Why Pray to God in Multiple Forms


When we invoke or pray, we say supreme god...divine father and divine mother..then names of all the holy masters..saints or archangels and other divine beings. But supreme god is our parent. Why do we say divine father and divine mother then? Isn't it the same spiritual being?

—Esha, India


Dear Esha,

God is beyond all definition, formless and infinite. And God is also within us at the center of every atom of our being and of creation. In our ego’s understanding we are separate from God. In fact it is this very thought that creates our separation. Our soul’s journey and destiny is union with God which is called self-realization. To reach that goal we must long for and offer ourselves completely into the Divine Presence. We come to realize that there is nothing outside of God that we desire and in fact nothing outside of God exists.

But we are not yet self-realized. How do we make that leap from thinking we are separate from God to understanding in every particle of our being that we are one? Each one’s journey is individual. We need to have a very personal connection with God to give ourselves completely. God presents in many forms; mother, father, friend, beloved. In fact God’s forms are infinite. What is important in worship is that the individual devotee make a connection with God in the form he holds most dear. Both Yogananda and the founder of Ananda, Swami Kriyananda worshipped God as Divine Mother. Some devotees are able to make a personal connection with an impersonal form such as Infinite Love. For many an impersonal form that cannot be visualized in some way is difficult to relate to.

Yogananda opened his prayers with Heavenly Father, Divine Mother, Friend, Beloved, God inviting the God’s presence and offering love to many forms of the Divine. In your own devotional self-offering explore which form of God feels closest to you and then offer your loving prayers. God is beyond our human definitions. We cannot get to him by logic. We must get there through love.

Many blessings,
Nayaswami Mukti