Tag Archives: prayer

Dec 19: What is the best prayer?

19 Dec

The telecon satsang was a very memorable one as it bid farewell to Poojya Poornimaji who was visiting the US for a period of three months for satsangs. She was leaving to India on the 23rd of December. About 16 families joined the teleconference. The Namasankirtan was led by the Houston Namadwaar and the satsang talk was delivered by Poojya Poornimaji.

By the benign grace of Lord Srihari and immense blessings of our beloved Sadguru Maharaj, US devotees are indeed blessed to have a satsang over the phone irrespective of their geographic locations and time-zone. A satsang is a divine communion where everyone is immersed in the joy of singing the Divine Names of the Lord, sharing the glories of the lord and the greatness of the Guru. It indeed happens only to the rarest of the rarest, which clearly shows the absolute grace of the Lord.

In Srimad Bhagavat Gita, Lord Sri Krishna says “Chaturvida Bhajante Maam Janaaha Sukurthino Arjuna”
He says “Oh Arjuna, all those people who come to me praying for anything, be it spiritual or worldly need only because they are blessed. But for some merits accrued in ones previous birth, this does not happen otherwise.”

This is the perspective of Lord Krishna on his devotees. He treats each one of us as his devotees, who come to Him to quench their desires.

When god appears in front of us all of a sudden and asks for some wish, will one be in a position to ask him for anything? The answer is NO. That is the reality. Our Guru Maharaj often summons one of his devotees out of the blue and asks him to ask for something that he will grant. If one is clever he will not ask anything in front of the guru!

When we go to a temple, a satsang or to some worship place, to a satguru and we sit in front of him praying for some wish to come true with guru’s blessings, at times we are not sure if what we are asking is good for us or not. Often they are not right is reality. We end up asking something much less than what the Lord himself can actually bestow on us. For example, if the Lord wants to bless someone with thousand dollars, but he actually prays to the Lord for only hundred dollars, the lord then blesses him with only hundred dollars instead of a thousand dollars. That’s what happens to us at times.

The great sage of Kanchi by name Sri.Chandrasekharendra Swamigal was fondly referred to as MahaPerivaa. One of his devotees wrote a book on his experiences with MahaPerivaa. Let us see an incident from that book.

There was once a watchman (Gurkha) who happened to visit MahaPerivaa. This man didn’t know anything about the greatness of MahaPerivaa. He was passing by the Mutt and stopped by for darshan. When he was having the darshan of MahaPerivaa, he asked Him if He could give him Moksha. MahaPerivaa just smiled and did not say anything. The watchman left the mutt. And after the watchman had taken leave, MahaPerivaa turned to one of his close devotees who was serving Him and told him that having been in this mutt for so many years where He has met crores of people, people who worship Him as God and every now and then come and place invitations requesting Him to bless it. He said that he has never heard anyone asking for Moksha. The devotee who was serving MahaPerivaa could see tears in his eyes and he could see that he was happy. That is because the Lord is capable of bestowing one with so much.

Our Swamiji often says that it is very easy for Mahatmas and God to give moksha than bless one with worldly benefits. They are really capable of giving the highest and we don’t know the right thing to ask. At times instead of receiving His blessing we end up blocking it.

A devotee once came with a lemon to meet Bhagawan Yogiramsuratkumar. But He was already having an apple in His hand and he wanted to bless this person with it. When Bhagawan was trying to give the apple to bless Him, the devotee refused and instead insisted Him to take the lemon first. But Bhagawan kept on asking him to take the apple and the devotee kept on refusing it. Finally Bhagwan threw both the apple and the lemon. Once that devotee had left, He turned to another devotee and told him “My father wanted to bless him with an apple but he failed to understand that and instead trying to force his opinion on me!”

Are we really praying God for something that is just right for us?

This being the month of maargazhi (margairsa), the celebrated Azhwar in this month, the only lady among the 12 Azhwars and the gem of them is Sri.Andal. She has composed 30 beautiful verses called Thiruppavai. It is usually sung during the month of Margasirasa. And in one of the verses she beautifully tells the Lord “yaam vandha karyam araindhu arulelor empaaavai”

She requests the Lord to inspect the prayers that one is putting forth to the Lord, and requests him to grant the wish only if he thinks it is good and worthy for oneself. That is the prayer Sri Andal prays in front of the Lord and it is indeed the same path that all Mahatmas advocate.

Even if one sees the Lord in front of him, one should know what to ask him. In Srimad Bhagavatam, Lord Narasimha requests Sri Prahalad to ask for a boon. He requests the lord to bestow him with a boon to not have any desires to ask for any boon in all his life! Even though one cannot be like Prahalad, Sri Andal urged one and all to request for a boon at the lotus feet of the Lord and then leave it to the Almighty to grant the boon only if He thinks it is good for us. Sri Andal doesn’t stop here! In her later verse, she says –
“Chitram chiru Kaalai Vandunnai Sevithu
Un Potramaraai Adiyae Potrum Porul Kelaai”

She says that she comes to the temple early in the morning to worship the lotus feet of the lord. When she worships him, she has a prayer in her heart and earnestly requests the lord to hear it.
“petram meyththu uNNum kulaththil piRandhu nee
Kutreval engalai KoLLamal Pogaadhu”

Sri Andal made a wish to be in servitude of the lord forever and urged the lord to bestow her with the wealth of unstinted service. She pleads to the Lord that even if she had some other worldly desires, she asks him to annihilate them and direct them towards His service. That’s exactly what happens when we really decide to serve the Lord, even if we have some desires that would otherwise make us one to do something in the worldly plane, the very same desires will be directed towards serving the Lord. That munificent wish was what Sri Andal requested the Lord to grant her. She pleads him to confer this boon not for that particular birth but for all her future births.

And you have all been blessed with that service!

The best service that one can do for the Lord is to chant His Divine Names. hagwan Yogiramsuratkumar said, “If one has the wish to serve this beggar [He calls Himself as beggar], the best way is to chant the Divine Names of the Lord”

This satsang is indeed a rare one, and not even people in India get to meet every so often and chant the way you are doing. This is verily your service to the Lord and the Guru. Lord has blessed us to serve him and we have to chant the Divine Names of the Lord for the betterment of the world. We have to make our Sadguru’s vision come true. It is in our hands to spread the Nama Sankirtan throughout the world and therefore put everyone in the service of the Lord.

Poornimaji mentioned that a Namadwaar (a temple for the incessant chanting of the Divine Names) is planned at Houston and is taking shape very well. She requested all the US devotees to join hands to support in any little way for this noble cause. It is indeed a great opportunity for all of us to serve the Lord.

Sankarji and GBji from San Jose, Sri Thiagaraj from Dallas, Venkataprakashji from New Jersey, Narayan Daveji from Pearland, among others, thanked Poornimaji for the wonderful satsangs they had during this trip and all the members placed their prayers for more and more such satsangs at the feet of the Lord.

Ms.Sujatha announced the weekly satsang activities in the Bay Area.

The satsang wrapped with Nama Sankirtan.

Sep 5: Prayers, faith, sense of humor and more….

5 Sep

The Friday satsang started on a great note as usual.
At 9:30 ET, Sujathaji from California led the Nama Sankirtan prayers. The Nama went on for about 10 minutes after which we had introductions.  The regular members were on the call, with increased participants from the West-Coast.

Then Ramaniji from Cerritos, CA, during his talk, narrated a wonderful story….

Ramu was a humble person who rang the bell in the temple.  That was the only vocation known to him and he has been doing it devoutly for all his lifetime.  One fine morning the temple authorities summoned him.  They told him that they no more needed his services, for, with technology advancement, they had upgraded their temple bells with automatic ones.

Ramu felt totally dejected. What would he do henceforth? He knew not another job.  How would he earn his living?  While he was walking on the road, in utter sorrow, he came across an elderly person who advised that he should perform pooja and offer prayers to Lord Rama and Lord Rama would show him a way.

Ramu was upbeat hearing this.  Immediately, he went to the nearby shop, got a beautiful idol of Rama and brought it home.  He decorated the idol with the best of dresses, and performed pooja and prayers to the idol every day, without fail, as advised by the elderly gentleman.  Two months passed, four, six, eight and ten.   Finally, a year had passed and Ramu spent all his savings in offering pooja to Lord Rama.  But his financial situation did not change, nor did he get a job.

He felt distressed by the fact that his prayers did not yield fruit.  Just then Ramu met yet another elderly person who said, ‘hey! Rama is a deity of the past! Krishna is more powerful. Why don’t you perform pooja to Krishna  and worship him? He is certain to yield you good results!’

Ramu was fascinated by this new idea.  He, at once, walked into the shop next door and got home the Krishna idol.  He enthusiastically performed pooja to the Krishna idol.

One day, as he was lighting the incense sticks in the course of his prayers, something struck him – Lord Rama was also in the form of the idol in the same prayer room and he had decided not to worship Rama.  Now if Ramu lighted an incense stick, would not Rama be able to get the scent of it too?  ‘My incense sticks are meant only for Krishna.  Rama should not smell them!’ he thought.  At once, he took a cotton swab and plugged it in the nose of the Rama idol.

The moment Ramu did this, He saw a beautiful person suddenly appearing in front of him.  Ramu was stunned to see this glorious form in front of him and questioned who he was.  True, it was verily Lord Rama, who was in front of him.  Ramu asked, ‘When I worshipped you last year, you did not come.  How come you are here now?’.   The Lord said, your faith was then limited.  Today when you really believed that Rama in the form of the idol could smell the scent from the incense scent, you manifested true faith, and I am here, to grant you any boon that wish!’

Indeed whatever we do, we should do with faith in God!

Where there is faith, there is no fate, it is said.  Sometimes it is also said that faith is greater than God Himself.  Indeed faith is the greatest wealth that one can possess.

But this faith in God does not come by itself. It is only due to the grace of God that we get staunch faith in God.  Pleased with Ramu’s sincere, selfless service to the Lord for all these years, the Lord blessed him with the faith at the right moment.  So any small activity you do knowingly or unknowingly towards spirituality and for the sake of God never goes a waste!

Ramani also mentioned about his satsang, where they chant the Nama and one house every week in their apartment complex.  An interesting thing mentioned by Ramani was that they follow the ‘bring a new neighbor’ policy.  Every host should guarantee that s/he brings at least one new member to the satsang that they host!  What a novel way to spread the Divine Name of God!

After this, all of the callers were in for a surprise. We had a special guest from India, who joined the call.   Ms. Nirmala Giri, an ardent devotee of Sri Swamiji for the past so many years, came on the call, thanks to Sriramji of Houston, who conferenced her in.

Mrs. Giri gave a quick overview of the Brahmotsav, being the live witness of the event herself.  She mentioned how the number of devotees that attend the utsav has swelled up over the past years.

Mrs. Giri spoke shortly on Sri Swamiji’s sense of wit and humor.
Generally it is said that Jnanis possess a wonderful sense of humor.  Let me share a few of the incidents which depicts it, in the case of Sri Swamiji.

A lady devotee of Sri Swamiji used to brag about her Sadhana.  She often imagined that she felt occult internal transformations inside her!  One day, she said with a heavy head, ‘Swamiji, I am able to visualize a thousand petal lotus on my head!’
Swamiji almost immediately shot back, ‘Very true! Lotus blooms only in the marshes!’

There was yet another devotee who was very proud of her wealth.  She used to donate to the mission and had an air that Sri Swamiji’s mission could not survive but for her monetary contributions.    She said, ‘Swamiji, even the largest ships have lifeboats!’

Swamiji quickly said, ‘Yes, you are the big ship and I am your lifeboat!’

Aravind added another interesting incident to bring out the wit of Sri Swamiji – ‘the (h)armless Krishna’ – a piece that he read on the Nama Dwaar website.

Then GBji gave an update on the Radha Kalyanam that they performed in the Bay area and Sriram gave an update on the Janmashtami fair.

We concluded with Mahamantra, with special prayers for safety from hurricanes and for the souls of those who lost their lives and were rendered homeless due to the Bihar floods.