I have read the views of famous writers, including those of Khushwant Singh, on prayer in this column.
It is important to understand what prayer really is. It involves meditation, connectivity, thanks giving and asking the higher self for something you need or value. The Vedas say you should ask for, not only for self, but for peace and happiness of all creatures in this world.
Meditation and connectivity is the state of oneness with God, called ‘dhyan’ in the language of sage Patanjali. It means perfect connectivity and focus on higher self. Mediation also provides an opportunity to take note of our weaknesses like anger, greed, ignorance of our true nature, jealousy, pride, wanton desires, habitual tendencies which prove to be toxic for our mental health.
And, according to the Vedas, the first three in order as to who should be thanked daily are God, parents and your guru. God as the creator of this universe has bestowed upon us all that which sustains our lives. Parents give birth and raise us by giving their best. A Guru has to be thanked because he shows us the path by giving knowledge and removes our ignorance.
The last step is to ask for something. Here the best thing is to ask, not only for the self, but for every body on this earth especially those who are less privileged. One Sufi saint had said, “I pray for those for whom there is no body to pray.”
What should we ask for? It is a personal matter and depends upon the state of your mind, your spiritual advancement and the situation in which you happen to be. But, a few things which we can ask for are: wisdom for self and wisdom for every body. Wisdom is nothing but good and thought process. Then we should ask for good health and for the peace to prevail every where
Those who have faith and pray can realise the importance of prayer. Prayer plays the role of support system in our lives and makes us feel less lonely and more motivated.