I know from correspondence with the students all over India, what wrecks they have become by having stuffed their brains with information derived from a cartload of books. Some have become unhinged, others have become lunatics, some have been leading a life of helpless impurity. My heart goes out to them when, they say that try as much as they might, they are what they are, because they cannot overpower the devil. 'Tell us," they plaintively ask, "how to get rid of the devil, how to get rid of the impurity that has seized us." When I ask them to take Ramanama and kneel before God and seek His help, they come to me and say: "We do not know where God is. We do not know what it is to pray." That is the state to which they have been reduced....
saying has always remained in my memory, and it means: "God is the Help of the
helpless." If you would ask Him to help you, you would go to Him in all your
nakedness, approach Him without reservations, also without fear of doubts as to
how He can help a fallen being like you. He who has helped millions who have
approached Him, is He going to desert you? He makes no exception whatsoever, and
you will find that everyone of your prayers will be answered. The prayer of even
the most impure will be answered.1 I am telling this out of my
personal experience. I have gone through the purgatory. Seek first the Kingdom
of Heaven and everything will be added unto you.
prayer is no mere exercise of words or of the ears, it is no mere repetition of
empty formula. Any amount of repetition of Ramanama is futile, if it fails to
stir the soul. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words, than words
without a heart. It must be in clear response to the spirit which hungers for
it. And even as a hungry man relishes a hearty meal, a hungry soul will relish a
heartfelt prayer. And I am giving you a bit of my experience, and that of my
companions, when I say that he who has experienced the magic of prayer may do
without food for days together, but not a single moment without prayer. For
without prayer there is no inward peace.