Guidance on Devotion to God
Isvara Pranidhana, Devotion to God
I want to tell you about devotion to God. It is rather a strange concept to people in the West and indeed in the East who have turned away from what has been held up to them as God: God in church on Sundays, materialism* for the rest of the week. God becomes so occasional as to become irrelevant.
But be assured that God is not irrelevant. GOD is the ALL. Without God there is nothing. There is no sea, no air, no land, there are no animals and no people; nothing and nothingness. From NO thing God created SOME thing and developed it into the vast myriads of teeming life, into flora and fauna, into man and beast and the spirit world. God is present in all these things. God created everything not just for ‘his’ amusement but with his love, his loving attention. (We use the word ’He’ for convenience, we could also say ‘She’. God is beyond definition or understanding and is certainly not a man or woman in the sky.) He watches all things and all people grow and develop, He works through you and me. People need to recognize the Almighty and to communicate their joys and sorrows, their thanks, their praise and their needs. For this reason they need to pray and make their devotions. God does not need their prayers, but they need to pray to Him. It keeps them in touch with their spiritual goals and prevents what is happening to so many souls today, who feel lost and without purpose. The development of selfish materialism turns men’s heads away from their true goals. Until this century most people were in touch with their Creator, but in recent years many people have been blinded by their own cleverness and distracted by their own successes in mastering the elements*.
There is a great necessity for prayerful devotion and most people need a specific target for their devotions such as Jesus Christ, Krishna, Allah, Buddha and many others. God does not mind which Deity* is the focus of these higher thoughts. It is irrelevant to ’him’ who is the target. It is the intent that matters and it is the effect of praying on the person who prays which is important. Talking to ‘God’, even if we have no name for him or her, is good enough. Prayer opens the Crown Chakra * and allows the Godlight in to uplift, to guide and to nurture the spirit.
*See chapter on Chakras (energy centres)