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Sunday, December 18, 2011

The power in prayer

RP Sharma, Hindustan Times

Prayer is the humblest expression of seeking divine intervention by a believer in the karmic journey otherwise determined purely by the inflexible principles of karmic cause and effect. Prayer is acknowledged in every religion and faith. The karmic journey of life is always fraught with too many uncertainties which do give rise to many insecurities resulting from unexpectedly challenging situations. This often leads to a situation where even the most confident amongst us would feel hopeless and frustrated. The power of prayer works miracles in these situations.
The moment one sits in prayer to invoke the divinity, the spiritual energies of the body and mind get activated. This is not something which happens purely at a psychological level, there are now scientific and medical researches to prove how the power of prayer ignites the release of certain kinds of hormones in the mind which are responsible for arresting the release of hormones that trigger depression and other negative feelings.

There is no particular form and method or even time for prayer. The prayers have to come straight from the heart as naturally as the cry of a child who seeks mother's attention when in distress. Words are not important and even not relevant to an extent. It is not the mental or physical energy which carries the prayers, it is the emotional energy that carries the prayers. All prayers are heard, no doubt about it.

Anybody and everybody can pray. It is not necessary that all prayers would be fully accepted, divine intervention is an exception and not the rule, yet no prayer would ever go completely unrewarded.
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A Guru is a live map

Sadhguru, Hindustan Times

Let us say all that you are seeking is to go to a distant city right now. If you are alone and there are no proper directions, definitely you would have wished, that there was a map to tell you how to get there. On one level, a Guru is just a map, a live map.  If you can read the 

map, you know the way and you can go. A Guru can also be like your bus driver. You sit in the bus and doze off and he will take you to the city you want to go to; but to sit in the bus and doze off, or to sit in the bus joyfully, you need to trust the bus driver.
Every moment, at every curve in the road, if you go on thinking, ‘Will this man kill me? Will this man go off the road? What intention does he have for my life?’ then you will only go mad sitting there. We are talking about trust not because a Guru needs your trust. It is just that if there is no trust you will drive yourself mad. 

Right now, you trust unconsciously. Everyday when you sit in a car and go to work, unknowingly, you trust this vehicle, which is just a bundle of nuts, bolts and pieces of metal, so much. You have placed your life in the hands of this mechanical mess, which is just nuts and bolts, and rubbers and wires. You have placed your life in it, but you trust the bus unconsciously. If the same trust arises consciously, it would do miracles to you.

So if you can draw your own map, if you can drive your own bus, that is wonderful.  But on an uncharted path, if you go without a map, it may take lifetimes to find a certain place. It may take lifetimes to cross. If you go with a map you will cross easily.  If you go with a good bus driver, you will cross very easily.
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The curse of stress

Dinkar Shukla, Hindustan Times

One can say stress is a boon as long as it is in manageable proportion. It delivers results. But if it grows out of proportion, it could lead to serious problems. Prolonged stress shatters the immune system of the body. 
'Jeevan Sadhana - A Noble Art of Living', has articles that 

identify the causes and effects of stress. In substance, they point to haphazard way of living, declining culture of cooperation and camaraderie, cut-throat competition and, most importantly, unbridled ambition. All this add up to aggravate the intensity of stress.
If left unmanaged, stress becomes a source of psycho-somatic maladies. It could lead to diseases of the heart, stomach, skin, respiratory system and even to mental breakdown. The mind could be the first victim. School-going children easily fall prey to stress-related ailments. Stressful urban life too results in the growing incidence of diabetes and other complications.

It also discourses on the way to lead a healthy, vibrant, enlightened, happy and balanced life. At one point, it says that stress is just a messenger, a warning signal or an alarm bell. It cautions us to set things right before it is too late. What is, therefore, called for is to have the right attitude. It also reminds one to direct one's energy towards positive thinking, pursuit of a healthy life-style and meditation on problems that are overpowering.

Unbridled ambition too has been diagnosed as one of the main causes of stress. It is agreed that one must dream and set his sights high so far as life's goals are concerned, but the key word is compatibility. 

The 5th Century philosopher, Democritus, had observed that a wise person limits his ambition according to his ability.  H.W. Longfellow had said that most people would succeed in small things if they are not troubled with great ambitions. In his classic, 'Les Miserables', Victor Hugo had noted that many great deeds were done in the small struggles of life. Similarly, the protagonist in Harold Robbin's novel, 'The Lonely Lady', rues that people don't get frustrated by systems alone but by their dreams as well.
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