Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Did you pray today?

What is a prayer? When people say they pray what exactly do they do?

I haven't done a research on this and what I write here is more an introspection and a reflection than anything else. As I understand, most people try to connect with their preferred Deity when they pray. They use this as an occasion to thank the Almighty for blessings received, seek support for resolution of problems and ask for specific desires to be fulfilled.

When we pray, we remember our Lord and acknowledge His supremacy. Some people pray by chanting His names or singing songs in praise of Him. Over time various elaborate processes have been created for conduct during prayer. The simplest prayer is one wherein the eyes are closed, the hands are held together and the mind is focused on the Lord. Of course, there are people who pray with their eyes wide open and lips sealed. One can pray at any location or occasion. Any format is acceptable to Him.

Lord Krishna, in the Bhagvad Gita, says that four types of people pray - the distressed, the seeker of boons, the seeker of knowledge and the wise. While all of these people are on the right path and are dear to Him, it is the wise person who prays without any desires who is the dearest to the Lord.

So, what should one pray for? Asking for material things is pointless because it is short lived. Also, the human mind is such that it never gets satisfied. So, one tends to keep asking for more and more. Moreover, like children, we sometimes ask / crave for things which are not good for us. Our minds are not so evolved as to ask for the rights things and the things that are in our interest.

If one believes that there is an Almighty who is our creator, who is fair & just, who knows everything and who cares & loves all his children, do we need to ask for anything? Does He not know what is good for us and give it to us without our asking? Does He not care for our spiritual and emotional growth and plans our lives accordingly?

Yet, there is something that is beyond even His control. This is our mind and our actions. If at all we should seek anything, it should be a pure mind which is grateful for His grace & mercies. We should also seek His grace to ensure that we never stray from the path of the righteous and always do actions which are right. For without His grace, we can get bewildered and confused and do things which we may regret or repent later.

Most of us pray. Some do this as a matter of routine every day while some pray occasionally. If we truly believe in Him, we should be praying every moment of our lives. Irrespective of what happens to us, we should remember Him. We should especially pray when we good things happens to us for that is the time when we naturally tend to get carried away and forget Him. When we tune our minds in this manner, we can say our mind is one with Him.

Our bodies will die one day but when our hearts are filled with His thoughts and prayers, we merge with the Supreme Lord. So, pray every day and every moment.

"A prayer is not a 'spare wheel' that you pull out when you are in trouble; It is a 'steering wheel' that directs you in the right path throughout your life" - Anonymous

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

You said it all...Excellent post..there is nothing more i can add to it..Absolutely wonderful..!!

Tyaagi..

anupama said...

Dear Vish,
Good Evening!
really beautiful thoughts on prayer.you've penned it very well.
''More things are wrought by prayer than this world ever dreams of''.This was engraved in Big letters in MISSION HOSPITAL,Trichur and I used to read this always.That time my Achan was admitted there.I byherted it.
PRAYERS work wonders.Surrender is the word one should not omit while thinking of prayers.let your ego go.open your heart and pray wholeheartedly.we get peace of mind.
When one wakes up early in the morning,we are advised to touch the floor and pray to Bhoomi devi.
Morning prayers and temple visits provide lots of positive energy.An evening prayer is a must along with family.
In this Kaliyuga,when teh world of pressurs n tensions lower our spirits,turn to prayers.your life will be much better.
Be the blessed and be a blessing![the title of my earlier post].
You have done a great job,Vish.A Big God Bless You!
''If God brings you to it,
He will bring you through it.
Because,God didn't promise days without pain,laughter without sorrow,
Sun without rain,
But He did promise strength for the day,
Comfort for the tears and light for the way!''
Wishing you a lovely evening,
Sasneham,
Anu

V Rakesh said...

Wonderful post! Personally, I know how powerful prayer it, having experienced it first hand!

I cannot step out of home without saying a prayer, and even if I do, in the rarest of possibilities, I feel incomplete and uncomfortable!

I derive a great deal of strength and find immense peace in prayer!

Anya said...

Let us all pray
for the victims of the earthquake
in Haiti .... they NEED it !!!

Everyone prays in his own way, everyone is different !!!

Subs said...

Good reminder... Everything we do, become a 'ritual'. Just as we can drive around/swim/cycle, even prayers and mantras become a process. We tend to miss out being 100 % conscious while praying.

Cyrus Rumi said...

I love this quote: 'the wise person who prays without any desires who is the dearest to the Lord'...this is so true.

Another great post, brother:)

Namaste to you and family.

Cyrus

Amritbir Kaur said...

You have beautifully and comprehensively elaborated the concept of prayer.
Prayer does not mean using eloborate and a particular kind of vocabulary or conducting it at a particular time. A silent and a unacknowledged thought in the heart may be the best prayer. It is the heart that matters and not the words, time or place.

Anonymous said...

Dear Vishwanath,

Superb posting. I too believe that Prayers work wonders. Infact, I make it a point to pray first and thank god for all the things that he has showered on us and then attend to other priorities.