The following is an excerpt from Intuition: Soul-Guidance for Life’s Decisions by Sri Daya Mata, who served as president and sanghamata (“mother of the society”) of SRF/YSS from 1955 until her passing in 2010.
Paramahansa Yogananda often quoted this saying: “The Lord helps him who helps himself.”
When having to make a decision, we would like nothing better than for some divine force to just tell us what to do. It would be so easy; we would not have to make any effort if at any given moment we knew we were receiving God’s direct guidance.
But it is not meant to be so simple, and the reason is this: We are a part of God, but we don’t know it — and we will never know it if all we do is put the burden on Him and say, “You tell me what to do,” as though we were dumb puppets and He the Puppeteer. No, He expects us to use the mind He has given to us, while asking His guidance.
The Ultimate Prayer
Jesus prayed the ultimate prayer: “Lord, let Thy will be done.” Now, many people interpret this to mean that they are not supposed to do any willing or thinking at all, but just sit and meditate, and wait for God to do something through them. This is wrong. We are made in His image.
He gave man intelligence such as He gave to no other creature, and He expects us to use it. This is why Paramahansaji taught us to pray:
“Lord, I will reason, I will will, I will act; but guide Thou my reason, will, and activity to the right thing that I should do.”
We practice this religiously in the ashram. In our meetings about the work, we meditate for a few minutes and then offer that prayer. Only then do we enter into discussion and make decisions.
So do not sit back and expect God to initiate the necessary actions. Applying the principles of reason, will, and action, pursue what seems to be the best course.
Work conscientiously, using your will and intelligence, and at the same time pray throughout: “Lord, guide me; let me follow Thy will. Only Thy will be done.”
By doing this, you keep your mind receptive to His guidance. You may then find that you will suddenly see clearly, “No, I must go in this direction now.” God shows you the way.
But remember, when asking God to guide you, your mind must never be closed; let it be always open and receptive. This is how God helps him who helps himself. It works, but the initiative and effort have to come from us.
You do not have to live in an ashram in order to serve God and follow His will. Each one of us is at this moment where God and our past actions have placed us. If you are not satisfied with your present condition, meditate and ask God’s guidance. But while doing so, apply your God-given reason. Analyze the options you have in connection with your life and your future.
Conscience and Intuition: the Divine Voice Within
The Divine Voice within us will help us to solve all our problems. The voice of the conscience is a God-given instrument of divine guidance in every human being.
But in many, it is not heard because over a period of one or countless lives they have refused to pay any attention to it. Consequently, that voice becomes silent, or very, very faint. But as an individual begins to put right behavior into action in his life, the inner whispers grow stronger again.
Beyond the semi-intuitive conscience is pure intuition, the soul’s direct perception of truth — the infallible Divine Voice.
All of us are endowed with intuition. We have the five physical senses, and also a sixth sense — all-knowing intuition. We relate to this world through the five physical senses: we touch, hear, smell, taste, and see. In most people, the sixth sense, intuitive feeling, remains undeveloped from lack of use.
Blindfold the eyes from childhood, and years later when that blindfold is removed, everything will appear flat. Or immobilize the arm, and it will not develop properly for lack of use. Similarly, through lack of use, intuition no longer functions in many.
Meditation Develops the Power of Intuition
But there is a way to develop intuition. The sixth sense is not able to function until we quiet the body and the mind. So the first step in developing intuition is meditation, entering a state of inner calmness.
The more deeply you meditate, and then put your mind on some problem, the more your intuitive power will express itself in resolving that problem. That power develops gradually, not all at once; just as a muscle or limb is strengthened gradually by exercise — it doesn’t happen overnight….
If you would like to learn more about starting or reinforcing a daily practice of meditation — to create the calmness and peace where the “sixth sense of intuition” can increasingly manifest in your consciousness, so you can more and more put it to use in your life — please follow the links below to experience both guided and group meditation.
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Thank you for the profound precepts of Sri Daya Mata. Daily read these passages enable to sit in solitude dive deeper into meditation and be in the state of Divine consciousness through the day.