“The ego does not allow the soul to rest even for a moment. It lives in imaginary fears and sorrows and a web of desires and relationships from which it can find no release. This ego is rudely shattered by the turn of adverse events beyond its control that humble it soon enough. Frailties, diseases, sorrows and sufferings, and the impending spectre of death, reduce the ego to a state of helplessness.
“And it is with that shattered ego that man comes before God. He is forced to pray to God for help. This is the lot of unbelievers and the haughty and arrogant who are forced into submission before God through this forced prostration.
“For the devotee, however, prayer is a means to completely destroy his ego. When man prays to God to help him and to reveal Himself to him, when he thinks of God with Love as he would think of his mother or father, when he is merged in the love of God – the ego of the person vanishes. The thought of God takes possession of him and he delivers up everything to the Will of God. He becomes like a zero before God while God is like One. And God converts man into Ten with this union. Man is like the dew-drop which was evaporated by the ray of light to enter the skies as a vapour. The evaporation was the ego vanishing, and the ray of light was the Grace of God.
“Think of a child who is helpless when all by himself. But the moment he is lifted up by the mother in her arms, the strength of the mother becomes the strength of the child and he is afraid of no one.
“Man, all by himself, finds himself on a battlefield like Arjuna, torn by fears and weaknesses and a web of relationships. Argument and philosophy and meditation are of no help to him at such a time. He, then, takes refuge in God and hands over the reins of his mind to God to drive his mind in whatever direction He will. In effect he says to God: “Thy Will be done.”
“When man begins to look upon all sorrows and sufferings as also all joy and happiness as coming from God, as part of His Will, he derives an unending peace of mind and remains contented in every state of life.
“He takes everything in life to be a gift from Him. He believes that even his worldly possessions and relationships have been given by God, and he loves them as his gifts, not as his own possessions. When any of these gifts are taken back by God, he is not grieved but acquiesces in His Will and says:
Jis di vast tis aage raakhe
Prabhu di aagyaa maane maathhe
Oste chaugan kare nihaal
Nanak Sahib sadaa dayaal
He, who gives to Him, what is the Lord’s,
And obeys His Will with gladness
Is blessed fourfold and more,
And the Lord, O Nanak, is ever Merciful to him
Shri Nathji would say that he found little difference in the paths that Dwaatvaadis and Adwaaitvaadis chose:
“For the Adwaitvaadi who believed in God as existing everywhere, there was the injunction to realise Him within his own self. And this had to be done through self-purification, devotion and good actions and pure thoughts.
“For the Dwaitvaadi who saw God sitting outside of him and separate from himself, the injunction was the same – that he should seek to reach God. Though God could be imagined to be sitting separately in one place, yet He would exist everywhere in the form of His power. Imagine a King who sits in one place but the laws of his kingdom operate everywhere. Thus he is present in an invisible way in the form of his laws everywhere.
“Thus the goal of the Adwaitvaadi is the same as the goal of the Dwaitvaadi–and that is union with God.”