What Is Our Form of Prayer?
Path to Siva Commentary, Lesson 63
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2019-01-15
To offer your prayer concentrate, visualize the face of God. Slowly and clearly send your prayer up through the top of your head reaching beyond to the feet of God. Before asking for help, use your own intelligence and strength. Do your best and then pray on top of that. Within our karmic pattern "Our prayers will be answered, and in wisdom we accept the answer--even if it is not what we had hoped for."
Master Course, Dancing with Siva, Sloka 113
Good morning everyone. This morning we're reading from Path to Siva, Lesson 63:
"What Is Our Form of Prayer?
"God Siva and the Gods are always with us, closer than breathing, nearer than hands and feet. Praying is our way of communicating with them. To offer a prayer, visualize the face of God Siva or a God, concentrate and say your prayer mentally, sending it up through the top of your head. You can pray anywhere, but the inner-world beings can best hear you in a sacred temple or your home shrine. One of the greatest prayers of all is giving thanks for all the gifts Siva has provided in our life. Most often, though, devotees pray for help. The Gods will respond. Most simply they send a blessing to quiet your mind and clear your aura. Sometimes this is all that's needed. Suppose you pray to Lord Ganesha for help with your studies. After the blessing from the Mahadeva, the subject matter seems clear and interesting. You absorb it easily and do better on your tests. Answering some prayers may require assigning a deva to determine the best way to assist you. It is comforting to know that the Gods, their devas and your own guardian devas are ever ready to respond to your requests for help and guidance. You gain this boon by living a religious life and being consistent in your sadhana. Some temples, such as Kadavul Temple in Hawaii, accept written prayers from devotees. When burned, these are released to their astral form in the Devaloka for the devas to read and act upon. Before asking for help, we make every effort to use our own intelligence and strength. In our prayers we always remember that God and the Gods know the highest course for our life. They know better than we do the lessons and experiences we need to improve. Our prayers will be answered, and in wisdom we accept the answer--even if it is not what we had hoped for."
And we have Gurudeva's quote:
"Those who worship in Siva temples slowly gain acceptance into the devonic realms of the Gods, and one or two of the uncountable numbers of devonic intelligences often return with the devotee to his home. ...It is these guardian devas who are the first to receive the devotee's written prayers when they are transferred to the Devaloka through the sacred fire."
Not a lot I can add; it's pretty complete. But say a few things.
Gurudeva has this key insight here, we have a prayer, mental prayer. What do we do with it? We send it up through the top of our head, right? That's something individuals may not think about. Send it up through the top of your head. And says something more in Dancing with Siva on that idea.
"Prayers may also be conveyed by slowly, mentally enunciating the words, visualizing them rising up the spine, through the top of the head, reaching beyond to the feet of God."
"...slowly, mentally enunciating the words." So we need to slowly, clearly form a thought, not just kind of ramble on but send a message up that's clear and then it's effective.
Such an idea: "...Before asking for help, we make every effort to use our own intelligence and strength."
Sometimes I get asked about that. Well, if we're praying then we're expecting the Deity to do it, right? And we don't even have to try. "I need an A+ on my exam today, Lord Ganesha." I don't have to do anything cause, right, I prayed to Ganesha. Or we get the other point of view. "I don't believe in praying for help; I believe we should just do our best and really work hard to do our best." We get the two different points of view.
So, what is being said here is: "...we make every effort to use our own intelligence and strength." This is written for individuals going to school so the example would be it's encouraging you to study hard, do your best but then also pray. And by praying you can do better than you would by not praying but you're doing your best anyway and you're adding to that. And, as it says here, well how could that work? Well the prayer could just clear your mind. Any agitations that were in your mind, they're gone and you're able to utilize your own subsuperconscious more readily than you were before praying. That would be an example. So you want to do your best and then pray on top of that.
And then the third point: "Our prayers will be answered, and in wisdom we accept the answer--even if it is not what we had hoped for."
That's elaborated on over here in Dancing with Siva:
"When a prayer is burned in a temple wherein this practice is consecrated, its astral image is received and read by the devas, and properly dispatched and answered, within the confines of our karmic pattern."
So, just because we want something doesn't, and pray for it, doesn't mean we'll get it. This is saying well our karmic pattern needs to allow it. If it's asking for something that's not in our karmic pattern then we won't, the prayer won't be answered. How do we know if it's in our karmic pattern? Well if it's an unreasonable leap from where we are it's probably not in our karmic pattern. If the secretary in a large corporation wants to become the president, writes a prayer, probably not in the secretary's karmic pattern. If wants a promotion to a supervisor that would make more sense. It's a logical progression of what we're currently doing. To pray for something that's a logical upgrade to what we're currently doing, has a good chance of being in our karmic pattern and therefore of being answered.
But I do know individuals, I occasionally get emails: I prayed to Lord Ganesha for this and it didn't happen. He didn't answer my prayer. And they're missing the, the point that's made there, well it may not be in your karmic pattern. May be asking for something that isn't a logical step in what you're able to do. And of course then a related point is you may be asking for something that some one, that wouldn't work out. So, Ganesha, "I prayed to Ganesha, he's the remover of obstacles, right?" Then of course that's not what Vigneshwara means, he's the Lord of Obstacles. So, not the remover of obstacles. So he can place obstacles also and sometimes an obstacle placed in our path causes us of course, we have to take a detour, like in a car. There's an obstacle we take a detour and we end up doing something that was even better than we thought. So sometimes we don't, we're not allowed to go straight ahead by the Lord of Obstacles, we veer and end up in a new pattern which is even better. So, we have to take that into account.
And then another point is patience. I prayed this morning. We tend to not give enough time for prayers to manifest. Gurudeva's writings indicate takes 72 hours just for something that is done in the inner world to manifest in this world. Then there's a time delay. Your thought goes there immediately; it can be worked on, but the consequence of inner plane beings working on it won't show up here for 72 hours if you're looking for something that's physical. Not, if something's mental that can happen right away. But if you're looking for something that's physical to manifest you need 72 hours time delay. Therefore, if you're praying for something, relates to physical event, you need to pray at least 72 hours ahead of time for it to be impacted. Otherwise, it can't be impacted. Patience.
Have a wonderful day.