Importance of Prayer (March 2004)
Prayer is one of the most important rituals for mankind. With prayer not only we seek God’s blessings but also thank Him for all the good fortunes He bestowed on us. Prayer is the expression of gratitude. There are prayers for different occasions and events. Every Hindu ritual starts with prayer. There are prayers for morning, prayers for meal, prayers for health, prayers for wealth, prayer before going to bed, and there are prayers for almost every practice of our life.
The more a person prays the more peace and happiness is bestowed. Prayer helps establish the connection with abundant source – it calms you before going to bed, provides the strength to tackle daily challenges, offers hope in situations of despair, bestows bliss in the moments of happiness.
Here are some of some excerpts from Indian scriptures:
Hindu Prayer for Peace
Oh God, lead us from the unreal to the Real.
Oh God, lead us from darkness to light.
Oh God, lead us from death to immortality.
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti unto all.
Oh Lord God almighty, May there be peace in
May there be peace on Earth.
May the waters be appeasing.
May herbs be wholesome, and may trees
plants bring peace to all.
May all beneficent beings bring peace to us.
May thy Vedic Law propogate peace all
through the world.
May all things be a source of peace to us.
And may thy peace itself, bestow peace on all
and may that peace come to me also.
A Hindu Prayer
– excerpted from Hindu Prayers in * Religion for Peace “. 1973 WCRP
May the winds, the oceans, the herbs, the nights and days, the mother earth,
the father heaven, all vegetation, the sun, be all sweet to us.
Lest us follow the path of goodness for all times,
like the sun and the moon moving eternally in the sky.
Lets us be charitable to one another.
Lets us not kill or be violent with one another.
Les us know and appreciate the points of view of others.
And let us unite. May the God who is friendly, benevolent,
all-encompassing, measurer of everything the sovereign,
the lord of speech, may He shower His blessings on us….
Oh Lord, remove my indiscretion and arrogance; control my mind.
Put an end to the snare of endless desires.
Broaden the sphere of compassion and help me to cross the ocean of existence
During last Hawan, Shobha Aunty also spoke about the importance of “Idan na mam” – the sentence recited after most of Hawan mantra of oblations to Agni. As it is very easy for human beings to get mislead – feeling arrogant or proud – even while performing the most sacred ceremonies, this mantra is kept as a reminder. It brings the humility and modesty in the act of offering. The literal meaning of this sentence is “it is not mine”. It reminds us that even while conducting a sacred ritual like offering to Hawan or offering help to your fellows, one should remain humble.
During next Hawan, kids can speak about Prayer, meaning of “Idan na mam” or both.