Prayer has always been a controversial topic in today’s time. With an increase of western trends in our society, our kids are losing their roots.
Many people today question why they should pray to god. Even some of them question the existence of god each day. Amidst the materialistic things, humans have somehow forgotten where it all started.
Prayer or Bhakti has been an integral part of humanity since evolution. Many things have come and gone, but divinity stayed passive. The people who pray have the power of prayer. They believe and accept anything around them because of their prayers.
Types of Bhakti in Hindu tradition
Today, the way different people pray is different. We have divided prayers and gods according to religions and castes. However, the prayers go to one supreme power, and that is God.
Brahman is not compatible with any languages, yet we often listen to Nirgun Brahman and Sagun brahman. Brahman manifests the seven basic Hindu gods. These include Indra, Shakti, Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Shani, and Yama.
Since the evolution of mankind, two significant types of “bhakti” or praying rituals have been followed by Hindus. The two rituals differ completely from each other, yet somewhat similar in effect.
Let us understand these two types of praying style or bhakti.
Nirguna bhakti is an unconditional devotion to god with no manifestations. In simple words, it is devotion where you pray without visualizing God in any form. In Nirguna bhakti, you do not need photos or any materialistic things to pray to God.
Nirguna bhakti pervades the universe. It is a formless way of devotion. However, only a few individuals can perform it. God is Nirguna by nature, as no one knows the proper form in which he occurs. However, we idolize god in various forms or avatars like Lord Krishna, Jesus Christ, and others.
Nirguna bhakti is the devotion to the absolute and is the highest form of consciousness.
Saguna bhakti is the opposite of Nirguna bhakti. In this type of prayer, we worship and devote ourselves to the manifested deity as an image or incarnation.
The goal of both forms of worship is unison with god. However, Saguna Bhakti is easier to comprehend. It is because it is simpler to worship God in a recognizable form.
It helps us form an opinion, visualize, and devote ourselves to something that we know exists.
Today, Saguna bhakti is done in various forms. Large-scale festivals are celebrated to worship god. Many types of prayers are held, and people chant the name of God while visualizing him.
Why do we pray?
Now, the question that we often hear from others or even ask others. Many people wonder why we pray.
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There are many views about God and his relationship with humanity. Praying to God is believed to form a connection between you and the supreme power.
As you pray, you find someone you can confide in. All the things in the world, all the people around us will come and go. The only passive power that will stay with you from your birth to death is God.
People pray to God because he is the only one who lends support to each human regardless of their age, sex, caste, religion, or other factors.
Praying helps you find your inner self. You understand things better and lead a more positive life.
Why should we pray?
The next question that comes to our mind is why we should pray. Many people believe that when no one has seen God, then why should we worship him.
Well, worshipping should be a lifestyle and not an activity. Even if you do not believe in the existence of god, you can believe there to be a creator of the universe and worship him.
Let me discuss some benefits of praying:
God is open to everyone. He does not differentiate between rich or poor. It is this trust and belief in God, that whenever we need help, we rush to him for help. God will always listen to your prayers.
You will have a companion. Most people don’t know this, but there’s no better companion than God. He is someone with you throughout your struggles. Even when you don’t realize he is the one guiding you and taking you on the right track. Just like Lord Krishna helped his friend and devotee Arjuna endlessly, he will also guide you.
In fact, praying is the most convenient thing you can do. You don’t need grand gestures, no gifts, or eatables, just a pure heart. Remember the name of God for a few minutes, and he will stay with you forever.
Prayer keeps you positive throughout the day. When prayers are done in groups, a lot of positive vibration is produced in the environment. This chain of positive thoughts and emotions flows through each individual involved.
You can pour out your emotions to God. In today’s busy world, everyone is too busy in their own lives. No one wants to listen and share their thoughts with others. By praying to talk to God, you can tell him whatever you feel and vent out all your happy and sad feelings.
Final Thoughts: Nirgun To Sagun
As we have already discussed, Nirgun is the bhakti that not everyone can achieve. It is easier and much better if we involve ourselves in Saguna and Nirguna bhakti.
Worshipping God in both ways will provide the same result because God is one supreme power.
When you pray each day, you’ll start feeling all the things happening in your life because of your prayers. Chanting simple mantras like, “Om Namah Shivaay” is enough for you to connect to God.
Always remember, when you pray, you don’t bring God close to you. It is you who get closer to God. Pray and find tranquillity and happiness in God.
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