teachings from Paramhansa Yogananda
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O Spirit, I bow to Thee in front of me, behind me, on the left, and on the right. I bow to Thee above and beneath. I bow to Thee all around me. I bow to Thee within and without. I bow to Thee everywhere, for Thou art everywhere.
O Father, when I was blind I found not a door which led to Thee, but now that Thou hast opened my eyes I find doors everywhere: through the hearts of flowers, through the voice of friendship, through sweet memories of all lovely experiences. Every gust of my prayer opens a new door in the vast temple of Thy presence.
O heavenly Trinity—Om, Tat, Sat —: God the transcendent Father, God the immanent Christ consciousness, and God the Holy, Creative, Vibratory Force of all Creation! Grant me the wisdom to know Thy truth! Through my self-effort and my knowing acceptance of the law, help me up the golden ladder of realization, to stand at last on the shining summit of attainment, face to face with the One Spirit: Perfect, Everlasting Bliss!
O Cosmic Sound of Om, guide me, be with me, lead me from darkness to light, from ignorance to wisdom, from disease to health, from poverty to prosperity, and from misery to eternal joy.
I am here before Thee, Father, hurling again and again the spears of prayer to pierce the bulwarks of Thy dark silence. Missile after missile of yearning for Thee must surely break down, in time, the ramparts of my ignorance and delusion! With firm faith I invoke Thee! Shine before my gaze the searchlight of true wisdom, that I find some chink in those high walls of my ignorance, that I may rescue Thee from the dungeon to which my lower self so long ago consigned Thee.
My eyes are enthralled, O Father, with the beauty of earthly flowers, with life’s passing scenes, and with the sailing, silent clouds. Everywhere, all I see hints at Thy hidden presence. Open that eye in me which sees only Thee. With that gaze may I behold Thee above, beneath, all around, within, and outside me. Teach me in all things to see only Thee. Open in me that eye which beholds everywhere Thy hidden but ever subtly reigning wonder.

(This demand, especially, should be repeated mentally with deep concentration until the prayer-thought becomes fixed in your superconscious by the conviction born of deep faith.)
The breeze of Thy love wafts through me, O Father. Leaves on my tree of life tremble gently in response to Thy coming. My soul-blossoms have begun to awaken. The rustling murmur of my thought-leaves, whispering in the ether, calls to all matter-weary beings to come rest in the shade of my peace, received from Thee.
Manifest Thyself to me, O Father, as the light of reason and as the blaze of wisdom, as the breeze of amity and of self-expanding harmony. Manifest Thyself through the song of atoms and electrons, whose music-vibration encompasses the universe. Teach me to hear Thy cosmic voice which first commanded all vibration to begin, inspiring every pinpoint of Creation to sing its own special melody. Oh, let me hear within me Thy cosmic voice, so long hidden behind the hubbub of outer Creation. Let my magic wand of meditation touch all sounds and melt them into the One cosmic sound of Aum. Lo! how it courses, o’er the earth, in the sky, and far out from Earth to reach the stars. Appear to me as Aum, Aum, Aum—Thy cosmic song, which gives life to and infuses all sounds. Every cell of my body, every nerve, every ripple of my thoughts now sings with Thy great cosmic anthem: Aum!
Father Divine, this is my prayer: I care not what I may permanently possess, but give to me the power to acquire at will whatever I may daily need.
Veils surround me, Father, hiding Thee from me. I love the dainty, colored veils of roses and daisies; the shining veils of clouds of burning gold; the dark, star-decked shawl of the night. But— how long wilt Thou remain hidden behind all these veils? I love them because they hint at Thy presence. Yet still they hide Thee! I long to see Thee as Thou art—behind all this cover of veils!
O Father, may I behold Thee: above, beneath, behind, around—wherever I turn my gaze! Train the children of my senses never to stray from Thee, who dwellest at the heart of everything. Turn my eyes inward, to Thy changeless beauty. Attune my ears to silence, that I may hear Thy subtlest music. Breathe on me the heavenly scent of Thy sacred presence. Orient-wise I will worship Thee, placing the candles of my five senses on the altar of my love. Thus I will contact Thee in the first pale shafts of dawn; absorb Thee in the bright light of noon; expand in Thee with the hidden glow of twilight; and merge in Thee in the silver moonlight. Always will I keep alight on my inner altar the mystic taper of my love for Thee.
O Father, if Thou wakest me, how can I ever sleep again? If sleep should steal upon me, wilt Thou awake me? The terrors lurking in the dream-jungle of life are now forgotten. My sorrow has, by Thy grace, been changed into tears of joy. All my tiny, emotional joys blaze into bliss. My body-temple is filled with Thy light: Its rays keep the eyes of my wisdom from drooping. I thank Thee, Father, for keeping me always awake and ready!
With the opening of the earliest dawn and the lotus-buds, my soul softly opens in prayer to receive Thy light. Bathe each petal of my mind with Thy radiant rays! I saturate myself with the perfume of Thy presence, and I wait to waft with the breeze the aroma of Thy message of love to all. Bless me, that with the spreading dawn I may spread Thy love everywhere. Bless me, that with the awakening dawn I may awaken all souls with my own and bring them to Thee.
O Father, my little raft of meditation is floating toward Thy shore. Though buffeted by furious storms of distraction, and heaving waves on the sea of my mind rise and fall tumultuously, yet I am heading steadfastly toward Thy shore. O Master Mariner, come! Take charge of my boat!
Teach me, O Father, to find Thee in the cave of my heart, that I may walk with Thee everywhere. Teach me to hear Thee in silence, that I may hear Thy voice beneath outer noises. Teach me to find Thee in inner peace, that I may be with Thee calmly in the midst of outer tumult. Hubbub or silence, tumult or peace: I care not, so as long as Thou wilt teach me to find Thee anywhere, at any time.
O Father, behold me through the pores of the sky. Smile at me through the twinkling stars. Strengthen me through the sun; calm my feelings through the moon. Caress me through the breeze. Love me through my love. Throb in me through my heart. Breathe Thine immortality through this mortal frame of mine. Speak through my voice. Help others through my hands. Use my mind to inspire them. Breathe through my breath. For within this fragile viol Thou alone canst sing Thy complete, eternal song.
O Father, Thou art just behind my vision with which I see Thy beauty without. Thou art just behind my listening power with which I hear Thy voice in all Creation. Thou art just behind my touch with which I feel Thy world. In the sweetness of flowers and in the zest of sustaining food lies hidden the essence of Thy being: Thine eternal sweetness. Thou art just behind the voice of my prayer. Thou art just behind the mind with which I pray. Thou art just behind my glistening feelings. Thou art just behind my thoughts. Thou art just behind my cravings for Thee. Thou art just behind my meditations. Thou art just behind the veil of Nature’s splendors. Thou art just behind the screen of my love. Behind all these mystic screens, reveal Thyself as Thou art!
O Divine Father, Thou art just behind my prayer: Why dost Thou seem so far away? Thou dost tremble in my feelings; Thy presence glimmers through the veil of my thoughts. Yet dost Thou seem so far away! Father, come! Remove Thy veil! Come, Father, come! Hear the voice of my prayer. I want to know Thee, to talk to Thee, to hear Thee speak to me. I want to pray to Thee and know that Thou dost hear my prayer. Show me the way that leads to Thee.
O Father, when I hover on the borderland between sleep and wakefulness, Thou dost come and play with me, Thy little child. I float on the ocean of Thy love. I dance with the boisterous billows of emotion. I play at hide and seek with Thee, as Thou dost with me. Thy greatness lifts me, this least of all Thy servitors, to sit with Thee on Thy throne.
O Father, I hold my heart in my folded hands. Teach me to saturate my prayers with Thy love. Give me the simple, sincere devotion toward Thee of a child. Teach me to realize Thee just behind the voice of my prayer. Teach me to feel Thy breath flowing with my breath. Teach me to cognize Thy presence in my emotions. Teach me to perceive Thy wisdom in my understanding. Teach me to sense Thy all-pervading life in my life. Oh! flood my senses with Thy light.
O Spirit, beloved Father, Oversoul of the Universe, Spirit of Spirits, Friend of Friends: teach me the mystery of my existence! Teach me to worship Thee in breathlessness and in deathlessness. In the fire of devotion burn away my ignorance. In the stillness of my soul—come, Spirit, come! Possess me and teach me to feel Thy immortal presence in and around me. Come, Spirit, come! Come, Spirit, come!
O Father, my little prayers are all roused in reverence, waiting for Thee. My little joys dance in tune with the temple-bells of inner harmony. The muffled drum of my craving beats deeply for Thee. My passion and my ignorance wait tremblingly to be sacrificed on Thine altar. I shall say my prayers with mystic beads made of my crystal teardrops, and polished with my love for Thee. I shall cleanse the altar of my heart with my repentance. Come! I long for Thy presence!
Father Divine, banish me not in silence. I stand lonely without Thee. Let me not become imprisoned in my work, so that I forget Thee. I will go within, in meditation, to bring Thee without into the marketplace of life. Wherever Thou dost place me, there must Thou come. Hidden within the ashes of my burnt sadness, I shall find Thy golden presence.
The sun shines high in the heavens: everything is fully awake. Awaken Thou me, likewise! Thou art invisible, yet Thine energy flows through the rays of sunshine. Fill my veins with Thine invisible rays, making me strong and tireless. As the sun shines in the busiest streets, so may I behold Thy rays of protecting love in the crowded places of my life’s activities. As the light shines steadily, undisturbed, on the street, whether crowded or empty, so may I hold my calmness and my strength steadily while I move through the crowded or empty streets of life. Give me strength. And what I receive, teach me to share with others.
The orphans and the stricken have heard of Thy healing power. They have come to Thy door. Wilt Thou turn them away empty-handed? Those whose hearts are breaking with sadness and despair: dry their scalding teardrops with Thy invisible hand. Those who are lost in delusion—to whom shall they turn, but to Thee? Lift Thine unseen veil of silence and appear in Thy overwhelming, divine compassion. Before the coming of the dawn of Thy presence, all their dark troubles will take wing.
Will that day dawn for me, O Divine Mother, when uttering Thy name will bring floods of tears, to inundate the drought-land of my heart and burst open the dark gates of my ignorance? Oh, then, in the lake of my gathered tears will grow the lotus of luminous wisdom: All darkness in my mind will be dispelled. O formless, all-pervading Mother Divine, come to me in the form of tangible kindness! Take me away from these shores of millennial sadness.
O All-Pervading Spirit, the breeze of Thy inspiration has removed every cloud from my heart. The firmament of my mind is now clear. Purified, I behold only Thee, everywhere. The sunshine of Thy joy spreads rapidly to the farthest shores of my being. After long ages of hunger, I feed on Thy light. By Thy grace, and by my constant wakefulness in Thee, may this joy be mine forever, forever, and forever!
O Divine Hart, I ran after Thee equipped with the spears of selfish desire. Thou didst fly before me! I raced after Thee, shouting prayers loudly, but my voice drove Thee from me by the gusts of my restlessness; the noise I made only frightened Thee away! Stealthily, then, I crept up to Thee and cast the dart of my concentration. Alas! my hand unsteadily shook, and Thou didst bound away. As Thou didst so, however, Thy hooves echoed: “Without devotion thou art a poor, poor marksman!” With firm devotion then, holding fast the dart of meditation, I crept forward. Thy divine hoofbeats came stealing back—but I heard Thee whisper: “I am beyond thy mental dart—far beyond!” At last despairing, I entered the cave of celestial love. And there, at last, lo! Thou, the Divine Hart, camest willingly into my heart.
May my spark commingle with Thy great spark. May it twinkle in all eyes. Bless me, that I may swim in the sea of souls. Let me rush with Thee on avalanches of noble desire. Let me feel Thee in the budding hopes of all roseate minds, and in the silence of all saints. Let the tears of my sympathy commingle with the drops in all tearful eyes. Together, Thou and I will dance on the wavelets of all feelings. We will cheer every heart with divine delight! Let us throb in the life of all beings.
Bless me, my own true Father, that I may fly with Thee from peak to peak, or lie on the grass and sing Thy song to the birds. Bless me, that I may wade through the streams of human feeling to bring to all the song of Thy glory. Bless me that I may whirl around starry rims, blazing Thy name. With the nebulae I will spread Thy holy name. Bless me, that with the humming atoms I may attune my song to Thine.
Teach me to descend as rain drops on thirsty soul-flowers, showering them with Thy nectar-name. Teach me to dream with the poppy petals dreams of Thy golden light and inner peace. O Divine Breath, blow with me as the little breath in all men, and as the vast breath of all living things.
Mother Divine, the brave may laugh as they pass among flying bullets though death threatens with each one. I laugh, however, because whether I am floating on the surface of this present life or sinking beneath the waves of death, I rest forever in Thy protecting, omnipresent, eternal life, held safely forever in Thy immortal arms.
I looked at a flower and prayed: suddenly, O Father, I beheld Thee hiding there. It exuded to me the perfume of Thy presence. I saw the blush of Thy purity coloring its petals. It was the gold of Thy wisdom that shone in its heart. Thine all-embracing, upholding power filled its delicate calyx. The mystery of life and immortality lay in the pollen—lifted by the bee when it tasted Thy sweetness. Oh teach me Thy wonders of Creation, which are hinted at in even the tiniest roadside weed.
O Father, I pray that my storm-tossed soul may find the silver lining of Thy presence behind the clouds of my indifference. May the moon of Thy hope ever gleam upon my heart. Thy inner light slowly rises above the horizon of my mind. Mists of ignorance lift before the moonbeams of Thy love. O Father of light, my sorrowing soul beholds, rejoicing, Thy shores of bliss.
The day is done. Refreshed and sanctified with the sunshine of the day I pass through the portals of evening, dimly adorned with faint stars, to enter into the temple of silence and worship Thee. I worship Thy Spirit of approaching calmness. What prayers can I offer? For I have no words to offer Thee. I shall light a little fire of devotion on the altar of my soul. Will that light suffice to bring Thee into my dark temple — my dimly lighted temple, dark with my ignorance? Come! I crave, I yearn for Thee!
With the love of all human loves I have come to love Thee, Thou God of all loves. Thou art the father, anxious to protect His children. Thou art the little child, lisping love to its parents. Thou art the mother, showering infinite kindnesses on all her family. Thou dost flow in the all-surrendering love of the lover for the beloved. Thou art the love of friends for one another. Purify me with the reverence of a servant to his master. Teach me to love Thee with all pure loves, for Thou art the fountain of love both earthly and heavenly. Bathe me in the fountain-spray of all loves.
Open my inner eye, O Fountain of Light, that I may behold Thee in the dance of the myriad-hued atoms. Burst open the doors of space that I may see Thee behind the swirling mists of material illusion. Behind Thy walls of brilliant cosmic rays, Thou art hiding. Open every portal in Nature, that I may see Thee everywhere.
I have long suffered from the jaundice of duality. Everywhere, pale matter distorts Thy living presence. Wilt Thou heal my sight, that with the eyes of wisdom I behold Thy presence only, everywhere?
Let the waves of Thy power dance on the river of my activity. As Thou art intelligently busy making atoms, flowers, universes, so teach me to be cheerfully busy always. Thou art ever busy yet eternally smiling in joyous hearts. Bless me, that I may wear Thy unfading smile as I work in the factory of life.
Bless me, that I may perceive Thee through the windows of all joyous activities. Look upon me, and cheer me always as I engage in my daily duties. Let my every action—whether waking, sleeping, or dreaming—be sprayed by the fountain of Thy presence.
Father, teach me to perform all my work only to please Thee. Let me feel Thee as the electricity of life, moving the machinery of my bones, nerves, and muscles. In every heart-throb, every breath, every burst of vital activity, teach me to feel Thy power.
With folded hands, bowed head, and heart laden with the myrrh of reverence, I come to Thee. Thou art my parents; I am Thy child. Thou art the Master; I am ready to obey the silent command of Thy voice. I conjured the fragrant devotion of all hearts and mixed it with my tears. Now I am eager to wash Thy feet in silence. A river of my ardent crystal tears of craving rushes forth to meet Thee. Wilt Thou see that my boisterous flood of devotion be not lost in the desert of disappointment? Wilt Thou see that my mad flood of devotion follow always the right course, which leads to Thee?
Intoxicate me with devotion’s wine. I will drink of Thee until death. My earthly desires are now dead, and I will live in Thee forever. A thrilling current runs through each cell of my body, and through every opening of my love for Thee. Saturated with devotion, I will enter the heaven of Thy presence. Groping blindly, the urge of my devotion suddenly flings open the secret door in my soul: Oh, what bliss I feel on beholding Thy light!
I am crying in a wilderness of loneliness. With eyes closed I have long knocked at doors of darkness, praying that they will open and reveal Thy light. With a million thirsty cravings of my heart, I long for Thee. Oh, wilt Thou come?
Thy gentle voice saying, “Come home!” I often heard. But through many lives it was drowned in the tumult of my wild cravings. I have forsaken the jostling crowds of desire. In the solitude of my mind my devotion bursts to hear Thy voice. Take away every dream-memory of earthly sounds that yet lurks in my mind. I want to hear Thy still voice, ever singing in the silence of my soul.
With closed eyes I sit in the temple of night, and worship Thee. The sunlight, revealing a million alluring things, has vanished. One by one I have closed the doors of my senses lest the fragrance of the rose or the song of the nightingale distract my love from Thee. I am alone in this dark, dark temple. I have left everything — but, where art Thou? Darkness is haunting; still, unafraid, I am groping, seeking, crying for Thee. Wilt Thou leave me alone? Come, show Thyself!

The door of my memory swings open. Throbbingly thrilled, my heart looks for Thee, but I find Thee not. Halt! Ye thronging, million thoughts and past experiences: come not into my sacred temple! I close the bursting, thought-pressed door and run everywhere to find Thee. Ah! Where art Thou?

Darkness deepens. As I sit silent, in anguish of despair, I behold a little taper of concentration burning within me. I stand up mentally, and madly rush through the dimly lighted temple. The farther I go, the deeper grows the gloom. I clasp the empty darkness in hope of seizing Thee. Finding Thee not, I return again, and see the taper dimly burning.

I sing outwardly a loud prayer. My large teardrops and my strong gusts of prayer almost extinguish the taper. I will pray no more with words, nor rush and run about in the temple of Stygian darkness, nor drown the taper with my tears. I will sit still, and command my breath to make no sound. I rebuke my boisterous love for Thee.

The taper of meditation burns brighter now.

O, how maddening! I cannot worship Thee with words, but only with wistful yearning. Brighter the light grows: I behold Thee now. Thou art I. I worship Thee.

As night hides everything, so will I worship Thee in hidden silence.

I am glad with the joy of all minds. I will use the screen of the night to hide myself from the tempting things of the day.
O Night, when I am worried, throw thy veil of silent darkness around me. Create a dark temple for me wherever I go, that I may invoke and call Him, whom I love, at any time, anywhere, everywhere!
No loud or whispered words of prayer shall steal away my love. With the soul’s unspoken language I will express my hunger for Thee. Thy voice is silence, and through my silence Thou must speak to me and tell me Thou hast loved me always, though I knew it not.
In the hall of life, decorated with mountains, stormy cataracts, and wild scenery, I have played long. Each time, when, tired of play, I cried for Thee, Thou didst drop down through the skylight of my heart’s craving some new doll of fame, friends, or prosperity to quiet me. This time, Divine Mother, I will play the naughty baby. I will sob unceasingly. No more shall the toys of earthly pleasure stop my cries. O Divine Mother, Thou must come soon, or I will waken all Creation with my cries! I will make all Thy sleeping children wake and join me in a chorus of wails. Forsake Thy busyness with the housework of Thy Creation! I demand attention. I demand Thee! I no longer want Thy playthings!
Dressed in Thy luster, clean and holy, Thou didst send me out to play. I played—but in darkness, ignorantly; I found myself, therefore, lost in a mire of suffering. I went forth clean, but have come back to Thee all besmirched with the mud of delusion. O Divine Mother, wash me in Thy wisdom: Make me clean again!
I may lose everything, and roam about in darkness, but O Divine Mother! see that the tiny taper of my remembrance for Thee be not extinguished by the gusts of disbelief. I loved many things only to find that my true craving was for Thee alone. Come to me now! Be with me always!
Father, let me feel Thee through the touch of the breeze; through the sunshine warming my body. Enter through my nostrils with the fragrance of flowers. Let me cognize Thee through my innermost thoughts. Forget me never, even if I forget Thee. Remember me always, even if I remember Thee not. Be with me always, always, always!
O King of Kings—train Thou in me, in the camp of discipline, the noble qualities of calmness and self-control. Be Thou their Divine General, like Krishna of yore, against the invading hordes of darkness, passion, and greed. Protect the celestial kingdom of my mind against entry by the tenacious warriors of evil. Let Thy banner of peace wave always above the strong castle of my soul.
Fierce foes and obstinate, idle habits of restlessness have often entrenched themselves in the territory of my heart. Let me defeat them all, bent as they are on robbing me of my wealth of inner peace. Lead Thou my forces of calmness victoriously to the divine kingdom of fulfillment.
I want to use my own will, but guide it ever, Father, toward the golden paradise of all fulfillment. For I would be infinity’s smiling child, confident of being imprisoned no longer behind bars of fruitless desire and withered hopes.

I would break the shameful cords of lethargy that have presumed to hold me, and step fearlessly into freedom. Released, I now blaze my way through forests of every limitation and delusion.

Oh, my little, vain ego may strut proudly, saying: “Behold my glory! Worship me!” But I will look through its transparent form and behold Thine unimaginable beauty clothed in the subtle form of the whole universe! The silence-tuned hearing of my soul will ignore that tiny, boasting masquerader, my little self impersonating Thee, and will listen rapturously to the wind-borne, fragrant music of Thine own matchless voice whispering across the ages: “I am He!”
With the dawn of Thy coming, let the flowers of my devotion blossom in the garden of my heart. Let me weave a garland of them, and lay it at Thy feet!
I built a fire of devotion in the dark forest of delusion. Alas! the fire only smouldered. Then Thou didst come and set fire to a few of my frailties. That fire quickly spread, consuming the bushes of my prickly desires, my tall, towering vanities, and the thick underbrush of my arrogance. The whole forest of my darkness is blazing, and I behold only Thy light shining everywhere. I thank Thee, Father, for Thy help. Help me thus always. Let me open a path of light for all to follow!
Heavenly Father, receive this food. Make it holy. Let no impurity of greed defile it. The food comes from Thee. It is to build Thy temple. Spiritualize it. Spirit to Spirit goes. We are the petals of Thy manifestation, but Thou art the Flower, its life, beauty, and loveliness. Permeate our souls with the fragrance of Thy presence.
I am lost, Father, in the wastelands of wrong beliefs. Where is my home? I have kept the doors of my soul always open, expecting Thee. Ah! I have not yet found Thee. Rise high in the sky to illuminate my darkness: Be the Polestar to my searching mind, directing me to Thyself. For therein, I know, lies my home!
Teach me, Lord, to conquer myself by myself. Bless me that my discrimination become the charioteer of the steeds of my five senses, firmly holding the reins of my mind. Let my soul, riding on the wheels of discipline in the little chariot of my body, drive triumphantly over the speedway of earth-lives until, on the last lap of the last race, it finds itself safe, O King of Kings! in Thy vast royal palace.
O Divine Teacher, train me to recognize the difference between my soul’s lasting happiness and the passing pleasures of the senses. Keep my eyes open that I be not deceived by my senses, decked out as they are in stolen royal trappings and in the mirage-cloak of false happiness as, thus disguised, they try to enter the mansion of my life.

Discipline my unwise, wayward senses that my pleasures be spiritualized, and that I look ever beyond the illusion of glittering, visible forms to find divine joy hidden, simply dressed in the white robe of humility.
Bless me, that I may behold nothing but that which is good. Teach me, that I may touch only purity. Train me, that I may listen to Thy voice alone in all good speech, and in the beauty of all lovely melodies. Direct me to breathe only the perfume of pure scents from the flowers of Spirit. Invite me to indulge only in the wholesome taste of soul-nourishing food. Teach me to absorb only that which reminds me of Thee.
Bless me that I hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil, dream no evil, think no evil, and feel no evil.
Bless me, Father, that I behold the Eastern star of wisdom. May it shine before my human eyes as much in daylight as in darkness. Long my eyes were blinded by the tinsel-glitter of materiality. Seeing things always outwardly, I saw not the Spirit behind and within them. I saw the mustard-seed of matter, but spied not the oil of Spirit that it contained. My third eye of wisdom is now opened. Oh, may it always be so! Let the gaze of my single eye of realization penetrate through every veil of matter to behold the infinite presence of Christ, everywhere. Bless me, that my sacred, wise thoughts, following this star of knowledge, lead me to the Christ in everything.
Infinite Spirit, Thy presence is hidden equally behind the warm rays of the sun and the cool light of the moon. Those lights, though welcome and wonderful, reveal only Mother Nature’s splendor in matter: They reveal not Thee. To me, they are therefore darkness. Thy all-revealing, majestic and supreme light shines not on, but from within, the center of everything, therefore creating no shadows. Shadows in this world reduce light itself to non-light.

In theory I have known this. Now, Lord, take all darkness away from me! Wherever I sit with eyes shut, enclosed in my own darkness, cause to blaze upon me in glory the aurora of intuition, that suffused in its light I may gaze raptly on Thee with worshipping eyes.
O Spiritual Eye, once opened, remain always open before me, that I may avoid every pitfall in my path and be led to the highway that leads to Thy Palace of Peace. Give me answers to my every problem.
Father, swimming in the sea of my craving for Thee, I find myself beaten by the winds of severe trials. Floating on cresting waves of pleasure and pain, then sinking down into the depths of indifference, I still keep looking for Thy shoreless shore. With every stroke of my powerful prayer I move nearer to Thee. Never shall I give up! Thou Thyself, I know, dost look for my coming.
I entered my temple of silence. Seated with a straight spine, I switched off the dazzling, diverting light of energy animating my sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. I commanded my breath to cease its cleansing work in the body and make no noise. I ordered my heart to suspend its dictatorship over my myriad body cells, forcing them to eat the blood it sends them. I sat still and listened.

Then, Mother, I heard the soft approach of Thy footsteps. Thou didst come, bearing an overflowing chalice of life-sustaining, spiritual rays.

Sustain me evermore, O Divine Mother, with Thy rays of lifegiving Light! The heart, cells, brains, and thoughts of this body— Thy body, not mine—will waste no longer with decay. Lo! they are now immortal with Thy everlasting life.
O Conscious Cosmic Energy, Thou alone dost directly support my body. Solid, liquid, and gaseous foods are converted and spiritualized into energy by Thy cosmic energy. That energy supports my body. Help me to learn, O Spirit, to live more and more by direct cosmic energy, and less and less by food. Thine energy burns in the bulbs of my five senses. I recharge myself with Thine omnipresent, cosmic energy.
O Spirit, Father, save me from the fever-attacks of anger that have burned my brain, stressed my nerves, and poisoned my very blood.

O Father, when I am tempted to be angry, place before me a mirror of introspection; let me see my face then, distorted and ugly with wrath. Father, as I don’t like to be seen disfigured, let me not show myself before others with a face made repulsive by wrath.

Father, help me to dissolve this anger like a lump of earth cast into a lake. Want of self-control only makes me, and others also, shudder with misery. Bless me, that I may never injure the love I bear others, and their love for me, with selfish knife-thrusts of vexation.

Bless me, that I feed not my anger with more anger. Teach me how to cure any wounds it inflicts by applying the salve of self-respect and the balsam of kindness. Command every storm of anger that arises suddenly to pause ere it breaks, lest it engulf my mind. Help me to see only kindness reflected in my mental lake. Why disturb those calm waters with blasts of disharmony, producing only misery and useless agitation?

Show me, Father, that even my self-appointed worst enemy is still my brother, and that Thou lovest him even as Thou lovest me.
Infinite Spirit, teach me to comprehend the utter uselessness of being afraid. Help me to keep in mind that even death, since come it must, at least comes only once and need not be suffered a thousand times, beforehand, through fear! When death does come it will be by Nature’s mercy. When it comes, I will welcome it in my soul, for I will understand that it is time for me to move on, lowering the curtain on this life’s drama, but traveling, perhaps, to something new and equally interesting. Let me not be a “psychological antique,” fearing change.

Teach me not to paralyze my nerves daily with the dread of some future, imaginary accident. Such dread may only invite the accident to happen!

Bless me, that I not let fear anaesthetize my mind and shut off my unlimited power, as Thy child, to overcome all tests and trials. Help me to realize that, whether I am awake or asleep, alert or dreaming, Thine all-protecting presence encircles me always.

Help me to see that neither mighty fortress nor the wealth of Croesus could protect me from disease, earthquakes, and all kinds of accidents, that Thou alone art my protector, and that, though I walk where bullets fly or where swarms of bacteria abound, I am ever safe, enhaloed in Thy all-sheltering light.
O Spirit, let me not feed my insatiable sense-cravings with further wrong deeds. Teach me to discipline myself that I think always in terms of my true happiness. If my senses become unruly, teach me to govern my will not to cooperate with them and their desires; to feed them only wholesome acts.

As electricity can either illuminate or destroy a building, so human power can either glorify or devastate a life. Let me learn, then, to govern wisely the finite forces Thou hast entrusted to me, that each of them, with this two-fold potency, be directed only toward the good.

Let the greedy flames of all my desires consume their own dross not by self-indulgence, but by self-offering into the white heat of Thy wisdom.

Teach me, O Spirit, to cooperate with Thy will, to perform every duty harmoniously, and to sing the one, little song Thou hast given me to sing, until all my unruly senses learn to join happily in full harmony with Thy cosmic plan.

Let the rivulets of all my sense-cravings be transmuted into the one mighty river of soul-craving. And, O Spirit, spare not Thy rod of discipline, if ever I stray again toward the senses and away from my true path of craving for Thee!
I am the foam of happiness spumed out of the sea of Thy joy! I am the ocean life bounding with the billows of joy! Endless eddies of my laughter spread through all hearts. When the time comes to depart, I will retire to wakeful sleep on the bosom of Thy infinite joy, a ripple ever dancing with billows of all joy. I am a bubble of joy, struggling to burst and unite with the ocean of joy.

I feel Thy joy in all things! Make me a lighthouse of joy also, guiding storm-tossed vessels of life to safety on the shores of Thy joy.

Let every vine of my activity bear large grape clusters of Thy joy! Let me drink the divine wine pressed from the grapes of all life’s little joys!
Teach me to be a dewdrop enchanted with divine love, slipping unaffected down the lotus-leaf of seductive sense-lures to Thy glistening waters of wisdom. I am Thy immortal dewdrop, sliding freely and not adhering to the leaves of past, present, and future lives.

I smoothed the slopes of my mind with wise restraint, that the thirsty pores of temptation might absorb none of my strength.

I am Thy prodigal dewdrop, quivering in the hollows of life and death, waiting to slip down when it can to Thy shoreless sea. Though long truant, I, Thy tiny dewdrop, am homeward bound however long the journey take.

After this rhythmic dance of life, rising with birth, and sinking with the downbeat of death, I will refresh myself at last in Thy unmoving sea.

I do not want to lose myself. Thy tiny dewdrop craves only, by merging in Thee, to feel that I am one with all the other drops in Thy ocean.

I will be a rainbow-hued dewdrop, one with Thy omnipresence, and yet, in my omniscience, aware of my former dewdrop existence. I pray that all God-thirsty souls will come and drink from the Great Source of all our lives.
The fire of ambition has been waxing strong, fed by the fuel of my evanescent, rainbow-dreams. As often as one dream faded away, a new one, as persistent as the last, burst open, flower-like, in my heart, only to wither and die. The lightning of disaster struck, consuming not once but many times my garden of hopes, as flames destroyed even my very powers of renewal.

My garden was once green with life, but as the gray ghosts of half-dead hopes and low vitality glided in, surrounded by dark doubts, I began to fear. Would they frighten me as, with timid footsteps, I turned at last toward Thee?

Come to my aid, O Divine Friend! Give me the strength now to be ambitious only in my quest for Thee.
O God, let me not whine complainingly, “Why hast Thou yoked me to the heavy demands of flesh, to constant hunger, a slave to fatigue and earthly discomfort?” I blame no businessman for being busy: dost Thou not keep the bee busy constantly? Dost Thou not send rain to water the earth, which yields life-sustaining crops? If even the skies are darkened with clouds to sprinkle life down upon thirsty crops, who am I to complain so selfishly, so childishly, so uselessly: “What about poor me?”

The Master Potter of life molded this clay ball of earth; He keeps it busy ever whirling in its orbit, holding it ray-strung to the sun, around which it rotates in ceaseless rhythm.

The Cosmic Potter busily forms, by the trillions, fragile vessels of flesh on His revolving wheel of life. The amoeba, the butterfly, the whippoorwill, the gigantic fiery-eyed bodies that wander on vast tracts of space growling their own variants of Aum—all must do some aspect of His work.

Even the fickle lightning in the sky must do its bit to help with the spraying of timely showers.

O Lord of all Life, Thou art the busiest Worker in Creation: ever alert, noting the fall of every sparrow, attending to the slightest scratch of flesh, and plotting the course of each meteor.

Thou dost produce everything out of Thine unseen factory of creation. Thou art the Maker and Displayer of innumerable artifacts. Thou art also the Divine Salesman, selling health, mental electricity, and nuggets of wisdom to mankind.

And—oh, yes!—Thou dost make us pay for everything! We pay in the effort we must put forth to live hygienically, and to acquire that food which will buy us good health. We pay coins of self-development for the power that lights the cozy cottage of our minds. And we pay gold nuggets of devotion perchance, to hold Thee to us, and ourselves to Thee.

We must give energy, in one form or another, for everything we receive. Only Thou, Thyself, art not for sale, though some people try to purchase Thy favor!

O Priceless One, what value can be placed on Thee? Yet Thou givest Thyself freely to us when we remind Thee that we are Thy children, heirs to Thy all-encompassing kingdom, and part of Thy own Self.
O Spirit, as no work is possible without borrowing, from Thee, the power to perform it, so, teach us to consider no work greater than Thy spiritual work.

Teach us to feel that, since no duty is possible without Thee, so, no duty is more important than our duty to Thee. And teach us to love Thee above everything, for we cannot live or love anything or anybody without Thy Life, Thy love.
In the dawn of awakening, I beheld dewdrops of repentance gathered and resting on Thy many-petaled lotus-feet. In those dear dewdrops my soul cleansed itself in the waters of pity, and caused my despondency to be dispelled by showers of Thy blessing.

May the petals of all our past, present, and future karmas— born in the dawn of our first appearance in human bodies, busily active in the noon of our intense worldly involvements, and drooping sadly in the night of our growing disillusionment with this world—may all open up to reveal the tenderness of Thine ever-present love and compassion.

Lord! I ask this of Thee: Bury seeds of Thy blessings in the prayer-prepared soil of my heart; then let them grow into plants of divine realization, bearing fruits of infinite happiness in Thee.
I care not if, in the destruction of my desires, I must shatter my very self—jostling through sextillions of lives, and undergoing again and again the throes of birth and the pangs of death! I can endure all suffering so long as, at the end of it, I attain my supreme goal: oneness with Thy bliss. What care I if I leave behind mangled heaps of my fleshly forms, broken by my struggles to reach Thee?

I offer all my earthly happiness in exchange for Thy joy. I renounce all elusive joys for eternal freedom in Thy joy. Thy bliss alone is mine, alone is mine.

Oh! Tell me clearly that Thou wilt surely be mine! I can wait patiently, then, a hundred thousand years as if they were but a day.

Tell me—wilt Thou be mine?
Teach me, O Spirit, by meditation, to stop the storm of breath, the skipping of my mental restlessness, and all the sensory disturbances that rage on the lake of my mind. Let the magic wand of my intuition halt the gale of passions and unnecessary desires. In the rippleless lake of my mind, then, let me behold the undistorted reflection of the moon of my soul, glistening ever with the reflected light of Thy presence.
I come to Thee with the song of my smiles. Whatever treasures have lain in the secrecy of my soul, I bring eagerly to Thee. I bring Thee all the honey from the hive of my heart. All that was ever mine is now Thine alone.

The sunlight of this world, shining upon my eager hopes and brief, fickle fulfillments, burned me repeatedly with dissatisfaction. Now I will quench my thirst forever in Thy radiant waters!

The taper of my aspiration toward happiness will burst aflame with Thy coming into a conflagration of bliss.

In Thy vast, enchanting sea of light I will swim joyfully forever. Teach me to drown in Thee and live, rather than live in a mirage-paradise of earthliness and die.
The doomsday clouds of inevitably tragic events thundered and poured down sheets of suffering on my life. My courage almost drowned in fear, as a million difficulties rose up to destroy me. Only by clinging fast to Thee did I survive.

Now, when the cannons of uncertainty boom before me and the shells of calumny, persecution, and fierce opposition fall rain-like around me, I am ever protected in the impregnable fortress of Thy love. I am so grateful to Thee!

When the light of good fortune dawns again, as it must always, following every hard night of struggles, it is easy to smile welcomingly at the pleasing sunrise of Thy grace. During dark nights of misfortune, however, I find it even sweeter, now, to offer Thee the flowers of my appreciation for being always there, protecting me. I offer all my gratitude at Thy feet of deep, inner communion. Receive me, my Eternal Beloved, in sacred silence.
I found myself suffocating in the dark vapors of worldly ambition as my vessel sailed over life’s seas. Fearful of dying in delusion, I sought out and boarded the submarine of deep dedication, and dove deep into my inner self. In the silent depths of Thy consciousness I saw, at first shimmering before me, a light which spoke to me of fulfillments never before dreamed of.

Diving deeper still, the submarine of my mind moved into astral seas—so rarely plumbed!—in search of Thee. Suddenly, probing with searchlight vision, my soul-submarine found itself in a new universe! I was surrounded on all sides by a mystic, flaming radiance. Overwhelmed by Thy supernal blessings, I beheld and reveled in Thy presence everywhere.
As we rest in sleep, wake in the morning to our daily round of desperate-seeming, but only half-conscious, activity, then fall back to sleep again at night—so also do we pass fleetingly from birth to life to death again, waking ever and again in new bodies, dashing about our appointments and other commitments, delighting in them or groaning at their importunity, then finding ourselves forced to leave everything at death’s next summons: dream after dream of ceaseless earthly struggles!

On the sleigh of incarnations we find ourselves sliding by hopes and disappointments; victories and failures; fulfillments and disillusionments. When the smooth snow of easy passage melts, and the underlying ice of insecurity breaks, we find ourselves plunged into heaving seas: eddies of gay then desperate laughter; Sargassos of cloying involvements; vast calms of indifference—ah! all, only dreams!

When at last I awoke in Thee, I discovered that I’d been dreaming all along! I’d only thought I was awake.
My finiteness has gone to rest, cradled in Thy arms of infinite perception. Noisy sense impressions quieted at the sound of Thy softly approaching tread of inner peace.

Calming my breath, wakeful in higher awareness, I sat, still-ly waiting.

Inner sounds—soul-melodies—burst out in welcome to Thy majestic coming, O King Silence, with Thy approach to my peace- decked meditation chamber.

In the darkness, hidden diamond-chips of broken dreams dimly glittered, hinting at the blazing glory of Thine approach. I gathered all my sacred aspirations, and tied them together into a single bouquet with strings of countless graces that I had received from Thee. Then I offered that bouquet at Thy feet. Lo! My humble offering was transformed into a bouquet of gold! With this gold will I construct a shining, ever-enduring temple in my soul, wherein I will sit on Thy throne of peace.
O Mother Divine, I have learned to love Thy dance of destruction! For I see, now, that what is destroyed is my own ignorance and folly!

Thou hast shattered again and again with Thy war-dance of destruction my fragile cage of bones and flesh, and consigned it to crematory flames. Thou hast done so smilingly, to show me and everyone that our souls are ever free, and cannot be burned or broken.

With Thy mercy Thou hast stripped away—sometimes, seemingly with harshness, but always with loving purpose—the countless hardened, mud-encrusted covers of delusion that coated us.

I appreciate, now, Thy dance of devastation, Mother! Together let us cremate my every desire, frailty, weakness, and finitude, forever and ever. I’ll join Thee, laughing, in Thy dance of evil’s destruction.

O Mother, since nothing more is left, now, of my finiteness for Thee to destroy, dance in me Thy Dance of infinity and of cosmic love!
The fascinating orange-red fire of false pleasures attracted us, Thy children, to play with its gay, leaping flames. Thy silent voice warned us of the scorching power of those flames—so pleasing at first, but so soul-desecrating. Eagerly, however, we rushed toward the flames, trying to seize them; in so doing, we experienced brief exhilaration. Some of us plunged hands greedily into the devouring blaze, badly scorching their fingers of ambition. Resultant wounds, sores of disappointment, and pustules of satiety made them wail for Thee—but only sometimes, and then only for Thy help.

O Patient Physician, Thou art ever near us with Thy unfailing unguent of forgiveness and love. Teach us to heed Thy warning of pain and disappointment, that we learn to offer Thee joyous songs, and not helpless wails as we writhe complainingly in unnecessary pain.

We are Thy heedless children, allured by the playthings of the world. Teach us at last to play only with the cooling, divinely scintillating light of the Spirit.
Thou Master Piper, blow Thy music through the reed of all religions—so often broken by sectarian selfishness—and bring forth Thy one theme of truth. Dress that divine melody with many golden chords, showing the richness of Thy Spirit.

And, O Master Piper! gather together, from all the highways and byways of truth’s numerous expressions, all the uncompleted songs of lonely hearts seeking attunement with Thee, and let them flow into complete melodies of joy through the love-playing flute of life!

On my silence-tuned radio-mind I listened daily for Thy thrilling, anciently familiar flute notes. I tried to tune in to them, but Thou seemedst so far, far away, and at first the busy static of restlessness crackled in my silence. Then at last, however, with a few fine, careful touches of concentration, I heard a soft rustling sound, as if on wings of space. And suddenly I heard Thee piping softly, then more loudly and ever-more loudly, with a swelling chorus of all earth’s goodness and the latent nobility in all hearts.
When Thou camest, I smiled in my soul-cottage by the little brook of life. O Mystic Electrician, the many-tinted bulbs of unawakened happiness, long dependent on my nerve-clogged senses, refused to scintillate with light. For the nerve-wires had been torn and shaken by high winds of outward involvement. O Thou Silent Physician of Illness! Heal my tattered nerves! Restorer of shining currents in our lives, resurrect all the dead nerve-wires not only in me, but in people everywhere. Breathe into their bodies an unleashed flow of power, that all the unlit, bare-wired and dangling bulbs of their senses may suddenly shine again with Thy blazing glory.

I am but the bulb: Thou art the holy energy that can animate it. Thou art, indeed, both bulb and light. Help all men to realize this miracle!

Heal all our shattered nerves, and flood all the disease-clogged wires leading to those bulbs with the effulgence of Thy divine light.
The sunbeams of Thy love shine equally on all the members of Thy cosmic family, whether prophet, hero, villain, tiny moth, or me. It is our own fault if we make ourselves opaque by our own mental and emotional dullness. Teach us to wipe away the dirt of error from the windows of our understanding.

Our arms are weak for the task, owing to our long inner spiritual resistance. O Master Cleanser, lend power to our efforts, that we may wipe away every last spot that clings to our minds, obscuring our transparency and preventing free entry to Thy light. Oh, make us fully clean again, invisible in our egos because transmitting only visions of Thy beauty, which lies within us.
Divine Father, teach me to dive deep for the pearls of Thy wisdom in the ocean of meditation. Teach me to plunge headlong, protected in the diving suit of conscience, that the sharks of passion may not destroy me. If, by one or two divings, I find not Thy wisdom-pearls, let me not call the sea of meditation devoid of any pearl of Thy wisdom. Teach me, rather, to find fault with my own diving. Teach me to dive again and again in meditation, deeper and deeper always, until I find Thine immortal pearls of wisdom and of joy divine.
I care not if the shell-fire of trials scream around me. And I pay little heed to salvo-shots fired in my honor. I mind not if machine-guns of mischief are aimed at me to riddle me: for when Thou art with me, I am safe behind the ramparts of Thy protective light. Without Thee, however, I would never be safe, even in the most impregnable fortress, constructed by the best skills modern science can supply. I try never to rouse the wrath of others whose tempers are fiery. No matter how they respond, however, I know that, when I relax inwardly in Thee, no one’s anger with me can ever touch me.

Bless me that I may heal the shrapnel wounds of disharmony in the lives of others. Teach me to drive out darkness from their minds, and to prepare them for Thy triumphal coronation in their hearts, O King Light.

Bless me, that I may bring a salve of sweet smiles to all melancholy souls: soothing showers to revive dry, arid minds; sentries of light to banish from their consciousness all the thieves of gloom; nectar of peace to all sorrow-parched hearts; and the glow of kindness to dispel dark cruelty everywhere.

Teach me to subdue discord by calm waves of my own harmony. Teach me to conquer insincerity with sincerity. Bless me, that I may overcome any habit of idle criticism of others by turning censure against myself, instead. And teach me, finally, to give the nectar-opiate of Thy peace to all tormented minds, that they may find rest in Thee.
I was first baptized at the font of this material world. Parental heritage gave me my body. The milk from my mother’s breasts baptized me to the feel of flesh. Cloud-born rains, mountain springs, and meadow-nurtured food made me dependent on earth’s sustenance.

My imprisoned soul cried at last for freedom from the prison of confining flesh and solicitous maternal care. No more did I want to dwell within the fenced garden of the senses. Yes, I cried for freedom.

Then at last the cloud of silence within me, holding Thee remote, burst, and Thy mercy rained upon me, cleansing me with Thy grace. The rising waters of Thy Spirit broke the narrow boundaries of my soul, baptizing me in Thine expanding waters of infinity.

The power of Thy flood of cosmic consciousness broke the embankments of my senses, and every little bubble of my consciousness dissolved, to be baptized in the waters of Thine omnipresence.
Teach me to behold myself in others. As I try to explain away my own faults to myself or, if I correct myself, I do so silently, so teach me, Lord, to accept, understand, and forgive others, and (sometimes only) quietly to suggest to them how they might correct a fault if they so wish.

Through kindly tolerance, while shunning the blind brutality of impatient egos, let me lead all stumbling ones, stubborn in their erring, to Thee.

Help me to see that Thy light shines equally everywhere: on good, diamond-bright souls and as much so on coal-black, evil beings. Guide my understanding and invigorate my powers, that I may transform darkened, hate-filled minds into sparkling gems which fully reflect Thy impartial wisdom rays.

Long ago didst Thou wipe away the soot of desire and indifference covering my own soul. Long, now, has it shone with Thy light. I discovered, wonderingly, that I had always been Thy child. Enable me now to wash all souls clean with Thy love: to see and treat even dark souls as Thy children also, and as my very own sleeping brothers. Thy light hides within the most gloom-shrouded soul, waiting to be revealed and appreciated by all at last. They themselves can bring out their hidden splendor by self-effort and by the good company of those who are seeking Thy ways. Whenever I meet such a self-punishing soul-brother, help me to treat him softly, with patience. Make me ever ready to help all those truth-repudiating souls who now wish to be awakened.

For Thou givest even to the condemned murderer a fresh chance to be better, in a new and unknown body, perhaps in a new environment, with new influences to mold him. Even so, teach us to offer shelter, in the haven of our forgiveness, to the world-forsaken. O Spirit! may the sunshine of our love, which comes from Thee, dispel the chill from all error-frozen souls!

Thou dost eagerly wait to reveal Thyself to entire worlds, if they want to emerge from the sea of wrong-doing. Thy silence before those error-steeped worlds demonstrates Thy patience and Thy ever-proffered forgiveness. Teach us not to deny the sweetness of help even to those persons who try us bitterly with wounding words, or even with blows. Without any expectation of them whatsoever, let us help others to help themselves. In the meantime let us ever forgive them, even those who turn against us because we, respecting their free will, have ceased to help them.

Teach us to forgive even those who most offend us—forgiving them inwardly, first, and then, as we find them receptive, forgiving them outwardly. Help us to scatter fragrant flower-petals of forgiveness, and return sweet speech for every sour word, smiling love for all hatred, heartfelt kindness for people’s anger, and brotherly or sisterly goodness for every injury. May we feel that even the most inky-dark soul is immortal—that he is only dreaming imperfection. Inspire us to awaken him with divine forgiveness to the consciousness of his eternal, celestial sonhood, of his inherent purity, and of the deathlessness of his soul.
I have heard Thy voice, Divine Mother, saying: “You have long remained enclosed in the cocoon of wrong human habits. Come out! ere the silk-man, Death, come to destroy you! Cut away the delusive, comfort-inducing silken cords of past habits which hold you, falsely secure, in their chamber of death.

“Come out! Cease being a blind human worm sleeping and dreaming human weakness. Come out of your ages-old cocoon of delusion! Spread wings of eternal power and splendor, through spiritualizing your ambitions.

“Come out! Be the butterfly of eternity! Let your wings display their innate divine beauty. Let them spread out over all space, entertained by and entertaining everything, everywhere.

“On wings of beauty, fly through the skies of infinity, attracting all toward everything that is most beautiful. Sun-and-stardust, glimmering on your wings, banish gloom from every heart as you soar past on your joyous way to your home in Me, O butterfly of eternity!”
My gold-gossamer astral body, shining with the spark of immortality, hopped, cricket-like, from one blade of existence to another.

Thou hast clothed the barren soil of eternity with grass-blades of many cycles of time. I will hop to them one by one, from one blade of pleasure to another—until I can leap to the safety of Thy reassuring hands. With living threads of Thy joy I was formed. I am happy to have danced my part in this cosmic show. But I have done, now, with restless hopping. I would find rest, at last, in cosmic changelessness.

Human lives, again, like slowly moving camels, plod ponderously over broad, sandy deserts toward the oasis of self-awareness. As developed beings, their astral bodies pass also from planet to planet. Only in Thee, at last, do they find what they were seeking always. Lord give me again the perfection of fulfillment in Thy Love of Infinity.
With golden plumes of spiritual unfoldment, with the softest down of tender feeling, and decked out in a costume of color and graceful beauty, I am Thy soul-bird of paradise. My wings, sped by the eager desire to progress, beat their way through life’s somber skies in continuous search of the paradise of peace.

Despondency has sometimes daubed dark colors on the fragile feathers of my bright, sunny mind.

Oh! Bathe me, Thy bird of paradise, with the cleansing sun-rays of insight, and soothe me with Thy soft-singing melodies of peace.
Miles and miles of eternity I traversed, humming Thy name, seeking the garden of my dreams.

I am Thy tiny hummingbird, busily fluttering the wings of activity in service to Thee. I must travel far to find Thy rare orchid blossoms, and to revel in a symphony of color on far mountain slopes of my dreams.

I am Thy busy hummingbird, ever humming Thy name, dipping my long beak deep into the feeling heart of all soul-qualities: golden, blue, marigold, and flowers of many hues. By Thy grace, may I not, inadvertently, sip any bitter honey of evil.

I am Thy tiny hummingbird, buzzing with Thy unceasing vitality, sipping from all the blossoms in Thy fragrant garden of sweet joy, and in the humblest wayside plots of all human sweetness.
Many doors opened before me at the dawn of Thy coming. O Lord, the very earth shone with life when Thou camest. The very ground on which I stood thrilled me because of Thee. Everywhere dumb matter spoke to me, spirit-resurrected by Thy touch. All living things swayed in the incense-breeze of Thy approach, hinting at Thy perfume of bliss.

Thy sanctuary of omnipresence was long hidden by the darkness of my indifference. Now, on the revealed courtyard of Thy temple, I find Thy fountain of joy, gaily bubbling. With uplifted palm-cups of craving, I catch and drink from the vital waters of Thy solace. Lord, I know now that I shall thirst nevermore.
O mighty, mystic Judge of Life, I asked Thee in my hall of soul-stillness: “What is sin?”

Thy whispers of silence, dim at first, grew into bright articulations of thought; I heard and understood Thy meaning: “Sin is a rebel-king. His name is Ignorance. Ignorance is the perpetrator of all evil, the main root of the tree of ill-health, the primal cause of all error and soul-blindness.”

King Ignorance and his army of bacteria—physical disease, mental desires, dullness, and false ambition, spiritual indifference to high truths—have been devastating the nourishing harvest-fields of spirituality.

That harvest of countless fulfillments was ripe for reaping when the harsh tread of error trampled it to the ground. I wanted to weep with despair, when I heard Thy voice whispering to me in my soul: “The sun of My protection shines on thee always—equally on thy sunny days and on thy coal-black, nocturnal hours. Thou shouldst always have faith in Me, and smile, for the greatest of all sins against Me is not to be happy. Let the ripples of unceasing smiles play over thy face. Through their transparency My light will come to thine assistance. By smiling with determined happiness, thou wilt always please Me.”
Can the blind man appreciate the light? Can the deaf man appreciate song?

O Father, how can a person intoxicated with the pleasures of the senses appreciate clearly the benefits of good health and the physical energy and mental clarity that come with self-control?

Father, how can the luxury-satiated and sense-surfeited hear the celestial, peace-giving chorus of noble qualities in simple, humble, but spiritually rich souls?

Bless us, that we may behold in the subtle, beautiful rays of good habits this truth: that virtue is far more attractive, invigorating, and satisfying than vice, and that it opens the way for us to hear Thy guiding voice behind all other sounds.
O Divine Mother, teach me to use the gift of Thy love, which I feel in my heart, to love the members of my family more than myself. Bless me, that I may love my neighbors more than my family. Expand my heart’s feelings, that I love my country more than my neighbors, and my world and all my human brethren more than my country, neighbors, family, and my own self.

Lastly, teach me to love Thee more than anything else, for it is only Thy love that enables me to love everything. Without Thee, I could not love anything or anybody.

Father Divine, teach me to enter through the portals of family love, and that of the love of my friends, into the mansion of wider social love. Teach me to pass from there through the doors of social love, and into the wider mansion of international love. Then teach me to pass through the portals of international love into the endless territory of divine love, wherein I perceive all animate and inanimate objects as breathing and living by Thy love alone.

Teach me to tarry not at any alluringly beautiful gate of family, social, or international love. Teach me to pass through all portals that lead to the smaller gardens of love until, passing through the last gate of human love, I enter into the endless territory of divine love where I shall find all living, semi-living, and sleeping things to be my very own.
If, through Thy grace, I have more wealth than others, teach me to share the surplus with those who have less, or even nothing. For Thou art in the poor as much as in the rich. In giving wealth to the rich, Thou gavest it to Thyself. But wealth is not only a blessing: It is also a test to see whether people, having received that blessing, will also be rich enough in compassion to share what they have with those who are less fortunate.

The blessed who care not for the unblessed, and the fortunate who care not for the unfortunate, will never feel Thy deeper blessings in their lives. Blinded by their own selfish opulence, rather, they will be required by Law to be poor again, that they may see that Thou dwellest equally, and sometimes even more openly, in the homes of the poor. The unfeeling rich must experience poverty again and be stripped of their comforts, that they may feel the pinch of others’ wants as their own.

Blessed are those who share Thy abundance with others. Riches were given to them that they might learn to give to others. Those, however, who keep useful treasures locked away, mildewed and rusting, or simply unknown, when man’s duty is to make this world better and more beautiful, are like cobras sitting protectively over a hoard of jewels which serve them nothing. The magnitude of their misery is rendered all the more gross by the fact that so many of their brothers are wailing by the wayside for help. Misers will die in the much more grinding poverty of a dry, shriveled soul.

To die rich without having shared anything is really to die poor. And to pass the portals of death willingly impoverished by having gladly shared with others is to die truly rich.

Teach us, Lord, to feel consideration for those who have lost their wealth or their health. Teach us to feel even more for them than we would for any loss of our own. If we shrink at the thought of becoming poor ourselves, teach us, by empathy, to sympathize even more with those who are already being ground under the wheels of material want of any kind.

Teach us to spend as happily and freely for others as we spend for ourselves. Teach us not to love Thy gifts more than Thee, the true Giver of all gifts. For to think more of Thy gifts than of Thee is to separate ourselves from Thee.

Those who share Thy gifts freely with others, even as Thou sharest the gift of life and consciousness with them, find themselves one with the life and consciousness of all.
Give me holy health, but give my brothers even more, that I may enjoy my greatest health not in this little body, but in my expanded being.

Give me power, but to others give it more abundantly, that I may wield my own strength through the strength of many.

Give me wisdom, that I may make others even more wise, and that I may feel wisdom’s rays spreading out over a vast tract of shining minds. For all men are dear to me.

Teach me to behold through all eyes, to work through all hands, and to feel the throb of my own feelings in all. Teach me to feel, act, strive, earn, and especially spend for all as I do for myself.

I want my health to serve also as a model for others’ health. I want my own efficiency to turn away from earth’s door all inefficiency. I want the inner freedom that comes with wisdom, that I may enjoy that same freedom in all. May all souls, everywhere, find spiritual emancipation!
Teach me to feel that, but for the right use of Thy grace and wisdom, I too might have been lame, leprous, or blind; and, were I lame or blind even by my own wrong actions, I would certainly crave to be healed.

So do Thou, whenever I see anyone crippled or shattered by sorrow: Make me feel that it is Thou who art suffering in those forms. Teach me to instill in them, furthermore, the health and peace I myself have attained.

Teach me to sympathize with the cries, needs, and sufferings of others, that I may be as eager to free them from those burdens as I would be to free myself.

Sorrowing, struggling, weeping, and smiling in empathy with the needs of all, may I at last find my soul’s real identity with all.
I drew apart the gross veils of earthly music, O Infinite Musician, and heard Thee playing through the sweet lilt of the violin, through the bright strumming of the harp, and I heard Thy song through the whispered longings of my own mind. O Magic Musician! plucking gently on the hidden feeling-strings of my heart, at last I beheld Thy soft, warm light spreading like dawn over the awakening sky of my mind. Thou Dearest of all singers, Thy notes have awakened me from the slumber of ages! I now stand before Thy altar, eager to offer Thee my own melodies, inspired by Thee.
I may go far, farther than the farthest star, but I will be Thine always! Devotees may come, devotees may go, but I will be Thine always.

I may bound over billows of many lives under sad, dark skies of loneliness, but I will be Thine always.

The whole world may ignore Thee, engrossed as it is in Thy gifts of money, power, and pleasure—mere playthings!—but I will be Thine always. Take everything from me if Thou willst, but, Lord, I will be Thine always.

Death, disease, and every imaginable trial may riddle and rend me, yet, while the embers of memory still flicker, look into my dying eyes: They will mutely say, “I will be Thine always.”

My voice may grow feeble, fail, and forsake me, and yet, with bursting heart and with the silent voice of my soul, I will ever whisper to Thee, “My Lord, I am Thine always!”
Through long, winding pathways of self-doubt, fording mighty rivers that separated Thee from me, trudging over endless wastes of barren lives, tossing dangerously on the rapids of many ambitions, arduously climbing steep mountain trails of desire, and carefully extricating myself from whirlpools of alternating sadness and hilarity—at last I have reached my journey’s end. I look upon all those past travails with joy. Every struggle, every past agony, has produced a flowing spring of joyous, grateful tears. In the sacred waters of those tears, I baptize myself daily with deep love for Thee.
The streamlets of our prayers rush out and conjoin with the well-springs of our hearts, uniting in a single, mighty flow. Our broad, deep-flowing rivers of prayer move swiftly toward Thy oceanic presence, breaking all narrow embankments of indifference, dissolving every eddy and large whirlpool of worldly desire, flowing freely over the protruding rocks of bad habits, and straightening the once-winding ways of delusion. Our great river of devotion crosses sands of human oblivion—uncounted lives, lost in eternity to present memory—and inundates every trace of past trials and painful past experience. Yet even now Thy shores seem far away! Doggedly, our flood moves on toward Thy sea of shining vastness.

Pour, Thou, unceasingly the raindrops of Thy mercy, swelling the flood of our prayers that they reach at last, triumphantly, Thine ever-waiting shores!
Thou hast come into my temple at last. The doors of my senses are open wide. The bird of darkness has taken wing. I tune the harp-strings of my heart and sing a song of my ages-old love for Thee. My song will be newly costumed with the fresh notes of my soul.

Wavelets of my song will dance in rhythm within the heaving of Thy great ocean of cosmic consciousness. Growing to great billows of devotion, they will move steadily to Thy shore.

O lullaby of all soothing, rising, crashing waves, sing to me the song of my beloved Mother, Eternity.

O anthem of divine love, rock me sonorously in thy cradle of cosmic vibration, and bring all my restless delusions to sleep at last on Thy great bosom of peace.
I, the nightingale of heaven, perched on the boughs of many lives, singing Thy songs.

My clear song reverberates over soul-leaves that flutter with Thy life. It thrills the night air in the private gardens of centuries, where many sleep, dreaming sweet fantasies or, again, nightmares of delusion. It wakens some of them with soft touches of Thy reverberating, cosmic song.

I fly everywhere, and give concerts to express Thy joy in bowers of receptive hearts. Oh! I will come again and again to lure all souls with my songs, and to teach them Thy songs, and invite them all to fly, like me, in Thy skies of cosmic freedom.
I attuned my life with Thine. Now my life has become a long, unbroken inspiration. Thy fountain of bliss refreshes and delights me night and day, whether I be wakeful, fast asleep, or dreaming fondly of Thee. Oh, what has become of me? Delight on overwhelming delight! Endless, indescribable thrills of divine delight spray unceasingly over me!

O aged nectar! Wine of centuries! I found Thee at last, and will taste of Thy sweetness forever, forever, forever!
Thou art our Father. We are made in Thine image. We are Thy children. We neither ask nor pray as beggars, but demand of Thee, as Thy children, the gifts of wisdom, salvation, health, happiness, and eternal joy. Whether naughty or good, we are still Thy children, all of us. Help us to perceive and understand, inwardly, Thy will for us. Teach us the independent use of our human will (since Thou gavest it to us to use freely), attuned to Thy wisdom-guided will.
O God my Father, teach me to make a bouquet of the variously hued flowers of filial, conjugal, friendly, parental, and guru-disciple love, and to lay it reverently upon the altar of my heart, where Thou reignest supreme. If I am unable to tie all those flowers into one bouquet, I will pluck the rarest rose of love growing in the garden of my devotion, and lay that one flower at Thy feet. Oh! Wilt Thou receive it?
Long ago I had a little torch; it was a plaything of my mind. I toyed with it. Atiptoe I would work it, peering into dark, secret corners of my thoughts. In its gleam I would capture glimpses, in dark mental waters, of many little golden minnows of creative ideas.

I caught some of them, and used them for bait to catch bigger denizens of my consciousness. But my hook was small, and many large fish of inspiration got away.

Now I carry a searchlight, and no hook and line, but a net purchased with the precious, gold-spun dreams of increasing understanding. With my large net of woven light, I will sweep the very ocean floor for Thy wisdom. Ah! My expanding net will encompass all Thy ocean! I will haul to myself all the goodness, golden deeds, and drops of inspiration—yes, too, Thy very Self!—and make all that my own.
I take this sacred vow: Never will I lower my love’s gaze below the eyebrow-horizon of my constant thoughts of Thee! Never will I turn my uplifted inner sight away from Thee! Never will I let my mind dwell on anything that reminds me not of Thee! I will disdain the nightmare of ignorant behavior. I will court all dreams of noble achievement: those of love, kindness, and understanding, for they are Thy dreams.

Though I dream many dreams, wakefully I will ever think of Thee. In the sacred fire of constant remembrance, kept ever alight on my soul’s altar, I will ever behold Thy presence with the watchful eyes of devotional love.

Thy grace has shown me that the dualities of health and sickness, life and death, joy and sorrow are but passing fantasies. I am finished with those eternally self-canceling delusions! I am persuaded at last that there is but one abiding reality: Thy eternal, ever-conscious, ever-new, ever-thrilling, infinite Bliss.
In bursts of Thy blue, dancing brine my spirit bounds joyfully toward Thy shores of eternal calmness. Abandoned, now, those discouraging lowland vapors and the self-clouded aloofness of proud mountains. The salty fragrance of Thy vast sea fills my lungs, and invigorates my body with fresh strength.

Oh! what volumes of vital life now flow through my veins with the ocean breezes! Seeking Thine endless, calm shore by the heaving ocean of Thy Creation, I know Thee as Perfection beyond even dreams of paradise! In Thy blue brine I will drink dynamic health for my body, vigor and concentration for my mind, and ever-thrilling joy for my soul. As Thou hast joined at the horizon line the deep ocean of outer experience with the soaring blue sky of superconsciousness, so hast Thou joined the troubled waters of our earthly lives to the soaring vastness of Thy overarching Spirit.
Our One Father, we are traveling by many true paths to Thy one abode of Supreme Truth. Help us to understand that the diverse religions are all branches on Thy one tree of truth. Bless us, that we may enjoy the intuition-tested, ripe and luscious fruits of self-knowledge that hang from every branch of true scriptural teachings.

Thy temple is but one: Its name is Silence. In it we sing Thee a combined chorus of many religions. Teach us to chant together in harmony! May the combined expressions of our love for Thee make Thee break Thy silence and lift us up, as a Mother does Her children, onto Thy lap of universal understanding and immortality. Sing along with us to confirm Thy acceptance of our chants to Thee.
Flower of all Fragrances, awaken our senses!

Lead us not through forests of uncertainty, where many bypaths lead off in diverse directions, twisting and turning, though as it were hopefully, past endless obstacles to Thy City of Light. Take us out quickly onto that inner highway of realization, the spine, which leads directly to Thee.

O Thou Unfailing Beacon of Light, send Thy illuminating ray into the darkness of our ignorance. Show us the right way, and let us not be sidetracked by mere beliefs and dogmas. Help us to experience Thee.

No matter what our bypath of formal worship, guide us at last onto the highway of common soul‐intuition, which leads to direct perception of Thee.

Soaring high above narrow lanes of bigotry, and lightly over unyielding walls of religious prejudice, lift our souls safely up into Thy free skies of bliss. And let us meet together joyfully in Thy unwalled temple of universal worship, with its dome of the free sky not structured by man-made, man-interpreted, man-prescribed beliefs and limitations. There shall we raise chants of devotion to Thy omnipresence, our hymns made sacred by the simple, direct sincerity of our hearts!

Teach us to seek Thee by paying careful, scientific attention, first, to what actually lifts our consciousness: practical techniques of salvation that open our consciousness to experience Thee.

As we live today in a new age of energy, which has given us physical flight, so let us realize that we have it in us to guide our airplanes of thought high above the dark fogs of mere theological opinions, denunciations, and sectarian squabbling to see the same, one sun of truth in turn lighting city after city, country after country, continent after continent. Even so dost Thou bless all equally with Thy love.

O Beacon of Cosmic Light! Send Thy guiding ray of divine understanding into the darkness of our ignorance, that our soaring consciousness may land safely, incarnation after incarnation, on terrain conducive to continued thoughts of Thee.

And, O Flower of Fragrance! Send us the scent of love, to inspire us always in our search for Thee with longing to climb ever higher into the stratosphere of divine realization. May dreams of Thy perfect garden, far above all space and time—but near to us always, in our hearts!—speed our souls’ journey and quench our thirst in Thee.
Flowers, cloud-scattered skies, and all beautiful, blossoming scenery: all these only suggest Thy divinity. I enjoy them—I revel in them!

But then they remind me of Thee. In that remembrance, these mere (though glorious) messengers vanish, and the beauty of my own beloved Infinity enthralls me.
Divine Mother, be Thou the only flame shining on the altar of our hearts. Burn away any darkness that lurks there.

Divine Mother, be Thou the only fragrance rising with the incense of our love for Thee. Permeate any dark nook in the hearts also of those we love.

In our tears of love for Thee, wash away what attraction we feel for material objects. In our tears of communion with Thee, wash away all the sorrows of earth forevermore.

Divine Mother, unite our separate hearts into one, great love, wherein Thy omnipresence can rest forever and forever. Teach us to behold our latent perfection in the clear mirror of Thy divinity. Let the altar-flame of our love for Thee rise in triumph, shaming the little, hissing sparks of all earthly desires.

O Divine Mother, may our love be a shooting star racing gloriously through dark skies of forgetfulness, cutting its way through dark thunder-clouds of worldly preoccupation.

Divine Mother, a million distractions have come to lure us away from thoughts of Thee. Thou Thyself, in order to test us, hast offered false, substitute fulfillments: pompous temple ceremonies to satisfy the ego needs of worldly people; religious organizations shouting, “Salvation can come only through serving this work!”; priests and ministers offering the Gospel, “God will bless you if you give us money!” O Mother, I have done with such outward shows in Thy name. I await Thee now in the inner temple of my love.

Steal softly into this silent temple, Mother! With lambent flame banish the darkness of my long ignorance, and grant me safety in Thy ever-shining bliss.
I lay garlands of my devotion, strung with many-hued flowers of lofty inspiration, at Thy lotus feet.

I beheld Thee dancing in the twinkling stars. I glimpsed Thy scintillating magic in the aurora borealis. I heard the dance of Thy beating feet in crashing ocean waves as they rushed toward earth’s shores. I marveled at Thy leaps and pirouettes portraying, on the great stage of time, evolution’s fantastic upward sweep. And I thrilled to see, everywhere, excitement and activity in Thy great drama of all life.

Alas, Divine Mother! I have yet to behold Thy bliss-face peeping from behind what I now know to be only veils! The thick clouds of outward appearances are offset by little, teasing hints of Thy smile, reflected in my breeze-rippled, flickering thoughts.

How long I have yearned to behold Thee! My yearning burns with a million tongues of flame. They leap high, and light the vast firmament of my consciousness. The force that holds together the planets binds together also into a heavy ball the burden of my self-recognition, holding me to earth. Yet the twinkling stars of my soul-aspiration spin high overhead, and form a mighty whirlwind which draws me upward. Their light beams down upon me, banishing my shadows of ignorance and dissolving, one by one, all the crusted limitations that cover my soul. Light transforms the gray pebbles of my desires into shining crystals reflecting Thy joy.

By my light of concentrated aspiration, all falseness has been consumed. Ah, but, Divine Mother, where art Thou? A great void around me mocked my very yearning.

“Why?” I asked. And my tears fell—dewdrops of shining light from my firmament above. Then at last Thy sweet voice came, tender with compassion; I heard Thee say: “The very light by which thou seekest Me is, already, Myself ! Thou hast sought Me elsewhere than in thyself; yet I am thou! Thou art I! There can never be aught but thine own Self. I come to thee through thyself. Worship me as separate, if you like, but know who I am: thy very own Self! O eternally beloved child, we are one!”

Mother, how can I thank Thee! I will ever be Thine, for Thou art eternally mine. Still, I love to behold Thee through my window of self-understanding as if dancing outside me also; to see Thee smiling with tantalizing sweetness! Yet I know the dance takes place, in truth, only here in my own heart.
Divine Mother, I heard Thy voice in the speaking fragrance of the rose. I heard Thy voice in the lisping whispers of my devotion. I heard Thy voice beneath the din of my noisiest thoughts. It was Thy love which spoke through the voice of friendship. I touched Thy tenderness in the softness of the lily.

O Divine Mother, break through the dawn and show Thy face of light! Break through the sun and show Thy face of power! Break through the night and show Thy mooned face! Break through my thoughts and show Thy face of wisdom! Break through my feelings and show Thy face of love! Break through my pride and show Thy face of humbleness! Break through my wisdom and show Thy face of perfection!

As I called to Thee in the wilderness of my loneliness, Thou didst burst through the dawn to greet me with Thy joy. Thou didst emerge from the molten door of the sun to invigorate me through the pores of my life. Thou didst tear away the night of my ignorance to reveal Thy silver rays of speaking silence!
It befits not Thy lily-tender feet to dance on the stony soil of hard hearts. On the petals of my sympathy for others may Thy tenderness dance forever.

Divine Mother, may I feel Thy heart-throbs in my own heart; Thy joy in my happiness; Thy wise direction in all my activity; Thy Spirit in my soul.

Divine Mother, I lay all the flowers of my love at Thy feet of eternity. Oh, open wide the flowers of my budding devotion, and release Thy fragrance that it may spread from my soul to the souls of others, ever whispering of Thee.

I pray to behold my love reflected in others. In the light of that greater love may I behold Thine unveiled face of perfect compassion.

May I behold my true self in others, that I perceive Thee ever enthroned in our united hearts.

At the heart of my whispered prayers I feel, stirring, Thy silent whispers. In the light of my burning candle of devotion, I behold at last Thy sacred blaze of perfect love.

O Divine Mother, unite our hearts as one heart, so that, on the sacred altar of united hearts, we may find Thine omnipresence enthroned forever.
O Holy Vibration, boom on the shores of my consciousness. Break the limiting boundary of my body-consciousness. Reverberate through my body, mind, and soul—through my surroundings, through all the cities and lands of this earth, through all the planets, throughout the universe and every atom-particle of Creation. Unite my consciousness with Thy cosmic consciousness.
I plucked blossoms of light from dawn’s heart as offerings to Thee. I have lighted lamps of wakefulness in the temple of my morning’s silence.

I beheld Thy bliss-face emerge from the dark shadows of my ignorance, where it had been hidden for long aeons by my indifference. And, seeing Thy smiling joy, I know that my own happiness mirrored Thy blessed image. My heart’s tiny capacity for love mirrored Thy infinite love. My little peace of mind mirrored Thy awe-inspiring, majestic calmness.

I will blame the fates no longer for any suffering that comes my way. Beloved Divine Mother, it was my self-made darkness that hid the glory of our mutual love. Now I see myself reflected in Thy bliss, and know that I, too, am perfect bliss. For my own mirror is clear, now; I behold Thy reflection in it, O Thou ever-sacred, omnipresent, perfect bliss!

I pour libations of my love at Thy feet of immortality! I pour out my heart to Thee from the overflowing chalice of my soul! I wash with the precious musk of my reverence Thy feet of ever-moving progress in everything.
I disconnected my awareness from the little garden plot of the senses and switched it to the vast territory of the Infinite. The aurora of my awareness spread like dancing waves of light in the aurora borealis, and embraced Thy cosmic wonderland.

When thus I entered that vast panorama, my awareness no longer dulled by the opiate of sensory noises nor blindfolded by the veil of mere appearances, I stood marveling before countless streams of radiant, rushing thoughts, rippling through millennia from long-dead, still-living, and yet-to-be-born civilizations.

All time—past, present, future—danced its infinitude of rhythms on the stage of my all-embracing consciousness.
Divine Mother, let every slap of correction administered by Thee wring from us, Thy children, only cries for Thy love. Change any moans of suffering we utter into unceasing wails to be lifted comfortingly onto Thy cosmic lap.

O Divine Mother, teach us, even when we are bludgeoned by pain, to sing only Thy exulting songs of joy. Melt our pride in Thy purifying furnace of all necessary trials, to transmute the lead of unseemly arrogance into the pure gold of humility.

Divine Mother, clear out the brooding slum of our selfishness wherein crouch, huddled in pain, the starving, ill-clad urchins of our ignorance. Build there, instead, Thy temple of omnipresence, wherein noble votaries of devotion, solemn reverence, and aspiring love can worship Thee with pure hearts, dressed in the simple, clean garments of single-minded intention.

In that golden temple, softly echoing Thy whispered inner guidance, Thy devotees will offer before Thy altar the frankincense of unceasing remembrance, as they sing to Thee their soul-chants.

O Divine Mother, we lay eagerly at Thy feet all the fresh-cut flowers of our devotion. Our humble prayer to Thee is this: Convert the little altar of our united hearts into the blazing light of Thy omnipresence.

Divine Mother, be Thou the only love of our souls. Ignite our damp wood of earthliness with the flame of infinity. Let the torch of our own devotion blaze in the dark forest of our indifference, restlessness, and ignorance.

Inflame our minds with Thy thoughts! our hearts with Thy love! our souls with Thy eternal joy!
I withdrew the life force from my body. The breath, which had kept me tied to the burden of flesh, no longer shook my awareness. My rocket of life penetrated through the star in the all-seeing eye of light in my forehead. The rocket soared outward, its cone of focused concentration and deep feeling exploded to oneness with the countless atoms of space, and with the little points of self-awareness in all beings. At last, like an expanding cloud-nebula, I embraced the vast Spirit beyond space itself, to enter the heart of Thine omnipresent silence!
I heard sweet, enchanted music playing faintly beneath the sounds of my outer life, as if coming from forgotten dreams. Stillly I listened, and the music grew more and more subtle, poignant, and sweet, drawing me inward until I could hear it no longer with my earthly ears.

Patiently I waited, striving to think whether I’d ever heard earthly music like the divine nuances of these new melodies. No. In my rich storehouse of memory I found no likeness to those enchanting sounds that had come and gone in my consciousness, like phantoms of idle reflection.

Had I really heard that music, or had I only imagined its sweet harmony? Was it the exquisite expression of my subtle, highest aspirations, or was it only the sound of harmonious whispers of passing fancy?

I waited. Deeply, inwardly, I listened. I entered through the portals of my subtle senses, and walked in the garden of my dreams of eternity.

At last, I saw dancing in those dreams shining waves and bouncing wavelets of craving through countless earthly incarnations. Then I heard, coming faintly over the water, strains of many wondrous melodies. None, however, were like those soul-recollections which I had heard before, and lost.

Suddenly, in deepest silence, those ancient sounds returned, swelling up from beneath hidden memories of my soul. And then that music engulfed in one, huge billow all my waves and ripples of past craving, all delights and sorrows, all victories and failures, all expectations and disappointments of a myriad past lives. I needed no other sounds, no other vibrations of earthly fulfillment to satisfy my heart. Then it was that the lost music of my soul resounded at the heart of everything, pulsing from the very heart of all my private dreams.

Ear hath never heard,
Thought hath never conceived,
Love hath never trembled with,
Dream hath never visualized,
Tongue hath never told,
Nor can any ever describe
That long-lost, long forgotten,
But yet anciently remembered music.
Behind the curtains of life’s ceaseless play
I found again, playing on harp strings of all deep feeling, The lost, but now found,
Beloved music of my soul!
A million salutations at Thy petaled feet, O Lotus of Light! I pour out my heart’s love before Thee. I pour out my whole being. I offer all the fragrant musk of my soul at Thy feet of omnipresence.

O precious, Blessed One, pipe the song of Thy bliss in the dark bower of my heart. I am Thy very own! Ever shall I be Thy own! I will laugh at all dangers, for Thy protecting love fills the golden chalice of my constant remembrance of Thee.

I cast every earthly passion and pleasure into Thy sacrificial fire as an oblation of my devotion to Thee. In Thy blessed light I will illuminate all shadows, and expose as illusory my imaginary fears. In Thy radiant light I will remain awake forever, entranced by Thy thrilling, omnipresent bliss-smile through all eternity.

May Thy love shine forever on the sanctuary of my devotion, and may I be able to awaken Thy love in all hearts. Oh, make my soul Thy temple! Make my heart Thine altar! And make my love Thy home!
The opened door of meditation released the caged bird of omnipresence. It fluttered, then spread its wings, and flew up and outward over infinite spaces. Its joyful song brought peace to every unhappiness-scorched being.

Alas, unaccustomed to its newly found freedom, the soaring bird remembered the little cage that had enclosed it in old ways. It flew back, hopped inside, and folded its wings, hiding again— “safely,” as it thought!—with its illusory security.

O bird of eternity, take heart! Break out forever from that little prison of imaginary security, and soar up to thy barless home in everything!
In disease or in health, in success or in failure, in poverty or in prosperity, in joy or in sorrow, in disaster or in safety, in life or in death, I stand immutably, unalterably, unshakably loyal, devoted, and firmly loving Thee, my Heavenly Father, forever, forever, and forever!
Dear God, I know that Thou art Love, because my mother and my father love me; Thou art my eternal Father and Mother. My friends love me with Thy love, in their hearts. Thou art my best of all friends. Thou art my Teacher through all that happens to me in life. Because Thou lovest me, teach me to love Thee.
Mother Divine, make me love equally every friend in my life. By loving them may I find Thy love in all hearts, everywhere. Teach me to return even greater love to those who love me, and to pray also, and even especially, for those who do not love me. I will secretly enjoy loving them, for they, too—though they know it not!—are my brothers and sisters in God.
O Cosmic Vibration, reverberate through me as the Cosmic, Intelligent Sound. Teach me to find in Thee the presence of the reflected Christ consciousness. O Holy Vibration, lead me to intuit that Christ in Thee.

O omnipresent, cosmic sound of Aum (or Amen), reverberate through me, and expand my consciousness from this body to whole universe. Teach me to feel in Thee the all-permeating, perennial Bliss of the Supreme Spirit.
Father Divine, teach me to smile freely always. Teach me not to laugh at anyone, but to laugh kindly with them. Teach me never to hurt anyone, even with a false smile. Bless me with the grace to make others happy, just as I wish to be happy myself.
Dear Heavenly Father, when I’m asleep, come to me as peace. When I’m awake, come to me as joy. When I give kindness to others, come to me as love. When I run, run with high energy through my legs. When I think, send understanding through my thoughts. When I use will power, send your will power through me. Teach me to think, play, behave, and use my will rightly, for Thou art always by me. I love to be guided by Thee, for Thou, more even than my parents, dost always wish the best for me.
When I dance happily, dear Heavenly Father, I dance with Thee. Wherever I look, I see Thee peeping out at me from just behind everything. I see Thee every day, painting the sky with bright colors. I watch Thee clothing the bare ground with green grass. I see Thee shining in the sunshine. Oh, I see Thee so plainly present everywhere! I bow to Thee!
My parents love me, dear Heavenly Father, because of Thy love for me. My friends love me because Thou dost love me, through them. I love my home, my neighborhood, and my country because Thy love is everywhere. I bow to Thee in my heart.
Dear Heavenly Father, the moonlight reminds me that all darkness passes. The sun reminds me that my mind, too, should be bathed in light. The seasons change because that is how I can have food to eat. The seasons change, also, to teach me to adjust to all life’s changes. Thou art behind everything, teaching deep secrets for living a better life. Always I bow to Thee.
Dear Heavenly Father, when I slake my thirst with cool water, it is Thy nourishment which refreshes me. When I wash myself, I make myself clean for Thee, even as Thou dost want my heart’s feelings always to be pure. When I feel the sunshine on my face and skin, I feel Thy love in that warm touch. I bow to Thee in the sunshine, in the breezes, in the dawn, the noon, the evening light. And I bow to Thee in the forms of all those who love me.
O Mother Divine, teach me to love others, and to serve them in Thy name. Teach me to be true to my word, even as I want others to be true to theirs. Teach me to love others, even as I want them to love me. Teach me, O Dearest Heavenly Mother, to make others happy, and to make them smile. Teach me to find my happiness in the happiness of all.
Father, teach me not only to listen, but to understand what I hear. Help me to practice, myself, anything good that I learn. Teach me to look for Thy hidden hand working in all Nature. Teach me to feel Thy silence when I close my eyes. Oh, I bow to Thee—Aum! Amen!
No more shall my consciousness remain bottled in this little vessel of flesh, corked with ignorance. No more will I remain moving through the sea of cosmic consciousness—night and day, years, decades, and how many incarnations!—so close, yet never able to contact Thy sea. Through the bursting vibration of cosmic sound and the surging of Thy holy name, I have removed the cork of ignorance which so long separated me from Thee, though we lived together so closely! Now my body-consciousness will meet Thy all-surrounding, all-pervading consciousness. No longer will I walk heedlessly, in Thee, but never knowing and feeling Thee. Thine image within me shall meet Thine image everywhere. By releasing the “I-ness” in me, I will know that I am Thou, and that Thou alone art the little egos of us all.
Thou light of my life—thou camest to spread wisdom’s glow over the path of my soul. Centuries of darkness dissolved before the shafts of thy luminous help. As a naughty baby I cried for my Mother Divine, and She came to me as my Guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar. At that meeting, O my Guru, a spark flew from thee, and the faggots of my God-craving, gathered through incarnations, smouldered and blazed into bliss. All my questions have been answered with thy flaming, golden touch. Eternal, ever-present satisfaction has come to me through thy glory.

My Guru, thou voice of God, I found thee in response to my soul-cries. Slumbers of sorrow are gone, and I am awake in bliss.
If all the gods are displeased, yet thou art pleased, I am safe in the fortress of thy pleasure. And if all the gods protect me behind the parapets of their blessings, yet I receive not thy benedictions, I am an orphan left to pine spiritually in the ruins of thy displeasure. O Guru—thou didst bring me out of the bottomless pit of darkness into the paradise of peace.

Our souls met after years of waiting. They trembled with an omnipresent thrill. We met here, because we had met before.

Together we will fly to His shores, where we will smash our planes of finitude forever and vanish into infinite life. I bow to thee as the spoken voice of silent God. I bow to thee as the divine door which leads to the temple of salvation. I bow to thee—to thy Master, Lahiri Mahasaya, harbinger of Yoga in Benares; and I lay the flowers of my devotion at the feet of Babaji, our supreme Master!
O Christ—Thou rarest flower of hearts—Thou didst sail the storm-tossed lake of prejudiced minds. Its evil-scented, gloomy thought-waves lashed Thy lily-tender soul. They crucified Thee with their evil. Yet didst Thou shed on them the aroma of goodness and forgiveness, and help them to be purified by remorse to make them attractively sweet-scented with Thine all-loving Soul-Flower.

O Thou Great Lover of all error-torn brothers, an unseen monument of the mightiest miracle of love was established in every heart when the magic of Thy voice uttered: “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Thou hast healed the cataract of hatred. We have now grown to see Thy truth: “Love thine enemies as thyself, for they are thy brothers—though sick and sleeping.”

Thou hast taught us not to increase their fevered blows of hatred with the bludgeons of revenge. Thine undying sympathy has inspired us to heal our brothers, suffering in their delirium of anger, with the soothing salve of divine forgiveness.

Thy crucifixion reminds us of the daily crucifixion of our own fortitude by trials, of our wisdom by ignorance, of our self-control by the scathing touch of temptation, and of our love by misunderstanding.

Thy test on the cross proved the victory of Divine Wisdom over ignorance, of Thy divine soul over flesh, of Thy happiness over pain, and of Thy love over hatred. So are we heartened to bear our own crosses bravely and with faith. Teach us, when we are crucified by harshness, to pour out only sweetness; to bear with calmness the assaults of worry; and to give understanding unceasingly to those who unjustly hate us.

O Shepherd of Souls, wandering hearts are seeking of themselves the one fold of divine devotion. We have heard the evercalling music of Thy infinite kindness. Our one desire is to find our home in Thee, to receive the Cosmic Father with the joyous, open eyes of wisdom, and to know that all of us are sons of our own One God.

Teach us to conquer the Satan of dividing selfishness, which prevents the gathering of all our brother-souls into the one fold of Spirit.

Calling to one another by the watchword: “Love him who loves you, and love all who love you not,” let us rally beneath the canopy of the universal oneness of the Christ. Amen.
O Krishna, Lord of Hindustan, I sorrowed by the lonely Jumna river, where Thy flute-notes thrilled the air and led lost calves to their divine home. O Lotus of Love, musing on the sad absence of Thy delusion-dispelling eyes, I saw Thine invisible Spirit take form, frozen by my devotion’s frost.

Thy divine body of sky-blue light walked with feet of eternity on the banks of my mind, planting there the lasting footprints of divine realization. I am one of those lost calves which followed Thy flower-footprints on the shoals of time. Listening to the melody of Thy flute of wisdom, I now follow the middle path of calm activity by which Thou hast led many through the portals of their dark past into the Eternal Light.

Since all souls belong to Thy fold, whether we move forward, are sidetracked, or are hemmed in, unmoving, in the fogs of disbelief, O Divine Christna, lead us back to Thy enfolding shed of everlasting freedom. O Krishna, Thou reignest supreme on the heart-throne of all those who know Thy love.
Swami Shankara, thou dazzling star soaring in wisdom’s skies, thou hast shed thy light over many souls, long darkened by religious forms and formalities.

Many sheep of human darkness have fled before the leonine roar of thy Self-realization. With Christ thou hast sung: “I am He,” “Thou art That,” “I and my Father are One,” to awaken us from our material sleep.

Thou first exponent of “matter is not what it appears to be,” we pay all homage to thee.

O Swami of Swamis, thou didst teach us to behold the one ocean of Spirit hidden beneath all the rising, sinking, and dissolving waves of finitude.

Thou didst sing to us, not of a God who is gloom-faced or revengeful, a stern judge of our every fault, but of One whose face wears an aureole of all-alluring smiles. Thou hast shown us the secret of plucking blossoms of laughter from all hearts, and how to arrange them in the vase of our souls as a bouquet of celestial joy.

Our smiling lives were raised, like dancing waves, on thy sea of light. In thy one, oceanic joy many lives dance. And at the lull of desire’s storm, back into thy undying Bliss shall we all merge again.

O Shankara, many have beheld the sea of Spirit dancing in thy smiles: We all bow to thee!
O Moses, thou prince of prophets! Thy wisdom’s power has led many souls out of the desert of sorrow to the smiling Promised Land of joy.

The lips of thy life have whispered to us the secret way, setting ablaze the bushes of our souls’ darkness with the fire of wisdom, that in its glow we may behold God’s face of mercy.

In the “burning-bush” of love, God saw thee, thy face wet with trickling tears of kindness to all, and behold, He said:

“Let My ten angels of heaven escort thee to earth, to blow My Ten Commandments in silence through the trumpets of all times, declaring the march of My invisible army of divine qualities which will do battle with the Satan of human darkness, and his allies of sin, error, untruth, and all their gloom-drunken soldiers.”

O Moses, thou torch-bearer of salvation, many soldier-souls have set out to join thee in thy ceaseless march through the dark night of time. With thee they would fight the forces of gloom and ignorance.

O God-loving Moses, teach us to fight weakness with power. We will worship the God of Gods, reigning on the throne of all hearts— the One God of all things in existence!
O Mohammed, thou flaming Child of God! in the bright luster of thy martial, celestial song many found courage for their chivalrous souls, eager as they were to rescue the damsel, knowledge, from the tyrant of soul-darkness.

None but divine warriors could ever win the battle between inner peace and the outer weaknesses of lustful pleasure. Therefore alone have thy soldiers dipped rapiers of shining goodness into the heart of poisonous evil, enlightening its inner, soul life.

Mohammed, iconoclast of all matter-reminding idols, thou didst teach the worship of the One Formless God, beyond all distorting dreams of symbols and forms.

Mohammed, thy teachings warned men not to stray into dry pastures of earthly sense-lusts, but to graze in rich fields of the immortal mind.

Thy followers are drawn to thee as the mortal enemy of sense-drugging, thought-devastating, God-banishing liquors and opiates. Thou didst teach that the lust for wine of the grape is man’s misguided craving for the real Wine extracted from the winepress of sincere, regular Namaz, bowing before God.

Mohammed, thy lighthouse, the Koran, has guided many stray soul-ships safely past underwater rocks of sin, and led them, undamaged, to His shore.

Thou didst teach by thy example, through occasional fasting and through eliminating the grosser foods, inviting the Spirit to descend onto the altar of refinement and soul-nectar.

Mohammed, with the beat of war-drums saying Allah Ho Akbar, “God is Supreme,” help me to drive away from my life the Satan of matter-immersion.

May thy war-songs of spiritual power overcome the forces of frailty and all limitation when they invade our hearts.
O Spirit, teach us to heal our bodies by re-charging them with Thy cosmic energy; to heal our minds by concentration and pleasant smiles; and our souls by meditation-born intuition.
O Buddha, thy golden sermon of mercy ran like revivifying water through rocky gorges of gloomy hearts, illuminating their darkness.

Thou lofty soarer in renunciation’s skies, before thy God-lifted eyes the kingdom of sense-comfort was overrun by monks and nuns preaching inner freedom. Swollen rivers of greed; vast, lust-scorched deserts of desire; tall trees of temporal ambition; cactus plants of prickly worries: all melted into smallness, then to invisibility.

Buddha, the arc-light of thy sympathy sought to melt the hardness of cruel hearts. Thou didst even save a lamb once, by offering thyself in its stead.

Thy solemn thoughts even now roam silently through the ether of all minds, searching for ecstasy-tuned hearts. Seated under the bodhi tree, thou madest a solemn tryst with the Spirit:

“Beneath this sacred bough,
On my seat of dedication
I take this solemn vow:
Let derma, bones, and fragile flesh dissolve,
But until life’s mystery I solve
And find that all-coveted, Priceless Truth,
From this spot shall I never, never stir:
Oh, nevermore!”

Thou symbol of sympathy, incarnation of mercy, give us thy great will power that we may seek the truth as determinedly as didst thou. Bless us that, like thee, we may awaken to seek remedy for the sorrow-throbs of all others, as we seek it for ourselves.
Our Father, President of the United States of planets, galaxies, stellar systems, and universes, Thy democratic rule of free choice and individual evolution is bringing Thy citizen-children nearer and nearer to Thy high ideals.

Born in Thy states of democratic free will, we inherited our celestial birthright of eternal, everlasting freedom. But, alas! we squandered that inheritance, though receiving it would have meant attaining omnipresence, and imprisoned ourselves in debt-consciousness behind bars of sense-enjoyment, evil deeds, selfishness, and small-minded, narrow patriotism.

Teach us, Father, to melt the fancy-frozen boundaries of family, society, and national identity with the warmth of our love and understanding.

Bless us, O all-wise Father, that we may live in a United States of the World with Thee as our President, elected for eternity by the free choice of all good citizen-qualities of our hearts, ruling ourselves through our own self-clarifying discrimination.

Teach us to enrich our souls, our abundance, and our understanding by broadening the circle of our patriotism to include all earth’s inhabitants, of every caste, creed, position in society, and color.

O Cosmic President, bless us that we obey Thy laws of life, and respect with kindly hearts the freedom of all Thy children, fellow citizens with us: not only the good, but the error-intoxicated—even the animals, birds, and fishes, the frail flowers, the mute grasses and jungle weeds, low crushed by the tread of cruel, unheeding feet.
Let me be Christian, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, Mohammedan, or Sufi: I care not what be my religion, race, creed, or color, if only I can win my way to Thee! But let me be none of these if that identity enmeshes me in an enclosing net of religious or social formalities. Let me travel the royal high road of realization which leads to Thee. If I am traveling on some bypath of religion, lead me onto the one common highway of realization which leads straight to Thee.

Send me the sunshine of Thy wisdom, that it lead me to the morning of my growing powers; and send me the moon of Thy mercy to guide me rightly, if ever I am lost in the dark night of sorrow.
Our One Father, we are traveling by many true paths toward Thy one abode of Light. Show us the one highway of common realization, where all bypaths of theological beliefs meet. Make us feel that the diverse religions are branches of Thy one tree of truth. Bless us, that we enjoy the intuition-tested, ripe, luscious fruits of self-knowledge hanging from the many branches of true scriptural teachings. In Thy one temple of silence we all sing to Thee a chorus of many-voiced religions. Teach us to chant in harmony with Thy love’s manifold expressions, that our chorus of souls rouse Thee to break Thy vow of cosmic silence and lift us onto Thy lap of universal, immortal understanding.
I have burnt my past, destroying every seed of evil destiny. I have stridden bravely through the strewn ashes of my past and future fears.

I am the Eternal NOW, having torn to shreds my enclosing cocoon of ignorance with the sharp knife of free will.

Now I am Thy soaring butterfly of eternity, flitting freely through immeasurable skies of time. The beauty of my wings I spread out through Nature everywhere, to entertain all beings. My wings are sprinkled with suns and stardust. Lo! I am beautiful! May every silken thread that shrouded my past folly be severed forever. See! They trail now behind me, only adding to my beauty as I wing my way to my own Self in Thee.
I will sing a song uninfluenced by the voice of any other. I will offer Thee my own pristine heart-melodies.

I will sing Thee a song unheard by any. I have nurtured this song-child myself; now I bring it to Thee for higher training.

I will offer Thee no intellectual, premeditated, art-disciplined song. What I will offer Thee are the wild songs of my heart. I will offer Thee not civilized, emotion-packed music or artfully cultivated song-flowers, but wild blossoms that grow on the high hills of my soul.
I tell my prayers on the beads of love, strung with my devotion. I direct them beyond all names—God, Spirit, Brahma, Christ, Shankara, Krishna, Buddha, Mohammed—for all names are Thine. And I shun no name, for I know Thou dwellest in all forms.

In Thy cosmic dramas on the stage of time, and in Thy myriad acting roles, Thou hast assumed innumerable names. Behind them all, too, I know Thy one, changeless name: Eternal, Conscious, Self-existent Bliss.

Many times have I played with Thee. Many songs of Thine have I sung. On the ocean-bosom of Thy eternal life I’ve been nurtured by Thee as a tiny drop of life. I remember Thy warm touch through the centuries whenever, feeling the chill of separation, I turned homeward to Thee. Again, in this daylight of remembrance, let me play with Thee. Let me sing Thy songs.
Into the temple of peace come Thou, O God of joy! Into the shrine of my devotion, come!

O Bliss-God! Sanctify the sanctuary of my goodness by Thy presence.

O mighty Allah, hover above Thy solitary minaret of waiting expectations. Lo! the mosque of my mind exudes the frankincense of perfect stillness.

Come, Lord! I am listening for the silent tread of Thy footsteps. In the temple of my self-unfoldment I await Thy coming.

Into the invisible temple of my prayer, built of shining, crystal blocks of devotion, come Thou daily and receive the humble offerings of my heart, renewed constantly by love.
O Divine Mother, the bee of my mind is ever engrossed in Thy lotus feet of blue light. It drinks the honey of Thy motherly love. This bee will drink no other honey but that which is graced by Thy perfume-sweetness.

O Divine Mother, flying over the gardens of my fancy, denying myself the honey of lesser pleasures, I have found at last the ambrosia buried in Thy lotus-heart.

I have been Thy busy bee. I have soared through the fields of many incarnations, breathing the airs of countless experiences. I will roam now no more: Thy fragrance has quenched at last the perfume-thirst of my soul.
In Thy temples, when many come to pray, I take God-intoxication from their eyes. I blend them together into a cocktail of devotion. I serve that nectar to my thirsty thoughts, and they drink and drink, forgetting all their wounds and worries.

In the home of the materially rich but spiritually poor, I serve only this magic cocktail. I pour it into their dry vessels, empty of generosity, with my heart’s good-will and sincerity.

I pray that all who drink this nectar may become so intoxicated with inner bliss that they forget their slumber of ignorance forevermore.
O Heavenly Father, Mother, Friend, Beloved God, may the halo of Thy presence spread over all minds.

May the religion of matter-worship be converted into loving, direct worship of Thee. Since, without Thy power to love, we cannot truly love anything, may we love Thee first and above everything else. May the heavenly kingdom of Bliss, where Thou dwellest, manifest itself with all its divine qualities on earth, and may all lands be freed from limitations, imperfections, and miseries. Let Thy kingdom within us manifest itself without.

Father, leave us not in the pit of temptations, into which we fell by the misuse of Thy gift of reason. When we become freer and stronger — should it be Thy wish to test us, to see whether we love Thee more than any temptation — then, Father, make Thyself more tempting than temptation! O Father, if it be Thy wish to test us, help us keep our will power strong enough to meet all Thy tests.

Give us our daily bread: food, health, and prosperity for the body; efficiency for the mind; and, above all, Thy wisdom and love for our souls. Teach us to deliver ourselves, with Thy help, from the meshes of ignorance which we have woven through our own carelessness.
O Thou Thief of Hearts, the rays of joy spreading in the firmament of my inner silence heralded the promise of Thine approach.

Many nights in twinkling garments, many dawns donning green veils of glittering, dewy pearls, many twilights dancing in cadence with cow-bells, many years decked with spring-blossoms, summer-zephyrs, diamond-icicles, and shining garments of fluttering rain that blushed with joyous expectancy: all waited for Thee in the bower of memory.

But the wolf of time stole upon Thy devotees; now they are no more, and I am left alone—all alone—and love for fickle festivities has flown. Yet will I travel with the ever-roaming hours in search of Thy path. I mind not if I must wait even a thousand millennia, for I know I shall catch Thee, O Thief of Hearts, sometime, at eternity’s end!
Wrapped in the blanket of hope I slept long. I dreamed I was sitting on a throne, my face wreathed in smiles. My smiles withered, and the petals of my merriment dropped away one by one. Suddenly I beheld myself in rags. Seated on the hard stones of poverty I wept, and my teardrops fell on the unheeding, unrelenting stones of my present circumstances.

The world passed me by in mocking silence. I cried out for Thy help, and Thou didst wake me at last through the force of my desperation. I laughed to find myself at last neither rich nor poor, but safe forever in Thy arms.

Oh! Waken all anxious souls from their dreams of smiling opulence and crying poverty.

O Maker of dream-worlds, deliver me forever from the nightmares of disease and death!

Wake me to immortality! Wake me to unshaken calmness, that I may know the fierce terrors of mundane delusion to be only dreams.
Impediments, beware! Flee my path! I am homeward bound. Through the long corridors of time, stumbling often into pits of error, then lifted out by Thy unseen hand, I have walked painfully. Discouraging darkness, barbed-wire fences of habit, stoney embankments of indolence, mountains of indifference, oceans of unfaithfulness, sirens of sense-longing may stand even now in my path, as if to prevent my onward march to Thy palace; but a million kingdoms and sextillions of years of unblemished worldly happiness will never tempt me again to turn away from Thee.
I, a lion-cub of the Divine Mother, found myself thrown into life among the sheep of human frailties: of fear, failure, and disease. Living long among them, I learned to bleat with weakness, forgetting my lion-nature and its roars, which could frighten away all petty, pestering sorrows.

O Lion of Realization, Thou didst drag me away from those bleating sheep to the mirror-smooth waters of meditation. There didst Thou cry, “Gaze!” But I held my eyes tightly shut, bleating with fear. Thy roar of wisdom then reverberated through my body. Thou madest me, by hard shaking and spiritual urging, open my eyes. And there, lo! in the crystal pool of my inner peace, I saw my features to be even as Thine own!

Now I know myself as the Lion of cosmic power. I will bleat no more with fear, weakness, and suffering, for I roar, now, with vibrant, almighty power! I bound about through the forest of all experiences, seizing little creatures of vexing worries, timid fears, and wild hyenas of disbelief, devouring them ruthlessly.

O Lion of Immortality, roar through me Thine all-conquering power of wisdom!
Thy astral airplane of parting came to take my soul away from this earth. I wondered through what strange skies I would soar now, and to what lands I would travel.

I asked the mystic Pilot, Cosmic Law, whither I was to go. That Silent One answered soundlessly:

“I am the Pilot of Life, mistakenly called Terrible Death by ignorant earth-folk. I am thy brother, uplifter, redeemer, friend— unloader of every gross burden of bodily troubles. I have come to fetch thee away from thy valley of broken dreams to the highlands of light, where poisonous vapors of sorrow never rise.

“I have broken mercifully thy cage of flesh-attachment that thy soul-bird may escape. I have broken thy chains of disease and fear. Thy long encasement behind bars of bones accustomed thee to thy little cage, making thee cling to it fearfully even when I opened its door. Yet, in thy heart, thou didst want thy freedom always. Why, now, art thou fear-filled, having won thy long-craved freedom?

“O bird of paradise! hop into My plane of omnipresence! Fold now thy fluttering wings and ride with Me peacefully, anywhere, everywhere in thine ethereal home!”
In the garden of my dreams grew many dream-blossoms. All the rarest flowers of my fancy bloomed there. Unopened buds of earthly hopes audaciously opened their petals to the fulfillment they anticipated, warmed by the light of my dreams. In that dim glow I spied the specters of beloved, long-forgotten faces, ghosts of dear, dead feelings long buried in the soil of my mind, rising, all of them, in shining robes. I beheld all my past experiences resurrected by the trumpet-call of my dream-thoughts.

O King of all my dreams and of countless worlds in Thy garden of dream-galaxies! Let me be a tiny star twinkling by Thy side as a beloved dream in Thy chamber of cosmic dreams. Or, if I be not a star-bead strung on the garland of Thy dreams, then let me have the humblest place at the heart of all Thy dreams.

In the chamber of Thy heart shall I behold the making of all the noble dreams of life. O Master Weaver of Spells, teach me to make a many-hued carpet of them for all to walk upon who love Thy pattern of dreams, as they travel to the temple of eternity beyond all dreams. Let me join worshipping choirs of angels and, with them, offer on Thy altar of Infinity a bouquet of all shining dreams of Thee.
When the sparks of cosmic creation flew from under Thy crucible of love, I danced with all the lights that heralded the coming of a myriad worlds. I am a little spark of Thy joyous, cosmic fire. O Thou sun of life! as Thy nectar poured into the little cups of human minds filled with molten liquid of vital sparks, they thought to contain Thy golden infinity in the smallness of their human feelings.

In each fragile, undulating mirror of human flesh I see reflected Thy restless dance of omnipresent power. In the lambent waters of life I behold Thy ever-steady, almighty life.

Teach me, Christlike, by the power of concentration to still the restless storms of desire raging on the lake of my mind. Stilling those waters, I lovingly behold Thy unruffled face of cosmic stillness. Cause the little wave of my life to subside, that Thy consciousness in me spread out to become Thine own vastness.

Let me feel my heart throbbing in Thy breast, my feet moving with Thy energy, Thy breath breathing through mine, Thy energy actively moving my arms, Thy thoughts weaving all the thoughts in my brain. When I cry, Thy soft sigh within me wakens me to Thy joy. In Thy playfulness, little bubble-visions of Thy Creation float dancingly in the chamber of my dreams, which manifest in my sleep of delusion.

Thy meteoric will courses through the skies of my own will power. Make me feel that it is Thou who art I. Oh make me Thyself, that I behold my little bubble of self ever floating in Thee!
Rocked in the cradle of the blue-colored past, bright-colored present, and dim, grey-colored future I, Thy child of eternity, am restless.

I strained ineffectually the feet of my power. At last I succeeded in jumping out from duality’s cradle of delusion. Thou hast caught me in Thy infinite arms to rock me in all space.

I am Thy babe of eternity, safe now in the cradle of Thy omnipresent bosom.
May the Niagara Falls of my heart’s joy pour unceasingly upon all I meet. May that flooding power drown their difficulties. Let their melancholia then be calmed to contentment by moonbeams of my bliss.

Oh! I will be a tornado of laughter, lifting up and destroying superstructures of sorrow, sweeping over endless miles of suffering egos. I will churn up and blow away the troubles from all hearts!

In lightning-flashes of my mirth I will swiftly expose to view the panorama of Thy beauty, so long obscured in the nocturnal darkness of unseeing, uncaring minds.

Bless me, that by a single shaft of my light the gathering gloom of ages, nurtured in the dark corners of human minds, be put to flight. Through Thy grace, even one sudden flash of wisdom will dispel the accumulations of dark error, though it lasted countless millions of years.
I am Thy lark of life, flitting through Thy skies of cosmic delight, thirstily looking upward for every raindrop of Thy inspiration. Filter through the heavy, dark clouds of limited awareness, and shower on all the reminders of Thy omnipresence.

I will savor attentively every raindrop of perception that touches my parched, craving tongue. I will drink Thy inspirations deeply into myself, and will welcome any drenching by Thy raindrops of outer happiness that gently fall upon my frail, sense-driven body.

My age-long thirst will cease only when Thy touch has cooled my inner craving, and soothed the upward-straining ardor in my body. The storm of hopeless despondency has yielded to the raindrops of Thy peace. Softly, now, they moisten my long-withered being. Now will I flit everywhere, singing songs of my contentment.

Oh! Make me Thy lark, seeking no other drink but Thy solace, sprinkling down from the heaven of Thy presence everywhere.
When clouds of devastating war rain fire and death, I will not forget that Thou, O God, art my best Bomb-Shelter. In life and death, in disease, famine, pestilence, and poverty, I cling to Thee who alone canst show me that, in all dualities of life-experiences, my soul remains unharmed. Thou wilt ever protect me, and make me realize that I am immortal, untouched by the changing conditions of childhood, youth, and age, and of world conditions, whether in peace or in upheaval.
O Silent Laughter—smile Thou through my soul. Let my soul smile through my heart. And let my heart smile through my eyes.

O Prince of Smiles! Be Thou enthroned beneath the canopy of my countenance, safe in the castle of my sincerity, where no rebel hypocrisy can lurk to destroy Thy presence in me.

Make me a smile-millionaire, that I may scatter Thy rich smiles freely upon sad hearts everywhere!
The fisherman of change has cast over us a net of cosmic delusion. We are swimming in confined waters, falsely confident in our seeming safety. Yet the net of death closes in upon us relentlessly. At every haul of the dragnet of delusion many are caught, and only a scattered few escape. Ah, but at long last I leaped out into deep-sea spaces of silent communion. Thus, finally, did I escape the net of time.

O Measureless Mercy, save me, and all my brothers, from this fearful, all-seizing, but unseen net of matter-attachment.
Open our heart-bud to Thy love and let the fragrance of our love escape its prison of ego to merge in Thee. On winds of cosmic perception may our fragrance be swept to Thy temple of infinity.

O King of all true ambition, throw open wide Thy windows everywhere: in the red cloud at sunset; in the rosy, glad clouds at dawn; in every charm-clad dream of human hopes. Open the doors of all noble aspirations that lead out from our ego-mansions onto the vast panorama of Thy Bliss.

Let our fragrance blow with Thy breath, reminding all Nature of Thy unseen presence.
I was shipwrecked on the storm-tossed ocean of mere dreams. My vessel of happiness was shattered utterly. Struggling, I tried to swim through those tossing waves of sadness and suffering. Then, suddenly, a little raft of hope, wafted to me by Thy winds of mercy, came floating to me! I grasped it—and held on! Little by little, floating thereon, I touched at last upon the golden isle of peaceful silence. Nymphs of Thy blessings met me and took me to Thy safe presence of eternal reassurance, beyond all waves of false, rising hopes and crashing disappointments.
Volumes of Thy savior voice resound through the loudspeaker of every loving heart. The voice of Thy wisdom roams through the ether of space, seeking everywhere hearts that are tuned to ecstasy.

Sadly, Thy warning sermons pass unheard by souls deafened with the static of sense pleasures.

O Divine Broadcaster, tune our souls, long distracted by the static of our indifference. “Fine tune” us with the delicate touch of soul-perception. Grant us the privilege of hearing Thy magic melodies in the ecstasy of divine awakening!
The gulf of ages lay between Thee and me, widening as the waters of my oblivion of Thee grew through centuries.

I stand on this rocky shore of matter, gazing out over the gulf, hoping to see, beyond, Thy smooth shores of peace. My inner thought-architects will build for me a bridge of constant remembrance of Thee. The strong, mental girders of self-control, now, are being riveted together.

My dreams of Thee gather to make a rainbow-bridge of Self-realization over which, very soon, I will reach Thy shore.
Wandering through forests of incessant searching, I arrived at the mystery door which conceals Thy presence. I knocked loudly on this door of silence, with persistent blows of faith. At last, the door opened and I beheld Thee, resting, on Thy altar of glorious visions.

I stood with restless gaze, waiting for Thee to speak. Thy creation-making voice was inaudible. At last a deep stillness stole upon me and taught me in whispers the language of angels. With the lisping voice of my new-born freedom I tried to speak. Suddenly the lights in Thy temple wrote brilliantly in letters of light.

In my little chamber of quietness I am ever at rest. I never speak now, but with the voice of silence. Through my silence, O Divine Lover, converse Thou eloquently with me.
Teach me to sport every scar of trials as a medal of Thy chastisement, dusky at first but now shining. Thy sacred hands were the giver, working through Thy ever-just law. Let therefore every teardrop of sorrow caused by the actions of others wash away some hidden taint in my mind.

Let every stroke of the pickaxe of wounding experience dig deeper and deeper into the soil of my understanding. Let every hurtful strike of circumstance into the soil of my comfort bring me nearer to the bubbling well of Thy solace in my heart. Let every gash of others’ hatred bring forth from me a loving cry for Thy love. Let all my trials be antidotes for bitterness, to bring healing solace to my soul. Let others’ unkindness inspire me to be more beautifully kind. Let their darkness not blind me, too, but stimulate me to seek Thy light. Let their harsh words remind me to use sweet words always. And let every bruise from stones of evil that are hurled at me intensify my inner fortitude, that I bless all with my goodness.

Inspire me to be like a jasmine vine, which sheds flowers on those who administer axe-blows to its roots. May I never fail to shower blossoms of help and forgiveness on all who try to cut me with their wickedness.
I sought to catch Thee in the deep waters of superconsciousness. Little fishes of inspiration nibbled at my bait of meditation.

My concentration bobbed, but every time I pulled I missed Thee.

I baited the hook of my meditation with the tasty spice of love: the little fishes tugged, and I watched them do so with attentive zeal. Lo! my mind’s float vanished beneath Thy waves of bliss.

O Colossal Denizen of my consciousness! I pulled at Thee, and with a bound Thou didst leap to the shores of my heart. Teach me to fish for Thee ever in the deepest waters of my soul.
Teach me, O Spirit, not to discern the laws of virtue with dread, but with love. Teach me to remember that virtue, though sometimes difficult to follow at the start, becomes easy and self-fulfilling when I obey its laws, and adorns me finally with Thy laurel of happiness. Teach me to remember that evil, though it promises a little pleasure at the beginning, always brings great sorrow in the end.

Teach me to love the ways of virtue, which guide me to my own highest interest and highest good. Help me to shun vicious action, which is ever injurious to my true interest. Implant in me those wholesome habits which enable me always to perceive virtuous ways as more charming than vicious ones.

Help me to remember that virtue, though sometimes bitter-tasting at first, becomes nectar eventually; and that evil, though its taste seems sweet at the beginning, becomes poison at the end.
With a myriad of living thoughts of devotion, I have built for Thee a temple of awakened silence. I have brought the multi-colored lamps of wisdom from all valid faiths. They shine with the luster of Thy one truth.

The commingled incense of human craving for Thy love soars up in spirals from the incense-bowl of our hearts. Thy sacred presence shines on altars everywhere.

All prayers of all temples, tabernacles, churches, mosques, and viharas are chanting to Thee in the universal language of deep love. The orchestra of our combined feelings plays in harmony with the chorus of all soul-songs, with the cry of all tears, with the bursting shout of all joys, and with the united anthem of all prayers.

In this wall-less cosmic temple of the soul, we worship Thee our one Father. Be pleased to reveal Thyself to us always. Amen, Aum, Amin.
With the soft finger-touches of my soul-intuition, I tuned the radio of my inner perception. At first I caught only the sounds of nearby experience. Then came a symphony of inner harmony, followed by sweet strains from my heart’s orchestra of finer feelings. And then came the swelling chorus of my age-long cravings for Thee. All these I caught on the radio of my soul as I kept tuning my perception, waiting to catch the whispers of Thy voice, O Guardian Angel of all souls!

With infinite patience I went on tuning my radio. At last, when I was almost prepared to give up further trying, Thy song burst upon my heart. Oh! let me broadcast through my every word, now, the chorus of Thy songs.
In the summer days of life, teach me to gather honey from the flowers of all spiritual qualities that blossom in the garden of truthful souls.

I will store the perfume of forgiveness in the honeycomb of my heart: the lotus fragrance of humility; myrrh-scented devotion; the rare honey of all soul-qualities. And even though the snowflakes of wintry experiences and earthly separations whirl about me, I shall seek Thee in the honeycomb of my heart where often I have found Thee, stealing the stored honey of my devotion.

Wherever Thou hast come—in every place hallowed by Thy feet—I will lie, touching Thy footprints. Ah! there alone will I find a place of true safety.
Teach me to behave like the orange which, though crushed and bitten, never fails to impart its sweetness. Battered by unkindness, gnawed at by carping criticism, or hewn with hard words and cruel behavior, teach me yet to pour out unceasingly the sweetness of love.

Teach me to be like soap-flakes which, when rubbed and beaten, give out only cleansing foam. Tried and tested by ingratitude, teach me nevertheless to offer, in return, the snow-white foam of wisdom.
O Infinite Alchemist, spiritualize our weaknesses into strength, and our wrong thoughts into right thoughts. Grow Thou a flower of divine understanding from every seed of activity. With the magic wand of foresight, given by Thee, teach us to transmute the ugly imps of selfish ambition into fairies of all-serving, noble aspirations. Train, Lord, each stallion of desire to become a champion racing for Thine abode. Transform our base ignorance into the gold of wisdom, that it become a liquid stream of spiritual gold, rushing steadily to Thy shore.
Through the long night of error we pursued the will-o’-the-wisp of false happiness. Gloom led only to deeper gloom; our feet, struggling to follow the path of progress, often slipped into ruts and struggled through marshes of disillusionment. The deceiving elmo’s fire of passions lures many people to their doom. Thousands are sucked down into the bog of sense satiety.

O Divine Friend, extinguish with Thy breath this false light of destructive glee which has so often misled Thy children, headed for Thy home. Light instead Thy beacon of holy radiance, that every eager child-pilgrim safely reach Thy home.
The kingdom of my mind is cluttered with the trash of delusion. Pour down showers of Thy power, that my capital city, Discrimination, be no longer mud-strewn due to spiritual carelessness. Send streams of mercy inundating and washing away the filth of ignorance within myself. Let the downpouring of Thy love cleanse dirty streets of race, color, and class prejudice. Bathe my untidy children of lingering prejudice in the waters of Thy wisdom.

Cover every dark path of my life with rose-carpets of Thy love. Inhaling Thy fragrance, and treading softly on a cushion of blossoms, I will run with hastening footsteps to Thy palace of perfection.
In the furnace of trials the ore of my life is being purified. The fire of experience melts away all my delusion’s dross. O Divine Artisan, burn away all my impurities; bring out in me the steel of endurance, and hone it to a fine edge by deep calmness. Forge in me, from the tempered steel of mental balance, sharp swords of self-control and firm tenacity. With the weapon of inner equilibrium, teach me to fight every enemy of distraction.
The caravan of my prayers is moving toward Thee. In the eyes of kindness I behold glimmers of Thy mercy. Even the bare trees of dark lives flicker with a myriad glow-worms of Thy shining life. The caravan of my prayers has been working its way slowly through dry wastes of arid doubts and furious sand-storms of despondency. Yet, at last, far-off glimpses of Thy oasis of silent assurance have roused me in my drooping efforts. Eagerly I await the moment when I can dip into Thy revivifying water my parched, thirsty lips of faith, and there drink deeply from Thy well of bliss.
We were goldfish swimming happily in waters of peace, when the bait of name, fame, and superficial friendship lured us. Some of us nibbled at the bait; others fled at its sight. But alas, some swallowed the hook of worldly allure and deceptive sense-pleasure, and were pulled out onto the shores of satiety. There they fluttered with sadness, weakened by dry indifference, and expired finally, lacking the breath of Thy inner satisfaction.
My allotted plot of consciousness was small. Carelessly I let it grow barren; it produced no crops of inner, life-sustaining culture. Now the bleak winter of dead opportunities approaches with its pall of unproductivity.

My lot is small, and my life’s season is short, yet now I would produce a mighty harvest. I will expand my kingdom of will power. To do so, I must conquer new states of consciousness, enlarge my achievements, and outgrow, in consciousness, every limiting horizon.

But, O Father Divine, there are billions of my hungry thought-families and their little ones to feed! And, for them, I need a big harvest during this short season of my earth-life.

The irrigating waters of my craving many times grew dry, while my soil of inner culture was left undeveloped. Now I will work all the harder, using the machinery of scientific technique in my search for Thee.

O Divine Sower, with Thine unseen hand throw Thy living seeds of inspiration into the cultivated furrows of my awakened resolution.

In this short, remaining season of my earthly life let me reap the largest harvest of all: Thy cosmic vision!
O Infinite Spirit, I shall worship Thee today as finite. O Cosmic Silence, I shall hear Thine unheard voice through the murmur of brooks, through the songs of nightingales, through the sound of blown conch-shells, through the beat of ocean waves, and through the hum of all vibrations.

India-wise, in the cosmic temple of my mind, I shall worship Thee ceremoniously, with clanging bells in my heart, O Idol of Finitude! In reverence I shall behold Thy face glowing red with vital power in the sun, and bestowing soothing moonbeam-glances to dispel all gloom.

I shall no more consider Thee unseen, for, in worship, I shall look straight into and through Thy finite, starry eyes to behold Thy mystic heart. With Thy breath in the heaving wind I shall mix my breath, borrowed from Thee. Wordless chants of my yearning for Thee will pulse with the cadence of my heart-throbs. I shall feel Thy heart beating in all hearts. I shall watch Thy hands working in the law of gravitation, and in all cosmic forces. In the footfalls of all living creatures I shall hear Thy footsteps.

In worship I shall behold Thy vast, skiey body, alternately adorned with stars on the dark, twinkling veil of night, and Thy coming light with the pale light of the dawn. I shall behold Thee heralding the night with the grey twilight. O my Cosmic Idol, garlanded with stringed beads of the Milky Way, diademed with the rainbow, festively arrayed with the diamonds of all glittering stars and planets, I bow to Thee!

The glistening skin of the sky perspires rain with Thy life, and Thy blood runs through Thy veins of rivers, streams, brooks and in the blood flow of all men. No more shall I worship Thee as unseen, but as my visible, embodied Cosmic Idol.

The temple-bells of harmony in Nature, the drumbeats of mighty sea-swells, the myriad votive candles of prayer and chanting in all churches (devotion-flowers from the garden of all souls), and the incense of all aspiring loves — all these have I assembled for Thy worship, O visible Idol of my soul!

With open eyes and with the eye of my mind, let me behold Thee, my living Idol of God in Nature. Let me worship Thee vocally and with mental chants, with the bouquet of devotion, with serviceful activity, and with wisdom; above all, let it be with the language of love, with heart-whispers, with tearless tears in meditation, and with the silent sobs of intuition.
Make me an eagle of progress, soaring far above narrow lanes of bigotry. Call me to soar ever higher and higher, far above all clouds of earthly pettiness.

With the sharp talons of my soul I will tear at the little squabbling birds of misery, which prey upon mankind. I will free my mind’s skies from the buzzards of cynicism which prey on carcasses of dead hopes.

I will soar on balanced wings of wholesome living, high up into the finest regions of divine perception. High above the hurricanes of earthly preoccupation, I will soar higher and higher to those unimagined heights where Thou alone dost dwell.

Make me Thy eagle of ever-upward progress.
O Fountain of love, flood the lowlands of our love for home and family with Thy omnipresent love. O Mighty Source of all our rivers of desire, teach us not to cut ourselves off from Thee, hunting on dry sands of sense-satisfaction.

Love is our souls’ birthright! We demand, now, that all the rivers of our cravings be redirected through valleys of humility, eager self-sacrifice, and concern for others until, reinforced by Thy torrential blessings, they merge in the ocean of all fulfillment in Thee.

Bless us, that the rivulets of our sympathy, affection, and love lose not themselves in the sands of dreary selfishness.

Let the little, lonely, separately-moving streamlets of our love, which come from Thee, merge at last in the vastness of Thy perfect Love.
Every sound that I make, let it have the vibration of Thy voice. Every thought that I think, let it be saturated with the consciousness of Thy presence.

Let every feeling that I have glow with Thy love. Let every act of my will be impregnated with Thy divine vitality. Let every thought, every expression, every ambition, be ornamented by Thee.

O Divine Sculptor, chisel Thou my life according to Thy design!
Whether soaring through the sky encased in a steel air-cage, or drawn o’er the land by snorting iron steeds, or moving easily over smooth highways on rubber wheels, or having my very thoughts paralyzed by the pounding din of assembly lines, the compass needle of my attention will ever keep turning toward Thy magnetic North Pole of divine love.

Beaten by winds of happenstance, drenched by cloudbursts of misery, sucked down in the mud of soul-enmeshing, ego-whipped activity, or wandering lost in jungles of confusion, my mind will yet ever reach out for Thy guiding touch.

The raft of my life, tossed about helplessly by the driving storms of need, was drifting toward rocks of insatiable desire.

O Polestar in our wisdom-skies, Thy twinkling light beckoned and directed me toward Thy shores of eternal contentment. Though countless mechanisms pound, twist, or stretch my anguished nerves, yet will the homing pigeon of my love wing its way peacefully toward its true home in Thee.
I bled, spreading Thy name, and for Thy name’s sake I will ever bleed. With bloody limbs, broken body, wounded features, and bearing the thorn-crown of derision—yet like a mighty warrior will I fight undismayed, even there where the skirmish is thickest.

With the sword of calmness I will stand firm against the hands of persecution. My disciplined armies of true aspiration, blowing trumpets in Thy name, now march in triumph to seize the dark kingdom of God-denying souls.

No matter how many blows I receive, and no matter how often the swords of persecution pierce my heart, I am content in the realization that Thou knowest my craving to spread Thy name. I will wear my tribulations not as scars, but as medals given for courage, and as inspirations to strive ever harder in my fight against ignorance. O Lord! help me conquer darkness with Thy golden message of light.

Be Thou, ever, the General in my invasion of the continent of ignorance!
Beholding the ever-changing sound-and-motion-pictures of life, I am aware that this turbulent dancing show is only a vast illusion.

The tragedies, comedies, and paradoxes of life; the dreams of birth and death; the changing scenes and places that surge round us: all these are nothing but movies, designed to engage us in the Cosmic Illusion.

O Divine Operator, with Thy cosmic vibratory light Thou dost show us ever-new thrills: a motion picture true to all our five senses, keeping us amused and entertained through sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. O Magic Operator, Thy true-seeming spectacle beams daily onto the screens of our consciousness.

I take it as Thy grace that I’ve been chosen to play both tragic and comic parts in Thy drama. I am happy to have acted all those parts, both of sorrow and of joy. Still, Father, give me now and then a few days of respite from my task! Let me retire to my closet of introspection, stand before my own thought-audiences, and behold with laughing heart all the tragedies and comedies I have enacted.

Teach me to look upon all that happens in my life with a pleased, interested attitude, that at the end of each episode, no matter how sad or difficult, I may exclaim: “Ah, that was a good show, full of thrills, suspense, and excitement! I am happy to have seen it, and I have learned much from it for my own benefit.”
The bee of silence has made its way to the garden of my heart, where murmuring thought-flowers hold out fragrant bouquets: lilies of discrimination, butter-cups of recipient prayers, chrysanthemums of soul-rays, and violet-dreams of love-offerings to Thee.

There, in my heart’s bed of many flowers fanned by the sweet breeze of my love, where the fresh dew of Thy grace hides at the core of every flowering good quality, my eager mind-bee hovers in anticipation above these treasures of Thy love.

O, teach me to abhor the flies of cruel sarcasm, which love to sit on the wounds of others, and thereby swell their troubles. Let me be a kind, friendly bee “robbing” only sweetness from the flower-hearts of all.
O Eternal Fire, Thou art the little soul-flames rising through the burner of cosmic manifestation. Each human being is but one flame, separate-seeming from all others, and also from Thy Universal Source of Power. Thou dost appear many, finite, limited, small or large, but ever divided, shooting up as separate entities through the pores of living organisms. But Thou alone art that one, eternal flame. All things other are but Thy multifarious appearances.
Thou art the Supreme Spirit; I am made in Thine image. Thou art the Father, owner of the whole universe. I, good or naughty, am Thy child, and when I behave I have the right of possession over all that is Thine. Alas! I have played the truant, wandering away from Thy home of cosmic plenty. Lead me home again. Teach me to identify my highest interests with Thy will. Rescue me from this shipwreck on the tiny island of my body. Expand my consciousness; help me to understand once more that I am made in Thy image. When by Thy grace I discover that I, like Thee, am omnipresent, then at last shall I have true dominion over all things, even as Thou hast.
O our own, One Father, teach me to feel that all men are my brothers. Teach me to love all countries as brother-nations to my own—as much so as the land to which I am temporarily assigned by karmic law. Teach me above all to love those who love me not. Teach me to see Thy presence in every erring brother. Teach me to heal, as eagerly as I would be healed myself, those brothers who are steeped in ignorance.

O Mother Divine, teach me never to rejoice in the segregation or punishment of an erring brother, even if he needs to be punished to protect from his tyranny those who, otherwise, are defenseless. Teach me to heal with kindness those who are misled, or let me correct them by my good example.

Teach me to feel that even someone who does me mortal injury is my brother, made in Thy image. His ignorance is only temporary. Destroy in me every trace of vengefulness, including the quick “tit-for-tat” spirit. Teach me to try to heal, not to punish, my brothers who resort to crime. Let me not increase their ignorance by a wrong spirit of revenge. Teach me to improve all men by my own example of forgiveness, self-control, determination to do what is right, wisdom, encouragement toward goodness, and prayer—and, above all, by Thy love.
Bearing the bliss of Brahma, happiness supreme; wearing the image of wisdom; beyond the dispute of any qualities; free as the limitless sky; Knower of all there is to be known: Thou perennial, taintless one, Witness of all happenings, beyond all conceptions’ boundaries, uncolored by good, bad, and active qualities: my ever-awake Preceptor — I bow to Thee!
Teach me, O Spirit, to distinguish between my soul’s lasting happiness and the temporary pleasures of the senses: touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing. Strengthen my will power. Teach me not to be enslaved by bad habits. Teach me to be guided only by good habits, formed by good company and meditation. Teach me above all to be guided by Thy wisdom. Teach me to shun evil by right judgment and discrimination. Teach me willingly to adopt all good ways, influenced only by inner freedom, and not compelled to evil by hardened habits.
O Spirit, teach me to pray and worship incessantly, with deepest concentration. O Spirit, balance my meditation with devotion, and purify my devotion with all-surrendering love unto Thee.
Teach me, O Spirit, to love Thee as whole-heartedly as the miser loves money. Make me as attached to Thee as the drunkard is addicted to wine. Teach me to cling to Thee as erring ones do to their bad habits. Teach me to be as attentive to Thee as a mother is to her child. Teach me to perform my duties diligently, with my attention fully riveted on Thee. Teach me to love Thee as the worldly man loves his possessions. With the first love of true lovers, teach me to love Thee.
O Spirit, I care not if all sufferings come to me, or all things be taken away from me; I pray only that my love for Thee never fade through my own negligence. May my love for Thee burn brightly forever on the altar of my constant remembrance.
O Father, Mother, Friend, Beloved God, I will reason, I will will, I will act: but guide Thou my reason, will, and activity to the right thing I should do in everything.
O Divine Father, be Thou the Captain of the ship of my daily struggles. Bring it safely to the shore of final fulfillment.
O Heavenly Father, be Thou the Polestar for my ship of thoughts, and the rudder for my bark of self-discovery. Guide me to the land of eternal bliss.
O Father, from joy I came; for joy I live; in joy will I melt again! Thou art sacred, perennial joy. Thou art the joy I seek. Thou art the everlasting joy of the soul. Teach me to worship Thee through the joy born of meditation. Balance my worship with good action, and teach me to shun all false pleasures which, siren-like, call to me through my misguided senses.
O Spirit, teach me to enjoy Thee in spirit, that I may enjoy the world and my earthly duties with Thy joy. O Spirit, help me to train my senses, that they enjoy only good things. Teach me to enjoy earthly pleasures with Thy joy. Save me above all from the slightest touch of negativity, doubt, and cynicism.
Father, teach me to be calmly active and actively calm. Let me become a prince of peace, sitting on the throne of inner poise as I direct my kingdom of activity.
O Mother of time, space, form, and relativity: Thou hast taken a finite form — Kali-Divine, colossal idol-symbol of all-sheltering Nature. The invisible Spirit assumed Thy form as our visible Mother Divine. In Thee throbs the heart of all-protecting, mothering kindness.

O Mother Divine! The moon is set like a beauty-mark between Thy two dark eyebrows of twilight and night. Clouds of eternity veil Thy face. Gusts of prophetic lives have tried from time to time briefly to blow away Thy veil of mystery, and momentarily to reveal Thy face, so long unseen by our stares of ignorance. But who, truly, can fathom Thee?

O Mother Divine, in the dawn of creation I beheld Thee on the pathway of time, roaming in the rustic garb of primitive cultures, wearing the garments of untamed Nature and the garlands of unpolished minds that are conscious only of opaque, solid forms.

In the noon-day of creation I beheld Thee in a lustrous garment of sunny minds, scorching men in the hot fire of their own desires. Thy body of activity perspired with restlessness. All Thy children felt the strain of the struggle, and implored Thee for the cooling breeze of Thy peace.

In Thy noon-hour of fulfillment Thou didst visit equally the dark slums of misery, the glad halls of prosperity, and calm shrines of peaceful wisdom.

In Thy mid-day attire of awakening, Thou didst travel through festive centuries, beholding the dream of human life and death, of planetary evolution and dissolution, of the birth and death of civilizations, of the drama of world-unfolding nebulae dreaming new-born planets, of earthquakes, and of limited dissolutions.

Then the dark night of cosmic dissolution approached, and Thou didst wear the dark, grim veil of mourning, putting Creation through the terrible, fiery, but purifying ordeal of universal destruction. The sun burst and belched fire; a cosmic shudder broke the bowl of the sky, dropping embers of meteors; and all Creation became a furnace of flames. Everything became fire: matter, human sins, and darkness — everything was cast into Thy crucible to be made pure and luminous.

Creation emerged again from the fire. Beneath the ashes of matter, the embers of Creation slept for a time, and then, rocked by Thy hands, O Mother Divine, awoke again in its body of pure flames.

Thy one hand of power wakes the unseen, creative force, taking many-hued, finite forms. Another hand holds the astral sword of preservation, keeping all planets swinging in the rhythm of balance. Thy third hand clutches the severed head of the cosmos, representing complete dissolution when all Creation sleeps in Thee. Thy fourth hand calms the storm of delusion and bestows rays of salvation on Thy seeking devotees.

O Kali, Thou Cosmic Mother of all creative activity, garlanded by all human minds; Thy rhythmic, wild dance of creation ceases only when Thy foot touches the breast of Thy Invisible Consort of transcendent Spirit—Shiva, in whom all creation rests.

O Mother of Progress, I hear Thy dance of life in the tinkling little bells of laughing, harmonious lives. On the floor of my tender thoughts, Thine inspirations dance softly in rhythm with the music of the spheres.

In the hall of creation, everywhere, O Kali, I hear Thy footsteps dancing powerfully in the booming thunder, and softly in the gentle songs of atoms.

The Infinite sleeps beneath Thy magic shroud of delusion. And then, O Goddess of Manifested Forms, Thy fantasy of finitude begins to vibrate on Spirit’s bosom. Nearer dost Thou dance than the very throbbing of my soul; Thy steps resound on the farthest horizons of my mind. Divine Mother, dance where Thou willst, but oh, I pray Thee, play the music of Thy magic footsteps also and ever in the sacred sanctum of my soul!

O Goddess Kali, woven into Thy changing robes are the dreams of creation, preservation, and destruction. Mother Divine, on the lambent veil of Thy consciousness play Thou a million cosmic dramas. Thus dost Thou entertain and amuse Thy good children, and frighten toward goodness Thy naughty ones.

Mother Divine, draw aside Thy glittering veil of countless motion picture scenes, and show me Thy all-delusion-dispersing face of mercy.
O Heavenly Father, fill my heart daily with the prayers and love of some new saint who found Thee in ages bygone. Fill my heart with the love of all saints who have ever loved and found Thee.
O, Divine Friend, though the darkness of my ignorance be as old as the world, still make me realize that, with the dawn of Thy light, the darkness will vanish as though it had never been.
O Heavenly Father, Thou art in this affected bodily part. It is well, for Thou art there. O Heavenly Father, Thou art perfect; I am made in Thine image: therefore I, too, am perfect.
O Spirit, Thou art in me—I am well. O Spirit, Thou art in (him/her.) (He/She) is well.
O Father, Thou art in my mind: I am clear and pure! O Father, Thou art my strength; Thou art my power—I am all Thy strength and power. I am whole!
O Spirit, Thou art I; I am Thou. Thou art wisdom: I am wisdom. Thou art bliss: I am bliss.
O Heavenly Spirit, may Thy fountain of bliss shower upon all my thoughts, feelings, and will power.
O Father, I am a wave of consciousness on the bosom of Thy cosmic ocean. I am a bubble: oh, make me the sea!
Today, Father, Thou hast come into my temple. With Thy coming all the lights of my sense-servants have sprung to life and the door of my heart has been opened wide. Thy blessing has driven away the darkness of ages, sending its heavy vapors fleeing at the first glimpse of Thy approach. The loud-beating drums of my craving announced Thy manifestation. The incense of devotion, rising from the incensor of my soul, wafts upward to Thee. Oh, bless me always! Respond to me whenever I call to Thee.
O Father, with the bursting language of my craving for Thee I pray to Thee: Reveal Thyself! I invoke Thee with soul-born prayers: Come! Show me Thyself as Thou art!