ome want health, others want wealth. Some pray for the longevity of their parents, the safety of their children or that some other desire of theirs gets fulfilled. These prayers, like all others, have power and energy that brings them to life.
The only difference between a prayer and a desire is that a prayer is directed towards God with faith. Faith plays an important role in whether the prayer is answered or not. But the question, do we always know what is best for us?
Recently we had a symposium on domestic violence Canada Hindu Heritage Centre Mississauga Canada. One of the attendee questioned the wisdom in making the availability of video games for children and intense publicity given on TV and in other electronic media for video games for youth. There is always a new video game available in shop that every child wants. But this game is not without its dangers - it has gore, violence and profanity and might not be in the best interest of the child and how to discern between good and evil is a very big problem for the parents. But the child still wants it and repeatedly asks his parents for it. They may refuse a few times, but chances are that after a while, may give in to their child's demands. Not all parents will give in, but some will. So, the child's 'prayer' was ultimately answered by faith and perseverance. But is the video game good for the child?
We ask God for things that we want, but are those things always the best for our spiritual growth? As the saying goes, 'be careful of what you wish for, because you might get it'. We may be intensely praying for things or relationships that may not be good for us. But the intensity of our prayers creates a vibratory ripple in the Cosmos that will have its answer, its result - the fruit of the desire seed. This is why it is important for our spiritual growth to let God decide what is best for us.
Here I want to mention the story of King Solomon. King Solomon was known for his wisdom. It is said the wisdom Solomon received was from Yahweh, God. For Solomon loved Yahweh and prayed Him with full faith. Yahweh appeared to Solomon. God said, "Ask what you would like me to give you.'' Solomon replied, "You showed most faithful love to my father, when he lived his life before you in faithfulness and uprightness and integrity of heart; and you have continued loving him by allowing a son of his on this throne today. You have made me, “your servant” as king in succession to my father. But I am young, unskilled in leadership. And here is your servant, surrounded with your people whom you have chosen, a people so numerous that they cannot be counted or reckoned. So give your servant a heart to understand how to govern your people, how to discern between good and evil, for how could one otherwise govern such a great people as yours?"
It pleased God Yahweh that Solomon should have asked for this. "Since you have asked for this," God said, "and not for long life or riches for yourself or the lives of your enemies but have asked for a discerning judgment for yourself, here and now I give you a heart wise and shrewd as no one had and no one will have after you. What you have not asked I shall give you too; such riches and glory as no other king can match. And I shall give you a long life, if you follow my ways, keeping my laws and commandments, as your father followed them."
Though he was king, Solomon was humble and admitted his inadequacies. In all humility, he requested for an understanding heart, not to show his prowess and supremacy over his people but to be able to lead and guide those placed in his care. There is a famous story about him. One day two women came to the king with a child each claiming the child was hers and not the others. Calmly, the king asked for a sword and said "Cut the living child in two, and give half to one, half to the other." The woman who was the mother of the child pleaded: "I beg you, give her the live child; on no account kill him!" But the other said, "He shall belong to neither of us. Cut him in half!" The king gave his decision: "Give the live child to the first woman," he said. "She is his mother".
We, too, in our humble circumstances have people in our care. Here at Shri Ram Mandir thousands of devotees come and pray to Lord. We at times act here as counsellors, parents, teachers, mentors, leading people in attaining their goals. In the process, we may have to exercise controls, are forced to make choices in the face of uncertainties. The God says, "Any of you who lacks wisdom must ask God, who gives to all generously and without scolding; it will be given. But the prayer must be made with faith and no trace of doubt."
Love of the God is the beginning of Wisdom, to love God with one's heart and soul and also to love one another. To attain this wisdom, we have to aspire to serve the God. To seek counsel on our knees, through sincerity of heart and steadfastness and not being alarmed when disaster comes, but clinging to Him so that we may be honoured with His Grace. Whatever happens, accept it and in the uncertainties of our humble state, be patient since gold is tested in fire and the chosen in the furnace of humiliation. Trust him and he will uphold you.
Putting everything into God's hands and saying simply, "Let Thy Will be done" requires a tremendous amount of courage. It requires a lot of faith. Because somewhere deep down inside your heart and mind, you wish and hope that the God's Will coincides with your own. But true and pure faith knows (not believes, because believing is not being entirely sure) that the Will of God is best for you. That is true faith.
But when you operate from ego, your relationships with the God will be affected. Ego wants to prove its point of view. The point of view is more important than truth or happiness. In that state, you demand and not command respect. If a couple demands respect from each other, then they are beggars of happiness and not givers of happiness. In the egoistic state, an argument feeds the ego. Remember no one wins an argument. You accumulate more of bitterness and at different periods of time you settle scores with the other. When you operate from the 'higher self', there is a healthy discussion. In discussion, truth is more important than who has said it. Happiness and well-being become more important than the survival of one's point of view.
Then a relationship becomes rhythmic with the God. You enjoy being with the other and you enjoy being alone. You are neither dependent nor independent but interdependent. You share your joyous being and not beg happiness from your partner.
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