Seven Pillars of the Aquarian Age – I
  76. The Seven Pillars of the Aquarian Age – II
  77. The Declaration of Jesus
  78. John the Baptist – I
  79. John the Baptist – II
  80. John the Baptist – III
  81. Baptism – Jesus and John
  82. Self-Examination and Temptation
  83. The First Disciples Follow Jesus
  84. Jesus’ First Sermon
  85. The King and the Kingdom
  86. Dealing With Challengers
  87. The First Miracle of Jesus
  88. Kings and Kingdoms
  89. The Temple of God
  90. What Is A Messiah?
  91. The Laws of Healing
  92. Nicodemus Finds The Kingdom
  93. The Prince of Peace
  94. Dealing With Spiritual Opposition
  95. The Opened Gate
  96. John the Baptist Speaks of the Christ
  97. John Speaks Further About Jesus
  98. The Woman at the Well
  99. The Disciples and Samaritans at the Well
  100. Jesus in Sychar
  101. More Wisdom In Samaria
  102. The Imprisonment of John the Baptist
  103. In Jerusalem
  104. The Insights of Jesus
  105. Sabbath Wisdom
  106. Prayer and Good Deeds
  107. Divine Laws and Principles for Seekers of the Divine
  108. A New Understanding of the Ten Commandments
  109. Aspects of the Higher Law – 1
  110. Aspects of the Higher Law – 2
  111. Aspects of the Higher Law – 3
  112. Aspects of the Higher Law – 4
  113. Chapter One Hundred One
  114. Chapter One Hundred Two
  115. Chapter One Hundred Three
  116. Chapter One Hundred Four
  117. Chapter One Hundred Five
  118. Chapter One Hundred Six
  119. Chapter One Hundred Seven
  120. Chapter One Hundred Eight
  121. Chapter One Hundred Nine
  122. Chapter One Hundred Ten
  123. Chapter One Hundred Eleven
  124. Chapter One Hundred Twelve
  125. Chapter One Hundred Thirteen
  126. Chapter One Hundred Fourteen
  127. Chapter One Hundred Fifteen
  128. Chapter One Hundred Sixteen
  129. Chapter One Hundred Seventeen
  130. Chapter One Hundred Eighteen
  131. Chapter One Hundred Nineteen
  132. Chapter One Hundred Twenty
  133. Chapter One Hundred Twenty One
  134. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Two
  135. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Three
  136. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Four
  137. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Five
  138. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Six
  139. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Seven
  140. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Eight
  141. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Nine
  142. Chapter One Hundred Thirty
  143. Chapter One Hundred Thirty One
  144. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Two
  145. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Three
  146. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Four
  147. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Five
  148. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Six
  149. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Seven
  150. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Eight
  151. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Nine
  152. Chapter One Hundred Forty
  153. Chapter One Hundred Forty One
  154. Chapter One Hundred Forty Two
  155. Chapter One Hundred Forty Three
  156. Chapter One Hundred Forty Four
  157. Chapter One Hundred Forty Five
  158. Chapter One Hundred Forty Six
  159. Chapter One Hundred Forty Seven
  160. Chapter One Hundred Forty Eight
  161. Chapter One Hundred Forty Nine
  162. Chapter One Hundred Fifty
  163. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-One
  164. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Two
  165. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Three
  166. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Four
  167. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Five
  168. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Six
  169. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Seven
  170. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Eight
  171. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Nine
  172. Chapter One Hundred Sixty
  173. Chapter One Hundred Sixty One
  174. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Two
  175. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Three
  176. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Four
  177. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Five
  178. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Six
  179. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Seven
  180. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Eight
  181. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Nine
  182. Chapter One Hundred Seventy
  183. Chapter One Hundred Seventy One
  184. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Two
  185. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Three
  186. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Four
  187. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Five
  188. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Six
  189. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Seven
  190. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Eight
  191. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Nine
  192. Chapter One Hundred Eighty
  193. Chapter One Hundred Eighty One
  194. Chapter One Hundred Eighty Two

The Text of the Aquarian Gospel—by Levi Dowling

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