The Lord's Prayer, as Advaita Meditation

Ahimsananda's picture

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Of the two places in the Bible that the Lord's Prayer appears, I have chosen Matthew 6: 5-7, as it is used in the context of the Sermon on the Mount. This sermon, outlining much of Jesus' Teaching, describes the kind of attitude necessary for salvation/Awakening.

The prayer, far from being a prayer of petition, although some of that is included, is a meditation on the Absolute; the unlimited potential.

As you look at the Prayer, go deeply into the meaning. You will find a meditation of our "relationship" with God/Absolute, and a method, a framework for "realizing" that.

Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.

One of the most important points here is the use of the term "Father" for God. And perhaps, as important, is that it is "Our" Father. Not Christ's alone, but Our Father. All of us are Brothers and Sisters to Christ, and Sons and Daughters of the Absolute. The use of the term Father, shows a familial closeness. God/Absolute as creator, protector. But sometimes Jesus used the word Abba. Abba means Father, but goes further in that it translates as "Daddy", or other affectionate, child- like name. This shows the connection to God/Absolute is Love.

When God/Absolute is seen "in heaven", this is a way of expressing the internal nature of God/Absolute. In Luke 17, Jesus tells us that the Kingdom of Heaven is "within you". He then states that even the name of God/Absolute is Holy.

Thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.

We already know the Kingdom is within, and this is our opening to it: "thy" will be done. Not me. No "I", just acceptance. Then, of course the "exterior"(earth), will be like unto the interior(heaven).

Give us this day our daily bread.
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.

Asking for "daily bread" is a prayer of petition. But a "little" one. And it is necessary to be aware that asking for our "daily bread", our necessary sustenance, may be asking for pain and suffering. Pain and suffering, as well as actual "daily bread", bring healing and strength for this "journey" to "Daddy".

Forgiveness is not something people in Advaita think about much, unless it is in the context of "karma". And this is what is addressed here. "And forgive us our trespasses, AS we forgive those who trespass against us. As we practice forgiveness, so our "bad" karma is lessened.

Most of us will admit selfishness from time to time. This "selfishness" is inherent in the "I". This, at least, is a "trespass".

"Sin", as used by Christ, is really ignorance. "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do." We are called to Love God/Absolute with all our heart, all our soul, and all our mind. This is the prayer; the meditation; that our "trespasses"(ignorance) be forgiven as we use our hearts, souls, and minds to Love.

Use of the heart or soul to love is not hard to imagine, for this is where we place "love". But to love with all our mind. This is a meditation in itself!

And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever, Amen

Lead us not into temptation. The mind. Temptation itself! But is it evil?

If evil is described as that which leads away from the truth, then the mind is the thing! It is hard to place blame on an object which is only a bag of ideas, pictures and phantoms. But, without intent, it stands in the way. Just as a bleeding man was able to say from a cross, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do.", we must "forgive" our minds, and perhaps "mind" as an idea as well. We need to learn to watch thoughts pass. They are harmless unless you grab hold of them. Eventually, when seen for what they are they will disappear altogether. When the bag is empty, and fearless earnestness is present, Love will fill the mind, heart and soul.

For ever and ever. Kingdom, power, glory belong to the Absolute. This is unlimited potential. Amen.

This well known prayer is not only a wonderful bhakti prayer/meditation, but a feast and challenge for the mind to find itself, "forgive" itself, and rest quietly in itself until it is filled with Love.

Peace, Namaste,

B-friend's picture


I thought this was nice to read in and of itself.

But don't go thinking I'm not an @sshole.

B-friend | Wed, 07/14/2010 - 07:02