What will give peace of mind?
Peace of mind for one and all can be had only by realizing God. One should not identify oneself with the perishable body, but should feel that he is atman, the Self. Then and then alone one will have parama shanti, supreme peace.
What is the right way of praying to God and how far is it possible for an ordinary person to pray like that?
The main thing to be considered while praying is ones mental bhava, attitude. There should be no selfish motive. Pray for purity, devotion, light and knowledge. You will get these things. Pray in any way you like. Become as simple as a child. Freely open the chambers of your heart. Have no cunningness. Everyone can and should adopt this attitude.
What draws God to the devotee?
True devotion will bring God to you. Shabari was a woman of the forest tribe of Bhils. She presented Shri Rama with some fruits which she had bitten to know if they were sweet. Rama accepted the offering with intense delight on account of the true spirit of devotion in which it was made. What is wanted is a loving heart. God does not want precious gifts. The prayer must be from the bottom of the heart. Love without attachment is needed. The self-surrender must be sincere, perfect, ungrudging and unreserved. When this is effected, you need not do any sadhana at all. Divine power will do everything for you.
Who is a true bhakta?
Only a jnani is a true, selfless bhakta, flooded with the majesty and grandeur of emotionless peace. The highest kind of bhakta is one who wants nothing from God. He merely wants God. He says, O Lord! I want you. Nothing else do I want. What is there which I have to get after getting you, the source and root of everything? When wheat is obtained, then all its preparations are also obtained. When gold is obtained, all ornaments of gold are also obtained. When God is attained, everything else is attained. The devotee is lost in the consciousness of God. He is eternally united with Him. God is dearest to him and he is dearest to God.
Where is God?
God is not only to be found in the four Vedas or eighteen Puranas or the places of pilgrimage. No. No. No. God is hridi sarvasya tishthitam, the object of wisdom, seated in the hearts of all. He is not very far. He is quite close to you. Subtler than the subtlest, greater than the greatest, He is located in the innermost chambers, hridaya kamala, the cavity of your heart.
What is the difference between bhakti and vedanta?
Self-surrender is the highest form of bhakti. Self-surrender is surrender of the ego or individuality. And what remains is the Absolute of the vedantins. Thus there is no difference between vedanta and the highest form of bhakti. The bhakta surrenders the ego and a vedantin disintegrates the ego. The ego is not there in both. The ideals are the same. Whether one eats rice or wheat, it is all the same; the purpose of both is to appease hunger. There is no quarrel between the two. Whether you follow bhakti or vedanta the effect is annihilation of the ego. That is the truth.