Thursday, October 18, 2007

Without heart-melting and all-consuming love for being, we will never agree to surrender ourself to it. So long as we desire to continue our present illusory and miserable existence as a finite individual, God will never force us to surrender ourself to him. However, by the supreme power of his own mere being, he will always be shaping our external life favourably and guiding us internally, gradually enkindling in us the clarity of true wisdom, which is the ability to discriminate and distinguish the real from the unreal, and thereby he steadily cultivates within us the true love to surrender ourself entirely to him ...

Through these verses Sri Bhagavan has taught us by example how we must depend entirely upon God both in our external life, when our mind is active, and in our internal life, when our mind is subsiding into the depth of our own true being. When our minds are turned outwards, we must depend upon God as the all-loving power of grace, which is constantly reminding us of the need to turn inwards. And when our minds are turned inwards, we must depend upon God as the same all-loving power of grace, which shines within us as the peace and joy of our own silent being, and which thereby draws our mind ever deeper within by its own natural power of irresistible attraction.

Whenever our natural state of peace is disturbed by the rising of thoughts, which are impelled by our deep-rooted desires, we can calm that agitation by praying to God or guru in the manner in which Sri Bhagavan has shown us in many of these verses, which are heart-melting prayers for his grace.

The importance of prayer as a tool in the practice of self-investigation and self-surrender is exemplified by Sri Bhagavan in these verses. God of course does not need to be told by us that we require his help, but that is not the true purpose of prayer. The purpose of prayer is to enkindle in our heart a sense of total dependence upon God. Since we cannot surrender ourself and attain the state of being merely by our own effort, we must learn to depend entirely upon God, because he alone can enable us to surrender ourself completely to him.

~ from Michael James' introduction to the English translation of Sri Arunachala Stuti Panchakam, the 'Five Hymns to Sri Arunachala' composed by Bhagavan Sri Ramana (translated by Michael James and Sri Sadhu Om)

to read the whole introduction: please see this.

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