About the Book
Let me tell you that the realization of Self is possible for all, without any exception. One should pray to God with a longing heart. God certainly listens to prayer if it is sincere. There is no doubt about it.
Pray to God. He is full of compassion. Will He not listen to the words of His devotee? He is the Kalpataru. You will get whatever you desire from Him.
In the present day, there is much talk about an individual's independence, but in reality we always depend on others for something or the others. When society is considered as a unit, we are bound to depend on one another. In this context, it is apt to remind ourselves of the words of Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita, that by supporting one another, one attains the highest good.
In our mundane life, too, we do not get even simple things unless we ask for them. For example, only when a child cries for milk does the mother realize its need and attends to it. This 'asking for' something from human beings is nothing but a prayer but it in its lower form. Human beings have their own limitations. In spite of their readiness to help, they cannot always respond to all requests. In critical situations, when we fail to get any help from human beings, our mind turns towards some super human power or divine power for help. This 'turning towards the Divine' is prayer in its higher form.
Though the divine is not seen, still we have an intuitive faith that it is all-powerful and capable of granting us whatever we need. In the history of religion, we have many solid proofs of how the Divine responded to sincere prayers. When good and pious people were tortured and demons terrified this land, the Divine embodied in the forms of Sri Rama and Sri Krishna to the rescue of mankind. In modern times, people were losing grip over Sanatana Dharma and the demons of doubt and materialism were attacking the human race, causing them unhappiness. This brought about much misery and suffering to mankind. The Divine responded to the human cry and incarnated as Sri Ramakrishna to restore peace and happiness in the human heart. Sincere prayers compelled the Lord, time and again, to incarnate in human form to destroy evil forces
Seeking help from a stranger is begging; seeking help from a known person is a request; and seeking help from God is prayer. In begging, we become the object of pity. In request, we became the object of mercy. But in prayer, we become the object of divine love. God loves those who pray to Him. No one can pray to God unless one has faith and devotion for Him. Faith and devotion are the results of one's meritorious deeds in this or previous births. Sri Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita: "Four classes of people of virtuous deeds adore Me-the afflicted, the seeker of knowledge, the seeker of wealth and the man of knowledge"
Narendranath (later known as Swami Vivikananda) lost his father at a very young age. Being the eldest son, the entire responsibility of the family fell on his shoulders. He was hard pressed even for the bare necessities of life. Narendra unburdened his heart before his Master Sri Ramakrishna and requested the latter to pray to the Divine Mother, for his sake. Narendranath was sure that the Mother would certainly answer his Master's prayer, snce he was Her staunch devotee. Though this prayer for minimum comforts was of a mundane nature, Sri Ramakrishna did not condemn it; on the contrary, he encouraged Narendranath to go to the Mother directly and pray for his needs. Once he went to the temple, Narendranath felt ashamed to ask for material things and prayed only for Jnana, Bhakti, Viveka and Vairagya.
This incident from Narendranath life clearly indicated how prayer for worldly things slowly leads us to the spiritual. Prayer leads man to the path of spirituality, after crossing the obstacle of materialism. Asking for material things is not prohibited in our scriptures, provided we are sincere in our prayers. This sincerity, love, devotion and faith ultimately lead us to the higher achievements in life.
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