prayers for inferior things are not excluded from spiritual life, they should
progressively, according to one's adhikara, be made subsidiary to the attainment of
jnana, which leads to Moksa. That is why in the daily Upasana of Gayatri we have primarily
the meditation of the mystical San, the source of all light and life, and secondarily a
prayer for the enlightenment of us all and no other petition.
The practice of Upasana is considered so important in religious life that
even our-great Advaita philosophers like Samkara and Madhusudana Sarasvati, who taught a
severe monism in their writings, cherished in their private lives Ista-devatas of their
own to whom they were passionately devoted. Our philosophers were never mere
dialecticians or speculators. Philosophy was no mere intellectual pastime to them. They
were earnest souls who walked in the ways of God according to the lights they had.
They felt no inconsistency whatever between their philosophy of
the impersonal Absolute and their worship of a personal deity. In fact, they insisted on
the latter as a means to the former. Lastly, we come to the practice of yoga. The word
yoga is used in several different senses in our scriptures. It is used in the sense of
power, prosperity, rule, devotion, endeavor, union and so on. The word literally means
yoking. In fact yoga and yoke come from the same root.