Paramhansa Yogananda taught a way of praying that many people found unusual. In his Whispers from Eternity he called his prayers “prayer-demands,” describing the proper attitude towards prayer. He said that we are children of the Infinite and that divine freedom and bliss are our divine birthright. He urged us that we should demand our entire divine birthright rather than meekly requesting a few paltry offerings.
In one recording of Yogananda, he prays with a loud booming voice, “Lord, thou hast created us against our will! Free us! That is our prayer!” Another time he told his students, “Give your faults to God. He likes that.”
This poem by Ramprasad Sen reflects Yogananda’s approach in the way that it blames Divine Mother for our troubles, though here it is done with the teasing humor often used by Ramprasad.
~ Nayaswami Devarshi
A Serious Grievance
by Ramprasad Sen
I have a serious grievance to settle
with the Mother of the Universe.
Even while apparently awake,
with you as my all-protecting Mother,
the house of mind and body
is ransacked by robbers,
my countless egocentric impulses.
Every day I resolve to repeat your name
as the most powerful defense,
but forget my good intention
just as the intruders arrive.
I have caught on to the playfulness,
0 Mother, by which you elude my willful grasp.
You bestow no power of inward prayer upon this child,
so you receive no consistent devotion from me.
I no longer regard this as my fault.
Only what you give me can I return to you
as the sweet offering of divine remembrance.
Fame and infamy, good and bad tastes of life,
all phenomena are your graceful play.
Yet as you dance in ecstasy,
we are thrown into quandary.
0 Goddess, lead us on your wisdom way.
This poet dares to sing her secret:
‘Mother Mahamaya places a twist in every mind,
making it perceive the ashes of egocentricity
as an abundance of candy,
which it tastes with constant disappointment
and shocked surprise.
Awaken now and be free.’
from Mother of the Universe by Lex Hixon