The Divine As the Satisfier of the Devotee’s Needs

Hidden inside the early approaches of humanity to the Divine, including the use of prayer to achieve material benefits and results, is an underlying truth that speaks to one of the forms of relationship that the seeker may develop with the Divine. The relation of father to son, or even more closely mother to child is one of the secret mysteries of the way of love. Sri Aurobindo explains: “One type of the Bhakta, says the Gita, is the devotee who comes to the Divine as the giver of his wants, the giver of his good, the satisfier of the needs of his inner and his outer being.”

Life in the world requires material sustenance, food, shelter, clothing, and the wherewithal to live within the society and its structures. The religious impulse is to pray for results. “Whatever crudities there may be in the ordinary religious approach to God by prayer, and there are many, especially that attitude which imagines the Divine as if capable of being propitiated, bribed, flattered into acquiescence or indulgence by praise, entreaty and gifts and has often little regard to the spirit in which he is approached, still this way of turning to the Divine is an essential movement of our religious being and reposes on a universal truth.”

For the soul that turns with purity and intense devotion to the Divine, all his needs are able to be met. The nature of this relationship can be one of the child turning to its mother with total confidence and surrender and the mother responding by giving all that the child needs. The relationship of love does not devolve into the type of bargaining with the Divine that became part of established religious doctrines that were based on fear and desire, but rather, a giving total, joyful and intimate, met by an equally free response from above.

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Three: The Yoga of Divine Love, Chapter 3, The Godward Emotions, pg. 542