How does one increase one's aspiration or as you say, “the hunger for God” ?
What is most important is to try to develop a genuine hunger for God's love, God's compassion and God's blessings. There are two ways to increase one's inner hunger. One way is to cry for God like a helpless child crying for his mother. The other way is to offer one's actions to God while keeping a cheerful attitude. With both these ways the seeker will make real inner progress.
What is the difference between desire and aspiration?
Desire is a wild fire that burns and burns and finally consumes us. Aspiration is a glowing flame that secretly and sacredly uplifts our consciousness and finally liberates us. Thirst for the Highest is aspiration. Thirst for the lowest is annihilation. Desire is expectation. No expectation, no frustration. With desire killed, true happiness is built. Aspiration is surrender. Surrender is man's conscious oneness with God's Will.
How can we best utilize our outer time to better our inner aspiration?
You are a seeker. When you pray, concentrate and meditate, you have to feel that each second is infinitely more important than you thought it was previously, before you entered into the spiritual life. This second you can use either for meditation or for gossip or for cherishing impure and undivine thoughts.
Is there a specific way to accelerate realization?
Yes, there is a specific way, and it is called conscious aspiration. God must come first. Aspiration, the inner cry, should come from the physical, the vital, the mind, the heart and the soul. Of course, the soul has been aspiring all the time, but the physical, vital, mental and psychic beings have to become consciously aware of this. When we consciously aspire in all parts of our being, we will be able to accelerate the achievement of liberation.
How do we aspire?
We aspire through proper concentration, proper meditation and proper contemplation. Aspiration covers both meditation and prayer. In the West, there were many saints who did not care for meditation; they realized God through prayer. He who is praying feels he has an inner cry to realize God, and he who is meditating also feels the need to bring God's Consciousness right into his being. The difference between prayer and meditation is this: when I pray, I talk and God listens; and when I meditate, God talks and I listen.
What is the meaning of AUM?
AUM is a syllable that has a special significance and a creative power. AUM is the Mother of all mantras. When we chant AUM, what actually happens is that we bring down peace and light from above and create a universal harmony within and without us. When we repeat AUM, both our inner and outer beings become inspired and surcharged with a divine feeling and aspiration. AUM has no equal. AUM has infinite power. Just by repeating AUM, we can realize God.
When you repeat AUM, please try to observe what actually happens. If you repeat the name of a cat, a dog or a monkey, or even of an ordinary person, you get no inspiration. But when you utter AUM, which is the symbol of the Creator, the life-breath of the Creator, you immediately get an inner feeling, the feeling that inspires your inner and outer movements to enlarge your vision and fulfill your life here on earth. This is the secret of AUM. If you want to cherish a secret all your life, then here is the secret. Please chant AUM and everything will be yours.
How do we chant AUM?
The sound of AUM is unique. Generally we hear a sound when two things are struck together. But AUM needs no such action. It is anahata, or unstruck; it is the soundless sound. A Yogi or spiritual Master can hear AUM self-generated in the inmost recesses of his heart.
There are many ways to chant AUM. When you chant it loudly, you feel the omnipotence of the Supreme. When you chant it softly, you feel the delight of the Supreme. When you chant it silently, you feel the peace of the Supreme.