[This is very much of a Photo Essay, and is Easy to Go Through.]
The Verb Pray basically means ‘To Ask,’ of course. But Prayer, has many, rich Connotations!
In Praying, One expresses one’s:
Awe, Adoration to God,
(Awesome Tanzi mountains of China)
Admiration and Praise,
(Extraordinary Purple Flower)
One’s Thankgiving for Gifts, Blessings and Favours received,
(Happy child with Gift)
(The Prodigal son returns)
Even Making Excuses(!)
(What do We say to this?!)
And Making Petitions, Asking favours from God, of course.
(Asking from God)
It is Unfortunate and Shameful that Most of Our prayer becomes Just Asking things from God. The above mentioned other elements of Adoration, Praise and Thanks have very little part in Our day to day lives. This has to be Corrected.
In All this, We see that We are supposed to be Speaking to God. But in Speaking to somebody, would it be right to have our say and Keep Moving, without any thought of What That Person might want to Say?
A Speech may be a monologue, but Speaking demands Participation of Both the parties. Thus, Real Prayer would be Only that in which one Listens to God, too. Since We have spent Most of Our life speaking to God, and practically have given NO time to Listen to Him, it would be Right that We give and Allott larger amounts of Time to Listen to Him.
In any case, Pray. Prayer is being in Contact with God, after all. And Prayer brings Miracles. And We All Need Plenty of these.
We have to Remember that Meditation is a Western word. Dhyaan is translated as meditation, may be for want of a better word, but there are Diametrical Differences between the two. The Wise would do well to Use the two words Separately. Let us see what Meditation is.
In Meditation, We take a Sacred Verse, Passage or Thought, and Use Our Own Faculties, namely, Our Brain, to reach the Depths of same. We examine:
- Who said it,
- Where and How and Under What Circumstances,
- When and in What Context,
- What are the Original meanings of the Words used,
- How often and How Much the Thought has been Stressed, Where Else the Thoughts are mentioned,
And thus, finally, one tries to arrive at the Fullest Meaning and Richness (Sensus Plenior) of the Passage/Verse. To Repeat, one’s Brain has been the Instrument which has examined all this.
For the Difference seen in Dhyaan We shall go there shortly.
Contemplation is: “Seeing things As God Sees them.”
Take a Clump of Bamboos.
One can see this as:
Good for Stilts, as in this House on Bamboo Stilts,
As a Delicacy!
Bamboo having many Uses, like further Used for making Excellent Flutes, Kites, Matting, Fences, and even as Food for Pandas, may be in Your zoo, etc, in most cases it might be seen as Money in the Bank!
To be Able to see things As They Are is a Gift, but it can also be Acquired. God, the Sannyasi and the Master see things as they are. For them, a Tree is a Tree. This Simplicity of Vision makes for Uncompounded decisions and Well being.
In Dhyaan, the Mind is Just a Receptor. Dhyaan is a Method of Achieving Mental Silence, the ‘Chitta-Vritti-Nirodh’ for Yoga, the Union with God.
Silence of the Mind is the Key, not Physical silence. It would not do to go to the Quietest of places. It would Not do to Stop Talking. The Mind has to be Silent. The Mind’s Workings have to Cease. And that is Dhyaan.
If We think of Dhyaan just as the Western Meditation, and Use our Brain to reach supposed depths, then the one who thinks he is Napolean will end up thinking he is that, given time. The Subconscious will Oblige him.
If the Human Mind has Ceased to work, and If the Brain is Just Listening, then one has Succeeded in Dhyaan.
All Images from Internet.