Prayer is an integral part of Manav Sadhna and our work. The following is a summary of Gandhiji's experience and teachings on the power of prayer. Gandhiji believed that prayer is an on-going process for connecting with the Divine, connecting with humanity, and as a means for self-purification. He explained that prayer is the very soul and essence of religion. He advised, “Begin, therefore, your day with prayer and make it so soulful that it may remain with you until evening. Close the day with prayer, so that you may have a peaceful night free from dreams and nightmares. Do not worry about the forms. Let it be any form, it should be such that it can put us in communication with the Divine.” Gandhiji never missed a prayer, even when he was travelling away from the Ashram.
“If properly understood and applied, prayer could be the most potent tool in action,” explained Gandhiji. In the eternal struggle between the powers of darkness and light that resides in everyone, the individual who is anchored in prayer can remain aware, and therefore, at peace with the self as well as the world. He also promoted the Sarva Dharma (All-Religion) prayer to nurture a spirit and deeper practice of oneness with all beings.
During our daily morning prayer at Manav Sadhna, we sit together to pray, meditate, and share. It is a daily practice in humbleness and selflessness, and a reminder of the higher power that enables us to give to others. It is also a time to recharge and connect with the self. Following are the prayers we sing every morning and a brief interpretation of each. These prayers represent major belief systems around the world, and recognize the wisdom and universal values imparted by each.
“Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one's weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.” – Gandhiji