July 6, 2013 Comments Off on PRAYER


As children we pray to our parents, elders and guardians at the time of our need. We seek their help and guidance. When we grow into adolescence we learn to pray to ourselves – to our latent abilities and strength. We try not to be dependent on others. But there is a limitation to this prayer. So when we feel we are in need of something else, something beyond our capacity, we resign ourselves to God and pray for His help and guidance. Evidently we feel His response – an all-potent inner force that listens to our prayers and fulfils our wishes the moment we are a little sincere and faithful.

As for the devotee, he resigns himself to God – surrendering his ego at His feet. He forgets all about the world and thinks of nothing else but God alone who would surely save him and who alone would be able to help and guide him. He communes his will with God’s and acts as per His guidance. There is no sense of individuality or doer-ship in him. He knows that God’s will is his will and that he must act up to it. Does that mean that he is devoid of self-effort? Certainly not. For he negates himself and resigns himself to the Lord. To him flows the divine grace instantly. His nature is divinised and so he naturally exerts himself in the right direction. Indeed the very act of self-surrender is purushartha (self-effort) of the highest order.

For the vedantin however, his prayer is essentially the prayer to the Self within – to himself – to the cosmic consciousness that is immanent in all. In the initial stage he considers his prayer as a sort of desire – either earthly or spiritual – either with motive or without motive. Then when he advances sufficiently in his sadhana (practice) he considers his (so called) desire as divine will, which finally opens his intuitive spiritual sight and becomes one with the cosmic will.

The power of prayer is indescribable. Its glory is ineffable. Only sincere devotees realise its usefulness and splendour. Prayer should be done with reverence, faith and non-expectation of fruits. It should be done with a heart full of devotion. O ignorant man: Do not argue about the efficacy of prayer. You will be deluded. There is no arguing in spiritual matters. Intellect is a finite and frail instrument. Do not trust this.

Remove the darkness of your ignorance now, through the light of prayer. – Swami Sivananda

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