Prayer as Inner Approach – Part 1

For most persons, the outer ceremonies and rituals prevalent in the diverse religions are the established approach to God and Divinity. They are regarded as indispensable. However, they are neither essential nor necessary, though at times they have been allowed or given by masters by way of inevitable accommodation to human weakness. They may also be practiced with benefit when they are thus allowed or given by a master, but only during the period for which they have been prescribed, and in the context in which they are intended to be given effect. They have no lasting value nor can they be made eternally binding. They were never essential or indispensable;  and they will never be essential or indispensable.

Let us take for example the stern discipline and fasts associated with Ramdhan. No doubt they serve some spiritual purpose. But one way of looking upon it is to regard them as a sort of compulsory rationing of food and water in those areas where they were rare, and where such control was necessary in the interest of society. It is not necessary to convert the instructions of the Prophet into inflexible and eternal rules of discipline. In the context in which they were given they served both material and spiritual purpose. They cannot be regarded as inescapable or necessary in all times and climes. The same thing applies to any other disciplines given by other seers or masters.

-Beams, p72

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