A prayer I like much


Together in co-operation [source]

I wanted to share with you a prayer that has been powerful in my life.

I say this as an opening prayer when I’m conducting a meeting, group discussion, teaching a class or speaking in gatherings. The prayer and the love of the rishi who experienced it and gave it to us are such that the event, whatever it is, goes through positively to the benefit of everyone in the gathering.  At the conclusion of the gathering, I feel, and my sense is everyone else in the gathering does too, the goodness of a gentle breeze that blows by without any noise or advertisement.

Let us live together. Let us grow together. Let us achieve great things together. Let us shine in the effulgence of togetherness. Let there be no disharmony among us.

saha naavavatu | saha nau bhunaktu | saha veeryam karavaavahai | tejasvinaavadheetamastu maa vidvishaavahai ||

Bhagavan asks, “I know you all can operate. But can you co-operate?”

saha, the spirit of togethernessn in harmony, is most essential. Everything in nature lives together with everything else in harmony. Except me. I don’t live in the spirit of togetherness with nature or with my fellow human beings. Bhagavad Gita says this is due to my selfishness and self-aggrandizement (ahamkaaram and mamakaaram). 

Co-operation in the spirit of togetherness is a life in joy. I saw this first hand from a couple of Latino youth who came to paint our residence. As they did their work through the day, they were chirping like birds on a tree, speaking with each other happily and helping each other all through. When one of them made a mistake, the other pointed it out, both laughed and continued their merry work together. It was such a happy experience for me to see them work this way.

The moment I reduce my tendency to elbow or bull-doze my way through, the moment I begin to serve the needs of others over my own, at that moment I experience this peaceful feeling of togetherness and harmony. I begin to learn the natural inescapability of being a loving person. This is the call of the vedas, the music in the air that I must listen.

This prayer, just by reciting it sincerely, actually makes me listen to this music.


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