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"Prayers" Do they really change Things ?and for what shall we Pray?

Discussion in 'Questions and Answers' started by arshdeep88, Nov 8, 2013.

  1. arshdeep88

    arshdeep88 India
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    Sat Sri Akal to all Spn family Members.
    I hope all of you are in Chardikalha and in Good health. :)

    Few days back one Internet Forum which was asking people to pray for 4 persons missing made me helpless and wonder a lot of things in my mind.I was helpless as i couldn't pray.The question in my mind was for what thing shall i pray?Wont Praying in such condition will be against the Hukum which shall happen and prevail no matter what.Will my prayers bring about the change ?Wont it be like ordering something ?

    Living in the will(Hukum) of God is one of the Basic Teaching of Sikhism to which we all should adhere to ,and accept the Will as it is,which is also a different and bit of complicated topic to understand sometimes.

    There are lot of questions now rounding off regarding prayers in my mind.What exactly a prayer is?do we really need to pray? the answer to which i could personally relate to somewhat is NO.Or are we just praying just to be NICE ?to just show that yes we do care ?

    What does Guru Granth Sahib Ji says about prayers or is there really a concept of Prayers in sikhism? and what are your personal Views on Prayers?

    Your views as always i mention are valuable as ever. :)

    Thank you
     
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  3. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    I am more than happy to kick off with my rather distorted view on prayer. I would class it as a complete waste of time and energy. As you rightly point out we believe in Hukam, and we also believe in a non personified God, so praying hard with your eyes closed amid the stench of cheap incense for your lottery numbers to come up strikes me as quite anti Gurmatt.

    Most people pray to make 'God' happy, or to remind 'God' not to forget they have constipation and to do something about it, or maybe for that new mercedes, for aunties gammy leg etc etc, or indeed to offer praise to God, as God is quite insecure and needs lots of praise and love,

    The only person you pray for is yourself, and if it works, great, but its not for me.
     
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  4. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    arshdeep ji

    You seem to have your own answer, and one that matches my own direction, to the subject of how to pray and what to pray for. You just don't see it because - maybe - you are too close to your own frustration. That I can really understand !!!!

    Hukam is the answer. I don't like to talk about how I pray but will in this instance. I pray, no matter the problem or person, that "hukam" be settled in the hearts and minds of the person praying and prayed for. May this turn of events be at some point known or understood to rest within the hukam of Waheguru, and may we find peace in that. There is a reason and a meaning that has not yet been made known to us. That is what takes the edge off of suffering for me - if I could ever be said to suffer in the true sense of suffering. Then in that sense of the finality of hukam, somehow a spark of energy comes that makes me all the more motivated to make the hours surrounding the prayer better hours in whatever way that takes form.

    This is not giving up, being passive, or fatalism. It is not saying,"Oh dear! There is nothing I can so I won't try! " Instead this type of prayer helps me to understand better what I cannot "fix" and then set about "fixing" those things that are in my power to fix.

    We forget too that living in hukam goes for the wonderful and positive things that happen around us and for us.

    Alone I cannot end starvation in Africa. But it becomes crystal clear that I can make a difference through support of an organization. And I can feed the person next door to me. I cannot cure my relative of disease. But I can do something to ease his burden, perhaps even do a lot to ease his burden. 'Hukam" clears the dust out of my mind. Then I know my true size: I am not big and I am not small. The pain is lighter; the sky is brigher. Does that make sense? I feel this is what Guru Nanak meant by "equipoise." Balance inside; the end of violent emotional storms. That is the only way I pray - to live in Hukam of Waheguru.
     
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  5. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    p/s The most common word for prayer in SGGS is ardas. Think then what we ourselves say in ardas - leaving out the part where special words are said. We remember the gurus, we remember the martyrs, we remember the thrones, we remember the gifts, taking nothing we have received for granted because all we have received comes from the greatness of Waheguru. Ardas is a kind of "simran" -- i.e., focused, aware, attentive to the greatness of Waheguru, taking nothing we have for granted. Because we have already received his greatness, we ask him to bestow his greatness on everyone else.
     
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  6. chazSingh

    chazSingh Ireland
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    such a good question...

    i've prayed many times in my life ... but my view has changed from my earlier years of thinking god is seperate to myself, and my prayers have been extending out in a way to God...

    but now i know god exists within my very being...and thus if i have a deep feeling from within my heart to express myself albeit with a prayer, then i feel happy to express it.

    to me, if a feeling to pray comes from your heart then this is also hukam. if i'm calling out for selfish reasons and worldly pursuits then i often feel this is just coming from a mechanical process in my mind (i can tell the difference)

    We may never see the effects of our prayers, but i beleieve if they come from the heart they will have an effect, so let them come out, don;t hold them in..don;t 'think' too much about them...the instinctive magic of them is lost once we start doubting, questioning, wondering, feeling guilty etc etc...

    if God is within all at all moments...then how can a prayer not reach the person you are praying for.

    just my thoughts ji...nothing more..

    God Bless

    Waheguru
     
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  7. Ishna

    Ishna
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    When I think of prayer I'm reminded of this passage from Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji:

    I can relate to the feeling of helplessness you describe. When you hear about tragedy, disaster, suffering, trials and your heart bleeds for them and you want to reach out, but for whatever reason you can't. Step one is to think about ways in which you can help, if any. Then all that's left is prayer.

    Opening the curtains to my private world of prayer I admit that even when I to someone that I'll keep them in my ardaas, I do indeed keep them in my ardaas, which is all about begging to realise Naam and accept hukam. Its not, for instance, 'please help xyz find a job' or 'please bless xyz with a child' or 'please put out the fires on the East Coast' etcetc. Because you're absolutely right in your OP, jio. What will be will be and all we can do is whatever is in our power to do and search within for peace.
     
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  8. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    ishan ji

    The only thing I am unclear about is the "begging" in ardaas. Is it begging that we do? Begging implies having been deprived and the possibility of being refused even after ardaas. Is that possible?
     
  9. Luckysingh

    Luckysingh Canada
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    Isn't begging dropping your Ego completely ?
    When you 'beg', I don't think you have any expectation of being deprived or even listened to,for that matter.
    Dropping your Ego is the ultimate surrender and ''letting it be, as per his will''

    As a sikh, I would think that offering your head is not just surrendering to his will, but also begging to let his Hukam guide you, begging for the Lord not to come distant from your heart, begging for eternal love with the lord.

    Who else do you want to be begging or asking besides the ONE true doer ?
    If your boss is going sack you tomorrow,then why beg to him/her ?
    The boss is not the real doer behind the big picture. He/she just SEEMS like the immediate doer and controller.
    It's a whole cycle of events where the boss has to make the decision in reaction to some chain of events that will lead to another chain of occurrences.
    But the REAL doer for all the ones affected in the chain,is Satguru himself.
     
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  10. Ishna

    Ishna
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    In the English translations of Gurbani I come aross tuks where Guru Sahib begs. My impression is that when we have such a longing for our Beloved, we end up begging to see It, because to be without It is terrible, and there is no guarantee that our begging is going to be fulfilled. We can't demand Grace, we can only strive for it and hope that we're on the right track.

    Perhaps begging isn't the right word to use when describing ardaas if we're interpreting ardaas as being the panthic ardaas. My mistake, sorry!

    Also I might move this into Q&A and out of Interfaith->Islam, I hope that's ok.
     
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  11. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Luckysingh ji

    There is humility, false humility, and then there is a self-dramatization of outward displays of humility. Many times the Gurus likened begging to an empty display of humility.

    Unlike the example you give of a "boss" with Waheguru, there is no reason to believe that anyone is pulling strings, or that there is a boss behind the boss, or that one might get turned down making a sense of defeat a rational response. Total faith keeps us from "begging the question" of how Waheguru connects with us.

    Ishna ji

    It is a great idea to raise the question in Q and A because the translation may very well overlay a Christian or Vedic notion of how to translate a tuk. Let's see how that goes.

    When Guru Nanak said 'let humility be your begging bowl' or 'carry the begging bowl of humility' I seem to think that he made a distinction between the act of begging and humility. It would be good to see how things unfold. We run the risk of losing the intent of arshdeep's question which comes from a deep personal space. Maybe you could start a new thread?
     
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  12. Ishna

    Ishna
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    It might be easier to take the posts from your question up and put them into a thread of their own.

    The kind of begging I'm talking about isn't physical begging from people or as an outward display but a silent begging in your heart and mind, a yearning, a wishing, to be closer to Guruji. That's also the impression I get from Gurbani.

    But I really shouldn't have brought it up in this thread because it doesn't help to address the op question

    I would say, prayers can only change your own perspective and motivation. We should pray for nothing but Naam.
     
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  13. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    I see both types of begging as the same thing. Why beg for something you already have? In a sense it is a confession that one has forgotten what one has already received. That makes ardas for me in part a matter of finding not begging. Finding = simran = remembering what is already there.

    Where on the forum did I see recently the tuk in which Guru Nanak finds a soul lost who goes looking for what he already has in his own house. I will go look for it. :winkingkaur:

    Anyway @arshdeep ji In prayer one can seek or one can trust. And I think we are back on topic.
     
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