• This forum contains old posts that have been closed. New threads and replies may not be made here. Please navigate to the relevant forum to create a new thread or post a reply.
  • Welcome to Tamil Brahmins forums.

    You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our Free Brahmin Community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

    If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

I follow advaita philosophy, I am not comfortable with prayers.

Status
Not open for further replies.

prasad1

Active member
Prayer is something that I have a very hard time understanding. If Brahman is all-pervading and all knowing why do I have to announce my request to Him?

The idea of petitioning the Gods for a particular outcome feels very “off” to me. After all, my understanding of the universe is that it runs in perfect harmony with absolute justice. Actions have natural consequences and everything that we experience was a part of our fate to help our souls grow. Where does changing that narrative fit in? Why would begging change what happens in the world?


I can understand prayer in terms of it providing a more peaceful vibe in the world, good mind rays! But I’m not sure about directing that positive mind energy towards a particular person. Especially one I’ve never met. How do people pray for someone when they only have a name? Or just an image? And what does that prayer really do for that person?


I could understand a person healing or feeling better based on knowing that many people care about her, but I can’t see how God would change fate to fix or help the person. Wouldn’t that send the universe completely off kilter?


Would the Gods really say “I was going to do this one thing but because enough people begged me, I’ll do this other thing instead”? (We do see this in the Jewish God, when Abraham negotiates with Him over Sodom)


I am not very comfortable with the idea of a fickle God whose mind could be swayed. How many people have to ask? Is there a metric to fill before the scale tips in favor of whatever person is being prayed for?


Yet it seems like all religions do have this aspect of petitioning the Gods (or God) for particular things. For help with a trial in life, to have an event turn out a particular way, to heal a friend, etc. I was in Gurudwara today and was paying attention to the Kirtans. The kirtans were purely beggings. It was very demeaning to the devotees and praising God (whether it be Ram, Govind, or the Guru). Why would God want you to "BEG".


The whole idea of prayer is very confusing to me. Not to say that I haven’t been guilty of begging the Gods to make something particular happen. But life goes on and each thing happens in its time.


I’ve prayed for my own peace. In other words, I pray that God will grant them the inner peace to accept “His Will.” That makes more sense to me. I can see praying for the peace of mind to accept fate or the challenges that life presents even if we don’t understand them. But far more people pray for particular things to happen.

To me, that is no different than Begging. Begging is demeaning, why would God want me to beg. Then again if he satisfies my wishes, then he is changing the normal process and might adversely affect others. It also contradicts Karma theory.

I do go to the temple and do what is expected without convictions (I have reduced it). I have nothing to ask of God. Whatever is happening is what Brahman wants, nothing less nothing more.


Yes I know Adi Shankara has composed prayers (Or it is said). Shankar Matams perpetuate prayers.


 
Last edited:
I do not also pray.

Only I have a different label vishist advaitha got thru accident of birth.

I have nothing to ask of God either.

I am a fully satisfied human being happy with the way I am.
 

sravna

Well-known member
Dear Shri Prasad,

Yes if everything is part of destiny, then how can prayer change things and why pray? If you accept everything is preordained, then so are your prayers. This is simple logic. So if something is preordained it has a purpose. So I believe prayer has a purpose. What could be the purpose?

It could be the peace and solace we get that someone who is all powerful is watching our actions and any of our sufferings can be petitioned to Him and that He will help us come out of our sufferings.

Secondly it may have a real effect as God indeed will help in some way though not directly perceptible to the devotee when He helps but will be realized by the soul when it considers holistically all of the experiences of the past births. The idea is to understand that as humans we have limitations. This will spur us towards improving self and eventually attain divinity.
 
OP
OP
prasad1

prasad1

Active member
Dear Shri Prasad,

Yes if everything is part of destiny, then how can prayer change things and why pray? If you accept everything is preordained, then so are your prayers. This is simple logic. So if something is preordained it has a purpose. So I believe prayer has a purpose. What could be the purpose?

It could be the peace and solace we get that someone who is all powerful is watching our actions and any of our sufferings can be petitioned to Him and that He will help us come out of our sufferings.

Secondly it may have a real effect as God indeed will help in some way though not directly perceptible to the devotee when He helps but will be realized by the soul when it considers holistically all of the experiences of the past births. The idea is to understand that as humans we have limitations. This will spur us towards improving self and eventually attain divinity.

I agree with the first part, the part in blue I fail to understand. He/She/It has no role in soul's progress.
 
OP
OP
prasad1

prasad1

Active member
Why does this "god" expect people to praise them, and make offerings? Why do we "enclose" them in Temples etc.
 

tbs

0
Why does this "god" expect people to praise them, and make offerings? Why do we "enclose" them in Temples etc.


hi

the air is every where....but when we fill air in the ball....the ball is flated....ready to play with ball....without air the ball is useless...

god is every where....but temple embodes god's presence....god is air....the ball is like temple....we can feel air in the ball..like

wise..we can feel god in the temple..like air is 'enclose' in the ball...
 

renuka

Well-known member
Why does this "god" expect people to praise them, and make offerings? Why do we "enclose" them in Temples etc.

Let me rephrase this..

Why do humans create a God that they want to praise?
Why do humans create a God whom they want to make an offering to?

Why do humans want a God only to be enclosed in a temple?

Reason....fear!
The human mind is a that of a coward..stripped off total support it fears the unknown.

It needs a shoulder to cry one..yearns a connection..yearns an approval.

Without prayers and God..a human will fear Hell.

Even in Forum we find many still talking about Hell..why?

Fear...everyone wants heaven..so they create a God that would get them there.

Only a fearless person can thread the path that would be totally unknown.

If one is totally fearless he would even go beyond Advaita.
 
OP
OP
prasad1

prasad1

Active member
Let me rephrase this..

Why do humans create a God that they want to praise?
Why do humans create a God whom they want to make an offering to?

Why do humans want a God only to be enclosed in a temple?

Reason....fear!
The human mind is a that of a coward..stripped off total support it fears the unknown.

It needs a shoulder to cry one..yearns a connection..yearns an approval.

Without prayers and God..a human will fear Hell.

Even in Forum we find many still talking about Hell..why?

Fear...everyone wants heaven..so they create a God that would get them there.

Only a fearless person can thread the path that would be totally unknown.


If one is totally fearless he would even go beyond Advaita.


Well said.
I do believe in Brahman as a concept. That is my Advaita.
What is beyond Advaita?
 

renuka

Well-known member
Well said.
I do believe in Brahman as a concept. That is my Advaita.
What is beyond Advaita?

Beyond Advaita is totally unknown for now at least to my understanding.

That too is an interesting concept to explore..is there really anything finally?

Holding on to Advaita/Brahman is still the same as having a Personal God.

How does that really differ from a person who worships a Personal God?
 
The farmer knows that without rain his crops will die. A mother knows that without being fed milk, her baby will die. A wife knows that, without producing a child, her husband will leave. A father has a rebellious daughter who is in danger of going astray.

They feel helpless on their own, and want to turn to someone, anyone, who can help.

Who? Humans like themselves? The Government? The political party?

They turn to God. They pour their hearts out, supplicating for succour in their helplessness, their fear of the future, their despair of failure, of going under and losing their mind, their lives.

Through their prayers, the emptying of built-up tension and emotional baggage they get psychological relief. They look forward to deliverance from their agony.

If it happens, they rejoice, and thank God (or Goddess) for His (or Her) mercy. If it does not happen, they still benefit from an absence of mental tension, a calmer mind which, perhaps sees a practical way out of their difficulties.

The farmer looks for low-lying ground and digs a well. The mother resorts to artificial milk or cows' milk. The wife consults a vaariyer, a gynae, an old country midwife, and learns how to adjust to her menstrual cycles and choose the most likely successful days for conception. The father realises that he is the one who has alienated his child in the midst of her growing up to be an adult, and takes active steps to reconcile.

All have benefitted somehow or other from praying to God.

What's wrong with that?

Sarva deva namaskaaraha Shree Keshavan prathigachchathi.

S Narayanaswamy Iyer
 
OP
OP
prasad1

prasad1

Active member
Beyond Advaita is totally unknown for now at least to my understanding.

That too is an interesting concept to explore..is there really anything finally?

Holding on to Advaita/Brahman is still the same as having a Personal God.

How does that really differ from a person who worships a Personal God?



Brahman is the fundamental reality underlying all objects and experiences. Brahman is explained as pure existence, pure consciousness and pure bliss. All forms of existence presuppose a knowing self. Brahman or pure consciousness underlies the knowing self. Consciousness according to the Advaita School, unlike the positions held by other Vedānta schools, is not a property of Brahman but its very nature. Brahman is also one without a second, all-pervading and the immediate awareness. This Brahman is ever known to Itself and constitutes the reality in all individuals selves, while the appearance of our empirical individuality is credited to avidya (ignorance) and māyā (illusion). Brahman thus cannot be known as an individual object distinct from the individual self.


The independent existence and experience of the world ceases to be with the gain of knowledge of Brahman. The nature of knowledge of Brahman is that “I am pure consciousness.” The self-ignorance of the jīva (individuated self) that “I am limited” is replaced by the Brahman-knowledge that “I am everything,” accompanied by a re-identification of the self with the transcendental Brahman. The knower of Brahman sees the one non-plural reality in everything. He or she no longer gives an absolute reality to independent and limited existence of the world, but experiences the world as a creative expression of pure consciousness. The states of waking (jāgrat), dreaming (svapna) and deep sleep (susupti) all point to the fourth nameless state turiya, pure consciousness, which is to be realized as the true self. Pure consciousness is not only pure existence but also the ultimate bliss which is experienced partially during deep sleep. Hence we wake up refreshed.



http://www.iep.utm.edu/adv-veda/

There is no worship involved.
 
Brahman is the fundamental reality underlying all objects and experiences. Brahman is explained as pure existence, pure consciousness and pure bliss. All forms of existence presuppose a knowing self. Brahman or pure consciousness underlies the knowing self. Consciousness according to the Advaita School, unlike the positions held by other Vedānta schools, is not a property of Brahman but its very nature. Brahman is also one without a second, all-pervading and the immediate awareness. This Brahman is ever known to Itself and constitutes the reality in all individuals selves, while the appearance of our empirical individuality is credited to avidya (ignorance) and māyā (illusion). Brahman thus cannot be known as an individual object distinct from the individual self.


The independent existence and experience of the world ceases to be with the gain of knowledge of Brahman. The nature of knowledge of Brahman is that “I am pure consciousness.” The self-ignorance of the jīva (individuated self) that “I am limited” is replaced by the Brahman-knowledge that “I am everything,” accompanied by a re-identification of the self with the transcendental Brahman. The knower of Brahman sees the one non-plural reality in everything. He or she no longer gives an absolute reality to independent and limited existence of the world, but experiences the world as a creative expression of pure consciousness. The states of waking (jāgrat), dreaming (svapna) and deep sleep (susupti) all point to the fourth nameless state turiya, pure consciousness, which is to be realized as the true self. Pure consciousness is not only pure existence but also the ultimate bliss which is experienced partially during deep sleep. Hence we wake up refreshed.
http://www.iep.utm.edu/adv-veda/
There is no worship involved.

Just a restatement of advaita as it has been given down. Only the words are different. Some new light could have been thrown. But that was not to be.
 
OP
OP
prasad1

prasad1

Active member
Sorry to disappoint some. I did not claim any original knowledge. Then again there is no new knowledge as everything is in Brahman. We only research and add it to our personal knowledge.

According to Advaita Vedanta, Brahman is the highest Reality,That which is unborn and unchanging, and "not sublatable", and cannot be superseded by a still higher reality. Other than Brahman, everything else, including the universe, material objects and individuals, are ever-changing and therefore maya. Brahman is Paramarthika Satyam, "Absolute Truth", and
the true Self, pure consciousness ... the only Reality (sat), since It is untinged by difference, the mark of ignorance, and since It is the one thing that is not sublatable".
In Advaita, Brahman is the substrate and cause of all changes. Brahman is considered to be the material cause and the efficient cause of all that exists. Brahman is the "primordial reality that creates, maintains and withdraws within it the universe." Advaita's Upanishadic roots state Brahman's qualities[SUP][note 8][/SUP] to be Sat-cit-ānanda (being-consciousness-bliss) It means "true being-consciousness-bliss," or "Eternal Bliss Consciousness". The Advaitin scholar Madhusudana Sarasvati explained Brahman as the Reality that is simultaneously an absence of falsity (sat), absence of ignorance (cit), and absence of sorrow/self-limitation (ananda). According to Adi Shankara, the knowledge of Brahman that Shruti provides cannot be obtained in any other means besides self inquiry.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advaita_Vedanta


Renukaji you wrote:

Holding on to Advaita/Brahman is still the same as having a Personal God.

How does that really differ from a person who worships a Personal God?

That is the difference between Brahman and personal God. The Saguna Brahman or Personal God got created for the masses, that wanted something simpler to beg some "benefits". One size dress does not fit everyone.

Saguna Brahman is Brahman conceived of as the Creator, Preserver and Destroyer of the Universe corresponding to Isvara. Advaita Vedanta, however, considers Nirguna Brahman as the only Reality.
Saguna Brahman (or Personal God), Brahman with form actually does not exist since Brahman is really formless and it is described in Upanishadic texts only for the sake of meditation.

Brahman is simply the name given to pure awareness. Brahman is the essential substance of the universe, but while all objects – gross and subtle – in the three-bodied “creation” depend upon Brahman for their existence, Brahman is unobjectifiable and self-existent and, thus, ever free of all objects.

Just as praying to electricity, or praising the space, or sacrificing for the ocean is going to grant your wishes, similarly, there is no need to praise Brahman. Brahman can not be treated as "personal God".
 
Last edited:
The farmer knows that without rain his crops will die. A mother knows that without being fed milk, her baby will die. A wife knows that, without producing a child, her husband will leave. A father has a rebellious daughter who is in danger of going astray.

They feel helpless on their own, and want to turn to someone, anyone, who can help.

Who? Humans like themselves? The Government? The political party?

They turn to God. They pour their hearts out, supplicating for succour in their helplessness, their fear of the future, their despair of failure, of going under and losing their mind, their lives.

Through their prayers, the emptying of built-up tension and emotional baggage they get psychological relief. They look forward to deliverance from their agony.

If it happens, they rejoice, and thank God (or Goddess) for His (or Her) mercy. If it does not happen, they still benefit from an absence of mental tension, a calmer mind which, perhaps sees a practical way out of their difficulties.

The farmer looks for low-lying ground and digs a well. The mother resorts to artificial milk or cows' milk. The wife consults a vaariyer, a gynae, an old country midwife, and learns how to adjust to her menstrual cycles and choose the most likely successful days for conception. The father realises that he is the one who has alienated his child in the midst of her growing up to be an adult, and takes active steps to reconcile.

All have benefitted somehow or other from praying to God.

What's wrong with that?

Sarva deva namaskaaraha Shree Keshavan prathigachchathi.

S Narayanaswamy Iyer
This makes sense, except do not like the example of husband ditching his wife because she cannot have a child. Perhaps he may have fertility issues - it is a chauvinistic example.

Other than that it is well presented.
 
Dear a-TB

Sorry your were upset. Mine not not intentionally "a chauvinistic example."

Perhaps I should have added that, even before marriage, the "husband" already had had a child with a mistress, but felt that info was not strictly relevant. Happy now? Thanks.

S Narayanaswamy Iyer.
 
Dear a-TB

Sorry your were upset. Mine not not intentionally "a chauvinistic example."

Perhaps I should have added that, even before marriage, the "husband" already had had a child with a mistress, but felt that info was not strictly relevant. Happy now? Thanks.

S Narayanaswamy Iyer.

Not upset. Thanks for reply.

Once you marry you accept whatever happens. If child is not in your stars so be it. You can go and adopt. But leaving a wife is not right. Similarly wife cannot leave a fellow because he cannot satisfy her needs. She has to make it work unless some extreme form of cruelty is involved.

Also a fellow who had a child with another woman abandoned the Mistress with that child - what kind of human being is that who now wants to abandon a woman because she cannot bear a child?

Anyway your overall point about prayer made sense

If they dont have a child may be they both can pray
 

renuka

Well-known member
Dear a-TB

Sorry your were upset. Mine not not intentionally "a chauvinistic example."

Perhaps I should have added that, even before marriage, the "husband" already had had a child with a mistress, but felt that info was not strictly relevant. Happy now? Thanks.

S Narayanaswamy Iyer.

The story has a different twist now..
The wife had a miscarriage before marriage when she had a liaison with her boyfriend..but she could not marry him cos her family did not approve becos he had been to prison once.

So she was devastated and the stress caused a miscarriage.

Then she was forced to marry another person and still no children.

The husband claims to have fathered a child tru a mistress before his marriage but DNA paternity test proved he was not the father of the child.

So the wife here is not fearful at all.
She knows the man shoots blanks.LOL
 

tbs

0
The story has a different twist now..
The wife had a miscarriage before marriage when she had a liaison with her boyfriend..but she could not marry him cos her family did not approve becos he had been to prison once.

So she was devastated and the stress caused a miscarriage.

Then she was forced to marry another person and still no children.

The husband claims to have fathered a child tru a mistress before his marriage but DNA paternity test proved he was not the father of the child.

So the wife here is not fearful at all.
She knows the man shoots blanks.LOL
hi renu,

you hit the hammer as usual....i expected the same answer from u....lah...
 
The farmer knows that without rain his crops will die. A mother knows that without being fed milk, her baby will die. A wife knows that, without producing a child, her husband will leave. A father has a rebellious daughter who is in danger of going astray.

They feel helpless on their own, and want to turn to someone, anyone, who can help.

Who? Humans like themselves? The Government? The political party?

They turn to God. They pour their hearts out, supplicating for succour in their helplessness, their fear of the future, their despair of failure, of going under and losing their mind, their lives.

Through their prayers, the emptying of built-up tension and emotional baggage they get psychological relief. They look forward to deliverance from their agony.

If it happens, they rejoice, and thank God (or Goddess) for His (or Her) mercy. If it does not happen, they still benefit from an absence of mental tension, a calmer mind which, perhaps sees a practical way out of their difficulties.

The farmer looks for low-lying ground and digs a well. The mother resorts to artificial milk or cows' milk. The wife consults a vaariyer, a gynae, an old country midwife, and learns how to adjust to her menstrual cycles and choose the most likely successful days for conception. The father realises that he is the one who has alienated his child in the midst of her growing up to be an adult, and takes active steps to reconcile.

All have benefitted somehow or other from praying to God.

What's wrong with that?

Sarva deva namaskaaraha Shree Keshavan prathigachchathi.

S Narayanaswamy Iyer

"What's wrong with that" - The benefit is derived not from praying to God but from a calmer mind that has analysed various possibilities and is looking for survival - for itself and its family. You must realize that all the actions that you have suggested above do not require any divine intervention (not that there is any).

So, the conclusion that "All have benefitted somehow or other from praying to God." does not hold water, imo.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top
Thank you for visiting TamilBrahmins.com

You seem to have an Ad Blocker on.

We depend on advertising to keep our content free for you. Please consider whitelisting us in your ad blocker so that we can continue to provide the content you have come here to enjoy.

Alternatively, consider upgrading your account to enjoy an ad-free experience along with numerous other benefits. To upgrade your account, please visit the account upgrades page

You can also donate financially if you can. Please Click Here on how you can do that.

I've Disabled AdBlock    No Thanks