God, by definition, is omnipotent and omnipresent, so when you need to connect with Him (or Her), all you really need to do is abide in the inner peace and connect with the infinite silence that pervades. This process where you’re able to drop your ego, giving yourself permission to be authentic to yourself and connect with the divine, is prayer.
Prayer, in today’s life full of stresses and strains, has become more of a cathartic experience, allowing you to express your anguishes to your creator and ask for solutions to your problems. And not just that, also offload a laundry list of wishes and wants, oftentimes making promises of austerities to ‘please’ God.
Whilst Sanatan Dharma has many branches, the concept of God is predominantly anthropomorphic, where we attribute human qualities to our Gods and Goddesses and worship them in an almost human-like image. This facilitates an intimate dialogue, one where you can almost think of the Devi as your mother, Shiva as your father, or even take the mischievous Krishna to be your best friend.
We use mantras composed of sacred energised sounds, which were divined by our Rishis through their dialogues with Universal consciousness. Mantras differ greatly by the type of energy that you’re trying to invoke as well the number of syllables that make up the incantation. Guru diksha is important, because prescribing the correct mantra requires an intimate knowledge of this ancient science.
To a purely rational mind, there might be little by way of scientific evidence to validate the veracity of these claims. But there is enough empirical evidence, based on the personal experiences of millions, which can prove the existence of God, and the impact of divine intervention, especially in cases where in the absence of any worldly possibility, what can only be described as miracles, have redeemed the faithful.
Creative visualisation and manifestation have become popular new age concepts, where you imagine yourself already basking in the glory of the outcome that you want to achieve. This is a subtle way of releasing your intentions into the universe and letting it work its magic, and in some ways, can also be loosely considered a form of prayer, although quite materially focused in most cases.
With the advent of ChatGPT, it might seem like we have finally cracked the code of human intelligence, but we’re only beginning to scratch the surface in our attempts to understand the human mind and unleash its true power. And something as sacrosanct as prayer which has the power to connect us to our inner selves and realise our fullest potential does deserve all the attention it can get, rather than being dismissed as a placebo.
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