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Prayers work!

Nothing gives human mind so much strength as prayer based on faith. It is this faith that cures incurable diseases, not the object of one's prayers.
PTI | By VN Narayanan, Lifepositive
UPDATED ON NOV 04, 2004 06:38 PM IST

Nothing gives the human mind so much strength and confidence as prayer based on faith-it is this faith that cures incurable diseases, not the object of one's prayers.

Bhajana bina sukh shanti nahi
Hari nama bina anand nahi
(Without worship there is neither comfort nor peace; there's no bliss greater than the chanting of Hari's name)

That enchanting song frequently heard in Prasanthi Nilayam, abode of peace, Sathya Sai Baba's base in Puttaparthy in Andhra Pradesh, India, conveys a message of far greater import than what poet Tennyson conveyed when he said that "more things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of".

Acts of worship, whatever the faith and whatever the method, through collective singing and chanting perform a profound social function. They act as bridge-points between a religion and the community, drawing in both young and old and believer and non-believer in a manner rarely achieved during normal times of the year.

The involvement of all people in the Indian celebrations of Deepavali, Durga puja in West Bengal and Ganesh Chaturthi in Maharashtra is ample proof that such events and occasions are defining moments in proclaiming faith in a cynical world. 

Faith may or may not move mountains but it certainly has a detectable influence on other movable entities-us in particular. Doctors and scientists admit that prayer at home and regular visits to a place of worship enhance the prospects of psychological well being as well as longevity. The miracle of a godly person like Sai Baba lies not in what he does as in what we do to ourselves vis-à-vis him.

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