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Prayer and Good Deeds

Hoffman's portrait of ChristPart 106 of the Aquarian Gospel for Awakening

Prayer

“Next morning ere the sun had risen Jesus and the twelve went to a mountain near the sea to pray; and Jesus taught the twelve disciples how to pray. He said, Prayer is the deep communion of the soul with God” (Aquarian Gospel 94:1,2).

This is a major principle of the Aquarian Gospel, and is indicated other other places, as well. Prayer in its highest form is not ceremony or words, but direct communication with God–being with Being. This is a transcendental state and not to be equated with anything in ordinary experience. Nor is it experienced through our normal faculties. The initiate of a valid spiritual system is given the power to develop an entirely new level of being, known to the yogis as a “sadhana body.” The Taoists are very insistent on this and refer to the “divine embryo” which evolves into the vehicle through which divine consciousness is perceived and united with. Prayer, then is the path to God. In other words, it is yoga-meditation of some form.

The lesser forms of prayer are not to be disdained, but to be seen as what they are–ultimately only helps to the attainment of real prayer.

Do not…

“So when you pray do not deceive yourselves as do the hypocrites who love to stand upon the streets and in the synagogues and pour out many words to please the ears of men. And they adorn themselves with pious airs that they may have the praise of men. They seek the praise of men and their reward is sure” (Aquarian Gospel 94:3,4).

One of the problems of public religious exercises is their tendency to turn into crowd-pleasing and theater. I well remember when the Catholic Church was gearing up to commit spiritual suicide (mission accomplished!) there was an avalanche of talk about how the Mass had to be geared for the “needs” of “modern man” and thereby become “meaningful.” “Man” became the center of the (Novus Ordo) Mass and proved the statement of Saint Paul that “by man came death” (I Corinthians 15:21).

But do…

“But when you pray, go to the closet of your soul; close all the doors, and in the holy silence, pray. You need not speak a multitude of words, nor yet repeat the words again and then again, as heathen do” (Aquarian Gospel 94:5,6).

Although it is lengthy, I think it would be profitable for us to again look at the fortieth chapter of the Aquarian Gospel which deals in detail with this subject of the Divine Silence that is true prayer.

“Jesus said, There is a Silence where the soul may meet its God, and there the fount of wisdom is, and all who enter are immersed in light, and filled with wisdom, love and power.

“The Silence is not circumscribed; is not a place closed in with wall, or rocky steeps, nor guarded by the sword of man. Men carry with them all the time the secret place where they might meet their God. It matters not where men abide, on mountain top, in deepest vale, in marts of trade, or in the quiet home; they may at once, at any time, fling wide the door, and find the Silence, find the house of God; it is within the soul.

“One may not be so much disturbed by noise of business, and the words and thoughts of men if he goes all alone into the valley or the mountain pass. And when life’s heavy load is pressing hard, it is far better to go out and seek a quiet place to pray and meditate.

“The Silence is the kingdom of the soul, which is not seen by human eyes. When in the Silence, phantom forms may flit before the mind; but they are all subservient to the will; the master soul may speak and they are gone.

“If you would find this Silence of the soul you must yourself prepare the way. None but the pure in heart may enter here. And you must lay aside all tenseness of the mind, all business cares, all fears, all doubts and troubled thoughts. Your human will must be absorbed by the divine; then you will come into a consciousness of holiness.

“You are in the Holy Place, and you will see upon a living shrine the candle of the Lord aflame. And when you see it burning there, look deep into the temple of your brain, and you will see it all aglow. In every part, from head to foot, are candles all in place, just waiting to be lighted by the flaming torch of love. And when you see the candles all aflame, just look, and you will see, with eyes of soul, the waters of the fount of wisdom rushing on; and you may drink, and there abide.

“And then the curtains part, and you are in the Holiest of All, where rests the Ark of God, whose covering is the Mercy Seat. Fear not to lift the sacred board; the Tables of the Law are in the Ark concealed. Take them and read them well; for they contain all precepts and commands that men will ever need. And in the Ark, the magic wand of prophecy lies waiting for your hand; it is the key to all the hidden meanings of the present, future, past.

“And then, behold the manna there, the hidden bread of life; and he who eats shall never die. The cherubim have guarded well for every soul this treasure box, and whosoever will may enter in and find his own” (Aquarian Gospel 40:3-24).

Invoking God

“Just say, Our Father-God who art in heaven; holy is thy name. Thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven. Give us this day our needed bread; help us forget the debts that other people owe to us, that all our debts may be discharged. And shield us from the tempter’s snares that are too great for us to bear; and when they come, give us the strength to overcome” (Aquarian Gospel 94:7-11).

The meaning of this is extremely clear, and expresses a perspective far more comprehensible than that of ordinary explanations of the traditional form of the Lord’s Prayer. The last part is especially practical, for there is no doubt that temptations will arise all along the path of our life, since a totally placid existence is impossible in this world. Rather than seeking to avoid the tests (for that is what “temptations” mean), we should strive to strengthen ourselves so that when they do come we can overcome them and be stronger than before. From what has gone before in this chapter, it is obvious that we need to continually draw on our inner, spiritual resources that are opened and cultivated by the practice of meditation.

Remission of debts

“If you would be discharged from all the debts you owe to God and man, the debts you have incurred by willfully transgressing law, You must pass by the debts of every man; for as you deal with other men your God will deal with you” (Aquarian Gospel 94:12, 13).

Ego makes this very hard to do–another reason to practice meditation, for that alone gives us the sensible, practical perspective on our life. What Jesus sets forth is not some high and noble idea, but just the simple facts of the law of karma, of action and reaction. We mirror God and God mirrors us. That is the way things work. There is no way around it.

The rule of all discipline

“And when you fast you may not advertise the deed. When fast the hypocrites they paint their faces, look demure, assume a pious pose, that they may seem to men to fast” (Aquarian Gospel 94:14, 15).

This applies to all spiritual practice. Ostentatious religiosity is a mark of the worst type of person. Sri Ramakrishna said: “A devotee who possesses [true devotion] meditates on God in absolute secret, perhaps inside his mosquito net. Others think he is asleep. Since he is late in getting up, they think perhaps he has not slept well during the night.” “Devotees meditate in a secluded corner or in a forest, or withdraw into the mind.” Yogananda told of meeting a great American saint that no one guessed was even interested in spiritual life. One of the greatest Indian saints I met was actually considered worldly and thoroughly unspiritual. Religious people often shook their heads when speaking of him, commenting on how sad it was that he had not maintained the spiritual ways of his family. (His great-grandfather was a renowned yogi, as were his grandfather and father.) But he was a supreme yogi with many secret disciples who, like him, appeared to be completely uninterested in spiritual life. The life of the spirit is a hidden life, just as God is hidden from the world.

Of the soul

“A fast is deed of soul, and like a prayer, it is a function of the silence of the soul. God never passes by unnoticed any prayer, or fast. He walks within the silence, and his benedictions rest on every effort of the soul” (Aquarian Gospel 94:16, 17).

Again, this is true of all spiritual practices. “Thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly” (Matthew 6:6).

False image

“Deception is hypocrisy, and you shall not assume to be what you are not. You may not clothe yourselves in special garb to advertise your piety, nor yet assume the tone of voice that men conceive to be a holy voice” (Aquarian Gospel 94:18, 19).

Indeed so, but what if the person is so deluded as to believe that he is what he pretends to be? Liars often become the victims of their lies. A Methodist minister from my hometown used to speak of ministers who cultivated a “stained glass voice,” and I met a few myself. The idea here is that anything which advertises us as special and spiritual is not just egotism, but something that will make us much worse than we presently are. It really is poison. I saw a lot of this in India during my many visits, and though it was often quite funny, even delightfully so, it was no less deadly.

Giving aright

“And when you give to aid the needy ones, blow not a trumpet in the street, nor synagogue to advertise your gift. He who does alms for praise of men has his reward from men; but God regardeth not. In giving alms do not let the right hand know the secret of the left” (Aquarian Gospel 94:20-22).

This is extremely important for all who would do genuine good deeds our of a genuinely good motivation. Otherwise creeping ego will overwhelm them and they will become a mere husk-appearance of good. Jesus summed it up by saying: “Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it?” (Mark 9:50). Then he gives the safeguard in the next sentence: “Have salt in yourselves….”

Inner life is the secret of success in both outer and inner life.

Read the next section in the Aquarian Gospel for Yogis: Divine Laws and Principles for Seekers of the Divine

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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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