Amma says: “Only in the depth of pure silence can we hear God’s voice.
“God is compassion. He is waiting at the door of every heart. He is an uninvited guest everywhere, because whether you call Him or not, He is there. Whether you are a believer or a nonbeliever, He is within you uninvited. Behind every form, behind everything, God is hiding. He beautifies things and makes them what they are. He is the hidden formula of life. But He won’t reveal Himself to you. You won’t feel Him unless you call Him. Prayer is the invitation. You must invoke Him through prayer and meditation. Chanting, singing and repeating the mantra are invitations, asking God to reveal Himself.
“God is not confined to a particular body or place. There is not even an atom of space where He is not. Do not think that Amma is only in Vallickavu and is only this body. When you pray sincerely thinking of Amma definitely that vibration will reach Amma and reflect on Her mind. Your prayers and your pure and innocent sankalpa will bring Amma to you. Then you will feel Amma’s presence and peace.
“Just give your mind to God; take refuge in Him, and you won’t lack anything in life. You will be given whatever you need. Your problems will be solved, in some way, and you will find peace. Those who pray to God and meditate on Him sincerely will not feel a shortage of anything that is essential. That is God’s resolve. It is Amma’s own experience. If nothing else, chant the Lalita Sahasranama (1,000 Names of the Divine Mother) daily with love and devotion. Then you won’t lack anything.
What is Real Prayer?
“A real prayer will never contain any suggestions, instructions or demands. The sincere devotee will simply say, ‘O Lord, I do not know what is good or what is bad for me. I am nobody — nothing. You know everything. I know whatever you do must be for the best; therefore, do as you wish.’ In real prayer you bow down, surrender and declare your helplessness to the Lord.
“To remember God, you have to forget. To be really focused on God is to be fully and absolutely in the present moment, forgetting the past and the future. That alone is real prayer.
How Should We Pray?
“Having closed the door, one should imagine that one’s beloved deity is standing everywhere in the room. Then one should pray thus, ‘O Lord, are You not seeing me? O God, please take me on Your lap. I am Your child. I have no one but You as my refuge. Do not abandon me but always dwell in my heart.’
“Contemplate on God as your creator, protector and the final abode to where you will return. Try to feel God with your heart; try to feel God’s presence, grace, compassion and love. Open your heart and pray, ‘O Lord, my creator, protector, and final resting place, guide me to Your light and love. Fill my heart with Your presence. I’ve been told that I am Your child, but I am totally ignorant of my existence in You. My most beloved Lord, I do not know how to worship You, or how to please You or meditate on Your form. I have not studied the scriptures; I know not how to glorify You. O Compassionate One, show me the right path so that I can return to my real abode which is nothing but You.’
“No matter who causes you grief, take your complaints to the puja room where your real friend is. Go to the puja room and complain, ‘Why did You let him treat me like that? Weren’t You with me?’ Open your heart and tell God everything. Then it becomes a satsang.
“Children, try to pray until your heart melts and flows down as tears. It is said that the water of the Ganges purifies whoever takes a dip it. The tears that fill the eyes while one is remembering God have tremendous power to purify one’s mind. These tears are more powerful than meditation. Such tears are verily the Ganges.
What Should We Pray For?
“A true devotee realises that his Lord is within and without, that He is all-knowing and all-powerful — omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. Understanding this, the devotee simply tries to express his total helplessness to the Lord and accepts Him as the sole protector and guide. In such sincere and open-hearted prayer, the devotee confesses the uselessness and the burden of his ego. Why should one keep a useless thing? Therefore, he prays to the Lord to remove it, to destroy it. This kind of prayer is real meditation, and it will definitely take one to the goal.
“Praying for the fulfilment of petty desires is being stuck in your mind and all its attachments and aversions. Not only that, it is adding more to the existing vasanas. New worlds are created. Along with that, you lengthen the chain of your anger, lust, greed, jealously, delusion and all other negative traits. Each desire brings with it those negative emotions. Unfulfilled desires result in anger.
Remember God in Happiness and Sorrow
“Children, now that you are happy and joyful, do not forget God. Remember God and pray to God even in times of happiness. Usually people remember God and pray only when they are in pain, as if God were only a painkiller. Do not be that way. Let prayer and remembrance of God become part of your daily life. Amma is with you.
“Nowadays, people pray to God only during times of distress. If you pray to God in times of both happiness and sadness, you will no longer have to experience any suffering. Even if some suffering should come to you, it won’t appear as suffering. God will look after you. If you can pray to Him with an open heart and shed a few tears out of love for Him, then you are saved.
The Power of Group Prayer
“Group chanting and prayer is very powerful. It can change anything. The lost harmony of the human mind can be restored only through a selfless attitude supported by prayer, meditation and chanting of mantras.
Crying to God
“Children, pray and shed tears as you think of God. That is the greatest sadhana. No other sadhana will give you the bliss of divine love as effectively as sincere prayer.
“If you can’t cry at first, say the words again and again and make yourself cry. A child will pester his mother to make her buy what he wants. He’ll keep following her around and he won’t stop crying until he has the desired object in his hand. We have to pester the Divine Mother like that. We have to sit there and cry. Don’t give Her a moment of peace! We should cry out, ‘Show yourself to me! Show yourself!’ When you say that you can’t cry, it means that you have no real yearning. Anyone will cry when that longing comes to them. If you can’t cry, make yourself cry, even if it takes some effort.
“Say that you are hungry but you don’t have any food or money. You will go somewhere or do something to get food, won’t you? Cry out to the Divine Mother and say, ‘Why aren’t you giving me tears?’ Ask Her, ‘Why don’t you make me cry? Does it mean that you don’t love me? How can I live if you don’t love me?’ Then She will give you strength, and you will be able to cry. Children, that is what Amma used to do. You can do the same.
“Such tears are not tears of sorrow. They are a form of inner bliss. Those tears will flow when the jivatman (individual soul) merges with the Paramatman (Supreme Self). Our tears mark a moment of oneness with God. Those who are watching us may interpret it as sorrow. For us, however, it is bliss.”