‘More things are wrought by prayer than what the world dreams of’ – a quote often attributed to Shakespeare, to which a wit replied, ‘More things are wrought by prayer than what Shakespeare dreams of’. Jokes apart, in today’s skeptical world, the power of prayer is very often dismissed or heavily underrated.
Prayer is both psychologically and esoterically a very powerful tool, in times like these, when one feels helpless like life is going beyond our control. All control is anyway an illusion about which I will write later. Prayer is a conscious recognition of our limitation, of the limits of what we are capable of. The limits extend to limits of our knowledge of the cosmic phenomena that is around us. There are limits in our knowledge of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Medicine etc.
When the will that is used to achieve and transform the world is surrendered to Ishvara one develops a prayerful attitude. It is the highest thing that the human will is capable of doing that is to surrender itself. Will is a powerful tool in human hands. It is what transforms dreams into realities. It is responsible for our exploration of the world and the discovery of scientific and non-scientific principles. This will is consciously surrendered to Ishvara in recognition of the source of all the power, knowledge and principles that keep the cosmos going.
Prayer is also an action which may be physical in the form of a puja or ritual or verbal which may be formal or informal or prayer may be purely mental. Whatever it is, prayer is an action that gives results, which will enhance our worldly activities. Prayer of course is not meant to replace but enhance worldly activities. There are times when all our worldly activities however great are highly limited, in the overwhelming odds of life.
It is all the more important at that time to join our hands in prayer and invoke the grace of the Lord on us and the whole world. Sarve bhavantu sukhinah. May the whole world be happy.
(The writer is the founder of Aarsha Vidya Foundation. You can write to him @firstname.lastname@example.org)