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कृण्वन्तो विश्वमार्यम्

God and the Vedas (Excerpts from Satyarth Prakash- English Translations) (5)

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Glorification gives rise to love of the Supreme Being, reformation of one's nature, character and attributes in accordance with the nature, attributes, and character of God. Prayer creates humility, courage, and obtains divine help. Communion results in union with the Great Being and in direct cognition of HIm.

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Q. Will you Please explain it in detail?

A. We first take up 'Glorification' or ‘STUTI’ that is singing His glory – the glory of the Lord. This is done in two ways. – Sagun & Nirguna.

The word ‘Saguna’ means possessing virtuous qualities. By Nirguna we mean devoid of epithets.

‘Saguna Stuti’ is conjuring up the virtues of the Lord, while glorifying Him.
God is all pervaiding, swift in action, posses limitless powers, is pure, Omniscient, the indweller, is of superior excellence, ever living, ancient, self existing, and Lord of all. He has from all eternity been teaching uncreated immortal human souls, the true knowledge of things through the revelation of the Veda - His eternal knowledge." YAJUR VEDA, 40:8
So in ‘Saguna Stuti’ we call to our mind some of the virtuous of God and sing His praise.

‘Nirguna Stuti’ consists in praising God as devoid of such ungodly qualities as passion and malice in the following way:-
"He is never embodied, is never born, is never liable to division and is free from nervous or arterial systems, never commits a sin , is never subject to pain, grief and ignorance and the like." YAJUR VEDA, 40:8.
The object of Glorification is to reform one's nature, attributes and character after the nature, attributes and character of God, for instance let him be just as God is and so on. He who praises God like a flunkey, but does not reform his character does himself no good.

We next take up what we mean by Prayer.
Swami ji quotes in this context eight mantras from the Yajurveda –

"Endow us, O Lord, who art All-glorious, through thy mercy, at this very instant with that wisdom which the wise, the learned, and yogis pray for." YAJUR VEDA 32: 14.

"Thou art Light, be merciful and shed that light into my heart. Thou art Infinite energy, through Thy grace endow me with unfailing energy. Thou are Infinite strength, endow me with strength. Thou art Infinite power, endow me with great power. Thou art wrathful with the wicked, make me also wrathful.
Thou art moved neither by slander, nor by praise. Thou art forbearing towards those who offend against Thee, make me also forbearing." YAJUR VEDA 20: 9.

"May, O Ocean of Mercy, through thy grace my mind - the mind that in the wakeful state travels long distances, and, possesses brilliant qualities, which self-same mind - light of the senses - in sleep attains to the state of profound slumber and in dreams wanders over different places - always entertain pure thoughts for the good of the self as well as for that of all other living beings. May it never desire to injure any one." YAJUR VEDA 34:1.

"May, O Omniscient God, my mind - which is the source of all activity and which, thereby, enables men of learning, piety and courage to perform acts of great public good and heroic deeds on the field of battle and other occasions, which possess wonderful powers and admirable qualities and rules the senses - harbour only righteous desires and completely renounce sin and vice." YAJUR VEDA 34: 2.

"May, O lord, my mind - the mind which is the repository of the highest form of knowledge, is the faculty for consciousness and judgement, is the light of the senses, and is immortal, the mind without which a man is powerless to do even the most insignificant thing - aspire for purity and shun wickedness." YAJUR VEDA 34: 3.

"May, O Lord of the Universe, my mind - the mind which is the medium through which all yogis acquire knowledge of the past, the present and the future which becomes the means of the union of the immortal human soul with the Supreme Spirit and thereby makes it cognizant of the three periods of time (past, present and the future),
the mind which is capable of conscious exertion and is closely united with the five sense, the faculty of discernment and the soul, and is the means of the advancement of that great Yajna called yoga - be endowed with true knowledge and yoga and thereby be freed from all kinds of pain and ignorance." YAJUR VEDA 43: 4.

"May, O Great God, Wises of the wise, through Thy grace, my mind - which like the hub of a wheel into which all the spokes are inserted, is the repository of the Rig Veda, the Yajur Veda, The Sama Veda and also the Atharva Veda, the mind in which Omniscient, Omnipresent conscious Being - the Witness of all - makes Himself known - be freed from all ignorance and be endowed with the love of knowledge." YAJUR VEDA 34: 5

"May, O Lord, the Controller of the Universe, my mind - which is like a driver who can swing the horses around in all directions, sways men hither and thither, is seated in the heart, possessed of great activity and extreme energy - restrain all the senses from treading the path of wickedness and always direct them in the path of righteousness. Mayestt, Thou O Lord, of Thy kindness grant me this prayer." YAJUR VEDA 34: 6.

Swami ji quotes two more Yajurwed mantras in this context -

"Lead us, O Bestower of all happiness, Omniscient, Supreme Spirit, into the path of rectitude and thereby inspireus with all kinds of knowledge and wisdom, rid us of all that is false and sinful in our conduct, and make us pure. To ths end, we in all humility repeatedly praise and adore Thee." YAJUR VEDA 40: 16.

"Mayest not, Thou, O Punisher of the wicked, destroy our young ones, nor our old ones, foetuses, mothers, and fathers, nor those who are dear to us, nor our relations, nor our bodies. Direct us to that path by following which we may not be liable to punishment by Thy Law." YAJUR VEDA 16: 15.

The Shatpatha Brahmana addresses God as 'Param Guru', - great Precepter - The prayer is -

"Lead us, O Supreme Spirit, Teacher of teachers, from falsehood unto rectitude, from darkness into light of knowledge, from death and disease to immortality and Eternal Happiness." SHATPATHA 14:3,1,30.

Prayer is said to be Positive or Negative according as the Deity is looked upon as possessed of good attributes or as free from bad qualities, faults and imperfections.

A man should act in accordance with what he prays for. For example, if he prays for the attainment of highest wisdom, let him do his utmost to attain it. In other words, prayer should be addressed to God for the attainment of an object after one has strenuously endeavoured to attain it. No on should pray in the following manner, nor does God ever answer such a prayer:-

'O lord! destroy my enemies, make me superior to all. Let me alone be honoured by all, make all other subordinate to me, etc.' For, if both enemies were to pray for each other's destruction, should God destroy both of them? If some one were to say that of the two let that man's prayer be granted who bears more love to God, we answer that the enemy of the man whose love is less, should also suffer destruction in a lesser degree. If people began to address such foolish prayers, the next thing they will do, will be to pray in this manner, "O God! Cook our food for us, put it on the table for us, scrub our houses, do our washing, till our land, and do a bit of gardening a well for us." The greatest fools are they who, trusting in God in this wise, remain slothful and indolent; because who-so-ever will not obey God's commandment to work assiduously will never be happy. God commands thus:-

" Let a man aspire to live by doing work for a hundred years, i.e. as long as he lives. Let him never be lazy." Behold! all the animate and the inanimate objects in this universe perform their respective functions. The ants and other creatures are always active, the earth and other planets are always in motion, the trees are always growing or decaying. Man should take a lesson from these. As men help him who helps himself, so does God help him who works righteously, just as servants do their work only if the master himself is active and not lazy.

Only a man with eyes and with a desire to see can be made to see and not a blind man, likewise God lends his help in answer to those prayers only that aim at the good of all, and not those that are meant to injure any one. He who only keeps on saying 'sugar is sweet, sugar is sweet' can never taste the sweetness of sugar, nor obtain it but he, who tries for it, sooner or later is sure to get it.

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(Courtesy- "MAHARSHI DAYANAND's SATYARTH PRAKASH" (Saptam Samulas) translations by Sh Vande Matharam Ramachandra Rao & from Arya Samaj Jam Nagar)