“It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without heart”– Mahatma Gandhi
If your life gets busy and you hardly spend time with your family and loved ones what would happen? Your relationships on the home front get boring or there could be misunderstandings and slowly but surely, without your realizing it, you’d be distanced from those whom you love.
Spiritual life is no different. When we get busy with so many services, the ‘spirit’ could miss out from the ‘ritual’ of chanting, visiting temple, studying scriptures and worshipping the deity. Then we find our relationship with God boring. Soon we’d be distanced from Krishna, the very person whom we seek to love and serve.
Just as a person could get disconnected from his family if he’s not conscious of his relationships, if he doesn’t actually spend time with them or reaffirm his intentions, similarly a devotee of God could easily be swept away by the unlimited distractions and temptations this world offers.
What do you do when you see that your relationship with your spouse is a drag? You could either proactively seek to amend it by spending quality time with him or her or you could be lazy, and allow the downward slide. The former approach could save your marriage but the latter would soon seal the fate of your relationship. You may then get lonely or desperately seek a new relationship with an attractive office colleague.
This is how many sincere spiritual practitioners end their relationship with Krishna. Initially there is excitement as they chant, visit temples and worship the deity. Soon the externals of the process blind us to the need to feel loved in our relationship with the Lord. We get busy either with our outreach services or managing accounts, cooking in the kitchen, purchasing materials for construction, or public relations. True, all of them are within the ambit of devotional service, yet because we are not conscious of Krishna, the personality whom we seek to connect to through these activities, we drift away.
A person working a job gets salary and perks, and these and other temptations may distract him from the need to stay connected to the people he is working for. Similarly a devotee serving Krishna gets perks and salary in form of appreciation, recognition or simply some other material things like money, good food, or travel opportunities. This could be his distraction; he may soon forget the person Krishna, and his relationship with Him. Then he may either get lonely or seek a relationship with the material energy. And that further weakens his relationship with God. And we have Internet, Face book, Whatsapp, and myriad distractions to take us away from Krishna.
The solution is simple. Spend time with your Lord, spouse, Krishna. Surely, He won’t disappoint you because He is more eager to save the relationship than we are.
And a prayer session is nothing but our attempt to save the relationship. In fact, this would nourish and strengthen the relationship and fill our hearts with Krishna’s loving presence.
Prayers add life to our spiritual practices. It’s like a dead person being resurrected.
If we add the element of ‘awareness’ or ‘intention’ to our prayer session, God’s presence is guaranteed. Krishna is ever ready to listen to His devotee’s call. In response, He too guides us and instructs us in a personal and loving way. He confirms this in the Bhagavad Gita, “To those who are constantly devoted to serving Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me” (10.10)
We could have at least one prayer session daily. In just ten to fifteen minutes of a private and ‘present’ session with God we’d see remarkable connection. As the early seventeenth century Anglican priest George Herbert said, “Prayer should be the key of the day and the lock of the night”
Let us resolve to revive our relationship with Krishna and find ever freshness and life in our spiritual practices.