It's Nature and Technique

How to Overcome Inner Difficulties

    HEART is the pulpit for offering prayer and must, therefore, be cleaned and purified before we engage in prayer.

    (i) Purity of heart consists in respectful and humble attitude toward God free from all cares and anxieties of the world.

The All-knowing Himself sets everything right,
To Him, O Nanak! offer ye thy prayer. 38
                                                  GURU ANGAD
With folded hands offer thy prayers. 39
                                                  GURU ARJAN
    (ii) Humility born of helplessness, coupled with confidence and faith in Him.

    (iii) Loving Devotion. Next we have to still the mind, to make it free from the mental oscillations that continuously pull it this way and that. To achieve stillness of the mind we have to find within some center or pole to which it may be drawn time and again, so that gradually we succeed in stilling the mind at will. Until such ground is found, an aspirant is in a very delicate and slippery state. As he withdraws from the outer world and its associations and waits for the dawn of the new world, he is haunted by countless seed impressions hitherto lying buried in the depth of unconsciousness. One can free himself from these either by right contemplation or by seeking aid through prayer to the Power within. The surest and the easiest way to cross over these hurdles is to think of the form of the Master and to fix one's attention in that form. This "tapping inside" or "knocking," as it grows continuous and steady, gradually forces open the "Way in," bringing to view endless vistas of spiritual visions and rapturous strains of Divine Symphonies.
    Again there are myriads of obstacles in the inner path. Sometimes an aspirant gets no response to his prayers and begins to doubt their efficacy. At other times far removed from God, he finds himself in a strange and vast stillness and feels his own vibrations. Others get entangled in the deep darkness behind the eyes and cannot penetrate into the Beyond. So bewildering and complicated are these regions of darkness and silence that one feels he has lost his way. In spite of his best efforts, he totters over and over again, tries to stand on his legs but slips over. This is indeed a very sad and delicate situation. By his unaided efforts he cannot safely come out of this labyrinth. It is in such weird and eerie surroundings that instructions from a Master-soul can be of avail to him. These are just a few of the countless difficulties with which this path is strewn. The Negative Power has a regular network of pitfalls to thwart designs even of the wisest and wariest of souls and by all kinds of wiles tries to ambush the weary traveler on the path. Its triumph lies in keeping the Jivas or embodied souls entirely in its clutches so that its sway over them remains undiminished and its glory undimmed. One can escape these dark forces only through the help of one who has himself conquered them, for such forces live in fear of him and do not molest a soul that is in league with him. The long arm of the Master and his strong hand can lead a Jiva unscathed through all dangers with which the inner path is beset at every step.

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