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Thread: How to pray?

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    How to pray?

    Am trying to come up with an (the) appropriate way to pray. Growing up in a Christian family, we always prayed "God give me this" or "God do that". What I'm starting to think today is that if I'm telling God what I would like Him to do or would like to have, am I not being open to living as He wills? Shouldn't it be the other way around - God (Siva) making His will known? So, my simple "prayer" is to pray that I am able to live according to Siva's will and that I may grow in love and devotion. But somehow it seems that something is missing. Any insight anyone?

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    Light Re: How to pray?

    Quote Originally Posted by C.Smith

    So, my simple "prayer" is to pray that I am able to live according to Siva's will and that I may grow in love and devotion. But somehow it seems that something is missing. Any insight anyone?
    Perhaps you could include inspiration, wisdom, and true knowledge of that one Self of all selves, that King of Kings who is the source and the light of all life ~ i.e. knowledge through personal “experience”, which can only be through the becoming or realization of that essence or being (the advaita Atman or Brahman, who is Mahakala and Sadashiva).

    Make your personal (selfish) prayer into more of a selfless meditation (a satsanga or spiritual communion) that seeks illumination and guidance rather than making any (likely misguided) demands.

    The Gayatri mantra is exactly such a prayer and, even without any special knowledge or instruction, a simple direct translation of the mantra into any language would still make an excellent “prayer”.

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    Re: How to pray?

    Namaste Smith,

    Quote Originally Posted by C.Smith
    So, my simple "prayer" is to pray that I am able to live according to Siva's will and that I may grow in love and devotion. But somehow it seems that something is missing.
    Prayer is related to the bhakti-bhava (devotional relationship) you assume with Lord Shiva. You can consider the relationship, for example, as a master-servant, guru-shisya, father/mother-child, friend-friend or even husband-wife. The more you devotionally define your relationship (which need not always be the same, you may choose to change at intervals of time), the more will you know about your worldly and spiritual boons to ask for. The 'simple' prayer you already have for revelation, devotion and love is ideal and comprehensive. You may perhaps add service and welfare of the society.

    Shri Datta Swami says this about praying in a temple:
    The beautiful Lord should be seen first (“Drashtavyah”) as said in Veda. So the statue of God in the temple must be carved most beautifully. The priest should decorate the statue in the most beautiful way, so that our eyes will be fixed on the statue. The next step is “Srotavyah” as said in the Veda. It means that after seeing the form of God, we must listen to His other divine qualities. It is the duty of the priest to explain the other divine qualities of God. The third step is “Nididhyasitavyah” that is your minds should be filled with inspiration given by the all-round personality of God. With this inspiration you must go back home.
    ...
    ...Our temples have become impure business centers due to the desires of people. The temples should give devotion and knowledge for all people and food to helpless or disabled beggars. However today, even rich people are eating that food as Prasadam (food blessed by God after offering it to the idol in the temple). In-fact God has not eaten anything from it. If you distribute it to beggars, then God is really eating through them. The statue requires only the washing of its dust (Abhisheka) and decoration. Nothing else is needed. Veda contains only two types of worship.

    1) Washing by bath (Abhisheka)
    2) Cooking the food with help of the fire (Ijya or Yajna)

    Except these two kinds of worship, other methods of worship are only foolish acts and are not mentioned in the Veda.

    More at: http://www.universal-spirituality.org/relhindrejuv.htm
    Last edited by saidevo; 12 October 2006 at 10:31 PM.

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    Re: How to pray?

    Hari Om!

    This thread is very old but the words are so very relevant today. Needed to see Saidevoji's wisdom. Have not been able to perform proper puja in my home for some time as only rent a room and housemates do not permit incense and are repulsed by the smell of ghee. Am told that the proper connection through puja increases ones connection to the gods and that heartful prayer becomes automatic. Am so thirsting for this. Mantras are fine, but the heart longs to be reconnected and recent seva gave me a big taste of that. Have no desire to ask the lord for anything material, for health, wealth, etc - only to be able to love him and to serve. Perhaps going from a path of mental prayer down another that is more emotionally charged. Don't particularly agree that emotion is good so need some guidance here. Perhaps in the spiritual world the rules of emotion are different? Do they even exist there?

    Any insights would be helpful. Thank-you for any consideration.

    Om

  5. #5

    Re: How to pray?

    Yes! There are so many - transcendental loving bliss within the spiritual world. Many levels of spiritual mellows, bliss and love. . . at first I read your latest post, then glanced to the one above. .

    Happiness comes in many forms - peacefulness can be a kind of happiness. . . there are many small joys of happiness - there is also a place beyond happiness and sorrow - and that can be a place of great joy . . .

    Consider, for example the poems by Bhartrihari. . . to briefly summarize, - renunciation alone is fearless. . .

    I remember Swami Vivekananda writing about some of the feats which yogis are able to attain -

    but I find some of the most joy comes from simple connecting with animals and aspects of nature. . . they are almost secret, unshared joys - and that is a place, as well - when one is happy irregardless of circumstances. . .

    'Always good, always happy,' a line from The Mother, or again Vivekananda, 'The first sign that you are becoming religious is that you are becoming cheerful.'

    Here is a bhajan by Amma.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRAPG5EUazE

    There is always a peacefulness, a spaciousness, within all things - Swami Vivekananda wrote about it beautifully - with an analogy of the storm and waves -- underneath them all is the ocean of Sac-Cid-Ananda, he called it the great secret; I enjoyed very much his wording, but I wasn't able to find the quote specifically.

    (coming back to the writing after a few days...)
    There are many devotional mellows, as they are sometimes called. . .
    (Re-reading your post again so I can write a bit specifically. . . )


    Desire is an interesting thing. . . Swami Vivekananda said, 'A perfect being has no desire,' and I like this a lot -- but if our desire is to learn and grow , that could be a part of it, too.

    Another key thing comes to mind is - helping others,. . . It can bring a lot of happiness when we help someone see the beauty of life a little more, a smile or things like this can brighten the day. . .

    And a good one of that nature would be -- smile and all of this kind of thing, can be very spiritually uplifting and so forth. . . after all, the point about beeing cheerful.

    Many good wishes,

    Aum Namah Shiva

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