IS CHANTING OF PRAYERS AN IMPORTANT PART OF HINDU WORSHIP ?PART-01
Temples or churches, books or forms, are simply the kindergarten of religion, to make the spiritual child strong enough to take higher steps; and these first steps are necessary, if he wants religion. With the thirst, the longing for God, comes real devotion, real Bhakti. Who has the longing? That is the question. Religion is not in doctrines, in dogmas, nor in intellectual argumentation; it is being and becoming, it is Realisation. We hear so many talking about God and the soul, and all the mysteries of the Universe, but if you take them one by one, and ask them: "Have you realised God? Have you seen your Soul?" — how many can say they have? And yet they are all fighting with one another!............. By SWAMI VIVEKANANDA DEFINITION OF PRAYER----- 04 FACTS--- 1-The word prayer or prārthanā (in Sanskrit) is derived from two words ‘pra’ and ‘artha’ meaning pleading fervently. In other words, it is asking God for something with intense yearning. 2-Prayer includes respect, love, pleading and faith. Through a prayer a devotee expresses his helplessness and endows the doership of the task to God. Giving the doership to God means that we acknowledge that God is helping us and getting the task done. Prayer is an important tool of spiritual practice in the generic spiritual path of Devotion 3-The Power of prayer is immense. Every event at a Hindu home begins with a prayer. Even public events start with a short prayer seeking the blessings of god for the smooth running of events. Psychologists describe prayer as a “subconscious” and” emotional effusion”, an outburst of the mind that desires to enter into communication with the invisible.. 4-In My Opinion---- A-We can offer our 'prathana' during anytime of the day...for me prathana is something like a spiritual communication.... between god and me..i pray, whenever i like to share my pleasure and pain, to 'him'... B-It is just like a conversation with him (god).......Although its one sided...But soothing me. C-Usually in my prayers i never chant any mantras ,because i chant mantras separately,,, during meditation... SO for me prayer mean a conversation between me and my god.and i never follow any time. D-Prayer is a time to connect with god. We can pray anytime but morning and bedtime should be preferred .... One should pray ,,so that he/she can receive good thoughts and express his/her feelings without any fear.... SHOULD WE PRAY WITH ROSARY?----- 1-The Japa-Mala occupies a special position in Mantra-Sadhana (the spiritual disciplines consisting of repeating sacred syllables), because it is through the Mala itself that Japa is most effective. A-Firstly, the Mala is used to keep count of Japa or the repetition of sacred syllables. B-Secondly, during Sadhana, the mind as always, through its very nature, tends to wander. It is through the Mala, that the wandering mind can be quickly recollected or brought back to the thought of the deity or object of meditation. 2-Faith and reverence are the essentials of Upasana or worship. . Even though it is a lifeless object, it is an instrument through which God is remembered and an aid in spiritual upliftment. Therefore it should be regarded with reverence. 3-The scriptures say that the merit that accrues from repeating God’s name is multiplied---- A- 8 times when done on the segments of the fingers; B-10,000 times when done on a Mala of precious stones or crystals; C-100,000 times when done on a Lotus-Mala; D-But infinitely when done on a Rudraksha-Mala. ACCORDING TO BIBLE-- 1-The Rosary has a special power against evil. 2-When you pray, you can offer up your Rosary for a particular intention, whether it be for the conversion of souls or for an end to abortion. 3-Daily recitation of the Rosary will help you get to know your Mother better. 4-Whoever recites my Rosary devoutly, reflecting on the mysteries, shall never be overwhelmed by misfortune. He will not experience the anger of God nor will he perish by an unprovided death. The sinner will be converted; 5-Those who shall persevere in the recitation of my Rosary will receive signal graces. 6-The Rosary will be a very powerful armor against Hell; it will destroy vice, deliver from sin, and dispel heresy. 7-The Rosary will make virtue and good works flourish, and will obtain for souls the most abundant divine mercies. It will draw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire of eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.severe in grace and merit eternal life. IMPORTANT STATEMENTS --- (regarding the efficacy of Japa and meditation) are given below:----- 1-Japa purifies the mind, creates inner calmness, and leads to meditation. Meditation is a difficult discipline, especially for beginners. “As wind removes a cloud, so does the name of God disperse the cloud of worldliness.” 2-Japa should be combined with meditation. There is a saying that as the plant is hidden in the tiny seed, so also is the Lord hidden in His name. 3-When a pure soul performs Japa, he feels as if the holy name bubbles up spontaneously from within himself. He does not have to make an effort to repeat the name.” 4-The natural tendency of the mind is to run this way or that. Through Japa it is directed to God. While repeating God’s name, if one sees His form and becomes absorbed in it, then the Japa stops.” 5-It is wrong if the mind is drawn to worldly objects. By ‘worldly objects’ mean money, family, and so on. But it is natural for the mind to think of the work in which one is engaged. If meditation is not possible, repeat God’s name. If a meditative mood comes, well and good; but by no means force your mind to meditate. Real meditation is spontaneous.” 6-Regularity should be observed in the practice of Japa and meditation. It is true that there are certain auspicious moments when the mind becomes easily collected. But no one can say when the auspicious moment will come. It comes so suddenly that one has no hint of it beforehand. Therefore one should be regular about spiritual practice, no matter how busy one may be with one’s duties. WHY 108 BEADS?--- There are 27 Nakshatras or Heavenly Bodies that regulate our destinies. Each Nakshatra enters 4 phases or Charans in the course of an astrological day or Tithi. Therefore all the Nakshatras pass through 108 Charans (27 x 4 = 108) during any Tithi. The Shastras (scriptures) say that the Brahman (God) is symbolically represented by the figure 9. The three figures in the number 108 add up to nine (1 + 0 + 8 = 9). The figure 9 itself when multiplied by any other figure and the digits of the answer when added up will provide the answer as exactly 9. THE BEADS are stringed together to make a rosary,,,because it is related to the frequency of our breath .. In 24 hours,one breathes 21,600 times.12 hours are spent in the daily routine ..That leaves 12 hours for devotion to God.This means that each day 10,800 times breathing should be utilised for devotion to God..However,,since this is not practical fo all,,,so the two zeros have been removed.So,one rosary is must to pray. EXCEPT it,,According to Astrology --the entire universe is divided into 12 segments & principally 9 planets,,When ,we multiply it --get the figure of ---108.Therefore,,,THE NUMBER 108 REPRESENTS THE UNIVERSE &CONTROLS OUR SUCCESS. WHAT IS SOUND?--- Sound is power and different sounds have different effects on the human psyche. If a soft sound of wind rustling through leaves soothes our nerves, the musical note of running stream enchants our heart, thunders may cause awe and fear. The sacred utterances or chanting of Sanskrit Mantras provide us with the power to attain our goals and lift ourselves from the ordinary to the higher level of consciousness. They give us the power to cure diseases; ward off evils; gain wealth; acquire supernatural powers; worship a deity for exalted communion and for attaining blissful state and attain liberation. VEDIC ERA &PRAYER--- In the Vedic parlance, a prayer was more or less synonymous with mantra, used to communicate with God and seek blessings and wealth from him. Hindus in the Vedic period performed elaborate rituals, chanting mantras or prayers to seek God’s blessings in the fulfillment of individual desires or for seeking something important for the community as a whole. One of the most powerful and frequently chanted mantra in the Vedic period was the Shanti Mantra seeking God’s help in peace, health and well-being of everyone. ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः सर्वे सन्तु निरामयाः । सर्वे भद्राणि पश्यन्तु मा कश्चित् दुःखभाक् भवेत् ॥ FORMS OF PRAYER--- AT PRESENT--- A-Hinduism recognizes innumerable aspects of divinity as the personification of thousands of gods. Most Hindus believe that all gods are parts of one supreme divinity and consequently either worship all as one or choose one personification of divinity that resonates with their lives. B-Such a chosen deity then becomes the focus of prayer. Hindu prayers can be either the repetition of formulated mantras and chants or simple prayers created by the religious devotee. C-There is a term known as the placebo effect (improvement in the condition of a patient that occurs in response to treatment but cannot be considered due to the specific treatment) used in the medical world. A fake treatment, the mere belief that he was given some powerful treatment can significantly improve the condition of the patient. This is the power of hope and belief. When your mind is free from the burden of some work after prayer to god, we humans tend to perform better. Prayer small or elaborate, its effects on the human psyche are immense.
TOPICS OF PRAYER--- Like many other religions, much of Hindu prayer is directed toward giving thanks or asking for aid. Because each deity has an explicit focus of his or her attention, a Hindu may pray to a particular god to request specific help. For example, the Hindu god Ganesha is seen as the remover of obstacles. Therefore if devotees wishes for clarity of understanding or a clear path to achieving certain desires, they will pray to Ganesha to remove impediments. However, in the Hindu tradition prayers can also be offered on the behalf of all people, rather than just for the benefit of one devotee. SHOULOD WE PRAY FOR PEACE?-- As a result of the Hindu belief in karma (that each individual soul reaps the consequences of all its actions) and the power of compassion, many Hindu mantras and chants are said for the benefit of all people. Such universal prayers can request anything from freedom from sickness and suffering to wisdom and peace for all. A core concept in Hinduism is that the goal of life is enlightenment, which comes with complete release of the ego and control over the wandering mind. Enlightenment is viewed as the perfectly clear mind's union with God and as such is the attainment of the ultimate state of moksha (freedom) or peace. Prayers for peace in Hinduism are, therefore, conceived out of the desire to free all people from suffering and unite them with God.. WHAT IS A GENUINE PRAYER? 1-Genuine prayers are not merely prayers coming from a genuine need or from a genuine man. A genuine prayer is not merely the uttering of a need or a cry for help. Rather, genuine prayers are prayers in which man is mingled with God in spirit . 2-Genuine prayers are initiated by God and they are communicated or made know to us as we open to Him and turn to Him to touch Him and absorb Him. In this touch with God, we pray in God and God prays in us. This kind of prayer is a joint prayer, in which we pray yet God prays in us, and God prays yet He prays in us and with us. 3-Genuine prayer is not initiated or directed by our mind, our emotion, our need, our situation, or our circumstance; real prayer is initiated by God and it is directed by the inner sense of our spirit. 4-When the sky between us and the Lord is clear, we see Him face to face and we contact Him, absorb Him, and inhale Him. He then gives us a sense, a feeling, some words, some things to pray for – and with our spiritual intuition we understand and then utter what God communicates to us. We then pray by accompanying God, by joining Him in His prayer. That is a deep and intrinsic significance of what a genuine prayer is... THE KEY POINT--- A- Prayer: God Being Mingled with Man .. A true prayer involves God and man - the Spirit of God is mingled with man's spirit and the spirit of man being mingled with God's Spirit. The primary matter is not accomplishing something through prayer or obtaining some results and answers – it is following the sense in our spirit to pray what God communicates to us, and being mingled with God. B-When we stop our being, spend time with God, and enjoy Him, we will be infused with His desire, His intentions, His thoughts, and His prayer.We are mingled with Him and we are inhaling Him and breathing Him out....... C-If we follow the inner sense and we pray what we feel in our spirit in this organic union with God, the Spirit of God will follow our prayer and we will receive more feelings to pray for more. The more we pray in this way the more we have to pray for.CONTD. ........SHIVOHAM.......