It's Nature and Technique



Miscellaneous and Brief Specimens

    IT will not be out of place to give below some specimen prayers for the benefit of the readers, with a few introductory remarks in this behalf.

    Man is an ensouled body, or in other words soul plus body; and of the two, soul is the more precious because it is the active and live-principle that enlivens the body. In fact, body has no value apart from the soul.

    The great souls or Mahatmas are of varied types. There are Mahatmas who ask of God such necessities of life as may keep their body and soul together, so that after satisfying their physical needs they may spend their time in meditation on God. Jesus in his prayer asked for "daily bread" to satisfy Nature's foremost need--"Give us this day our daily bread." Such souls regard everything as of God and ask Him for the fulfillment of their primary needs from day to day and then engage in uninterrupted devotion for the rest of the time. The physical body is the vehicle of the soul and has, as such, to be fed for the higher purpose of life, to wit, the advancement of soul. Hunger, says Kabir, is a great handicap in the path of devotion.

O Kabir! the dog of hunger spoils meditation by snarls, Just throw a crumb to
   it and then sit at ease.
    In the beginning the Satguru teaches a disciple to pray for his needs, as would appear from the following prayers of Kabir:
One cannot meditate with hunger gnawing within,
Take thou the rosary away from me, O Lord 1

Grant unto me flour, ghee and salt besides some pulse
That I may have a day's ration to live upon.
A cot, a pillow with a bed and a quilt,
That I may meditate on Thee undisturbed.
I have not been greedy in my demands,
For I love nothing better than Thy Word 2

Give unto me as much as I may live on in peace,
And none turns away hunger from my door.

Bhagat Dhanna likewise prayed:
O Lord! I pray unto Thee,
Thou dost supply the needs of thy devotees.
Furnish me with pulse, flour and butter,
That I may happily live in comfort.
Give me clothes and a pair of shoes to wear,
And a good supply of wheat and cereals,
And milch cattle for the supply of milk,
Besides a fine mare to ride on,
And a homely obedient mate in the house;
This is all Dhanna asks for. 3
In the Lord's Prayer of Jesus Christ, we have a beautiful example of all that one need ask:
Our Father who art in Heaven, Holy is Thy Name,
Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day the Bread of Life, and forgive us our offenses
  as we forgive those who offend us.
By Thy Spirit lead us out of all temptation, and deliver us from evil.
For Thine, Thou Everlasting Lord, is the Kingdom, the Power,
  and the glory forever. 4
Similarly we have a beautiful prayer from the Lord to the Earthly Mother:
Our Mother which art upon earth, hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, and thy will be done in us, as it is in thee.
As thou sendest every day thy angels, send them to us also.
Forgive us our sins, as we atone all our sins against thee.
And lead us not into sickness, but deliver us from all evil,
for thine is the earth, the body, and the health. 5
                                                                    ESSENE GOSPEL OF JOHN

The disciples of Buddha, without considering the necessity for formal prayers, have always wished well for all humanity; and this in fact is the highest type of prayer, whether we call it prayer or not. Whenever after self-ablution, they sit in meditation in the morning and evening, they express these thoughts:

I wish to have universal love for all. I wish that all creation on all sides--above me  and below, on my right and left -- may live in peace. I wish well unto all, living either in this world or in heaven or in hell. Let there be peace everywhere.
In the Rig Veda (Hindu Scriptures) there are prayers invoking God for the fulfillment of physical and other worldly needs. In Sukat 53 of Mandal 6, we have:
O Lord of valor, we pray for all the gifts of God: for success in our endeavors and the gift of food, and all such things that are desirable. O God of Love, let there be nothing in one's way to gain food in abundance, and have our wishes fulfilled.
In their daily Sandhya, the Hindus recite:
Brahm, the eye of the three regions and the Devas, is in front of us. We wish to have him before us for hundred years, and may we live a hundred years to see him, to hear him, to sing of him, and live for him happily and in prayer, for a hundred years and more.
The Vedantins also think of, dwell upon and meditate on the Mahavakyas (their traditional aphorisms) "Aham Brahm Asmi" (I am Brahm) and "Tat Twam Asi" (I am as Thou art).

    The Gayatri--the most sacred Mantra--is a prayer the Lord to lead us to Him, the Sun of all Light.

    Khawaja Hafiz Shirazi, in a state of Divine intoxication, prayed to his Master thus:

Helpless I am and Thou art helpful,
Separated are we for myriads of ages.
In sheer compassion, take me to Thy abode,
Attracted by Thy wondrous beauty, I follow Thee.
Else could I not budge an inch from my place,
Fortunate was Ayaz, the slave of Mahmud,
For having won the kingly favor.
It is a proud privilege to serve at Thy door,
With Thy glance of Grace, make me worthy of it.
    Shamas Tabrez prayed to his preceptor as follows:
O Cup-bearer, serve Thou the wine of the other world,
That may give a vision of the Invisible.
A draught whereof may give Divine Intoxication,
And close the critical eyes of the flesh,
And open the mystic eye within.

O Master! ostrich lives on the Kaaf Mountain,
Thou art the true abode of the bird of my soul.
As candle is the altar for the moth,
My life is a thousand times sacrificed on Thee.
Throw down the sluice gates of the waters of life,
And make manifest the fabled spring of Kausar.
Grant me the intoxication of love,
And keep my wandering wits at anchor.
My only prayer is that Thou enter and occupy Thy seat
in the mosque of my body:
And sanctify my poor abode with Thy holy presence.

    The set prayer among the Muslims runs:
In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
Praise be to God, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds;
Most Gracious, Most Merciful;
Master of the day of Judgment.
Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek.
Show us the straight way, the way of those on whom
  Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace,
Those whose portion is not wrath, and who go not astray.
Amen !

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