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The conditions of prayer

By - Jul 27, 2013 - Category Resources,Resources - Book excerpts
The conditions of prayer

What is prayer? What role does it play in the process of spiritual perfection and what inner state does it require? These are some of the questions addressed by Bahram Elahi in Chapter 29 of The Path of Perfection, which is dedicated to prayer. Here is an excerpt.
If we envision Him as face-to-face with us while praying, we would not speak to Him inattentively.
Human beings, even those with faith, tend to forget the Source unless they are in situations of need or distress. The goal of prayer is to prevent this forgetfulness and to maintain our communication with the Source.

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A successful prayer

Words of Faith, Prayers of Ostad Elahi

Prayer is the most universal spiritual practice. It connects the spirit of human beings to the Divine, thus preventing them from forgetting Him. But it also enables one to revert back to oneself, to one’s true dimension, which is spiritual in nature.

Ostad Elahi practiced prayer in various forms since childhood and referred to the essential conditions of prayer many times in his works. Some of his recommendations regarding prayer can be found in Words of Faith: Prayers of Ostad Elahi, which was published on the occasion of the centennial of his birth.

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Ostad Elahi’s life and works

Ostad Elahi

Ostad Elahi was born on September 11, 1895. On the occasion of his 116th birthday, it was only natural to pay him homage by reviewing some of the salient aspects of his life and works. In the preface to his translation of Knowing the Spirit (SUNY, 2006), Prof. James Morris draws from various sources, including autobiographical conversations and remarks by Ostad himself. This lively portrait of an outstanding 20th century spiritual figure manages to uncover the inner connections between the rich and varied experiences of a lifetime and the central notions of a philosophy. The following excerpt is published with the kind authorization of the author and SUNY Press.

Nūr ‘Alī Elāhī—or Ostad Elahi (“Master” Elahi), the honorific by which he is most widely known today—was born on September 11, 1895 in Jeyhunabad, a village in western Iran(1). The outward course of his life, as he described it in autobiographical conversations and remarks during his later years,(2) falls into three distinct periods: his childhood and youth, entirely devoted to traditional forms of ascetic and religious training; his active public career, for almost thirty years, as a prosecutor, magistrate, and high-ranking judge; and the period of his retirement, more openly devoted to spiritual teaching and writing (including the composition of Knowing the Spirit), when he became well known as a religious thinker, philosopher, and theologian, as well as a musician. Ostad Elahi’s own later description of those outward events, summarized in a few of his sayings quoted further on, helps bring out the inner connections between those different periods of his life and the broader lessons he was able to draw from those very different activities and experiences.

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Overcoming jealousy, excerpt

By - Feb 18, 2009 - Category Resources,Resources - Book excerpts
Overcoming jealousy

If we set aside the issue of amorous jealousy for a moment, jealousy signifies the negative emotion we feel when we see another person benefiting from an advantage that we do not have, or would like to be the only one to have. That jealousy is a negative feeling cannot really be disputed: jealousy makes […]

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Shifting perspectives, excerpts

Shifting perspectives

“Hell is Other People” pp.3-4 The present book may be likened to a Zen anecdote: the real problem lies not in your life, but in the way you perceive it. Just change your point of view. Of course, that is much easier said than done, for the majority of our troubles stem from the fact […]

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