Monday, May 09, 2011

The Best Prayer



Elizabeth Gilbert would advise you with an "Eat, Pray, Love". But when we pray, what do we pray for? Do we ask God to give us everything (chappar phad ke!) or do we ask Him to give us what we badly require? Do we just irritate Him all the time with our never-ending problems, or we just wait, watch and see what He has in store for us? At times I interrogate myself in between prayers. "Should I ask Him to solve this and this problem for me?" "Maybe I shouldn't ask too much. I sound too demanding!". Some might say that you have to ask everything openly -- demand your rights; get your word out there and stuff. That if you don't voice what you want, how will He know?

I remember as a kid, I used to ask God to assist me first-hand whenever I was at a crossroad. Before flipping a coin I used to ask Him - "Ok now... Heads is what I want, so tell me if I will get what I want okay?". Secretly I try to bribe Him - "If you make the coin show Heads up first, I will pray Gayatri Mantra 100 times today!". He didn't somehow like the bribing and I always happened to see the opposite side of the coin. Then I go - "Damn. God is too busy processing other coin flipping matches now. Maybe I should try later' (Aap khatar mein hai... kripaya thode der ke baad try kijiye!). Then I keep flipping the coin till I get "what I want" after which yours truly is a very happy lady. I used to do the same thing while playing minesweeper too. If I get a mine, it means "God threw a bomb at me". If I completed the entire thing it meant - "God is giving a hint that I will get what I want :D". This is how I used to pray back then - with bribes and by using tools to get indirect answers from the almighty. I mean He can't really scream out from heaven in response to my questions (that's so ungodly-like no?), so I might as help Him out by giving some medium through which He can answer. Solitaire, coin flipping, minesweeper, paper chits, dice -- all of these were used to "get an answer". Sometimes I get tempted to try all that again. But considering my success rate with the same, I rather not. I think God has already given His answer when it comes to using such techniques. See, even He doesn't like dirty politics !

Some preach that no matter how much you pray you will only end up with what He thinks is right for you. And I'm a believer of this. Because of this belief, I have always restricted myself from placing too many demands while praying or getting too upset when something doesn't go the way I want it to.

I just came across this prayer by Rabindranath Tagore and I feel it befits a person who thinks the same way I do -- a person who never demands anything in particular, but just strength to deal with everyday problems.

“Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers,
but to be fearless in facing them.

Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain,
but for the heart to conquer it.

Let me not look for allies in life’s battlefield,
but to my own strength.

Let me not crave in anxious fear to be saved,
but hope for the patience to win my freedom.

Grant that I may not be a coward,
feeling Your mercy in my success alone;

But let me find the grasp of Your hand in my failure.”

Eat, Pray, Love, people... and stay happy ! :)

8 comments:

Melissa said...

Thanks for sharing Dhans. I feel that way too. When something good happens the first thing I say is thank you god and when something bad happens I just have faith he'll help me through it.

Me-Era* said...

A very good thought Dhanya! Loved it. :)

Melissa said...

Hey Dhans. Thanks for sharing. I feel that way too. I always say thank you when something good happens and when things go wrong I have faith that God will work it out for me. Pt. Nehru's prayer reminds me of the 'I asked for strength..' prayer.

BTW love the new blog look.

Cheers
Mel

nikhil menon said...

If god was there to implement all your demands, the way you wanted them then the whole purpose of life would have been lost. In that respect, it actually makes sense when there aren't many demands and Tagore' lines come in handy here. I hope everyone took a leaf out of his wonderful piece.

And remember one thing, everything happens for a reason. Reasons, which sometimes don't find any sort of a clarity at the beginning, but then it will make sense during the climax, as time passes by. Eat, PRAY and Love. and let us not lose our faith and belief in ourselves and on the superior being who guides us into the paths of righteousness. smile

Love,
Menon

Ice Maiden said...

Hey here after a long time!!!! I love the red background :) :)

As for God, I have oscillated between being a believer and sceptic... But the Serenity Prayer has been through it all with me for as long as I can remember. The Reverend repeated it sooooo many times in the church and it sort of stuck in my mind :)

"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference."

Lovely to see you blog after long! :)

Cheers,
Annie.

Shanu said...

Beautiful, as always.

☆ Rià ღ said...

That was a good read. Nice blog make over i must say.

Rashmi Menon said...

Awesome! I love the new look of your blog...its dashing and its daring! :)
I have read Eat Pray Love and even watched the movie...and there was only one reason i read the book or watched the movie...to find answers to some unanswerable questions...but I finally ended up realizing that the answers I seek are within me and not in some book or movie! So as long as you realize what it is that you want, you have won your prayer/approval from your God!
So go ahead...Eat, Pray, Love and enjoy life! :)