Dr Vishal Gupta
Prayer is generally recognised in both ancient and modern period as a true supernatural intervention for alleviating illness and promoting good health. All the religions, such as Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism use prayer as a means to communicate with a god or deity. Every religion believes in prayer for healing and cleansing the mind. Prayer as an act or practice may vary but in crisis all religions use it as remedy to their source of authority. In the Christian church, for example, prayers of intercession are part of the service with the congregation praying for the health of someone who is sick or hospitalized. Muslims attend the mosque for worship and ask the Imam to say a special prayer for a person who is ill, with the congregation affirming the prayer. Hindus pray for good health at the temple or in shrines or gathering for worship at their homes. In Hinduism we have rhythmical prayers in the form of stotras and Aartis to worship the God. In Sikhism, Prayer or Ardaas (prayer in the form of request) is one of the three basics of Sikh religious thought, along with Faith and Grace.
The word prayer or prarthana (in Sanskrit) is derivative from two words ‘pra’ and ‘artha’, meaning demanding zealously. In other sense, it is requesting God for something with passionate desire and it comprises reverence, worship and faith. Prayer is a keystone in religious practice because it improves the strength of peoples’ liaison with God, gives us divine protection, decreases ego, and increases our faith. In due course, regular prayers can help to pacify our shattered soul and provide access to the supreme soul. It is also a valuable way of arousing our divine emotion (bhav) and getting pleasure from spiritual union with God and the Bliss (Anand) that results from it.
In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna gives us the promise that the people, who are engrossed in God consciousness, are freed eternally from the attachments of worldly life. Prayers bring into line our hearts and minds with the uppermost purpose of our lives, which is salvation or self-realization. All the spiritual gurus assure that there is no problem that cannot be solved by prayer, no misery that cannot be allayed by prayer, no complexity that cannot be overcome by prayer and no evil that cannot be conquered by prayer. There is no supremacy in the world except the power of prayer that can take us so close to God in ways which we cannot even visualise. We can transform our lives and our fortunes, via the power of prayers. Even the most complicated problems can be solved with coolness when we mingle the spiritual power of our prayers with the power of our intent.
True prayer is all about sincere spirituality and it is free from all rituals. For the transmission of your prayers to God, we don’t have to be a religious human being and we don’t need to visit some religious shrine. Everything including human begin is just a bundle of energy and a prayer done with a divine emotions assist in generating positive energy. These resultant positive energies can be channelised for healing from any disease or any emotional distress. Prayers by inducing optimistic feelings in us can activate the good genes to fight against any deadly disease.
It is usually observed that the people who suffered from some life-threatening illness, accident or some kind of emotional turmoil in their life often turn towards spirituality. When the life gets difficult and mysteries due to the uncertainties of future, even the most atheistic people started praying heavily. At some stage of life, every person is likely to pass through extreme emotions of family issues, relationship issues, job issues and ultimately has to move towards spirituality for wellbeing and revival. Sometimes an individual doesn’t even require a major setback to shift his focus towards God. Like, kids and teens doesn’t get so much fascinated towards visiting holy places, but with the increase in age, they slowly but surely move to read holy scriptures and spend time praying.
We should not live out spirituality as a fashion and thereby add more complications to it. We should not fear to pray. The two main prerequisites for true prayers are faith and Surrender. Most of people pray passionately at their religious places and to their God for the eradication of problems, yet they always remain restless and bothered about the problems. Instead of this, a person should pray with paramount faith. To build our faith in God, We should offer gratitude and calculate our blessing or things given by God. For instance: “Thank God for blessing the oxygen, the foodstuff, the sweet water and the sunshine.”
When faced with horror of the some mysterious thing, turning to an all knowing and all-pervading God is a good place to start. Research studies in modern times showed that prayer trims down worry and despair. A reduction in anxiety makes people to deal and react to outer events with a more observant rather than emotional manner. More than ever, under the present circumstances of Corona virus pandemic with no vaccine or effectual cure visible prayer can make a big difference. We have to believe in the wonders of God and have to combine hands and join the forces of all faiths together for the single cause of saving humanity from this pandemic.
Dr Vishal Gupta