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Discussions on the doctrines of Gaudiya Vaishnavism. Please place practical questions under the Miscellaneous forum and set this aside for the more theoretical side of it.

Prayers - To whom should they go?

Sakhicharan - Fri, 15 Oct 2004 07:34:14 +0530
If you encounter a problem in life and you want to pray for some relief from your material situation, to whom should the raganugiya sadhak pray to?

Gurudev, Mahaprabhu, Kishoriji?
I don't want to disturb them!
Our desire is to do their seva.
I would not like to bring these issues before Them.

How can we solve this apparent dilemma?
To whom should we cast our plea?
babu - Fri, 15 Oct 2004 07:45:31 +0530
I do as the gopis. I pray to Narayani.
Madhava - Fri, 15 Oct 2004 07:52:50 +0530
Yes, you can pray to God. smile.gif

With our problems, why must we pray for resolution? Does your ishta, being within your heart, not already know what is going on? Worry not, and let life take its own course.

Or, you can cry out loud:

devi duHkha-kula-sAgarodare
dUyamAnam atidurgataM janam |
tvaM kRpA-prabala-naukayAdbhutaM
prApaya sva-pada-paGkajAlayam ||

Of course if it's a problem that affects others, then you should discuss the issue with those concerned.
Satyabhama - Fri, 15 Oct 2004 18:25:38 +0530
Don't worry about *bothering* Them! My goodness! Do you think they can be bothered! They would love for you to come to Them with your problems.

However, the results may be a bit unexpected. I am reminded of a scene from Jerry MacGuire...

Jerry is talking to the little blond kid. He is a bit drunk and wants to tell the little kid all his problems, how his dad treated him badly, how he's having a tough time at work, etc... and the kid says with a brilliant smile, "Take me to the zoo!"

"What? Right now? It's the middle of the night!"

"Take me to the zoo!"

"But I wanted to tell you about..." and then the smile of the kid hits him, and all his problems seem to melt away. "Ok! Let's go to the zoo!..."

That kid always reminds me of Balakrishna in that scene. tongue.gif

(Please don't take this as Krishna being unwilling to listen. He is MORE than willing to listen and comfort you. What I mean is, you don't always have to wait to the end of the conversation to feel comforted. tongue.gif)
Sakhicharan - Fri, 15 Oct 2004 18:57:17 +0530
Well, what prompted me to bring up this subject was something I read in the Raga Vartma Candrika. In the beginning of the Dvitiyah Prakasah, Srila Cakrabartipada mentions: I will paraphrase it:

Shyamasundara is so absorbed in His pastimes, where does He get a chance to think of anyone other than the Braja Devis? How will he hear our prayers? Someone may offer the solution that it is His expansion as Antaryami that performs that function, however that would hurt the devotees who are very attached to Krsna.

I found the subject to be quite interesting.
Satyabhama - Fri, 15 Oct 2004 19:07:48 +0530
Abbo! He will hear our prayers. How will He hear them? Because He is bhakta vatsala. His love for His bhaktas (friends, girlfriends, mummy, daddy, auntie, uncle, whoever) is so great. If you come to Him with a problem, I'm sure He would be most interested in helping you. smile.gif What a sweet Shyamu He is! biggrin.gif

As you have paraphrased it, the author says "How will he hear our prayers?" and not "He will not hear our prayers." It sounds like fear and frustration to me. I'm sure we are all familiar with that.
Sakhicharan - Sat, 16 Oct 2004 05:28:34 +0530
Anyway, some time back I had engaged in conversation like this with some bhaktas and the different moods and unique realizations that were expressed grabbed my interest.
I was hoping similar discussion would take place here.

Srila Cakrabartipada then concludes by saying, again I will paraphrase it and condense it:

Krsna in Dwaraka-lila is mostly omniscient and sometimes bewildered.
Brindaban Sri Krsna is bewildered and sometimes omniscient.

We must accept the words of Sri Lilasuka: "In all His pastimes the effulgent Lord is simultaneously bewildered and omniscient."

I am paraphrasing from the RVC translated by Advaita dasji and commented on by Sri Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj
Satyabhama - Sat, 16 Oct 2004 06:10:53 +0530
We must accept the words of Sri Lilasuka: "In all His pastimes the effulgent Lord is simultaneously bewildered and omniscient."

That's just beautiful! laugh.gif
Tapati - Tue, 07 Dec 2004 15:44:35 +0530
Why wait for a problem to arise? In my opinion, prayer is just what we call a conversation with God. I keep up a running commentary off and on throughout the day, and if problems arise they just enter into the conversation, just as good things that happen do.

If you've ever watched Lady Hawke, you may remember Matthew Broderick's character was always having these loud conversations with God (as if he thought God was a little deaf or very far away). I enjoyed it so much that I adopted it, without the shouting. Usually it's mental, sometimes it's out loud (for added emphasis).

I always keep in mind my Guru Maharaja's admonition that God is not our order supplier, however. And if my prayer were about how best to serve God, I would direct it to Srila Prabhupada.

Please excuse the non-denominational use of "God"--I like to make it accessible to anyone to put in the name they would use.

I also like to recommend The Path of Prayer: Reflections on Prayer & True Stories of How It Affects Our Lives by Sophy Burnham. She examines prayer from all angles. I read this in the hospital and was really inspired and comforted by it. It is written in a way that is accessible to all denominations--basically anyone who prays.