When to Pray?

'That is strange, how come you pray at any time?...

GURU WONDER

First Experience

Guru Nanak (22K)In 2007 I hosted my kind and noble friend Ali when he came to India on a business trip as my guest.

Since our meeting was at a location four hours driving time away, we started off together before dawn.

It was a cool, glorious morning. As the sun began to rise, we drove past rich farmland and wooded areas, and I felt wonderful and in harmony with creation. I was grateful for that moment, and I began to softly recite the Sikh universal prayer ’Japji Sahib' on nature of God and how one can discover the Truth. Ali reclining half asleep in his seat would occasionally glance at me.

MyFriendsAtPrayer (22K)
My Friends at Prayer

When I finished praying, there were a few quiet moments except for the wind breezing in.

Ali asked me, "What were you saying?" I replied, "I was praying, singing the praises of the Creator."

Ali said, 'That is strange, how come you pray at any time? You know I pray 5 times per day but at fixed times.

I replied, "I pray whenever I think of God, or whenever good or bad happens, and whenever I am happy or sad."

My friends at prayer

Ali smiled, and then there was a very very long thoughtful silence.

dash (8K)

Second Experience

I have a friend called Gautam.

Our first meeting a decade ago was quite unpleasant. While my concerns were genuine I realised much later that I had been too impatient and unduly aggressive.

Gautam is the financial controller with a very large telecom company. A man of integrity and his main and only visible flaw was his impatience which emerged as a ferocious temper and a brutally blunt manner.

Two tigers in a cage and sparks flew.

Strangely though we both disagreed vehemently on a few matters, we found ourselves respecting one another. We soon became friends.

A few years later after both of us retired from the housing society management committee we served on as volunteers, some of us former committee members and now friends decided to celebrate an evening together.

In 2013 I met Gautam again, and I could have sworn it was a very different Gautam. Still aggressive for results but soft spoken and mild in his manner. I was amazed and extremely curious. I asked him what had brought about the change?

Gautam replied, "Earlier I dutifully prayed thrice a day, morning, evening and at bedtime. Now I remember God all the time, I do it with love and not as a duty."

dash (8K)

I understood. Usually in prayer we simply rattle of words and undertake ritualistic actions which we know not why we perform. Just programmed to, usually from childhood. Prayer then is a duty.

Anything done as a duty is work, and well .... work is work. It is usually tedious, boring and exhaustion sets in quickly.

When prayer is love, its passion and always pleasurable.

That is why loving God is,
      much more relevant than fearing God.

I have now experienced that, even prayer is insufficient for I have moved quite a way beyond fear, greed and even love. My spiritual teachers, tell me that meditation is the way.

A great master once told me prayer is when we talk to God.

Meditation is when God talks to us.

This God is not some being, or a superman in the heavens but we ourselves, that which is pure and within each one of us, reflected in all of Creation.

I have given up trying to attain God, heaven or whatever we have been taught so far to pursue. When the creator and creation is so great, so inexplicable, we can never attain it.

All we can do is dissolve ourselves into creation and be one with it.

dash (8K)

April 2017

©2017 Guru Wonder | Pune, India

Photo Credit:: Copyright: christianchan / 123RF Stock Photo

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