Saying a specific prayer to a particular deity actually enhances our faith in the presence of God, listening to us while we request Him to be with us and help imbibe Divinity. When we do a task without any prayer it becomes very mechanical. But after a small prayer when we do the same task, we can feel as if God Himself is standing beside us and guiding us. We can try doing this and find out for ourselves. This article will help us understand the type of prayers we can offer to the Deity and gain maximum benefits.
1. Some suggestions for prayers
A. Prayers given ahead are a few examples. Readers are free to word prayers according to their bhav (Spiritual emotion). They can also change words of the prayers as per their behavior pray in their own mother tongue.
B. A prayer begins with words such as ‘O God ! O (Name of a Deity) ! O Gurudev !’ etc.and concludes with words such as ‘this is my prayer unto your Holy feet’. In some prayers in this article, these words are not mentioned only to avoid repetition. However,readers should include these words at the beginning and conclusion of the respective prayers.
C. When a prayer is not intended for a specific Deity, we should offer it to the Guru / Family Deity /Deity of worship.
D. The prayers given ahead are so arranged that they will benefit average devotees to seekers who are patriotic and Dharmabhimanis (Those who have pride in Dharma).
2. Prayers to be offered to Deities
according to their specific qualities
A. Prayers to be offered to Saptadevata (Seven superior Deities)
The seven Deities mentioned ahead are major Deities of worship.
1. Shri Ganapati : O bestower of intellect ! Bestow me always with a virtuous intellect. O remover of obstacles ! Create a protective sheath around me with your noose and ward off all difficulties that come in my life.
2. Shriram : O Maryadapurushottam(Perfect being) ! Grace me so that my life becomes ideal like yours.
3. Deity Hanuman : O Hanuman ! By your grace, let your virtues of fearlessness, constant alertness and servitude be imbibed by me.
4. Deity Shiva : O Mahadev ! Let me develop a bhav of detachment like you have.
5. Shri Durgadevi : O Mother of the universe ! Nurture me with the love of a mother. Let your grace always accompany and protect me.
6. Deity Datta : O Dattatreya ! Just as you made 24 Gurus with 24 different virtues, let me also develop an attitude of imbibing good qualities from everyone.
7. Shri Krushna : O God ! you are a complete Incarnation and hence, are full of virtues. Let me also develop an all-round virtuousness like you have.
B. Praying to the Deities associated with places
1. Vastudevata (Presiding Deity of a premises) : Protect me from the problems in the premises.
2. Sthandevata (Presiding Deity of a place) : Protect this place that is under your control from negative energies.
3. Gramdevata (Village Deity) and Kshetrapaldevata (Guardian Deity of a territory) : Protect this place that is under your authority from calamities such as epidemics and negative energies.
3. Prayers associated with Dharmacharan (Righteous conduct)
A. Prayers to be made during daily worship, religious rituals etc.
1. O God ! Through this ritualistic worship,let bhakti (Devotion) and bhav be generated in my heart for you.
2. Let me be able to imbibe Chaitanya (Divine consciousness) emitting from this ritualistic worship to the maximum extent.
B. Prayers to be made on Holy / Religious festivals to respective Deities
1. O Deity (Insert the Name of the Deity) ! Let me benefit to a progressively greater extent from your Principle that is a thousand times more active in the environment on this auspicious day when compared with other days.
2. O Deity ! Let this Holy festival / Religious festival be celebrated through me in a bhav filled state, during which I will constantly remember your virtues and leelas (Divine plays).
C. Other prayers
Let an attitude of abiding by the code of conduct mentioned in Hindu Dharma be generated in me.
4. Prayers related to daily conduct
A. Before bathing
O Jaladevata (Deity of water) ! Let your Holy water purify my body and let my subconscious mind become pure as well.
B. Before cooking
1. O Mother Annapurna (Deity which provides food and sustains prosperity) ! By your grace let the food that I am going to cook become sattvik (which will generate a positive attitude in the person eating).
2. O Mother Annapurna! Let my family members remain in good health by consuming this food that is being cooked with your grace.
C. Before eating
1. O Mother Annapurna! Let this food that is offered at your feet be consumed by me with a bhav that it is your ‘Prasad (Holy sacrament)’. Let me get Shakti (Divine Energy) and Chaitanya through this Prasad.
2. O God ! Let this food, which I have received by your grace, be consumed by me accompanied by chanting your Name.
D. Before sleeping
O Deity (Insert the Name of your Deity of worship) and Deity of sleep ! Let a protective sheath of your grace be constantly around me and let my chanting continue even during sleep.
1. Spiritual experience – Falling asleep immediately upon praying to Nidradevi (Goddess of sleep)
I was unable to sleep on the night of 25th August 2006. Therefore,I prayed to Nidradevi- ‘O Nidradevi! Let me get peaceful sleep and let me not suffer from any distress due to negative energies’. Shortly thereafter, I was able to sleep’. – Master Kaushal Nitin Kothavale (Age 10 years), Solapur, Maharashtra