Rays of the One Light

Weekly commentaries on the Bible and the Bhagavad Gita
by Swami Kriyananda (J. Donald Walters)

Truth is one and eternal. Realize oneness with it in your deathless Self, within. The following commentary is based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda.

 

Week 43: What Is the Best Way to Pray?

Jesus Christ and Sri Krishna, both, advised praying to God as personal. Yet both emphasized also that God is above form, and that He must be sought, ultimately, in Infinity. As Jesus put it, “God is a spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”

Yet he spoke of God constantly as our Heavenly Father. In what is known as the Lord's Prayer, he proposed a very human prayer to the Heavenly Father, asking fulfillment for all our spiritual needs.

The Bhagavad Gita explains that man, living as he does in a human body, finds it difficult to worship Infinity as though the ego and body didn't even exist. Far better for human beings, Krishna says, to work with reality as we know it than to affirm a reality of which the human mind is incapable of forming any clear notion. Encouraging the devotee in this direction, he says, “O Arjuna, be thou a yogi!”—that is to say, be one who works with, not in rejection of, the energies of the body and the natural tendencies of the mind.

In the twelfth Chapter of the Gita, Arjuna asks:

Those who, ever steadfast, worship Thee as devotees [that is to say, in an “I” and “Thou” relationship], and those who contemplate Thee as the immortal, unmanifested Spirit—which group is the better versed in yoga?”

The blessed Lord replied: “Those who, fixing their minds on Me, adore Me, ever united to Me through supreme devotion, are in My eyes the perfect knowers of yoga. . . .

“Those whose strict aim is union with the Unmanifested choose a more difficult way; arduous for embodied beings is the path of dedication to the Absolute”—the followers, that is to say, of the path of Gyana Yoga.

Thus, through holy scripture, God has spoken to mankind.