Does God listen to our prayers?

"Does God listen to our prayers?"

Sri Ramakrishna: "What are you saying? You will call on God and He will not listen? He is omnipresent and omniscient. How do you know that He does not listen to your prayers? You have no faith, so you are doubting Him."

"Do you know how to pray?"

Sri Ramakrishna taught from his own experience, not through knowledge acquired through books. Gangadhar (later Swami Akhandananda) recalled:

"Once I spent a night at Dakshineshwar with several other disciples, and the Master had us all sit for meditation. While communing with our Chosen Deities, we often laughed and wept in ecstasy. The pure joy we experienced in those boyhood days cannot be expressed in words. Whenever I approached the Master he would invariably ask me, "Did you shed tears at the time of prayer or meditation? And one day when I answered yes to this, how happy he was!"
The Master said: "Tears of repentance or sorrow flow from the corners of the eyes nearest to the nose and those of joy from the outer corners of the eyes."

Suddenly the Master asked me: "Do you know how to pray?"

Saying this he flung his hands and feet about restlessly like a little child impatient for its mother. Then he cried out: "Mother dear, grant me knowledge and devotion. I don't want anything else. I can't live without you."

While thus teaching us how to pray, he looked just like a small boy. Profuse tears rolled down his chest, and he passed into deep samadhi. I was convinced that the Master did that for my sake.


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