When Prayer Finds You

Taken from Google Images

Taken from Google Images

I don’t care for prayer. The whole concept, at least in its common application, bothers me. Why would something like a human have any NEED to talk to god? In my experience, the vast bulk of what’s said to God is selfish (even when we’re praying for other people!) and the act itself is the opposite of listening to/for God, which I find infinitely more beneficial. Plus, if God is really God, It already knows the contents of our hearts and usually by the time that stuff finds its way through the filters of our minds and mouths, it has been twisted anyway. So the idea of sitting down and talking to God seems distracting, arrogant, and quite frankly a bit silly.

Having admitted to that, I want to make a distinction. Hindus pray, too. And often times, informally, our prayers are made of the same stuff as any other person’s. However, we also have a different way of communing with our Source. The Sanskrit verses of our many scriptures are much more than “prayer.” Without going into it much (but I’m going to anyway), suffice it to say that the sounds that make up the Sanksrit language, which Hindus use religiously, are designed such that they each carry a specific vibration – literally a sonic frequency that parallels other frequencies throughout the cosmos and which are immensely subtle. Those subtle vibrations and frequencies correspond with deeper levels of reality (which has been proven by quantum physics), and in that way, when the sounds are sequencially combined and intoned, it’s very literally like sending God a text message.

I think sometimes, similarly, God sends us text messages.

My own established liturgy which I use in worship (of Ganesha) is fairly set-in-stone. It’s not technically, but it rarely alters or is amended. Truth be told, I’m far busier than I’d like, to be able to add more to the menu. However, a day or two ago something popped into my head, quite unexpectedly.

“Om Maha Ganapatim, Manasa Smarami”

And it repeated itself. And has continued to do so. I have a mantra that I employ when I settle down for a bit of japa. But this random addition to my internals has been a welcome addition and has also proven to be a powerful and easy and addicting “walking meditation.”

One of the meanings I found online for it is as follows:

Mahaganapathy! My namaskarams to you. I meditate on You, the Great God Ganapathy. You are the one who is worshipped by great sages such as Vashishta and Vamadeva. You are the son of the Great Lord Shiva. You are always adored by ‘Guruguha’, Lord Skanda. You have a beauty and shine with the brilliance of a thousand ‘manmadhas’ – Cuipds. You are the embodment of peace and tranquility. You love great poetry and drama. You have as the vehicle, as a mount, a small mouse. You love the modhakas, a variety of sweet made of rice and coconut. I bow to thee. My lord, Maha Ganapathy.

To be honest, the first two sentences are actually about all that’s technically said by the phrase itself, but the rest is a mix of implied meaning and meaning attached to translations of the rest of the krithi that this is pulled from.

I was fortunate enough to locate a nice recitation on Youtube. I hope you enjoy.

I chant it to myself frequently these days and I sing it, too. When taking the recycling – Om Maha Ganapatim Manasa Smarami. When walking to the men’s room – Om Maha Ganapatim Manasa Smarami. On a walk with my dogs, sitting in my car, cooking food, or cleaning out the cat box – Om Maha Ganapatim Manasa Smarami. It actually makes for a great cadence to coordinate with one’s footsteps. And the best part is, I never had to make it stick. It was given to me and it was effortless to accept.

Om Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha
Om Shanti


One response to “When Prayer Finds You

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