From My Will to His Will
Faith – an element so crucial to our prayers … or is it? Is faith built in our prayers or are our prayers mainly lip service? Do we crib and cry, wail and whine when things do not go our way rather than showing our gratitude for everything that the Master does for us? Do we want our will instead of His will?
But We Want My Will
More often than not, our disposition is that if things are going our way and we are being praised, being promoted, being cared for, then it is, of course, due to our abilities, aptitude and warmth of character. Yet, if the reverse happens and we have to face some unhappy times, then tears flow. We question and wonder why this is happening to us. We will make sure that the Master listens to our cries and complaints, and then wait for him to act according to our wishes. If nothing happens, we become bitter, get upset and lose the little faith we have. And while we all know the karma theory, and the concept comes easy to us, it is the practice that takes the most out of us.
Of course, this means that we think that our Master is not able to know the situation by himself. The truth is that the inner Master hears all our thoughts. And at the end of the day, the sum of all our negative thoughts, desires, is in fact, our prayer. Mirdad describes our sad situation very strongly in the following lines:
Rather than be grateful … some would make of God a sort of dumping hole where to cart … their losses in a trade, their quarrels, their revenges … While others would have God as their exclusive treasure-house where they expect to find … whatever they did crave of all the tinselled trinkets of this world. And others still would make of God a sort of personal book-keeper. He must … collect their debts and always show a fat and handsome balance in their favour.
Aye, many are the tasks that men assign to God. Yet, few seem to think that if, indeed, God was so charged with many tasks, He would perform them all alone and would require no man to goad Him on, or to remind Him of His tasks.
Do you remind God of the hours for the sun to rise and for the moon to set? Do you remind Him of the countless things that fill His boundless universe? Why do you then press your puny selves with all your trifling needs upon His memory?
And where is God that you should shout into His ear your whims and vanities, your praises and your complaints? Is He not in you and all about you? Is not His ear much nearer to your mouth than is your tongue to your palate?
Take not to God your countless cares and hopes. But search the vastness of your hearts. For in the vastness of your heart is found the key to every door.
The Book of Mirdad
From My Will to His Will
Yet, how do we make ourselves strong enough to let go of our need for our wishes and desires to be granted? The best way that we can achieve true faith is by our spiritual experience – by our meditation. This is, in essence, the true prayer asked of us – the silent, ceaseless prayer.
We have to learn to accept the fact that we are sometimes helpless to stop an unwelcome change in our lives. In a world in which things constantly change and end, an attitude of acceptance makes sense. We need the ability to be satisfied with doing our best and letting the chips fall where they may.
Meditation helps us accept, helps us appreciate whatever we are faced with. Focused meditation transforms the way we perceive things and the way we live our life. When we meditate, we gain the perspective to see the dramas of our life as small, rather than as unsolvable problems. We train ourselves to operate from a perspective of accepting, letting go and being free. It is an attitude of obedience to a power we have accepted as greater than ‘me’.
As John Davidson expresses so eloquently in One Being One:
When we think we have been abandoned, He may be protecting us. When we wonder where His help has gone, He may be supporting our every step. When we think we are unloved, He may be cradling us in His arms … When we think we have doubts, He may be deepening our faith.
Yet, until and unless we use this method of meditation so graciously gifted to us, our mind will not allow us to experience this feeling. It will not allow the real acceptance of His will.
So let us not take this gift for granted. As Maharaj Charan Singh has explained in Legacy of Love:
There is only one way to subdue the mind, to rub it with the Shabd every day. Just as when there is rust on a knife, you rub it on sandstone, and slowly and slowly, the rust goes and the knife shines.
Let us rub our knives on the sandstone of Shabd, removing our rust of ‘my will’, so that one day, we will shine in ‘His will’.