What Is Prayer? Should Sikhs Pray?

❤️ Join Members on SPNT Mobile App!

Feb 23, 2012
391
642
United Kingdom
For me, this is prayer:


"...Prayer is nothing but the inhaling and exhaling of the one breath of the universe. I, the highest and fiery power, have kindled every spark of life...I, the fiery life of divine essence, blaze in the beauty of the fields, am aflame beyond the beauty of the meadows, I gleam in the waters, and I burn in the sun, moon, and stars. With every breeze, as with invisible life that contains everything, I awaken everything to life. The air lives by turning green and being in bloom. The waters flow as if they were alive.... I am also Reason, having the wind of the sounding Word by which all things were created, and I breathe in them all, so that none may die, because I am Life...And thus I remain hidden in every kind of reality as a fiery power. Everything burns because of me in the way our breath constantly moves us, like the wind-tossed flame in a fire. As the Creator loves his creation so creation loves the Creator. Creation, of course, was fashioned to be adorned, to be showered, to be gifted with the love of the Creator. The entire world has been embraced by this kiss...All living creatures are, so to speak, sparks from the radiation of God's brilliance, and these sparks emerge from God like the rays of the sun . . . But if God did not give off those sparks, how would the divine glory become fully visible?...For there is no creature without some kind of radiance - whether it be greenness, seeds, buds, or another kind of beauty. Every human soul endowed with reason exists as a soul that emerges from the true God . . . This same God is that living fire by which souls live and breathe..."

- Saint Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179), Catholic mystic and Doctor of the Church


Catholic mystics often count the breath when praying, especially in the East where the practice of Hesyschasm is practised ie "inhale and say in mind - "Jesus Christ Son of God" then exhale and say "have mercy on me"

To explain this Hildegard told a parable, a little moral story:


"...Listen: there was once a king sitting on his throne. Around him stood great and wonderfully beautiful columns ornamented with ivory, bearing the banners of the king with great honor. Then it pleased the king to raise a small feather from the ground, and he commanded it to fly. The feather flew, not because of anything in itself but because the air bore it along. Thus am I, a feather on the breath of God..."


- Saint Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179), Catholic mystic and Doctor of the Church



The Breath of God lives and breathes in all of us, and in all living beings, throughout all creation. To realize this, and to move with it, is prayer - a grasping of our place in the All and our unity with everything else in God's creation, in which we are all "feathers on the breath of God".
 
Last edited:
Feb 23, 2012
391
642
United Kingdom
Another definition of prayer that I like:



"...The most powerful prayer, one wellnigh omnipotent, and the worthiest work of all is the outcome of a quiet mind. The quieter it is the more powerful, the worthier, the deeper, the more telling and more perfect the prayer is. To the quiet mind all things are possible. What is a quiet mind? A quiet mind is one which nothing weighs on, nothing worries, which, free from ties and from all self-seeking, is wholly merged into the will of God and dead to its own...If the only prayer you say in your entire life is "Thank You," that would suffice. Apprehend God in all things, for God is in all things. Every single creature is full of God and is a book about God. Every creature is a word of God. If I spent enough time with the tiniest creature-- even a caterpillar-- I would never have to prepare a sermon. So full of God is every creature. We ought to understand God equally in all things, for God is equally in all things. All beings love one another. All creatures are interdependent...God wants nothing of you but the gift of a peaceful heart..."

- Meister Eckhart (1260-1329), Catholic mystic and Dominican priest


And also:


"...A man may go into the field and say his prayer and be aware of God, or, he may be in Church and be aware of God; but, if he is more aware of Him because he is in a quiet place, that is his own deficiency and not due to God, Who is alike present in all things and places, and is willing to give Himself everywhere so far as lies in Him. He knows God rightly who knows Him everywhere..."

- Meister Eckhart (1260-1329), Catholic mystic and Dominican priest


One does not have to be in a Church or Temple to find God in prayer - he is Everywhere!


 
Last edited:

Harry Haller

Panga Master
SPNer
Jan 31, 2011
5,769
8,192
53
"...Prayer is nothing but the inhaling and exhaling of the one breath of the universe. I, the highest and fiery power, have kindled every spark of life...I, the fiery life of divine essence, blaze in the beauty of the fields, am aflame beyond the beauty of the meadows, I gleam in the waters, and I burn in the sun, moon, and stars. With every breeze, as with invisible life that contains everything, I awaken everything to life. The air lives by turning green and being in bloom. The waters flow as if they were alive.... I am also Reason, having the wind of the sounding Word by which all things were created, and I breathe in them all, so that none may die, because I am Life.

wahmundawahkaurmundahug
 

jonj

SPNer
Apr 26, 2012
5
0
32
some people find relief in praying as they feel like they can confide anything to God that might be bothering them that they cannot voice out to someone else. They feel connected to a higher begin that they strongly believe communication is established. Some people may not be able to voice out their fears as they might not be appropriate to talk about in the moment especially if what they fear is the death of someone they love as they want to seem strong to that person who might be fearing death as well that is why they opt to establish communication to a "higher being" whom the feel some relief.
 
Feb 23, 2012
391
642
United Kingdom
Hum AADMI haan EK Dammi......we are of ONE BREATH.........says GURU NANAK....
Quote: Prayer is nothing but the inhaling and exhaling of the one breath of the universe......0:)

Wow! :) I never knew Guru Nanak said that! We are ONE breath!

I just googled it and found:

There is only one breath; all are made of the same clay; the light within all is the same.
The One Light pervades all the many and various beings. This Light intermingles with them, but it is not diluted or obscured.
By Guru’s Grace, I have come to see the One. I am a sacrifice to the True Guru. (3)

What a stunning message of the Unity of Humanity and of all creatures!

I think I remember reading that passage already - it is stunning! I am reminded of the Quaker teaching of the "Inner Light", as its founder George Fox explained:

"...Every Man is enlightened by the Divine Light of Christ, and I saw it shine through all..."

- George Fox (1624 – 1691), Founder of Quakerism


I just adore Nanak's teachings. I could read the Granth all day without tiring or feeling wearied. Its just so full of the Holy Spirit and of wisdom :mundabhangra:

I'm with His Holiness the Dalai Lama when he said:


"...We bow to this great Granth, which was compiled 400 years ago. Since then it had been spreading the message of peace and love all over the world. The 21st century is witnessing a revolution in technology and man is improving his skills, but in matters of living and relationships between nations there is a marked degradation. The aim of all religions is to create a good man..."

- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, spiritua leader of Tibetan Buddhism
 
Oct 21, 2009
451
895
India
Harry ji,
I am posting a sabad from ang 149 that speaks of Pain and pleasure in context of prayer. Guru Sahibaan have clearly stated in this regard that :

ਮਃ ੧ ॥
मः १ ॥
First Mehl:

ਨਾਨਕ ਬੋਲਣੁ ਝਖਣਾ ਦੁਖ ਛਡਿ ਮੰਗੀਅਹਿ ਸੁਖ ॥]
O Nanak, it is absurd to ask to be spared from pain by begging for comfort.

ਸੁਖੁ ਦੁਖੁ ਦੁਇ ਦਰਿ ਕਪੜੇ ਪਹਿਰਹਿ ਜਾਇ ਮਨੁਖ ॥
Pleasure and pain are the two garments given, to be worn in the Court of the Lord.

ਜਿਥੈ ਬੋਲਣਿ ਹਾਰੀਐ ਤਿਥੈ ਚੰਗੀ ਚੁਪ ॥੨॥
Where you are bound to lose by speaking, there, you ought to remain silent. ||2||


And Jap ji Sahib also states:

ਹੁਕਮੀ ਉਤਮੁ ਨੀਚੁ ਹੁਕਮਿ ਲਿਖਿ ਦੁਖ ਸੁਖ ਪਾਈਅਹਿ ॥

By His Command, some are high and some are low; by His Written Command, pain and pleasure are obtained.

There would be other lines as well besides these. Your thinking is in line with that Guru Sahib has stated.!
 
Last edited:

Harry Haller

Panga Master
SPNer
Jan 31, 2011
5,769
8,192
53
Harry ji,
I am posting a sabad from ang 149 that speaks of Pain and pleasure in context of prayer. Guru Sahibaan have clearly stated in this regard that :

ਮਃ ੧ ॥
मः १ ॥
First Mehl:

ਨਾਨਕ ਬੋਲਣੁ ਝਖਣਾ ਦੁਖ ਛਡਿ ਮੰਗੀਅਹਿ ਸੁਖ ॥]
O Nanak, it is absurd to ask to be spared from pain by begging for comfort.

ਸੁਖੁ ਦੁਖੁ ਦੁਇ ਦਰਿ ਕਪੜੇ ਪਹਿਰਹਿ ਜਾਇ ਮਨੁਖ ॥
Pleasure and pain are the two garments given, to be worn in the Court of the Lord.

ਜਿਥੈ ਬੋਲਣਿ ਹਾਰੀਐ ਤਿਥੈ ਚੰਗੀ ਚੁਪ ॥੨॥
Where you are bound to lose by speaking, there, you ought to remain silent. ||2||


And Jap ji Sahib also states:

ਹੁਕਮੀ ਉਤਮੁ ਨੀਚੁ ਹੁਕਮਿ ਲਿਖਿ ਦੁਖ ਸੁਖ ਪਾਈਅਹਿ ॥

By His Command, some are high and some are low; by His Written Command, pain and pleasure are obtained.

There would be other lines as well besides these. Your thinking is in line with that Guru Sahib has stated.!

mundahug
 
Feb 23, 2012
391
642
United Kingdom
"...God is Breath, for the breath of the wind is shared by all, goes everywhere; nothing shuts it in, nothing holds it prisoner..."


- Saint Maximus The Confessor (c. 580 – 662), On Divine Names, I, 4, pg 4, 208, Catholic monk and mystic




"...Prayer is the oxygen of the soul. Prayer is the bread and life of the soul; it is the breath of the heart. I do not want to be anything more than this, a friar who loves...Pray, hope, and don’t worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer. Prayer is the best weapon we have; it is the key to God’s heart. You must speak to God not only with your lips, but with your heart. In fact on certain occasions you should only speak to Him with your heart..."


- Saint Padre Pio (1887 – 1968), Capuchin Catholic priest and mystic
 
Last edited:
Feb 23, 2012
391
642
United Kingdom
"...God has given to the earth the breath which feeds it. It is his breath that gives life to all things. And if he were to withhold his breath, everything would be annihilated. It is the breath of God that you breathe - and you are unaware of it..."


- Saint Theophilus of Antioch ( c. 169 - 183), Catholic Bishop and mystic




"...This breathing of the air is a property of the Holy Spirit, for which the soul here prays so that she may love God perfectly...Breathing with that, His Divine Breath He raises the soul most sublimely and informs her, that she may breathe in the same breath of love...And this is for the soul so high a glory, and so profound and sublime a delight, that it cannot be described by mortal tongue, nor can human understanding, as such, attain to any conception of it; [because] the soul that is united with and transformed in God breathes God in God with the same divine breathing with which God, while in her, breathes her in himself...That which is born in the soul from that breathing of the air is the song of the sweet philomel; for even as the song of the philomel, which is the nightingale, is heard in spring, when the cold and the rains of the winter are all past, and makes melody to the ear and gives refreshment to the spirit, even so in this present communication and transformation of love the Bride is protected and freed from all temporal changes and disturbances, and detached and purged from all the imperfections of her nature, and feels the new spring in her spirit, wherein she hears the sweet voice of the Beloved, who is her sweet nightingale, in the inmost part of her soul..."


- Saint John of the Cross (1542 –1591), Catholic mystic and Doctor of the Church


The Gurus and the Catholic mystics metaphorically describe God as the "Beloved Spouse" of the Soul; and the human soul as the "Bride" yearning for the sweet embrace of her Divine Lover, his caresses, kisses and touch. This is a powerful way to envision prayer, as the loving interaction between lovers, who continually die to self and offer each other as a gift, one to the other, until they unite in the act of love itself - and become "One", in the Bridal Chamber of the soul. And then we hear the voice of the Beloved in our hearts. We Catholics call this "Bridal Mysticism" and I have found it throughout the Holy Granth. Its inspiration and foundation in Catholic Sacred Tradition is the biblical Song of Songs, an erotic and epic love poem I've quoted before on SPN. The longing for a Beloved is one of the most profound desires known to man. The Book of Proverbs in the Bible accounts, 'the Way of a man with a woman' as one of the four wonders of creation. Thus Saint Augustine tells:




"...To fall in love with God is the greatest of all romances;
To seek Him, the greatest adventure;
To find Him, the greatest human achievement..."

~Saint Augustine of Hippo (c. 354-430) Church Father and Catholic mystic





"...When he touches me I clutch the sky's sheets,
the way other lovers do
the earth's weave of clay.

Any real ectasy is a sign
you are moving in the right direction,
don't let any prude tell you otherwise.

They are like shy, young school kids -
time and space
before the woman and the man who are
intimate with God.
The realised soul can play with this universe
the way a child can a ball...

A chalice - the Grail - my body became, for it held the Christ
and he drank
from me.

Sanctified are our limbs,
for every heart has touched God,
though most with closed eyes.

A holy relic is each creature,
and beauty may worry
about its comeliness waning.

We fear dying 'til we know the truth of ourselves.

The seams on my body
are torn;

I have stepped from that region of me
that did not love
all the time.

There is a divine world of light
with many suns in the sky.

I slept with my Lord
one night,

now all that is luminous
I know we
conceived
..."




- Saint Teresa of Avila (1515-1582), Catholic mystic and Doctor of the Church


"...I cannot dance, Lord, unless you lead me.
If you want me to leap with abandon,
You must intone the song.
Then I shall leap into love,
From love into knowledge,
From knowledge into enjoyment,
And from enjoyment beyond all human sensations.
There I want to remain, yet want also to circle higher still..."



Saint Mechthild of Magdeburg (c. 1207 – c.1294), Catholic mystic




As you can see, Teresa envisions herself and God as marital lovers. Their bedsheets are the sky, the earth is their bed and in between the two lovers consummate their love in the soul. Mechthild envisions God as her flirtatious young Spouse beckoning her to dance with Him. She exclaims that she cannot dance unless he grabs hold of her and leads her through the steps!
 
Last edited:
Feb 23, 2012
391
642
United Kingdom
"...It is possible to offer fervent prayer even while walking in public or strolling alone, or seated in your shop, . . . while buying or selling, . . . or even while cooking..."


- St. John Chrysostom (c. 347–407), Ecloga de oratione,
Church Father and Doctor of the Church
 
Feb 23, 2012
391
642
United Kingdom
Veera But is it possible to offer fervent prayer whilst debating in an internet forum?


My dear sister Scarlet :sippingcoffeemunda:

An excllent thought! Actually I would say, why not?

Absolutely any activity can and should be sanctified as prayer because there is no separation between our spiritual life and our daily life - its just one life, as one Catholic saint said: "There is just one life, made of flesh and spirit. And it is this life which has to become, in both soul and body, holy and filled with God. [You cannot live] a kind of double life. On the one hand, an interior life, a life of union with God; and on the other, a separate and distinct professional, social and family life".

I suppose before going online we could say within our hearts, "I'm going to offer my time on this forum up to you my Creator, let your Will be done on SPN through me, and not mine." That's prayer.

And implore the Creator to work through you for the benefit and mutual building up of your fellow SPN'ers on this online community! That's prayer: Showing compassion to others, allowing God's Will to work through you for the benefit of the common good.


“...You don't know how to pray? Put yourself in the presence of God, and as soon as you have said, "Lord, I don't know how to pray!" you can be sure you've already begun...Prayer is not a question of what you say or feel, but of love. And you love when you try hard to say something to the Lord, even though you might not actually say anything... I have often meditated on this life of spiritual childhood, which is not incompatible with fortitude, because it demands a strong will, proven maturity, an open and firm character. To work in this way is to pray. To study thus is likewise prayer. Research done with this spirit is prayer too. We are always doing the same thing, for everything can be prayer, all activity can and should lead us to God, nourish our intimate dealings with him, from morning to night. Any honorable work can be prayer and all prayerful work is God's Work. In this way the soul develops a unity of life, which is both simple and strong..."

- Saint Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer (1902 – 1975)



"...How few really understand this! If they hear about the interior life, they imagine some obscure temple. For more than a quarter of a century I have been saying that such isn't the case. I talk about the interior life of ordinary people who habitually find themselves in the hubbub of the city, in the light of day, in the street, at work, with their families or simply relaxing; they are centred on God all day long. And what is this except a life of continuous prayer? Isn't it true that you have seen the need to become a soul of prayer, to reach an intimacy with God that leads to divinization? Such is faith as always understood by souls of prayer — ‘A man becomes God,’ writes Clement of Alexandria, ‘because he loves whatever God loves.’ At first it will be more difficult. You must make an effort to seek out the Lord, to thank him for his fatherly and practical concern for us. Although it is not a question of sentiment, little by little the love of God makes itself felt like a rustle in the soul. It is God who pursues us lovingly: ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock.’...Prayer then becomes continuous, like the beating of our heart, like our pulse..."



- Saint Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer (1902 – 1975)




"...Great holiness lies in carrying out the little duties of each moment. Do everything for Love. Thus there will be no little things: everything will be big. Perseverance in little things for Love is heroism. A Christian should do all honest human work, be it intellectual or manual, with the greatest perfection possible: with human perfection (professional competence) and with Christian perfection (for love of God's Will and as a service to mankind). Human work done like that, no matter how humble or insignificant it may seem, helps to shape the world. The world's divine dimension is made more visible and our human labour is thus incorporated into the marvellous work of Creation. It is raised to the order of grace. It is sanctified and becomes God's work...Ordinary life can be holy and full of God...The supernatural value of our life does not depend on accomplishing the great undertakings sometimes suggested to us by our overactive imagination. Rather it is to be found in the faithful acceptance of God's will, in welcoming generously the opportunities for small, daily sacrifice..."

- Saint Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer (1902 – 1975)


As God is everywhere and present in every moment of our lives, anywhere - yes, even an online forum like SPN - can become a meeting place with the Divine and a prayer.
 
Last edited:
Feb 23, 2012
391
642
United Kingdom
BTW I JUST REALIZED I CALLED YOU SISTER lol

I KNOW YOUR A MAN AND YET WHENEVER I SEE SCARLET I THINK WOMAN lollolSomehow that name confuses me - I am very sorry my dear brother, I think I've called you sister before! Please accept my apology.
 

Scarlet Pimpernel

We seek him here,we sikh
Writer
SPNer
May 31, 2011
995
1,095
In the Self
:mundabhangra:
As God is everywhere and present in every moment of our lives, anywhere - yes, even an online forum like SPN - can become a meeting place with the Divine and a prayer. <!-- google_ad_section_end -->

Veera your name confuses me aswell ,any way as you previously said the Self has no gender, another question, If God is present even in an online forum like SPN does that make him a member aswell?

(You don't have to answer any of my questions by the way as I'm a bit of a cynic like Diogenes.)

Ps I love the Saints words that you posted especially 'Verses on Deep' and the last one here , I shared it with a Christian friend by email as he does not come here.Keep up the good work.
 
Last edited:
Feb 23, 2012
391
642
United Kingdom
Veera If God is present even in an online forum like SPN does that make him a member aswell?


My dear brother (cheerleader) Scarlet gingerteakaur

I think that brother Harry has answered your question for me!

God is everywhere whole and entire but he is not in any single place more than he is another.

If he were a member - then wouldn't that be sorted of like saying that he is especially in SPN? He is everywhere! He is just there, wherever you go, you are in his Presence. In this sense I do not think it would be accurate to say that he is a "member" of anything, since that would seem to limit Him to the finite when he is Infinite.


Catholicism and Sikhism both teach that God is everywhere and in everything, that creation is filled with his Presence and that "God is All" (Book of Sirach). And yet for Sikhs and Catholics, whilst creation is permeated with the presence and reality of God, he is in all things without being fully contained by them or limited to them, indeed he both indwells all created things and at the same time transcends them as their ultimate origin and Creator. Because of this both religions teach that creation is good, the world is good, reality is good and that every place is a meeting point with God and provides us with an opportunity to be in his Presence.

He is the ALL. :mundabhangra:


Sikhism believes that there is no separation between daily life and holiness. There is no division between the profane and sacred since once we become aware of God's Presence everywhere, we realize that everything is holy and that there is no such thing as a "spiritual life" distinct from daily life. The Adi Granth tells us that,


"...Spiritual liberation is attained in the midst of laughing, playing, dressing up and eating..."

- Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji, p 522.


Catholicism teaches the same.


“...All of creation, even the most material situation, is a meeting place with God, and leads to union with Him...All the ways of the earth can be an opportunity to meet God...He waits for us everyday, in the laboratory, in the operating theatre, in the army barracks, in the university chair, in the factory, in the workshop, in the fields, in the home and in all the immense panorama of work...Your ordinary contact with God takes place where your fellow men, your yearnings, your work and your affections are. There you have your daily encounter with God...The fruit of our prayer today should be the conviction that our journey on earth, at all times and whatever the circumstances, is for God; that it is a treasure of glory, something marvellous, which has been entrusted to us to administer, with a sense of responsibility. But it is not necessary for us to change our situation in life. Right in the middle of the world we can sanctify our profession or job, our home life, and social relations...I dream — and the dream has come true — of multitudes of God's children, sanctifying themselves as ordinary citizens, sharing the ambitions and endeavors of their colleagues and friends...Human life ‑ your life ‑ and its humdrum, ordinary business, have a meaning which is divine, which belongs to eternity. There is something holy, something divine, hidden in the most ordinary situations, and it is up to each one of you to discover it...”

- Saint Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer (1902 – 1975)
 
Last edited:
Feb 23, 2012
391
642
United Kingdom
Veer Ji If he is the forum then who are the members?


We all participate in God just as much as God is within all things. mundahug


"...The day of my spiritual awakening was the day I saw—<WBR>and knew I saw—all things in God and God in all things..."


- Saint Mechthild of Madgeburg (c. 1207 – 1294)




In this sense we are all members of God and of each other, as Jesus said: "I am in them (us) and you are in me".


We are like fish in an ocean. We are swimming in God and yet we don't know it. Saint Augustine explained it as if God were a boundless ocean completely permeating the finite sponge of the created world.


In this way we all soak in God, are permeated with Him, are In him and he in Us.




"...The image of God is found essentially and personally in all mankind. Each possesses it whole, entire and undivided, and all together not more than one alone. In this way we are all one, intimately united in our eternal image, which is the image of God and the source in us of all our life. Our created essence and our life are attached to it without mediation as to their eternal cause..."

- Blessed John Ruysbroeck (1294-1381)
 
Last edited:
Feb 23, 2012
391
642
United Kingdom
:mundabhangra:

Veera your name confuses me aswell ,any way as you previously said the Self has no gender, another question, If God is present even in an online forum like SPN does that make him a member aswell?

(You don't have to answer any of my questions by the way as I'm a bit of a cynic like Diogenes.)

Ps I love the Saints words that you posted especially 'Verses on Deep' and the last one here , I shared it with a Christian friend by email as he does not come here.Keep up the good work.


LOL :sippingcoffeemunda: Vouthon is a strange name indeed! Its French, its the name of the part of France where Saint Joan of Arc's mother came from - I use it because I love Joan! (She's kind of like my 'hero/heroine').

I am very humbled that you shared my quote with another Christian - I hope he liked it too! mundahug
 

Scarlet Pimpernel

We seek him here,we sikh
Writer
SPNer
May 31, 2011
995
1,095
In the Self
Vouthon is a strange name indeed! Its French, its the name of the part of France where Saint Joan of Arc's mother
Veera
Saints have no denomination in my eyes ,they speak universal Truths and are inspirational to all ,especially Joan of Arc,your quote of a Saint I shared twice ,they then perhaps will share it thrice,thus a little post here travels further than you could imagine.
 
MEET SPN ON YOUR MOBILES (TAP)

❤️ Join Members on SPNT Mobile App!

Top