Shall we pray to God ? or
Shall we love God ? or
Shall we fear God ?
when we are born, we are born with no awareness.. no awareness of our own body, our state of being, of father, mother .. let alone the almighty. Slowly we begin to recognize this world.. starting with Mother.. Father.. then some more about the world.. then at some point of time we are introduced to God .. either form our parents, our teachers or the society.
It is vital that how we are introduced to this supreme power. If God was portrayed as powerful, controlling and judgmental , we will develop some fear. If God is portrayed as one who is provider of everything and is all merciful, we will be attracted to his kindness. More often, in India, it is a mixture of both where there are various forms of God. God is merciful and full of love at one time while he is all powerful and judgmental at others. So normally our collective image consists of both love and fear in different amounts.
Then, at some point of time, a human being is inspired to pray. Life is full of challenges and man constantly seeks support to cope with them. Prayer has scientific virtues. It helps focus the mind. It gives hope. Today, Prayer is being recognised even by those who do not recognise God. They say "If you truly long for something with all your heart, Universe will grant it to you"
Religions are unanimous on this "If you ask something from God with a pure heart, it will come to you"
Now, Isn't that easy! Just ask and get it.
But as always, there is a catch.. and when we try to understand this.. the whole concept of Maya unfolds. I do not have thorough knowledge of many religions except a few, But i believe this concept is embedded in almost every religion.
Ancient Sanskrit scriptures have been saying this since time immemorial:
संसार मोह माया है !!
(The world is mere an attraction & illusion)
When we ask for something from God, with a true heart. It sure does comes.. But it comes with a chain. A chain that is of our own making. A chain which is called desire. A chain of longing. It is chain because it binds us to this world, to the external circumstances, to the external materials.
So Prayer has a price and the price is huge. Price is our eternal freedom.
This freedom is revered in Spirituality. There is NOTHING beyond it. The whole concept of spirituality is to move from attachment to detachment.. and that is to bring back the freedom..
because freedom is sheer joy.. freedom is pure bliss! If it rains, you are blissful, if sun shines, you are still joyful. The outer world ceases to matter anymore for someone who has attained that freedom. That state of joy can not be imagined from our current state. But we have had glimpses of that joy. That state puts to shame the best worldly experiences can have.
rest later ...