Children, during times of crisis, all of us fervently hope, “If only I had someone to help me.” It is a time when even non-believers think of God. Unlike what many people think, divine strength is not separate from us; it is immanent. Through prayers made with the right attitude, we can awaken that strength whenever we want. What exactly is prayer? What is the fundamental principle underlying it? The vital aspect of prayer is humility. We will see this if we examine prayers.
“O God, you are the Almighty One. You know everything. I am no one. I know nothing. Therefore, please protect me and save me.” Isn’t this the essence of all prayers? Prayer is an attitude. When we prostrate before the shrine or the form of a deity, the thought and belief that ‘I am nothing’ should be firmly entrenched in the heart. However, any action done merely with the body lacks depth. It will not reap the expected fruit. Similar is the case with prayer, too. If we kneel merely with the body, while the mind is filled with arrogant thoughts, we will not be able to understand or experience divine strength. For this, we first need humility.
Where there is humility, there grace will reach effortlessly. The strongest wind will not be able to uproot a blade of grass adhering to the ground, whereas the mightiest trees will topple over.
It is difficult for many to make humility a habit. However, it is the supreme truth that all virtues are within us. Not only that, we express them in various situations, too. For example, don’t we meekly accept the scolding that our teacher and superior at work give us? To some extent, this is because of helplessness. Nevertheless, experience shows that if we want to, we can be humble.
Whether or not we know it, obedience and humility help us grow. The human life span is not as long as we think. Time is endless. In this infinite continuum, 90 or 100 years is like a tiny bubble, lasting only for a few moments. If we ponder over this, we will realise this truth. Childhood, adolescence, young adulthood and old age come and go in the twinkling of an eye. Death, which destroys everything, is the one truth that keeps staring at us. If we remember this, our ego will dissolve of its own accord. Humility will arise spontaneously.
A father and son were playing a game of chess. The father lost. The son declared, “I won! These white pawns have a special power.” Putting all the pawns back into the box, the father told his son, “But son, whether white or black, all of them end up in the same box, don’t they?” Life, too, is like this. We don’t think about our fellow beings, nature and other creatures. Bowing our heads before God, we prostrate and pray. But we forget the truth that the only way in which we can become befitting of God’s grace is through humility, love and compassion. Children, cultivate the habit of humility. The writer is a world-renowned spiritual leader