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Whispers from Eternity

by Paramhansa Yogananda, edited by his disciple Swami Kriyananda



SACRED DEMANDS
TO THE INFINITE

Demands for Developing Cosmic Consciousness

O you, who have come to the portals of this book of prayer-demands: Pass not by in haste. Enter and bathe in the sacred pool of God’s love, hidden in the still, deep waters of meditation.

Every day, take one prayer-demand at a time, and read it carefully. First, get the intellectual concept, and concentrate on it, addressing yourself to God with focused, unceasing, urgent mental whispers.

Your demand must be individualized. Fragrant flower-thoughts will blossom in your heart from that original prayer-plant—thoughts born of concentration and inner experiences, and watered by the divine dew of that grace which is attracted by meditation.

Each thought-empowered word shall then wear for you a bright, flaming garment. Each word shall be a guiding torchlight in the procession of your prayer-thoughts as you march toward God. Each word will spread light to illumine the path of some lost brother on the way. Each word-song will sing a song that God Himself has sung, revealing some lost gem of truth. Each word torch will illumine some dark corner in your mind. Each thought will pour forth a silent sermon of His sacred Bliss. Each feeling note will reverberate with the presence of His love everywhere, and will wake sleeping souls to hear His ever-blissful voice summoning you, and all mankind: “Come home!”

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Cosmic Salutation
(Inspired by the Bhagavad Gita, the Hindu Bible)

O Spirit, I bow to Thee in front of me, behind me, on the left, and on the right. I bow to Thee above and beneath. I bow to Thee all around me. I bow to Thee within and without. I bow to Thee everywhere, for Thou art everywhere.

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We demand of Thee
as Thy Children

Thou art our Father. We are made in Thine image. We are Thy children. We neither ask nor pray as beggars, but demand of Thee, as Thy children, the gifts of wisdom, salvation, health, happiness, and eternal joy. Whether naughty or good, we are still Thy children, all of us. Help us to perceive and understand, inwardly, Thy will for us. Teach us the independent use of our human will (since Thou gavest it to us to use freely), attuned to Thy wisdom-guided will.

3

Demand for Recharging
the Body-Battery

O Spirit, teach us to heal our bodies by re-charging them with Thy cosmic energy; to heal our minds by concentration and pleasant smiles; and our souls by meditation-born intuition.

4

Spiritual Interpretation
of the Lord’s Prayer

O Heavenly Father, Mother, Friend, Beloved God, may the halo of Thy presence spread over all minds.

May the religion of matter-worship be converted into loving, direct worship of Thee. Since, without Thy power to love, we cannot truly love anything, may we love Thee first and above everything else. May the heavenly kingdom of Bliss, where Thou dwellest, manifest itself with all its divine qualities on earth, and may all lands be freed from limitations, imperfections, and miseries. Let Thy kingdom within us manifest itself without.

Father, leave us not in the pit of temptations, into which we fell by the misuse of Thy gift of reason. When we become freer and stronger—should it be Thy wish to test us, to see whether we love Thee more than any temptation—then, Father, make Thyself more tempting than temptation! O Father, if it be Thy wish to test us, help us keep our will power strong enough to meet all Thy tests.

Give us our daily bread: food, health, and prosperity for the body; efficiency for the mind; and, above all, Thy wisdom and love for our souls. Teach us to deliver ourselves, with Thy help, from the meshes of ignorance which we have woven through our own carelessness.

5

Thou Art the best Bomb-Shelter

When clouds of devastating war rain fire and death, I will not forget that Thou, O God, art my best Bomb-Shelter. In life and death, in disease, famine, pestilence, and poverty, I cling to Thee who alone canst show me that, in all dualities of life-experiences, my soul remains unharmed. Thou wilt ever protect me, and make me realize that I am immortal, untouched by the changing conditions of childhood, youth, and age, and of world conditions, whether in peace or in upheaval.

6

Universal prayer in the Cosmic Temple

With a myriad of living thoughts of devotion, I have built for Thee a temple of awakened silence. I have brought the multicolored lamps of wisdom from all valid faiths. They shine with the luster of Thy one truth.

The commingled incense of human craving for Thy love soars up in spirals from the incense-bowl of our hearts. Thy sacred presence shines on altars everywhere.

All prayers of all temples, tabernacles, churches, mosques, and viharas are chanting to Thee in the universal language of deep love. The orchestra of our combined feelings plays in harmony with the chorus of all soul-songs, with the cry of all tears, with the bursting shout of all joys, and with the united anthem of all prayers.

In this wall-less cosmic temple of the soul, we worship Thee our one Father. Be pleased to reveal Thyself to us always. Amen, Aum, Amin.

7

Worshipping the Cosmic Idol

O Infinite Spirit, I shall worship Thee today as finite. O Cosmic Silence, I shall hear Thine unheard voice through the murmur of brooks, through the songs of nightingales, through the sound of blown conch-shells, through the beat of ocean waves, and through the hum of all vibrations.

India-wise, in the cosmic temple of my mind, I shall worship Thee ceremoniously, with clanging bells in my heart, O Idol of Finitude! In reverence I shall behold Thy face glowing red with vital power in the sun, and bestowing soothing moonbeam-glances to dispel all gloom.

I shall no more consider Thee unseen, for, in worship, I shall look straight into and through Thy finite, starry eyes to behold Thy mystic heart. With Thy breath in the heaving wind I shall mix my breath, borrowed from Thee. Wordless chants of my yearning for Thee will pulse with the cadence of my heart-throbs. I shall feel Thy heart beating in all hearts. I shall watch Thy hands working in the law of gravitation, and in all cosmic forces. In the footfalls of all living creatures I shall hear Thy footsteps.

In worship I shall behold Thy vast, skiey body, alternately adorned with stars on the dark, twinkling veil of night, and Thy coming light with the pale light of the dawn. I shall behold Thee heralding the night with the grey twilight. O my Cosmic Idol, garlanded with stringed beads of the Milky Way, diademed with the rainbow, festively arrayed with the diamonds of all glittering stars and planets, I bow to Thee!

The glistening skin of the sky perspires rain with Thy life, and Thy blood runs through Thy veins of rivers, streams, brooks and in the blood flow of all men. No more shall I worship Thee as unseen, but as my visible, embodied Cosmic Idol.

The temple-bells of harmony in Nature, the drumbeats of mighty sea-swells, the myriad votive candles of prayer and chanting in all churches (devotion-flowers from the garden of all souls), and the incense of all aspiring loves—all these have I assembled for Thy worship, O visible Idol of my soul!

With open eyes and with the eye of my mind, let me behold Thee, my living Idol of God in Nature. Let me worship Thee vocally and with mental chants, with the bouquet of devotion, with serviceful activity, and with wisdom; above all, let it be with the language of love, with heart-whispers, with tearless tears in meditation, and with the silent sobs of intuition.

8

Salutation to the Great Preceptor
(Sanskrit Scriptures)

Bearing the bliss of Brahma, happiness supreme; wearing the image of wisdom; beyond the dispute of any qualities; free as the limitless sky; Knower of all there is to be known: Thou perennial, taintless one, Witness of all happenings, beyond all conceptions’ boundaries, uncolored by good, bad, and active qualities: my ever-awake Preceptor—I bow to Thee!

9

Thou Mother of Flames, show
Thy Face, too long hidden behind the veil
of Thy Cosmic Motion Picture

O Mother of time, space, form, and relativity: Thou hast taken a finite form—Kali-Divine, colossal idol-symbol of all-sheltering Nature. The invisible Spirit assumed Thy form as our visible Mother Divine. In Thee throbs the heart of all-protecting, mothering kindness.

O Mother Divine! The moon is set like a beauty-mark between Thy two dark eyebrows of twilight and night. Clouds of eternity veil Thy face. Gusts of prophetic lives have tried from time to time briefly to blow away Thy veil of mystery, and momentarily to reveal Thy face, so long unseen by our stares of ignorance. But who, truly, can fathom Thee?

O Mother Divine, in the dawn of creation I beheld Thee on the pathway of time, roaming in the rustic garb of primitive cultures, wearing the garments of untamed Nature and the garlands of unpolished minds that are conscious only of opaque, solid forms.

In the noon-day of creation I beheld Thee in a lustrous garment of sunny minds, scorching men in the hot fire of their own desires. Thy body of activity perspired with restlessness. All Thy children felt the strain of the struggle, and implored Thee for the cooling breeze of Thy peace.

In Thy noon-hour of fulfillment Thou didst visit equally the dark slums of misery, the glad halls of prosperity, and calm shrines of peaceful wisdom.

In Thy mid-day attire of awakening, Thou didst travel through festive centuries, beholding the dream of human life and death, of planetary evolution and dissolution, of the birth and death of civilizations, of the drama of world-unfolding nebulae dreaming new-born planets, of earthquakes, and of limited dissolutions.

Then the dark night of cosmic dissolution approached, and Thou didst wear the dark, grim veil of mourning, putting Creation through the terrible, fiery, but purifying ordeal of universal destruction. The sun burst and belched fire; a cosmic shudder broke the bowl of the sky, dropping embers of meteors; and all Creation became a furnace of flames. Everything became fire: matter, human sins, and darkness—everything was cast into Thy crucible to be made pure and luminous.

Creation emerged again from the fire. Beneath the ashes of matter, the embers of Creation slept for a time, and then, rocked by Thy hands, O Mother Divine, awoke again in its body of pure flames.

Thy one hand of power wakes the unseen, creative force, taking many-hued, finite forms. Another hand holds the astral sword of preservation, keeping all planets swinging in the rhythm of balance. Thy third hand clutches the severed head of the cosmos, representing complete dissolution when all Creation sleeps in Thee. Thy fourth hand calms the storm of delusion and bestows rays of salvation on Thy seeking devotees.

O Kali, Thou Cosmic Mother of all creative activity, garlanded by all human minds; Thy rhythmic, wild dance of creation ceases only when Thy foot touches the breast of Thy Invisible Consort of transcendent Spirit—Shiva, in whom all creation rests.

O Mother of Progress, I hear Thy dance of life in the tinkling little bells of laughing, harmonious lives. On the floor of my tender thoughts, Thine inspirations dance softly in rhythm with the music of the spheres.

In the hall of creation, everywhere, O Kali, I hear Thy footsteps dancing powerfully in the booming thunder, and softly in the gentle songs of atoms.

The Infinite sleeps beneath Thy magic shroud of delusion. And then, O Goddess of Manifested Forms, Thy fantasy of finitude begins to vibrate on Spirit’s bosom. Nearer dost Thou dance than the very throbbing of my soul; Thy steps resound on the farthest horizons of my mind. Divine Mother, dance where Thou willst, but oh, I pray Thee, play the music of Thy magic footsteps also and ever in the sacred sanctum of my soul!

O Goddess Kali, woven into Thy changing robes are the dreams of creation, preservation, and destruction. Mother Divine, on the lambent veil of Thy consciousness play Thou a million cosmic dramas. Thus dost Thou entertain and amuse Thy good children, and frighten toward goodness Thy naughty ones.

Mother Divine, draw aside Thy glittering veil of countless motion picture scenes, and show me Thy all-delusion-dispersing face of mercy.

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Demand for the Opening of Spiritual
Temple Doors everywhere

O Father, when I was blind I found not a door which led to Thee, but now that Thou hast opened my eyes I find doors everywhere: through the hearts of flowers, through the voice of friendship, through sweet memories of all lovely experiences. Every gust of my prayer opens a new door in the vast temple of Thy presence.

1 1

Prayer at Dawn

With the opening of the earliest dawn and the lotus-buds, my soul softly opens in prayer to receive Thy light. Bathe each petal of my mind with Thy radiant rays! I saturate myself with the perfume of Thy presence, and I wait to waft with the breeze the aroma of Thy message of love to all. Bless me, that with the spreading dawn I may spread Thy love everywhere. Bless me, that with the awakening dawn I may awaken all souls with my own and bring them to Thee.

1 2

Prayer at Noon

The sun shines high in the heavens: everything is fully awake. Awaken Thou me, likewise! Thou art invisible, yet Thine energy flows through the rays of sunshine. Fill my veins with Thine invisible rays, making me strong and tireless. As the sun shines in the busiest streets, so may I behold Thy rays of protecting love in the crowded places of my life’s activities. As the light shines steadily, undisturbed, on the street, whether crowded or empty, so may I hold my calmness and my strength steadily while I move through the crowded or empty streets of life. Give me strength. And what I receive, teach me to share with others.

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Prayer at Eventide

The day is done. Refreshed and sanctified with the sunshine of the day I pass through the portals of evening, dimly adorned with faint stars, to enter into the temple of silence and worship Thee. I worship Thy Spirit of approaching calmness. What prayers can I offer? For I have no words to offer Thee. I shall light a little fire of devotion on the altar of my soul. Will that light suffice to bring Thee into my dark temple—my dimly lighted temple, dark with my ignorance? Come! I crave, I yearn for Thee!

1 4

Prayer at Night

With closed eyes I sit in the temple of night, and worship Thee. The sunlight, revealing a million alluring things, has vanished. One by one I have closed the doors of my senses lest the fragrance of the rose or the song of the nightingale distract my love from Thee. I am alone in this dark, dark temple. I have left everything—but, where art Thou? Darkness is haunting; still, unafraid, I am groping, seeking, crying for Thee. Wilt Thou leave me alone? Come, show Thyself!

The door of my memory swings open. Throbbingly thrilled, my heart looks for Thee, but I find Thee not. Halt! Ye thronging, million thoughts and past experiences: come not into my sacred temple! I close the bursting, thought-pressed door and run everywhere to find Thee. Ah! Where art Thou?

Darkness deepens. As I sit silent, in anguish of despair, I behold a little taper of concentration burning within me. I stand up mentally, and madly rush through the dimly lighted temple. The farther I go, the deeper grows the gloom. I clasp the empty darkness in hope of seizing Thee. Finding Thee not, I return again, and see the taper dimly burning.

I sing outwardly a loud prayer. My large teardrops and my strong gusts of prayer almost extinguish the taper. I will pray no more with words, nor rush and run about in the temple of Stygian darkness, nor drown the taper with my tears. I will sit still, and command my breath to make no sound. I rebuke my boisterous love for Thee.

The taper of meditation burns brighter now.

O, how maddening! I cannot worship Thee with words, but only with wistful yearning. Brighter the light grows: I behold Thee now. Thou art I. I worship Thee. As night hides everything, so will I worship Thee in hidden silence.

I am glad with the joy of all minds. I will use the screen of the night to hide myself from the tempting things of the day.

O Night, when I am worried, throw thy veil of silent darkness around me. Create a dark temple for me wherever I go, that I may invoke and call Him, whom I love, at any time, anywhere, everywhere!

1 5

Prayer-demand before taking food

Heavenly Father, receive this food. Make it holy. Let no impurity of greed defile it. The food comes from Thee. It is to build Thy temple. Spiritualize it. Spirit to Spirit goes. We are the petals of Thy manifestation, but Thou art the Flower, its life, beauty, and loveliness. Permeate our souls with the fragrance of Thy presence.

1 6

Prayer-Demand for recharging
the Body-Battery

O Conscious Cosmic Energy, Thou alone dost directly support my body. Solid, liquid, and gaseous foods are converted and spiritualized into energy by Thy cosmic energy. That energy supports my body. Help me to learn, O Spirit, to live more and more by direct cosmic energy, and less and less by food. Thine energy burns in the bulbs of my five senses. I recharge myself with Thine omnipresent, cosmic energy.

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Prayer before practicing Concentration

Teach me, O Spirit, by meditation, to stop the storm of breath, the skipping of my mental restlessness, and all the sensory disturbances that rage on the lake of my mind. Let the magic wand of my intuition halt the gale of passions and unnecessary desires. In the rippleless lake of my mind, then, let me behold the undistorted reflection of the moon of my soul, glistening ever with the reflected light of Thy presence.

1 8

Demand for the Pearls of Wisdom,
obtained in the Sea of Meditation

Divine Father, teach me to dive deep for the pearls of Thy wisdom in the ocean of meditation. Teach me to plunge headlong, protected in the diving suit of conscience, that the sharks of passion may not destroy me. If, by one or two divings, I find not Thy wisdom-pearls, let me not call the sea of meditation devoid of any pearl of Thy wisdom. Teach me, rather, to find fault with my own diving. Teach me to dive again and again in meditation, deeper and deeper always, until I find Thine immortal pearls of wisdom and of joy divine.

1 9

Prayer for expanding Love from myself
to all my brethren

O Divine Mother, teach me to use the gift of Thy love, which I feel in my heart, to love the members of my family more than myself. Bless me, that I may love my neighbors more than my family. Expand my heart’s feelings, that I love my country more than my neighbors, and my world and all my human brethren more than my country, neighbors, family, and my own self.

Lastly, teach me to love Thee more than anything else, for it is only Thy love that enables me to love everything. Without Thee, I could not love anything or anybody.

Father Divine, teach me to enter through the portals of family love, and that of the love of my friends, into the mansion of wider social love. Teach me to pass from there through the doors of social love, and into the wider mansion of international love. Then teach me to pass through the portals of international love into the endless territory of divine love, wherein I perceive all animate and inanimate objects as breathing and living by Thy love alone.

Teach me to tarry not at any alluringly beautiful gate of family, social, or international love. Teach me to pass through all portals that lead to the smaller gardens of love until, passing through the last gate of human love, I enter into the endless territory of divine love where I shall find all living, semi-living, and sleeping things to be my very own.

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A bouquet of all Loves of God

O God my Father, teach me to make a bouquet of the variously hued flowers of filial, conjugal, friendly, parental, and guru-disciple love, and to lay it reverently upon the altar of my heart, where Thou reignest supreme. If I am unable to tie all those flowers into one bouquet, I will pluck the rarest rose of love growing in the garden of my devotion, and lay that one flower at Thy feet. Oh! Wilt Thou receive it?

2 1

Prayer-Demand to the Holy
Vibration for Omnipresence

O Holy Vibration, boom on the shores of my consciousness. Break the limiting boundary of my body-consciousness. Reverberate through my body, mind, and soul—through my surroundings, through all the cities and lands of this earth, through all the planets, throughout the universe and every atom-particle of Creation. Unite my consciousness with Thy cosmic consciousness.

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Prayer-Demand for Self-Realization

O Cosmic Vibration, reverberate through me as the Cosmic, Intelligent Sound. Teach me to find in Thee the presence of the reflected Christ consciousness. O Holy Vibration, lead me to intuit that Christ in Thee.

O omnipresent, cosmic sound of Aum (or Amen), reverberate through me, and expand my consciousness from this body to the whole universe. Teach me to feel in Thee the all-permeating, perennial Bliss of the Supreme Spirit.

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Prayer-Demand for removing the Cork of Ignorance

No more shall my consciousness remain bottled in this little vessel of flesh, corked with ignorance. No more will I remain moving through the sea of cosmic consciousness—night and day, years, decades, and how many incarnations!—so close, yet never able to contact Thy sea. Through the bursting vibration of cosmic sound and the surging of Thy holy name, I have removed the cork of ignorance which so long separated me from Thee, though we lived together so closely! Now my body-consciousness will meet Thy all-surrounding, all-pervading consciousness. No longer will I walk heedlessly, in Thee, but never knowing and feeling Thee. Thine image within me shall meet Thine image everywhere. By releasing the “I-ness” in me, I will know that I am Thou, and that Thou alone art the little egos of us all.



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