When people listen to the word ‘prayer’, the first image that comes in their minds is of a person sitting with eyes closed and chanting something, or someone in a puja room performing aarti. In most cases, almost 99% of them, when people go to pray, they ask for God to satisfy their desires and help them achieve their goals.
But what exactly does prayer mean and how can one do it the right way?
The image of prayer that people have in their minds today is a false one. Prayer does not mean performing a holy ritual, or sitting and chanting a mantra, or asking something to god. Today what has happened is that people try to tell God what to do in their lives.
We have our own expectations, goals, and ambitions in life and we want God to make our lives in such a way that everything happens as per our wishes. And then there are people who say that they will make so and so offering like expensive fruit, sweets, jewelry, money, clothes, etc. if their wishes get fulfilled.
Basically, we have made the process of prayer into a business transaction.
It is important to understand that prayer is not a business transaction. It is a quality. When you are truly in prayer, you are only concerned about being with the divine, not asking for anything from it. People pray in front of a picture or idol because they have accepted that image to be the superior entity.
They have unconsciously acknowledged the fact that their existence is smaller. But they are not fully conscious and aware of this fact. That is why they are unable to see the uselessness of asking god to fulfill their small dreams.
Because the creation is immensely big, and bigger must be the divine creator. It is utterly foolish to ask him to solve your small life issues like getting a job, earning money, getting a degree, marrying, etc. These issues might look big from your perspective of life. But for the divine who has a bird’s eye view of our lives, these problems are meaningless.
The Right Way
It is always best to focus on being in the presence of the divine instead of being busy with asking to fulfill your desires and solve your problems. The spiritual path focuses on helping you to empty yourself of your thoughts, emotions, desires, and your very personality.
When you become empty, you easily fill yourself with divine energy. And when that happens, nothing matters. Everything happens the way it’s meant to happen and things start falling into place. You do not need to constantly keep asking. The need to ask is gone, and then there is freedom.
As when there are desires, the mind is occupied with deciding which one to ask first and also living the desires mentally one by one. When in the divine presence, you see the minuscule nature of your very existence, let alone your desires and problems.
That state of realizing that you are way too small, and your problems even smaller to be even considered existing, is the state of being in prayer.