Bhagawati questions the effects of popular prayer, chants and well-wishing: “These so-called prayers are all mantras that won’t make anybody wake up but put everybody to sleep with the smug feeling of having ‘done’ something positive.”
Recently, I came across an invitation to participate in a prayer for the betterment of self and, which sounded rather grand, for the whole of humanity,
It started off with the intonation of
May I be happy
May I be peaceful
May I be safe
May I awaken to my true nature
May I be free – and so on
I was puzzled; what is it with all those “may I’s”? Why such timid, tentative reaching out?
Why would anybody want to cite “May I be happy,” asking permission from some unknown entity to be so? This might look like a cool prayer at first glance but it will not resonate inside because it is coming from the mind and merely sounds haughty. Plus, the mind is bent on asking for something to happen in the future, while the being knows it IS already, now, here.
Rather, change the gestalt, be assertive and say in the here-now
I am happy
I am peaceful
I am safe – and so on
…and a fresh wind blows through the cobwebs of the mind!
As for the next step on that intonation, namely saying the following prayer for others, this might be intended as kindness but it is simply an interference:
May you be peaceful
May you be happy
May you be safe – and so on
Why intrude in somebody else’s life? Maybe what another person needs IS turmoil, danger, or insecurity. We cannot know what anybody else needs to experience in their life. Change must begin with oneself; only then can we maybe help others on the path, through ‘innerstanding’, compassion and love.
These so-called prayers are all mantras that won’t make anybody wake up but put everybody to sleep with the smug feeling of having ‘done’ something positive. Under the banner of new age movements, so-called masters, facilitators and spiritual teachers, catch phrases such as mindfulness, higher consciousness, the art of positive thinking, affirmation, miracles, ten easy steps to happiness, five things to do before you get up, are thrown at the reader, while any negative thought that might lurk in the shadows is swept under the carpet.
It is conveniently forgotten that positive and negative are indivisible and two aspects of the same energy – yin and yang – and both are needed.
And the same goes to flinging all those wishes upon the entire world (step 3 in said prayer). Isn’t it enough to find out for yourself that you ARE? From there, from our inner centre, loving vibrations will move along on their own and change the gestalt… and this vibrational ball will keep rolling and reach many people… an indiscriminate sharing and ripple effect that will help everybody remember and live in the oneness we all are immersed in.
Bhagawati is a regular contributor
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