Adventures in Advaita Vedanta, the philosophy and science of spirit. We are one you and I; are you curious why?..


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How to Pray

Hari OM
Application - that is what 'Workings-days' are about!

The Mukundamala of King Kulashekhara is the focus, currently, as we seek to raise our devotion.

The intention of prayer counts for much.

Naah< vNde tv cr[yaeÖRNÖmÖNÖhetae>
kuM_aIpak< guémip hre nark< napnetum!,
rMya-rama-m&dutnulta< nNdne naip rNtum!
_aave _ave ùdy_avne _aavyey< _avNtm!.5.
Naaham vnade tava charanayor-dvandvam-dvandva-hetoH
Kumbhiipaakam gurum-api hare naarakam naapanetum,
Ramyaa-raamaa-mRdu-tanu-lataam nandane naapi rantum
Bhaave bhaave hRdaya-bhavane bhaavayeyam bhavantam ||5||
I do not worship Your pair of feet to go beyond the pairs of opposites
Nor to avoid the intense suffering in the hell such as Kumbhiipaaka,
Nor to enjoy the soft-skinned, slender, beautiful, charming damsel in the delightful gardens of heaven -
I do so only for the sake of remembering You in every thought in the palace of my heart!.

When we enter any relationship, the quality of it, the duration of it, will depend very much on our ability to put the other before ourselves. This is not about subjugation of our beingness, or brushing the ego of the other. Those things do happen but in error. There is misunderstanding of a balanced relationship.

This shloka points out that there must be no ego or selfishness in our relationship with the Lord, there must be no small demands for personal satisfaction. When we pray, it must simply be that we wish to sit in the company of the Higher, in Love and Worship. In B.G. ch7 shl.16, Shri Krishna says to Arjuna, "...there are four types of devotees… those who have physical afflictions… those who seek wealth, name, power… those who seek spiritual knowledge...and those who are jnaani and require nothing of Me…"

Even of the jnaanis, there are two types. Those who seek full mergence and to become One with That… and those who wish to remain separate and in a devoted state towards That/Him.

Until we reach jnaani state - some time yet! - we will have much for which we need support from the Lord so we will have requests which are personal, but these must be tempered with daily remembrance without demand. Just as with a parent, it is the child who helps and honours them daily who will find it easiest to obtain what they need when they need, due to having formed a relationship built on proper Love and respect. If we are difficult or wilful children, we are more likely to be pointed towards growth lessons and to work harder. Importantly, note, the parent will still support and provide for the difficult child, but it may not be what that child expects or wants - it will be what it needs. Likewise, the Lord is there for all. In fact, there is the Biblical parable of the prodigal son; when the father is asked by the son who remained faithful why so much was now being provided to the wayward brother, the response was that "he has repented and understands now where his priorities lie."

This is not an excuse to go off and be wild then seek forgiveness selfishly. Rather, be the faithful son and all that is the Lord's is yours then anyway. However, if we have never before prayed daily simply to be in the company of the Lord, if we have not remained constantly faithful, it is never too late. He will sing back to you, the prodigal one, and rejoice at your new found devotion!

Pray. Pray daily. Do so only because you want to and not because you need to. This is bhakti.

NB - today over at Yamini-amma's personal blog, there is a post on Prem - Love with the capital 'ell', which you may wish to read in conjunction with today's article.

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Hari OM
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