Maxim II in Sahaj Marg advises, “Begin your puja with a prayer for spiritual elevation with a heart full of love and devotion.”
This feels like a natural progression from Maxim I. The last maxim pretty much gets us up and going and helps lessen the chances that we’ll rush into the day without our head on straight. This maxim goes a baby step more and begins our focus and the direction of our day. Prayer isn’t a big deal within Sahaj Marg. We have one “official” prayer – which will likely be covered in later posts.
In my mind and heart, the prayer here is not the same kind of prayer that we usually think of here in the West. In the West, virtually all prayer is a form of blabbering to the Divine. It’s really a shame – like seeing Ganesha as a wish giver. The real justice of the matter is discounted and overlooked. Here in the West, when we pray, it’s so noisy. There may be times of verbally offering thanks and whatnot, but very few people (probably) actually pray for the sole purpose of expressing gratitude. We say things like, “God protect us while we travel” and “God help me get that job” and “God give Kim Davis chlamydia.” Our mode of prayer here in the West is almost entirely ME-ME-ME. Prayer here is usually such a selfish act. And certainly there is plenty of that egoic prayer in the East, as well. People are people. We want things. Or, we want to avoid things. And we want the Divine to provide or prevent them.
The prayer in this maxim, though, feels different. If one can manage a “heart full of love and devotion” then it’s a bit less likely that the “prayer for spiritual elevation” will express itself in the shape of, “Give me spiritual elevation.” When one’s heart is filled with loved and devotion, words aren’t needed. Not really. And sometimes thoughts aren’t needed, either.
By this point, we’ve showered and dressed and gone to our meditation / puja spot and are in our preferred asana (position). And now Maxim II kicks in – with a heart full of love and devotion. Our puja / meditation is about lots of dark-n-wondrous things that will be covered by later posts, too, and this prayerful moment shaped by love and devotion builds on Maxim I and additionally sets the stage for a productive and heartful day ahead. And ultimately, that love and devotion are part of our core essence – which we’re uncovering in our practice through the elevation achieved (as mentioned in the prayer).
We’re beginning our personal puja with the intent (sankalpa) to achieve an elevated state, one less bogged down than the one we’re currently experiencing, and that sankalpa (intent) is full-flavored according to the intensity of our love and devotion.
Ready for Maxim III?
Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti