Article

WHAT IS PRAYER?

- What is prayer? Logically thinking, we happen to earn the authority for asking for help from some other person in a particular activity only after having tried to do that particular activity ourselves. Similar is the case when we pray to God for some help. Our prayers are acceptable only if, we had tried to resolve the matter by ourselves to the best of our capability. Suppose, our car had broken down and we ask for help from some other person (s). He / they will not extend his / their helping hand if he / they find us sitting idle. Prayer is asking for help from God for righteous acts after trying ourselves in accordance with our capability. Prayer for the welfare of another person can not help him except creating a non-negative atmosphere for his actions. Every person has to earn himself everything he receives through his own actions. He can not get anything without the actions simply because of the prayers of his well-wishers.

-Prarthana is done when a thing is felt lacking. It is done to fulfill that lack. It is done to a person, who possesses that thing in abundance and may become ready to give that thing because only a person who possesses a thing can give it. Owner of all non-living things of the universe is God. As such, we are required to pray to God for all worldly & non-worldly things. Today’s prevalent prayers are like demanding one rupee from a billionaire. Such sorts of prayers not only reflect the foolishness of the demander but also show disrespect to the giver. As such, the only things which can be demanded from God are-vivek, ‘tej’, power to bear the miseries, intelligence to know the duties, strength to remove all ills from life, ability to obtain all worldly & non-worldly things through the path shown by Rishis, power to think for the welfare of all, power to remove all bad thoughts from mind, power to know the truth & power to enjoy the bliss.

-A thing is not given by the giver to an idle person. After trying to one’s best to acquire a thing according to one’s capacity & capability, one earns the right of receiving God’s grace towards acquiring that thing. This fact can be seen in worldly life also. For example, if a person wants to buy a house costing Rs ten lacs and for that plans to arrange eight lac rupees using all his resources like investments, availing loans, fixed deposits, savings etc. And after that if he approaches his relatives for help for the arrangement of the remaining two lacs rupees, his relatives seeing his exertion will help willingly according to their capacities. But, if instead he approaches his relatives for help saying that he does not want to sell his investments, does not want to withdraw the amount put by him in FDs, does not want to use his savings etc. , then no relative will help even if they can. There is an English saying also to this effect-God helps those who help themselves.

-A shepherd was praying to God, “O God! I have left my cattle in the forest for feeding themselves but I am having a constant watch over them. Whenever, they try to move in another field or try to go out of the boundary, I step in and make them not to do so. Similarly, O God! We, too are the animals feeding on the nature, created by you. We are not able to see you but you are constantly watching us. Kindly save us whenever we try to move on a wrong path.”

- If in our prayer to God, we request for forgiveness of a person, who has done wrong, then actually we are not praying but suggesting to God and suggesting Him is actually dishonouring Him since we tend to suggest only those, whom we consider knowing lesser than us. If we request God for making any endeavour successfull, then we are dishonouring him by directing Him. Directions are given only to the persons working under us.

- If we receive an opportunity of demanding a thing from Lord of lords, then we must demand something, which can remove all our miseries. The thing essential for removing all our miseries is vivek. As such, vivek only should be demanded from God. When vivek directs us to do nice deeds, then we are bound to receive pleasure / happiness. Best prayer is said to be one, in which we request Him to bestow on us best of viveks.