Namaskaar friends. This is the 2nd of 3 articles on the subject of Prayer by Pujya Swami Dayananda. You can look up previous post here. Pujya Swamiji now explains Prayerfulness, the attitude towards Prayer. Its so insightful and inspiring and something that we can all implement right away, HERE and NOW. Not put off for some time in the future. This is a long article but a wonderful step by step explanation by Pujya Swamiji in his typical style. Readers may not be familiar with some terms used here but the essence is easy to capture. It may help to read this writeup slowly, maybe even in parts.
A prayerful attitude is different from an act of prayer. The attitude one has towards money, family, and other living organisms on this earth is something that grows upon one as one grows up in a culture, even without knowing the background behind it. It is not that we have a real understanding about money, for example, that leads us to have a certain attitude towards it. As you grow up in a culture with parents subscribing to certain values, there is a certain attitude that grows upon you with reference to various things. In the Indian culture, for example, if you step on a book unwittingly you ask for pardon. This is peculiar only to our religious culture. It is not that the person who does that necessarily understands the background behind that attitude. After all, why should you not step on a book, especially an Indian history book, which you really have no value for? It is because we have a certain attitude towards knowledge that does not allow you to do that without asking for pardon. We have a certain reverence towards land, home, sun, etc. Is it born of understanding? I would say yes, and no. There is some understanding. You offer a prayer to the land which you are going to till to grow a crop, or build a house on. It is born of a certain attitude. Here there is an act of prayer born of a certain attitude. What does that person understand? There is some understanding, I am sure, that it is not all in his hands. Since you can have certain assumptions which may be wrong, and because of which you can get into trouble, you have a prayerful attitude, and that keeps you safe. That attitude is manifest in the form of a simple action—a prayerful action. The attitude pervades your entire life—your thought life, and your life of activity. But it pervades in a very hazy manner when there is no understanding, or incomplete understanding, for you cannot have an attitude without understanding.