About Hindu Prayers

by V.A.Ponmelil (All rights reserved by the author)

The Hindu Prayer is the part and parcel of the Vedic lifestyle. The vedas have the large collection of mantras and prayer rituals extolling a single supreme force, Brahman.

The prayer of Brahman is focused on the personal forms of god like Shiva, Vishnu, Lakshmi etc.
The prayer to the Brahman who is the source of all existence is the essence of the Vedic system. Even in Bhagvadgita, Krishna says that the prayer is fundamental key to dwell constantly on God for enlightenment.

The repetition of Prayer through mantras using maalaas or beads is the integral part of Hinduism.

The most important prayer which was used in all the Vedic ceremonies and continues to be invoked even today in Hindu temples and home shrines is given below.

Asato Ma Sad Gamaya
Tamaso Ma Jyotir Gamaya
Mrityor Ma Amritam Gamaya
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti.

This is a request to lord to lead from untruth to truth, to lead from darkness to light and from death to immortality. OM here represents the universal Pranava mantra or nada of god. In the end, the prayer intends for the peace or shanti everywhere.

Another important prayer in Hinduism is the Gayatri mantra which is recited daily. It is contemplating with straightforward meaning. The dwelling and imbibing its sound with spiritual meaning is said to balance the mind. This mantra was first recorded in the Rig Veda. 

For Hindus “OM” is the most enigmatic, universal, divine sound. It is said to represent everything conscious to the Trinity of Hinduism. It is an alternative to the word of god. It is believed that everything emanates from “OM”, everything exists in “OM” and everything ends in “OM”. It is the Pranav or the root mantra of Hindus. It is also referred as the ultimate self-contained prayer for Hindus. 

The Hindu yoga highlights another major form of prayer which involves a heavy focus on meditation. The prayer is also believed to curb one’s ego and increase the peace in the mind.


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