More And More Of Less And Less

Off The Cuff Utterances

" meditation starts where your prayers end "

Part - 31

Prayers are like foreshadows of better life, which is presently elusive. People pray always for a better life of oneself(includes the family) and sometimes for others in the present and future, or to sustain the present good life of oneself from any possible degradation in future. Some times prayers are said to correct past mistakes or wash committed sins. Whichever way it is, prayers find no place in meditation.

Disciple : But can meditation help to pray better ?
Master : Actually it is the reverse of it !
Disciple : Oh, which one is superior then ?
Master : what do you mean by superior ?
Disciple : I mean in prayer one can talk to god directly
but in meditation one does not talk so much but keep quiet.
So i thought being in a talking relationship is greater than
being silently sitting with the god ?
Master : You are simply mind blowing !

Prayers are the means to communicate god, no doubts about that. But in Advaita, it is also considered somewhat blasphemous or profane to think of god as someone different from you. In other words, not being aware of the oneness is called as avidya or ignorance in vedas. Most part of vedas deals with prayers and rituals but when it comes to meditation, vedas strictly prohibit the prayers. You may start the meditation with a prayer, but you cannot pray when you have entered into meditation.

Disciple : Why should there be any
kind of oneness with God ?
Master : There is no need actually !
Disciple : Then why Advaita is
talking about oneness ?
Master : It does not talk about the need
to become one, but it only indicates that
the creation and the creator are not separate
from each other but one already !
Disciple : Then where is the need for
meditation, if they are already one ?
Master : To have the awareness about
such a oneness, meditation helps !

Advaita school of thought does not advocate any need for oneness. It does not say that every human being should become one with creator etc. But it only indicates that everything in creation(including you and I)are inseparably one with the creator already. Vedic wisdom first allows you to dabble with your own ignorance and eventually tells you to get wise. Thats why Vedas begin with rituals and prayers and ends in vedanta with the oneness of creator and creation.

Disciple : Is it wrong to say prayers to god ?
Master : Why you want to pray to god ?
Disciple : Because god is all powerful and all knowing !
Master : If god knows everything according to you,
why then you want to pray ? Is it some reminder to god ?

Looking at this situation perhaps more compassionately, we can safely arrive to a conclusion that the seeker can pray to his heart's content, but there is a time he should be able to stop nagging the god with his prayers and just remain silent. Being with the god or creator perhaps is as good as finding those answers, to all the prayers and petitions lodged before meditation.

Disciple : I seem to understand just a bit.
But kindly explain the difference between
prayer and meditation ?
Master : In prayer you expect life to fit
your expectations and in meditation you
fit well with life without any expectation !
Disciple : Which one is the best choice ?
Master : That is for you to decide !