Om pita nohsi, pita no bodhi
Namstestu, ma mahingseeh
Vishwani deva sabiturduritaniparasuva,
Namahshambhabayacha mayobhabayo cha
Namahshankarayacha mayaskaraya cha
Namahshibaya cha shibataraya cha.
You are our Father, as a father teach us true wisdom. We bend low in reverence before you. Save us from delusion and sin; forsake us not, destroy us not. O God our father, forgive us our trespasses and send us that which is for our good. You are the cause and the source of all goodness and happiness. You are goodness itself, and more than good. We bow down to you.
A popular doha of Kabir says: “Dukhmein Simran sab kare, sukhmein karena koi / Jo sukhmein Simran kare, dukhkahe ko hoi?” – Everybody prays in distress, nobody prays in happiness / If you pray in happy times, why ever will you suffer distress?
But praying for relief from existential distress, as implied in the translation of the above doha, is not prayer in the true sense. Prayer does not mean to kneel and put our hands together and focus and expect things from God. It means that through all our daily chores, to keep God in our consciousness and carry out acts favoured by Him. Thinking good and wishing good for others is a prayer. When we help someone in need by giving our time and energy, that’s a prayer. When we forgive somebody from the heart, that is prayer. Prayer is a vibration, a feeling, a thought. Prayer is the voice of love, friendship, genuine relationships. Prayer is an expression of our inner silent being. We often ask after praying: ‘has our prayer reached God?’ That happens when we desire something from Him.
Dear God, we join the author of this poem to express our complete trust in you, belief in you:
“I have felt the wind blow whispering your name.
I have seen your tears fall when I watch the rain.
How could I say there is no God when all around creation calls,
A singing bird, a mighty tree,
The vast expanse of open sea,
Gazing at a bird in flight soaring through the air,
Lying down beneath the stars, I feel your presence there.
I love to stand at ocean’s shore
And feel the thundering breakers roar,
To walk through golden fields of grain
Beneath endless blue horizon’s frame,
Listening to the river run, watering the earth.
Fragrance of a rose in bloom, a newborn’s cry at birth,
How could I say there is no God when all around creation calls:
For our prayer to you today, I borrow the words of Jalaluddin Rumi, the great Sufi saint and Persian poet:
“I am weak, O Lord! If I ever ask for something from you, please don’t listen to me. And if you do, please don’t act upon it. Let your will alone be fulfilled. My happiness lies in what pleases you. I don’t even understand what is good for me! Whatever you do is right, even if I don’t understand it.”
Om bhur bhubahswah tatsaviturvarenyang
Bhargodevasya dheemahi dhiyoyo nah prachodayat
Let us meditate on the adorable wisdom and power of the Supreme Creator of the universe who is constantly sending forth onto us the faculties of knowledge and understanding.
Sanjoy Chanda, Delhi Brahmo Samaj