Pray Like Your Love Depends On It
Today is a day to honor one of my favorite teachers, and one of my all time inspirations within the Bhakti tradition: Bhaktivinoda Thakur. He was a writer, a poet, a philosopher, a magistrate, and a father among many other things. Above all though, he was an intense lover of God and a seeker of that spirituality that leads us all closer to the embrace of our Supreme Beloved.
After spending much time with his poetry and songs, I felt moved to tell myself one message today. Pray like your love depends on it. We often hear that we should do things as though our lives depend on it, but many of us have also been in situations where we feel like if we do not find the love that our heart is hankering for, we will die. So our lives and our love often become intertwined to the point where we do not think we can have one without the other. So I urge myself to pray, not like my life depends on it, but like my love depends on it.
We do so much in the name of love, until it seems as though love drives every single action of ours. Love can become our inspiration to work hard, our motivation to achieve a better life, and it can become our saving grace when we find ourselves in the midst of obstacles. Love can be our comfort and love can be what ultimately pushes our lives to the next level.
Why then, don’t we take that same principle and let it guide the way we pray? Love can sometimes awaken an all encompassing obsession within us. Love can take over our mind, body and soul until our entire being is immersed in our Beloved. In my opinion, and from sitting with the songs of the great teachers, this is what our spirituality should be. We should be so swept away by our Beloved that our Supreme Goal is all that we can think of.
We can often wonder what the right way to pray is. What is the right thing to pray for? I have been encouraging myself to be as real and honest with my prayers as possible. How wonderful would it be to find at least one person that we can be completely open and honest with, knowing that this person wouldn’t judge us harshly, and they wouldn’t desert us, but instead, our being so open with them would make them grow that much closer to us? We have that. We all have that relationship with our Supreme Beloved. No matter what we tell Him or Her, it will not cause us to drift farther away from Them, but we will continuously grow closer to the object of our love.
What, then,should we be afraid of? We should be opening our hearts as much as we can to Love, knowing that our Beloved will always be there to listen to us and to offer the best advice. We just have to remain open to hearing Him.
We must pray with a heart consumed by Love.
Today, on this auspicious day when it is a beautiful time to remember the examples of the great teachers in our line of devotional love, I want to urge us all to pray. Pray realistically. Tell your Beloved your problems. Tell Him your dreams and hopes. Tell Him the things you know you want to change, but maybe do not have the courage to change on your own. But be honest. For just one moment forget what others have said about what to pray for or what not to pray for. For a moment forget about the right or wrong way to pray.
Just open your heart and be completely vulnerable, honest and raw with your Beloved.
And see how They reciprocate.
Pray like your love depends on it.
And watch the miracles unfold in your life.
“Bhaktivinoda Thakur knows neither religion nor irreligion. He simply desires that all his activities become conducive for Your devotional service.”
-- From the song ‘Tuwa Bhakti-Anukula’ by Bhaktivinoda Thakur in his compilation: Saranagati (Surrender).
We can see how even our teachers have cast off all of the shackles that hold them to what they think is right or wrong and they simply pray. Honestly. With all of their heart. Tell your Beloved your fears and your joys. Tell Them your hopes and your dreams and know with all your heart that your Beloved is always listening. Even just this act of praying is devotional service!
Those moments when you pray are the few moments where you don’t have to be anything other than a soul in love with our Supreme Beloved trying to navigate this material experience that we are all having here. You don’t have to be strong. You don’t have to be in charge. You don’t have to know all the answers. You don’t even have to have a plan. You just have to be you. Completely open and in love with Love. Allow Love to take the lead. Allow our Beloved to take charge for just those few moments and see how recharged you feel afterward.
We even have to know that not every single answer to our problems will arrive at that moment, but it is enough to know that Love has our back and that our Beloved is always protecting us, in all respects.
So today, I urge you all to find one thing to pray about that is private, raw and vulnerable for you. Even one thing that you have been afraid to express to anyone, and just express it to your Beloved. Tell our Supreme Best Friend your one thing that you haven’t opened up to anyone else about. Tell Them today and watch how that vulnerability carves out a deeper relationship with Love.
These few minutes could very well change your entire life.
Pray with me.
Until next time!
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