Living all my life in a cosmopolitan city of ‘my ever developing country’ (barring the few years in so-called ‘developed countries’) has thankfully given me a broader understanding of the concept of ‘prayer’.
Starting from the month of August until April, almost every month of the calendar has a celebration/festival associated with diverse religions in India. Each of these festivals essentially celebrates the gifts of nature, the victory of good over evil or merely reveres the Divine. Each celebration serves as an opportunity to reflect and retrospect upon our day-to-day behavior or should I rather say ‘day to day operations’, because I think we live in a world that thrives on operational value. Each celebration essentially has a ritual of offering ‘prayer’.
My notion of transacting prayer defies the traditional methods, but I believe my parents have been able to pass on the very essence of a prayer pretty effectively.
And today, as a dear friend spends a night praying, few questions arise in my mind.
What is my idea of prayer?
What does it mean to me?
As a child whenever in doubt with regards to the meaning of a word or concept have thrived upon dictionaries and encyclopedia , but today used the ‘lazy –easy’ way, Microsoft word’s function of right-click on the word ‘pra
yer’ and ta da…pops the following synonyms:-
Interestingly, all the above meanings have a lot to do with ‘asking’.
With time, I guess have moved on from the level of ‘plea’ to ‘appeal’
From the level of ‘request’ to ‘desire’
From the level of ‘wish’ to ‘hope’.
Today, prayer for me is the form in which I express my gratitude , express my message.
Like other beings of my species, I use my special code to communicate with the Divine and convey my thanks (not that it is expected or protocol demands 🙂 )
While I pen this down a thought comes by…How does the Divine communicate back to me (because my logical mind definitely goes by the definition of communication being a two-way complete process where feedback is essential 🙂 )
I guess, the divine communicates to me each day in different ways.
Each day when I am blessed with the gift of a new sunrise and the bounty of nature.
Each day when I get to spend precious time with my wonderful family and friends.
Each day when I get the opportunity to return the gifts endowed to me to this world in the form of my work.
Each day when an ex-student writes back or sends a message of regard , appreciation or an SOS for help!
Each day when I am gifted with an opportunity to make a difference.
Each day when I receive the unconditional protection and love from the Divine .
Our communication process does have the essential elements of the communication cycle, the receiver, the sender, the message & the feedback.
The encoding of this message is what I send in the form of a ‘prayer’.
And the decoding & feedback of this message is what I call a ‘blessing’ !