Let us take a car battery. Car can be started and moved if the battery is fully charged. It moves later with the self-generated power. Often some cars don't start even after moving a long distance.
If you take it to the mechanic he would test the battery. He finds that the battery is discharged and says that either the battery is faulty or the charging mechanism is faulty. It may mean that the alternator which produces the necessary charge is malfunctioning or the connectivity which trickles the charge to the battery is faulty. It is the trickling charge that is vital for the battery to be active lest it loses it and gradually becomes dead.
Our life is quite similar to this process.
There is an active mechanism to charge ourselves positively for doing good actions and to live happily with abilities to pull the family and the society in a positive way for its development and progress. It also has a process of negatively charging to keep the man on the negative side becoming a slave to vices and putting the family and the society into a ruinous state apart from self-annihilation.
As the battery gets discharged when it is in use, the positive energy in man reduces while he is working. Unless a man gets a trickling charge regularly as the car battery gets, he would slip down and become prey to vices and thus to further deterioration.
Thus one needs not only charging the battery but to protect it from leakages. The battery gets discharged even if the car lights are kept on for long (while the car is not started or moving) as the battery does not get the charge at that time.
The only method of charging is to bring it to a higher charge and get connected suitably by an appropriate mechanism. This process of recharge will depend on the capacity of the battery, the power of the source and the connectivity. Depending on the capacity of the battery and its need to get recharged the whole process has to be appropriately designed. Thus the mechanism varies from battery to battery though the main principle of charging is the same.
Depending upon the condition of the battery, though the process of charging is the same, the time taken to recharge would vary. Further the retention of the charge is also dependent on the condition. If the internal leakages inside the battery, if there are any, or if the internal parts are worn out charge retention will be low. Similarly each person needs to get recharged according to his capacity.
The man is positively charged and is enthused to work by connecting to a positively charged mechanism. The process of getting connected to such a system is prayer.
What is Prayer?
Prayer is the process of reducing one’s own ego and putting himself subservient to the Higher Power. It is a request or an appeal with or without a specific purpose.
Irrespective of the purpose for which the battery has to be charged to make the car started whether the car would go in a positive direction or in the negative direction, the basic need is the battery has to be charged.
Thus, whether a man wants to do good things or even bad things, he needs energy. This energy recharging is through prayer. The prayer may be connected to the unseen God or to a known and seen friend or relative! Whenever one seeks help from any human or the Divine, he lowers his ego and looks for favors from who he wants and praises him or wins his appreciation by doing good to his people. There are various methods by which one gets favors from a human being. Whether human or Divine, prayer is the same and the process is the same to get their help or favors. That process is prayer. The degree of prayer depends on the intensity with which one prays. Depending on the urgency the prayer is heard immediately or timed accordingly.
One may wonder how can someone pray to an Unknown and Unseen? How can the prayer be responded? What is the mechanism by which such prayers can be heard and the needy gets the required help!
In a car we get an indication that the battery is low and has to be recharged. If there is a remote charging process and if the design provides for a mechanism to monitor and supply the necessary charge when the need is detected by one mechanism which raises the alarm, the recharging mechanism will take over the task. If the alarm raising mechanism is malfunctioning how can the recharging mechanism help?
In the Nature, every care is taken for self-correction and appropriate helpline is designed and provided for every living being.
When a child is born its needs are well taken care by the previously helpline provided through the mother. The mother needs help to help the child to quench his thirst and hunger. She is provided with the feed for the child. Thus the 'helpline' is operational since the birth of the child.
If we look deeper the child has been getting the feed from the mother continuously ever since he entered her womb as an embryo. The necessary incubator is naturally provided to grow him into a child. Each cell in the body prays for help for its survival. The survival and growth of each cell is important for the colony of cells, the body, to form and grow. Thus at the macro level, each part in the micro level has to function properly. Thus the collective prayer by the cells is recognized by the body and this is communicated to the resident in the body who in turn would pray for outside help.
The infrastructure provided by the Nature responds to every cry for help. The cry for help is the prayer.
So far there is no instance where in the infrastructure provided by the Nature has failed. Every sincere prayer any time by any one at any place got the response. The response is need based. Not all is granted just because one prays! The helpline is intelligent enough to analyze the purpose of the prayer and its consequences whether they are useful for the Nature or not. This discriminative power of the Nature is to be understood appropriately when one feels his prayer is not heard. For various reasons the approving authority may not grant the request. It doesn't mean nepotism, favoritism or failure of the system.
There are many devotees who showed us through their experiences that prayer is always heard and responded positively and favorably when the cause is genuine and justifiable.
Examples can be drawn from the epics like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. No sincere prayer is ever rejected. However, if the man by his ego or for reasons better known to himself doesn't call the 'helpline', the helpline won't come by itself and provide the needed help!
For example, Dharmaraja in Mahabharata or even his brothers or wife didn't call the helpline when Dharamaraja was losing his game of dice with Duryodhana. None of them prayed for help though the losses were very heavy. They not only lost their kingdom but they lost themselves and became slaves. At Draupadi's request they were freed by Dhrutarashtra, father of Duryodhana.
Agan, Dharamaraja played a losing game of dice with Duryodhana on the same platform. Neither Dharmaraja nor the other Pandavas or Draupadi called for help. How could a failed candidate pass the examination withour further support! Dharmaraja lost the game and faced all adversities along with his brothers and family.
Thus the helpline won't force itself unless a request is made. See how adamant is the human ego and wants to work independent of the Helpline.
When Draupadi was being stripped off her clothes in the public her prayers were heard and the response was a miracle. She had endless clothes continuously coming out of her without her knowledge and to the surprise of the onlookers making Dussasana tired of pulling her clothes away.
When the help comes from the Nature or the Divine, it is continuous and for the purpose. The moment Dussasana stopped pulling out her clothes, the supply stopped forthwith!
This episode teaches us that prayers are heard and one gets the required help in a predesigned fashion. This process of pulling off of the sari of Draupadi could have been stopped by the Supreme Power by causing a sudden heart attack to Dussasana or by some other means! The Divine plans are not understood but they are purposeful!
What was Draupadi's prayer? Did she offer flowers? Did she utter any mantras? Nothing! Her prayer was just a sincere cry! And that gave her all the help she needed.
All the modern prayers must end up in the sincere cry for help. Whether you use mantras or tantras or any other method, the ultimate goal to be reached is happiness under all circumstances and without any worries. Each person prays in his own way but when the cry for help is sincere it is responded to immediately. No scrutiny is done on whether the application is on a given format, whether it is on the prescribed form or on its Xerox copy. No recommendations are needed. Each has the direct access to the helpline irrespective or age, maturity, qualifications or categorization.
However, special prayers and their pre-requisites are prescribed for specific purposes. A huge project cannot be got executed by a single individual with the cooperation from a large number of men, material and effort. This is different from a single individual seeking relief from his pain.
A man's thirst can be quenched by a glass of water. An animal needs a couple of buckets of water. A family is happy with a few liters of water whereas a society needs a tank of water. Thus if individual gets his small scale individual wishes fulfilled through his prayers, the needs of the society can be met by a bigger source of power. Such a source of power is generated by a big generator and such a generator is built by a few individuals in a limited time. Thus, the needs of the society are met by a concentrated divine force got by the joint effort of select few individuals who would pray according to certain principles and methods laid down, perhaps by the Vedas and Aagama Shastras and is provided in the form of sacred temples.
Temples thus need certain discipline to be followed to nurture the higher power and to orient it to the human good. If these principles are not followed, it would mean that the man would go to the High Voltage source without proper protection. Its adverse effects will be seen by many and would not be predictable always.
Thus individuals should pray and the temples must follow the laid down discipline to provide benefit to the mankind.