As a child, I remember my mother teaching us to sing this Gujarati prayer every evening, “Sau nu karo kalyan, Dayalu Prabhu, Sau nu karo kalyan”, which means, “Oh kind God! Bless everyone for their welfare, wellness!” Right from the time I started to learn this prayer we said this every single evening, along with some other Sanskrit Mantras.
I must have been around 10 years old, when I asked her, “Mom, why do we have to tell God to do good to everyone? Isn’t God kind and compassionate enough? I thought God loves us all.” My mother laughed and said, “Prayer is talking to God my dear. God knows everything, we remind ourselves of this while praying, that God is always there to take care of all…” This question stayed in the mind for some time. I grew up and forgot about it, while still saying all prayers every evening.
Recently, I was teaching an Art of Living’s course for children(Art EXCEL) in a small village in Assam, in the middle of heavy rains and floods. We had 200 kids on this course and some of them would cycle 10kms one way, to reach the course venue. During this course, I would feel so lucky to teach such committed children. One of the days, while the children were meditating, it started raining very heavily. The meditation got over and all kids shared miraculous experiences. It was evening and time for closing the day. It kept raining.
Due to the heavy rains, none of the parents could come to pick up the children. Here I was, stuck inside a hall, jam-packed with 200 kids. It was now getting dark and rain started flooding the outside area, to an extent that if had continued for even 10mins more, there would have been water in the hall.
At this point a little girl walked up to me and asked, “Why are you not smiling, any tension?” I said to her, “It’s raining so much, how will you all go home, I am concerned?”
This kid smiled back and told me not to worry. I saw her running to the window. She stood there, looked at the sky, closed her eyes for a minute. Then this little angel ran back to me and with so much conviction she said, “Now you please smile, the rain will stop because I have prayed to the clouds to stop the rain.” Within five minutes the rain reduced and eventually stopped in 10 minutes.
This is when I remembered my mothers’ words, “Prayer is talking to God!” I always heard this and somewhere knew it as well. There is some Divine force that runs everything, knows everything and is always there with all of us. My journey with Art of Living has me very certain of this benevolent Divinity through many beautiful experiences.
Author Hetal Mehta is a versatile and dynamic Art of Living Teacher