— Dr. Kritiranjan Nath ‘Anurag’
Prayers and various ascetic practices have been considered as means of attaining peace, a calming balm for healing the various wounds acquired by the struggle we face in our day -to-day lives. All the faiths have made it compulsory to include daily prayers in their daily routine. Some consider Prayer as something miraculous, something which renders them capable for performing certain superhuman deeds. Some others pray just to attain peace of mind. There are also many such devotees who pray to their Lord for saving themselves from some impending danger and to avoid trouble. Whatever might be the reason behind it, Prayers are undoubtedly the strongest articles of faith irrespective of the sect one belongs to. To sit in front of the Lord and to express our desires, our feelings is a part of the prayer, but not the only part!
But it is utterly surprising that how, in our so called rational world, we have completely lost our senses when it comes to religion and spirituality. Praying and other religious practices, which have always been considered as the pivot of life and growth, are being seen as ways of escaping the real world. Some even call them ‘job of the idles’.
On the other hand the actual meaning of prayer is quite opposite from this. Actual prayer consists of various parts. While meditating upon the Lord, praising and glorifying the Almighty is obviously an important aspect of prayer, however, it is not the only part! Prayer is actually a three-fold procedure. One part is praising, glorifying the God. Next is to contemplate HIS attributes and to try and imbibe these attributes within our character. The attributes of Truth, Perfection, Mercy, Compassion, Justice and many such virtues are considered Godly in the scriptures. If we worship the Almighty but fail to develop compassionate feelings towards any of His creation, then indeed our prayer is not the real one! If after years of praying, we still have to fight over something with our neighbors, then indeed it is to be contemplated seriously whether or not we have understood the true meaning of prayer. The third part is another important part – doing!
Yeah, the part of doing, the part of executing what we have said and contemplated upon. Without doing, the condition of the prayer is as worse as a man whose limbs are severed and is still forced to walk by continuous thrashing by a stick. No prayer claims to work without completing the third part of doing. It is like you have completed the electrical circuit and have fitted a bulb. But if you do not switch it on, Will the bulb glow? The same stands true for prayer. Even if by advanced ascetic practices, we claim to have acquired some divine connection with the Lord Almighty, that won’t be of much use if we fail to complete the final procedure of doing.
The whole universe works on a ‘cause-effect relationship’ . It’s not like we can just do anything out of free air instantly. Even the incidents which apparently look like Miracles have a huge science behind it. Everything is governed by a set of laws and rules. We can not build a house by just any material according to our whims or wish. We need to understand the soil texture, the type of soil, the ground water level and much more. In a nutshell, we must always remember that praying is not just an idle pastime of a lazy man but rather it is an ever dynamic process which involves praising the Lord, contemplating upon His attributes and doing accordingly. Then, surely our prayers will be heard and we shall be bathed in the river of bliss!