Home Wisdom Articles Pujya Gurudevshri Pujya Gurudevshri Insights Praying or Begging?

Praying or Begging?

Prayer instead of manifesting serenity within has become an act of noisy demanding prattle. Pujya Gurudevshri explains how prayer is a state of gratitude that emerges out of contentment with what is

God wants to drench you in His grace but you are not ready for it yet. God wants to meet you. God is seeking you. But you are nowhere to be found. You are wandering hither and thither goaded by your desires.

Desire simply means – I am not happy with what I am. I will be happy if I get something special or if something unique happens. I am unhappy with what I have and I want what I do not have. Life becomes sorrowful not because of what you have or don’t but because of your attitude of begging. Life after life, you have gotten into the habit of asking.

Your requests hinder your spiritual path. The moment you desire something, asking follows. With asking, the mind is sure to become restless. When you do not have any desire, you experience something extraordinary because at that time, you are resting in your home. And so it is possible to meet God there.

Asking is Losing Out

If you go to God to seek something, you will get merely what you have asked for. Besides, you can ask only for what fits in your little intellect. So you end up asking for petty things and miss out on something invaluable.

A wealthy lady suffered from depression for a long time. She was eventually treated and cured by a psychiatrist. At the end of the treatment, while thanking the psychiatrist, she offered him a bag decorated with jewels. Thinking that the lady was trying to escape from paying the fees by offering some cheap bag studded with glass pieces, the psychiatrist said, ‘I do not need this bag, please give me my 300 Rupees.’ The lady opened that bag, took out a bundle of 10,000 Rupees, gave 300 Rupees from that and left with the remaining cash and the precious bag. When the psychiatrist realised that the bag was ornamented with real jewels and not with glass pieces, he became mentally ill forever.

Even if you ask, what are you going to ask for? Your biggest request will also be too little. Therefore, the best thing is to not ask for anything. Be content with whatever you get at all times. Accept everything with reverence.

God is Enough

The saints say, ideally, you should not ask from God but if you have to, then ask like a lover asks from his or her beloved. What do they ask for? Love! Ask God for His love. Ask for God from God.

With the Lord, you get everything. Why ask for petty things? Ask for just one, God! ‘O Lord! Give me the light to look in Thy direction. Give me the strength to understand Thy will for me.’ In this asking there is no begging. This asking only reveals the greatness of God.

The one, who has learnt to remain happy, does not need to ask for anything. Happiness for him is not in gaining something or in some happening; he remains happy in everything that happens.

Doubts Answered

Saints are frequently asked, ‘I have done a lot of prayers all my life but my prayers have not come to fruition. Why is God not listening to my crying? Is this not injustice towards me?’ Pointing out five flaws in these words, saints very beautifully reply:

1. Prayers: ‘Done’?

Firstly, prayer is not a doing. It is a state of being. You do not need to think or plan for a prayer; be prayerful at all times. But you understand and speak only the language of doing. You have turned a simple act of breathing also into your doing. In reality, you are not taking in the breath; it comes on its own. If you could, why would you ever stop breathing? Who breathes for you when you are fast asleep and when you are unconscious under anaesthesia? Similarly, prayer is not an act of doing either. If you say you did prayers, then your prayer is an illusion. Prayer should emerge and manifest from within.

2. Prayers: ‘Prayed a Lot’?

When you say, ‘I have done a lot of prayers,’ it is evident that you are tired of praying. Doing brings tiredness; being does not. Where there is ego, there is tiredness. If you had remained spontaneous, and not turned prayer into doing, you would not get tired of praying. If you had transformed prayer into love, if prayer was love for you, then you would have experienced relaxation, lightness, and freedom. But for you, it was a doing, which made them heavy and tiresome.

3. Prayers: ‘Don’t Give Fruits’?

When you say your prayers did not come to fruition, it shows that they were prompted by greed filled with desire for wealth, status, and an urge to evade difficulties. What the sinners want by committing sins, you want those same things by chanting, ringing bells, lighting lamps. But you fear being punished. If you were informed that there is no God who listens to your prayers and bestows favourable things, then you will stop praying. If you were told that there is nothing like hell where you suffer the painful results of your sinful actions, then you will not stop sinning. Prayer is not the need of your heart; it is just a demand. Your motive behind praying is the hope to attain worldly things. This is asking and not praying. In prayer you want to give, offer, surrender and dissolve. Prayers touch the heart. Prayers fill you with God.

4. Prayers: ‘Not Heard’?

You ask whether God listens to your crying? But do you have faith that ‘God is’? Do you trust prayers? You started to pray by merely listening to others or reading about it. All borrowed. Your faith is hollow. In your heart, there is doubt, and on your tongue, there is faith. Your prayer is like buying a lottery. If you lose, you lose only a rupee or so but the gain is in millions! In the same spirit, you pray. If you gain by praying, well done; if you don’t, you have lost nothing.

If you have genuinely prayed, you would never insist that God should listen to your prayers. Only a worldly person can say, ‘God! Why are You deaf to my prayers? When will You listen to me?’ A devotee says, ‘God! I am deaf to Your call. When will I start listening to You?’ A devotee feels that life after life God has been calling him but it is he who is so occupied with sensual pleasures and passions that he cannot, nay he does not respond to God’s call. A devotee does not blame God, he accepts his shortcomings. ‘If I can’t see God, my vision is faulty. If I can’t listen to God, my ears are defective. If I can’t experience God’s grace, my connection is impaired. If I can’t feel God, I have lost the sensitivity.’ So wonderful is the state of a devotee.

5. Prayers: ‘Why Injustice’?

You say, ‘Why is God unjust?’ These cannot be the words of a devotee. A devotee is always praising his God. He is always in the state of gratitude. He always feels he is not worthy of God’s grace. He feels he is so undeserving, yet God has given him in abundance. Such is the attitude of a devotee. His eyes see what God has blessed him with. He realises their value and so he is always in the state of thankfulness.

God is ever compassionate and merciful. He is continuously showering His grace upon everyone. But you have your own yardstick to gauge things. You see bad times as trouble and not a favour. When offered a gibbet instead of throne, you see it as a curse and not compassion. In fact it is a blessing in disguise alone. If you can see the reality, you can remain thankful to God even in adversities. That is real faith, true devotion.

When the heart gets soaked with love divine, one is able to pray in the tone of eulogising. No complaints, only gratitude. No demands, only ecstasy.



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#SadguruWhispers Like the sky touching the earth at the horizon is an illusion, the soul is distinct from the body, mind & intellect.