Why does one Pray?
There are many reasons why one prays. In India, most of us pray because we are told to do so right since childhood. This form of prayer is more like a ritual or a task — it is something one has to ‘do’ as a part of one’s daily routine. Take a bath, light a lamp, fold your hands and pray — most of the time for most of us this is a very shallow prayer and is offered merely as a formality — as part of one’s daily routine. One offers prayers with all seriousness when some major event is to take place, or when one is sick, or in financial trouble or when one finds oneself in any kind of sticky situation. This prayer is offered with serious intent as it comes from the heart as a cry for help to ‘God’.
In such times, the prayer does work and we find a solution to that specific problem of ours. As we go through life riding the waves — up, down, up, down and so on — we pray when we are down and forget to offer gratitude when we are on top — that is where we fail in balancing our divine with our material life. This attitude clearly highlights man’s selfish nature where he only thinks of God in times of trouble and forgets Him when the going is good.
When we start meditating with the help of a realised Master, we start clearing the cobwebs built over several past births which encase our soul — this takes time and dedication on the path of the meditator — the deeper his meditation, the deeper he goes within, the faster the cobwebs get cleared. There comes a stage when the soul is revealed — crystal clear — and then all of life’s problems can be seen for what they are — a part of our past karma which we have to either endure or enjoy! Once we accept this, then we become a witness to our life — detachment takes place, we find that God lies within our own self and we realise that we are praying to the God within. The God within then starts guiding us in our life and we either miss the oncoming pitfalls or find a way to pass them without too much trouble. That is the power of meditation — it makes you meet yourself, know yourself and eases the path to communicate with the divine.