A request and a disclaimer: Before you begin to read this blog, request you to read the earlier published blogs under the main title ‘MAnvi, her thAthA and their discussions’. Reading the earlier blogs in this series may help in an easier understanding to what is discussed in this blog. Teachings of pUjya SwAmi Dayananda Sarawati in his books titled ‘Purpose of Prayer’ and ‘Prayer Guide’ are my main source of references in this blog series. The language and explanations used by pUjya swAmiji in both the books are profound; and I pray that I do justice by aligning my understanding to his explanation, as I parallelly try to relate it to day to day living. Any error in the way I have blogged upon, on the topic of ‘Prayer’ is due to an error in my understanding alone.
MAnvi’s restless pacing for quite a few minutes, caught her thAthA’s eyes. He knew that it was time for her to see him but that she was caught up in her thoughts way too much, to realise that. He was aware that she would approach him sooner than later and so she did, the very next day!! MAnvi kept standing instead of sitting down, in her thAthA’s room.
thAthA: Is anything troubling you, MAnvi?
MAnvi: Nothing is troubling me thAthA but I have been thinking about the two questions you asked me to think on. Those thoughts are all over my head and I know that unless I get it out, I will not be able to do much. Can I answer the questions one by one?
MAnvi’s thAthA knew that the next few minutes was important both for her and for him – important for MAnvi because sharing it will bring in clarity for her.. important for him because this will tell him what the next topic of their discussion could be.
thAthA: Go ahead, MAnvi.
MAnvi: The first question was – Do people pray for the grace to unfold?
I am not sure thAthA, if we pray specifically asking for grace to unfold. We pray that whatever task we undertake goes without a hitch. Actually we are lucky if we complete any task without a hitch, thAthA. Well, that’s also grace isn’t it? Are we then indirectly praying for invoking that grace?
I have been thinking of various tasks that I have taken up – some familiar and some unfamiliar. Far more for the unfamiliar tasks, I tightly close my eyes and concentrate and hope and wish and sometimes pray that what I am taking up, is completed in the way I want it to. But then that hope and wish is also a prayer, isn’t it thAthA?
This is where the second question you asked me to think on, comes in – Even though we pray, do we still have to face hardships?
So I hope and I wish before I start a task, for it to be completed the way it has to and for me to get the results that I desire. That is prayer.. and then there is the prayer that I do willfully.. I still however, have to face the unseen results of something that I have done sometime earlier. That unseen result may unfold when this task is being undertaken.
So many hidden variables here thAthA – The result for the task that I have undertaken is unseen by me, when I begin the task. I don’t know which adhrshta phalA will unfold or even whether it will be pleasant or unpleasant for me. If it is an unpleasant result, I cannot escape it. I have control neither over the adhrshta phalA that unfolds, nor the result that I am likely to get from the task.
I cannot control what unfolds but I can control the way I handle an unpleasant adhrshta phalA unfolding or the results that I get from the task I start to do, by praying. Am I right, thAthA?
Wait!! thAthA, doesn’t that mean that while I am praying for the task to go well, I am also aware that the task may not go well? Especially since I am praying that I should handle the results well, no matter what it is?
If I expect to face challenges before starting the task and I also know that the results maybe different, why am I then unable to accept it when the results are actually what I don’t expect it to be?
MAnvi’s thAthA observed how every few sentences, she ended with a question. He also noted that the answer to these questions were in the sentence (s) that preceded these questions. He believed that this ability of hers to think deeply on any discussion, is what makes her to assimilate quickly what she learns.
thAthA: MAnvi, I am sure you know what you have to know about praying and prayer. Your expression of your thoughts is the indicator. Before you leave, I would like to elaborate on an important aspect that you had brought up, in your own style.
When you are aware that you may face challenges, of the adhrshta phalA that would unfold on which you have no control, of the grace that you need to invoke, of the prayer that you need to willfully do for it to be effective, of your acceptance of both your limitations and strengths, of your acceptance of both pleasant and unpleasant results, then you become gracefully accepting. This graceful acceptance is an attitude that needs to be assimilated and built over time. This according to me is a ‘Prayerful Attitude’ which helps you in your inner growth. This inner growth also makes space within you, to free you from the cobwebs that you have created in your mind.
MAnvi’s small notebook and pen was out again for her to note what her thAthA said.
She knew that the discussion on this topic with her thAthA has come to an end. So lost in her thoughts was she, that she did not show any inclination to leave the room.
MAnvi’s thAthA not wanting to disturb her thoughts, quietly stepped out of the room. He was also deep in thought of how to unfold the next topic with her.