Lecture given by the Master Beinsa Douno on November 23, 1930, Sofia – Izgrev
Life in its manifestations has one real and one unreal side. These manifestations have both a practical and a theoretical meaning. For example, belief is one of the theoretical sides of Life. No matter what a person thinks about faith, that is still theory. In this case, all people differ in their theoretical concepts about faith and Life. However, regarding the real in Life, i.e. its substance all humans as well as all living beings in general, have the same views and experiences. So, in the Reality of things there is a unity. When Joy comes for example, it produces the same conditions, the same changes in all living beings. These changes are most evident in people. When they are happy, their pulse is quickened, the flow of blood to the heart is increased and all organs are expanded. In general, Joy brings expansion to people.
The other real side of Life is prayer. Those who do not know how to pray only theorize. However, theorizing about prayer is not actual praying. Contemporary people think that prayer in general is for simple people. They consider prayer to be something simple, as far as the scientist, the genius and the saint are concerned. In fact, if we look at the life of the genius, the scientist and the saint, we will see that it is praying from beginning to end. Their lives start and end with a prayer. For example, the prayer of the genius shows that the genius is pregnant with some great idea, by which they want to give a contribution to the world. Such a life is entirely selfless. That is why we say that both the genius and the saint do not seek their personal benefit in life.
So, only those who are ready to understand prayer in an inner and intuitive way can realize its deep inner meaning. There is no contemporary language that can express the great idea that is hidden in the concept of prayer. And today, since there is no suitable word, we use words in the different languages, which approximately express the concept "prayer." To pray means to turn your mind, heart, soul and spirit to that Source of Life, from which you have come. If people have become rougher, that is due to the fact that they rarely remember the First Cause, i.e. the Initial Source of Life. Consequently, the degradation, which the present humanity has come to, is caused by a deep inner reason – negligence of the First Principle, from which it originates.
People nowadays are careless towards God and that is why you may often hear someone say "I am free, I can do without God, I can also do without praying." That is how people who think themselves free reason; but logically this reasoning is not correct, because the Real, i.e. the Absolute in the world cannot be divided in two. As God Who has created us cannot forget us, in the same way we do not have the right to forget Him. If He forgets us, all is over with us. If He forgets us, we will die; however, if we forget Him, we will die as well. You ask: "Why do we pass away?" I will tell you why death comes. When someone asks whether we can live without praying, it is similar to thinking that we can live without breathing. If people consider themselves free and independent, let them try to stop breathing only for an hour. If they stop breathing for an hour, they will understand its vital importance to them. If breathing is necessary for people, then the thought of God is a thousand times more necessary. The more people remember God and keep Him in their minds, the nobler they are. The nobility of the human soul depends on people's thinking of God. So, if we want to be noble, we should remember God as an essence that flows through us. In all actualities in life – both in joy and sorrow – we should remember God. No education, nobility, science, religion, arts or crafts exist out of God – nothing exists out of God.
Someone may say: "Culture can exist without God." I reply, as much as life on Earth can exist without the Sun, so can culture exist without God. As much as plants can exist without water, so can culture exist without God. As much as humans can live without air, so can culture exist without God. These comparisons show the great importance of prayer. One's thinking cannot be developed without praying. We are not talking about the distorted human thoughts according to which the idea of God is presented in a caricature way. The concept of the contemporary people about God is the concept of the fallen humanity. What they consider to be reality is not reality at all. How many times have people prayed to God without receiving any answer! Why do they not receive an answer to their prayers? To pray to God and to receive no reply to the prayer is a condition similar to that of the thirsty who are dreaming that they drink water, but when they wake up they feel thirsty again. The water that they drink while dreaming does not satisfy their thirst. So, this drinking of water is not real. What makes reality different is that it is able to satisfy any inner demand for what people need. In Reality people grow constantly and unceasingly.
This evening's gathering is summoned about the reality of prayer, for you to understand how you should pray. I want to hear from you how you pray. When you pray, i.e. when you go to God you are shy. Can you pray the correct way, if you are shy? Moreover, where does this shyness come from? When students have learned their lessons, they get up from their seats boldly, decisively, answering well every question that is asked by the teacher. If their lessons are not learned, they are shy and tell themselves "The teacher will fail me." When you pray to God, you should have in mind the following quality of His: God is extremely patient, but also extremely demanding. When you pray, pray for real, actual things. God does not like us to pray for empty things. The empty things are those, the realization of which depends on us. We should not expect God to perform these things. It is ridiculous, for example, to go to God and to say: "God, teach me to eat" or "Teach me, God, how to drink water" or "Teach me how to shake hands with people or how to dress." Many prayers of contemporary people are of that nature.
I say, contemporary people need the sort of prayer that can straighten out their life and take entirely away any self-seeking in them. Seeking one's own interest is a vice, an ulcer, which eats away the human soul. As a cloud it darkens human minds and roughs human hearts. Self-seekers think all day long about their own selves: how to eat well, to dress well, to have warm and comfortable houses, to be healthy. As for the suffering of the other people, they say: "I do not care about that." Not to care about others is a foreign state to which one may surrender. This state rarely seizes people, but its smell is so unpleasant that they will have to clean themselves for a long time in order to be free from it.
So, remember the following truth: there is not a greater thing in human life than prayer. No matter what people may tell you, do not forget the importance and vital necessity of praying, of inner communication with God. Neither knowledge, nor Love and Wisdom on Earth can be compared with praying, with one's communion with the First Cause. When people pray and put all their virtues to work – that is the power of the prayer. A prayer, in which people do not put to use all their virtues, is not real. Prayer should include the qualities of Love, Wisdom, Truth, Righteousness, Virtue, Compassion and a number of other virtues. If you go to God with such a prayer, you will resemble a tree with ripe fruits. If God sees you so well-dressed, He will be pleased that a wise child stands before Him, who speaks a supreme, angelic language. You say: "We cannot all be intelligent children." This does not matter, God also bears the stupid children, but there is a difference between the intelligent and the stupid child. The stupid child can never achieve what the intelligent one can. We see that everywhere in life: the intelligent one learns, while the stupid one is always postponing things off; the intelligent one gets an award, while the stupid one gets a prize.
I say, if contemporary people did not know how to pray, they would have lost even the small things, which they have preserved until now. Everything beautiful, great and good that they have kept is due to the spirit of prayer that is working in their souls. Therefore, thanks to prayer (even though it is not the correct prayer, as it is in contemporary humanity) something good has been preserved and something new is being acquired. Thanks to praying we become conductors of supreme forces and noble means through which the entire human species is sustained. The soul needs inner, spiritual food that can be provided only by praying.
Now, when I observe you, I notice that you have become rich in that knowledge which I have taught you, but you did not learn how to pray. In many aspects you are like me: you think like me, talk philosophy like me, preach like me, but you do not know one thing – you do not know how to pray like me. The only thing I cannot teach you is how to pray. I never allow myself to teach someone how to pray. Why? – In my opinion, prayer is the most sacred act, which belongs only to the soul. Someone may ask: "How do you pray and when? – I cannot tell you how I pray, but I pray all the time. I pray when I eat, when I drink water, when I read and when I work – always and everywhere I pray. "Do you not feel burdened by so much praying?" – On the contrary, I feel lighter. Life stands confirmed in prayer. If people stop praying, life will disappear. Prayer is a great thing! It is not about mumbling and whispering prayers. When you learn how to pray, your life will become meaningful. The Disciples of Christ also did not know how to pray, that is why they turned to Christ with the words: "Master, teach us how to pray!" Jesus replied: "When the Spirit of Truth comes, He will teach you." However, they had a model of real prayer in the face of Christ.
I say, everyone can learn how to pray. If prayer depends on the virtues, people must set Good as the foundation of their lives. If people achieve this they will not notice how their ability to pray will come as a natural result of Life. Then the human soul will bloom as a tree with thousands of aromatic blossoms. When people feel like praying, no evil exists for them: they are positive towards all, they enjoy everything and they are grateful for everything. When they see how a warm crawls, they stop before it and want to help it in some way. When they look at a tree whose leaves are blown by the wind, they feel compassion for it and want to help it. Everything comes to life for these people. Everywhere they see the Spirit of God Who works and helps them. This results in an impulse in them to work, to do away with the restricting conditions of Life.
You ask whether only humans pray. Every living being prays. Both animals and plants pray. The fragrance that plants spread in the air is their prayer. When a plant loses its fragrance, it dries up. While the plant smells good, it grows and develops. There are plants, whose leaves radiate scent as well as their blossoms. Likewise, when one prays, one gives out a fragrance in the same way as the plant. The more one prays, the more one's fragrance is increased. If one stops praying, one's fragrance will gradually disappear. Those who have never prayed or have forgotten to pray smell bad. Smell depends on the quality of the plant. In the same way the human virtues can be defined. The more developed they are, the stronger their fragrance is.
So, prayer is the most important work in Life. As to how you should pray, this is a personal matter, which everyone has to learn. If I teach you how to pray, you will only hear an echo, with which you will soon be fed up and you will give up on praying. Prayer has meaning only when it comes from deep in the soul. If someone wants to teach you how to pray, that person will tell you: "I will pray for you, while you will work for me." That is the law. If you work for someone, this person should pray for you. If they do not pray, you are not obliged to work for them. Such are the relationships among spiritual people. If you pray for someone, that person should work for you.
This evening I want you to pray and I will work; or I will pray, while you will work. We can separate into two groups: one half of us will work, the other half will pray. Whatever you choose, one thing is important for you: everyone should take part, should turn their minds to God. There is no more solemn moment than that one, in which we direct our minds and hearts toward That One, Who gave us all good things. If you work like this unceasingly in the course of one entire year, you will always be joyful and happy and you will feel God's presence. In all the conditions of Life prayer has power to help you. Science without prayer bores people; religion without prayer bores people; love without prayer bores people; eating without prayer bores people. All that is done without prayer is oppressive to people.
There are people who are very demanding in their prayer; their prayer is strict, measured and moderate. However, there are people, in particular among the poor, whose prayer flows freely – like feelings at any given moment. After such a prayer, the faces of these people become shining and smiling; simultaneously a change occurs in their souls. You listen to someone poor praying: "God, there is something in me, that desires to pray, but I do not know how. I know that you take care and time for me, but I still have not learned to pray. I make efforts to do your Will, but I do not succeed, I make mistakes all the time. If You decide to strike me, Your hand will destroy me. Pity me, I will not repeat the same mistakes a second time." When God hears this prayer, He sends His blessing to this soul and says: "This is a clever child; it will easily straighten up." I present things in a human way – the way they happen among people. Who has not met in his life pure-hearted, sincere people who speak from the depth of their souls? When you listen to such people, you feel that they are prepared to do many favors and make many sacrifices for you. Then you also like them. If such a person did you some wrong, you are immediately ready to forgive them. I say, if you do not forgive the wrongs of your fellowmen, your mistakes will also not be forgiven. You often turn to God with a request to reveal some mystery to you. Many things will be revealed to you, but only when you learn to pray in the right way.
Now, when I observe you tonight, I see that there are both young and old people among you. You say that you love each other and that you have brotherly relationships. What is the difference between the young and the old? The old brother is ready to give favors to the young brother, while the young brother is ready to work. So, both the young and the old brothers are ready to do any job that is given to them. Everyone should have absolute readiness to serve God in their souls just as the angels and the Advanced beings are ready to help everyone regardless of their status and position.
You say: "What direction should we turn to when we pray?" You should know one thing: prayer bears no restrictions. When one prays properly, one is always turned to God. You cannot pray, if you are not turned to God. If you pray to God and simultaneously you think about a person – no matter whether it is your friend, your mother or father – you are praying to this person. If you pray to God, but you think about your money, about your house – you pray to them. If you pray to God, but you think about a Saint – you pray to the Saint, not to God. If you want your prayer to be received by God your thought should be directed exactly to Him. During prayer your mind should be free from any other thoughts.
So, when you pray, the image of God should stay in your mind. No other image! You will say: "We do not know what the image of God is." No, you know this image, but now you need to recall it. There is one moment in Life when all creatures – from the smallest to the biggest turn their minds to God. In this moment, the mystic side of praying is included in one's perception of the moment, so that one can join the common prayer and say: "I turn my mind, heart and spirit to That One, toward Whom all are turned now." Moreover, everyone will direct a thought that corresponds to one's development. God will answer this collective prayer by sending to everyone as much Light as is needed.
Let us now read the Good prayer and direct our minds to That One Whom all beings are addressing tonight. This prayer is not only for humanity, but also for the entire Universe: for all Angels1, Archangels2, Principalities3, Powers4 and Mights5. Only in this way shall we receive God's blessing, so that we may grow and develop in line with His Will.
1. Angels - Brothers of fire and warmth
2. Archangels - Brothers of time,condition and measure
3. Principalities - Brothers of external form and art
4. Powers - Brothers of movement and growth
5. Mights Bearers of life and vegetation - Translated by Martina Iovcheva
Edited by Maria Braikova
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