One routine that I have been following for many years is that after taking a shower , I light the lamp in my Pooja room and sit and pray for sometime. Praying mostly includes my list of wishes submitted to the Almighty. I have a growing list of wishes each day. It is as lengthy as my monthly grocery list. Neither my grocery list nor my wish list to God becomes shorter.
My 5 yr old friend Akshath came to my house the other day. I love playing with small kids and talking to them. It's kind of stress buster for me. Their innocence and naughtiness attracts me towards them.When I asked him how his weekend went, he told me that he went to the temple along with his family. I asked him what did he pray to God. He said," I put my hands together and prayed." I thought he didnt understand my question. So again I repeated. " Ya Akshath I know you prayed but what did you pray for?" Again his innocence spoke for him. He said,"Aunty I put my hands together like this (he showed me how he did it) and prayed." I thought I would frame the question in a different way. Then I went, "Akshath, what did you ask God for?". His head went side to side and he shrugged his shoulders . He said, "Nothing aunty." This struck a lightening in me. I realized that I was trying to get an answer I wished from him. I wanted him to have a wish list like me.
I remembered that even I did the same thing like Akshath till a certain age. As I grew older I started writing a wish list and till now it is endless. When our kids are small we take them to the temple and just ask them to fall down at the feet of God to get the blessings. . As they grow a little older we teach them how to ask God for things. And when they grow a little more older they know how to ask for what they want. This is how the wish list starts to evolve. As our responsibilities grow more and more we start adding on to our wish list. It starts with toys, then marks, then gifts, then we pray to God to keep our family safe, then we add our friends, then job, then spouse, then the children, then the grandchildren and health and at last comes that we have a peaceful departure from this world.
. Normally when I see men praying I feel they dont have such a big wish list as women. They stand there for a couple of minutes and move away. Is it because their patience level is less or the wish list has just a few things , or do they just chant mantras and move on? It is a puzzle for me. Why do women spend so much time in prayers? Does it mean we pray for our kith and kin and for the whole humanity without leaving anyone whom we know? I dont think so. Are we too demanding? Are we too greedy? Is it because we take the responsibility of saving everyone through our prayers ?
I too tried like Akshath . For a week I sat in front of God just with my hands held together . I read a few mantras. Inside my mind there was a big turmoil. I felt that I was not conveying God what I wanted to ask for. I thought only if I repeated my wish list God will be kind enough to grant my wishes. I didnt want to skip that ritual of mine. I felt that my prayers were incomplete. So again I went back to the reciting of my wish list. I pity the God for having to listen to my endless wishes.
At the same time I am grateful to God for fulfilling my wishes one at a time. When will the day come when I will stand in front of God with my hands held together like Akshath and just thank him for all the goodness he has done and is doing for me and not ask for anything... That day will be the day I attain spiritual maturity .