How to Pray to God as Mother and Father?


Namashkar! God is one. Could you please tell me the difference between Divine Mother and Divine Father and how can I address them separately during my prayer.


—Nina, India


Namashkar Nina,

Yes, God is one, and in “His” true essence He is beyond any human understanding. To understand His eternal essence we have to go beyond our human level, and meet Him on His own level, by expanding with our formless soul into in “heaven”, into Eternity, beyond time, space, gender, and definitions.

But as long as we are “down here” on earth with our consciousness, the one God manifests to us with many aspects and qualities, and we are free to approach Him in any way we chose, to pray to Him in the way it inspires us. For example He manifests as Divine Mother and Divine Father.

There is a talk by Yogananda on these two aspects of God in the book Man’s Eternal Quest, called, “Is God a Father or a Mother?” The Mother aspect of God is tender, unconditionally loving, all-merciful, he explains. The Father aspect of God is wisdom, truth, law, justice, cosmic, eternity.

Yogananda often addressed them both in his public prayers, saying, “Heavenly Father, Divine Mother, Friend, beloved God….” He explained that we can approach Him in all these ways: as Mother, Father, Friend, Beloved, and even as a heavenly Child (Gopala or little Jesus), if our heart feels that way, or as Eternal Spirit, if God in form doesn’t inspire us.

The supremely important thing in prayer is: LOVE. Nothing else! God watches the heart, Yogananda taught. He answers to our love, not to our prayers “chiseled to perfection”. The best prayer is the one that comes spontaneously from our heart. Only love can “break His vow of silence”.

You ask how to address the Heavenly Father and Divine Mother both, separately, in your prayers. Prayer of course is a completely personal issue, but generally speaking it is most effective to chose one aspect of God, either Father or Mother, and to sincerely pray to that form, to deepen that relationship, in a loving and intimate way.

Yogananda for himself chose the “Mother”, because “the Mother is closer than the Father”. You can find many of his teachings on prayer in the book The Essence of Self-Realization, which also contains a chapter on “How to Pray Effectively”.

Love is the key to His/Her presence. A good prayer is: “Divine Mother, naughty or good, I am Your child. You must release me!”

May deep love fill your prayers,

PS Maybe this prayer from Yogananda’s Whispers of Eternity will inspire you:

I Will Be the Naughty Baby of the Divine Mother

In the hall of life, decorated with mountains,
stormy cataracts, and wild scenery,
I have played long.
Each time, when, tired of play, I cried for Thee,
Thou didst drop down
through the skylight of my heart’s craving
some new doll of fame, friends, or prosperity
to quiet me.
This time, Divine Mother,
I will play the naughty baby.
I will sob unceasingly.
No more shall the toys of earthly pleasure stop my cries.
O Divine Mother, Thou must come soon,
or I will waken all Creation with my cries!
I will make all Thy sleeping children
wake and join me in a chorus of wails.
Forsake Thy busyness with the housework of Thy Creation!
I demand attention. I demand Thee!
I no longer want Thy playthings!