Where’s the Bhava?
But the prayers are the package by which we send a message to Krishna or to God according to our particular religion. You have an envelope, you may even have the right address on it. Some people put the wrong address on. You have an envelope, if you are not worshipping the right God, then you are putting the wrong address on. But even if you are worshiping the right God, as we understand through parampara, through proper Guru, sadhu, and sashtra and the right address is ON, still it’s not the envelope the people are impressed with, its the content inside the envelope, yes and you send a letter, people open your envelope and throw it. They are concerned with what’s inside. What is inside is our bhava, our feelings, our intent. As Srila Prabhupada writes very strongly that Krishna accepts the intent of the devotees, actions, words – Radhanath Swami.
Prayers are indispensable to spirituality. And feelings are indispensable to prayers.
When prayers are with sincere feelings they conquer the Lord’s heart, and we experience spiritual bliss. In the advanced stages one experiences direct communion with God. Srimad Bhagavatam, a well known literature of Vaishnavism, has thousands of prayers, of devotees who prayed with attention, affection and thus experienced God.
In the beginning stages, a spiritualist lacks faith and thus fails to invest feelings in his or her prayers. After all, how could you pray with feelings unless you are convinced that you are being heard and your prayers will be answered? Still, one has to muster all one’s faith and try to call out for the Lord with feelings. Seeing our sincerity, the Lord blesses us with more faith. With more faith we call out with more feelings; and the Lord blesses us with more faith. The cycle culminates in tangible spiritual experiences that will propel us to deeper realizations.
So, even in the beginning, to invest our feelings, our bhava, into our prayers is important.
In the above audio clip, Radhanath Swami brings out this philosophical truth using a beautiful analogy.
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