Spiritual Atmosphere of India – Prayer
Prayer is a part of our lives. From the boy who takes an exam and the robber who plans to break into a house, they suddenly become religious and find themselves praying. Of the three levels of prayer, The Gita describes the simplest one – to pray for a benefit. A prayer, a master act that reaches God makes miracles commonplace, is a line in the epic Savitri of Sri Aurobindo. All sincere prayers are answered without fail, especially those that issue out of the depths of one's being at times of imminent danger. Such a moment arrives when the doctor gives up or when the market for the product of a manufacturer shows signs of disappearing. Accidents that appear on the scene on a sudden have that character. We say that we prayed and God responded in His Mercy. God is the indwelling Spirit.
A rural project of a public institution was under a director of that organisation. He worked through a manager who organised activities on the workspot. Being an organisation of service, everyone worked offering his services, not as employees for a salary. During a severe cyclonic storm, the 80 or so labourers there were under a serious threat to their lives. Their prayer saved all their lives, but the project was annihilated, every shed was destroyed and every amenity was ruined. The director and manager visited the spot. One was angry that his pet dream was in ruins and the other was deeply moved by the pathetic condition of those on the project. Rehabilitation required Rs. 5000/- at once, but the director who had invested Rs. 2 lakhs there was unmoved, as his dream was lost. In 1972 Rs. 5000 was the cost of ten acres of land there. The manager who had always successfully invoked the Spirit within was really at a loss. Surrender was the central discipline of his faith. He converted it into a practical method, 'Let me go to my centre and on coming out ask the first man I see for Rs. 5000/-'. He was waylaid by an old, affectionate co-devotee who would not permit him to go to his centre, but wanted him to come to his house. The man was insistent. The manager decided to ask the old man for Rs. 5000/- loan. The old man gave it as a donation.