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Pray superconsciously

When you pray, then, expect this prayer to be answered. To pray superconsciously is to pray with a divine attitude. Such prayer is always effective.

india Updated: Mar 12, 2004 18:08 IST

Swami Kriyananda is a direct disciple since 1948 of Paramhansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi. He is the founder of Ananda Sangha, and of seven Ananda communities in America and Europe. Now 78, he has moved to India to make his Guru’s teachings known in the land of his birth: to teach the liberating meditation technique of Kriya Yoga, and to establish communities where householders and renunciates alike can seek God in the company of fellow devotees.

Why is it that some people's prayers are effective, whereas other people's prayers seem like weak cries into the wilderness? One reason prayer is so often ineffective is that, before it can be effective, it must be delivered with a correct attitude, and in a proper state of consciousness.

It is useless, for instance, to utter one's prayer automatically, with the mind roaming here and there like a shopper undecided on what he wants to buy. If one enters a shop and tells the clerk, "I don't really know what I want, but I'd like something ot other. What's your opinion?" Might not the clerk, though perhaps too polite to say so, at least think, "Why not go home and think it over, first? Come back when you know your own mind."

The absentminded repetition of mantras, with the mind roaming vaguely through a storeroom of countless thoughts, is so self-evidently useless that it suggests forcibly an important principle for effective prayer: One prayers must be offered with concentration.

In that concentration, moreover, there should be a serious attempt to communicate. To address the shopkeeper while thinking of something else, or perhaps even in a language he doesn't know, would be an example of the ineffectiveness of merely automatic prayer.

When one prays, one should understand he is addressing a conscious being. Indeed, divine consciousness is above ordinary consciousness. It is superconscious. That prayer, then, is best which is offered in superconsciousness. In ordinary human terms this means several things which can be turned to everyone's advantage.

A serious difficulty people face when praying is that they tend to pray with the usual "problem-orientedness" of human consciousness. Superconsciousness, on the contrary, is solution-oriented.

Even human actions are more likely to be ineffective if they spring from problem-orientation. Doubt, uncertainty, anxiety, and focusing on what might go wrong are like static on radio waves. They carry a confused signal.

For prayer to be effective, it must be backed by clear, firm intention. The same is true of any petition: The more intense the demand, the more likely that it will receive a positive response.

To achieve "solution-orientedness," one must fully expect whatever response one wants. To be solution-oriented is to know to one's depths that, if a problem exists, there simply has to be a solution for it.

The American Indians claimed that somewhere in the vicinity of every poisonous plant there always grows an antidote to it. However literally true their claim, it is true that in this universe of duality there is a plus for every minus, and an answer for every difficulty.

When you pray, then, expect this prayer to be answered. To pray superconsciously is to pray with a divine attitude. Such prayer is always effective.

Swami Kriyananda's programme appears at 2200 hours IST on the Sadhna Channel. (For more, visitwww.anandaindia.org)

First Published: Mar 11, 2004 11:24 IST