Why I Pray

Dr. Purushothaman
November 6, 2014

I pray because I have no choice. It's not that I sit in a temple all day and pray, not at all. My prayer is simply trying to remember as often as I can throughout the day as I go about my business that I am only possible because of the unknown power within me that keeps me alive. And I have no other explanation other than that it must be a divine power that resides within and enables me to be everything that I am.

And so as I get embroiled in an evolving crisis at work with all of us scrambling to determine how to solve the problem or pin the blame on someone, I try and remember that the end game of our lives go beyond what may seem, in the immediacy of the moment, the sole reason for our existence. And I pray for the wisdom of being able to put things in perspective and see the relevance of my work in context of the bigger picture of the real purpose of my life.

If I get into an argument with wife about how we should be bringing up our children, I try to remember that we were but the conduit for the miracle of their birth and here to nurture them until they are ready to travel down the path where their destiny awaits.

If am caught in the evening rush hour traffic on the way back home after a grueling day at work and start to feel impatient, I try and remember that my car is part of the crowd that's causing the jam and I send up a prayer of gratitude for having the luxury of a job and the means to travel in a car.

When I watch the news and see the horrendous crimes committed by some people I pray for the ability to comprehend such senseless acts of cruelty and how anyone could do such things. When I see the misery and suffering of many people around the world, I pray for the collective power of good people to find a way to bring an end to poverty and I try and remember that but for the grace of divine intervention, that could be me living in those circumstances.

I am not an ascetic monk living in a remote retreat. I am a fully functional member of modern society and desire the acquisition of wealth and a comfortable life anyone else. And yet, tempted as I am to pray for success and more money, I find myself unable to do so. It feels like asking the ocean for a cup of water. And so I pray instead for the ability to do my best to fulfill whatever purpose I was created for and to understand that purpose and follow the trail that leads to an enlightened life of happiness.

When I find myself getting angry at others for whatever grievance I feel has been caused by them, I pray for the power of tolerance and understanding. Conflict and angst are not a natural state of our being and I pray for the ability to stay calm and tranquil in the face of a raging storm.

Despite all my prayers I am just as fallible as the next person and find myself repeatedly lost in the immediacy of the moment, angry, frustrated, impatient and incapacitated but I am getting better every day. That is why I have no choice and I must keep praying.
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We Are Only As Relevant As Our Awareness Of The World Around Us

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