Praying and strengthening bonds
Praying together as a family strengthen bonds and makes us come closer. The family can be biological, in a colony or even a workplace.
The first experience of a multicultural and deep prayer from all faiths is something I experienced during the Kargil war that took place in 1999. At that time we were in a place where the navy, army and airforce were together. This was an event that shook all of us deeply so we decided to organise a multicultural prayer.
This was indeed a good decision. Hindu priests chanted mantras, christians their chants, muslims their ibadat, Sikhs their gurbani, Jains their navkar mantra, Buddhists the mani padme hum and Zoroastrians the ashem vohu. Ladies came with infants, and old parents joined in. Everyone prayed for the soldiers and loved ones to be taken care of. After this episode, all of us, wherever we were, kept the bond amongst us strong and vibrant. We invite each other for all our social functions like marriage and have formed a group called the Kargil prayer group. Whenever any of us has a challenge we call the Kargil prayer group to pray. They keep counselling the person who needs it, even though we are from different faiths, states and backgrounds.
This episode proved to me the power of prayers for bonding, so even in our family, we ensure we pray at least once a day together. We combine this with other things. At this time, we share the issues, both minor and major that we may be facing and together discuss possible solutions. When we know of others facing issues, we discuss how we could be of some help. I remember asking many of my childrens’ friends to stay with us when their family was facing a challenge or busy on the social front. These are some of the closest bonds we formed as a result of extending a hand of support when it was needed. In that sense, prayer has indeed played a big role in us functioning as a family.
I honestly feel the same principle applies everywhere whether at work or in educational establishments. With even the World Health organisation asking us to destress maybe we should think of doing this more regularly.
Praying together is the most selfless act we can do together and by doing this, trust and happiness automatically follows.
I think this is why in most old-fashioned homes, people used to assign a day where they would hold a pooja or a havan at home or in a nearby temple inviting everyone to come together to pray and bond. All issues such as marriages, studies and jobs would be discussed and people would guide and counsel each other with their knowledge and experience. The intent was always to reach out and help. When anyone was sick, someone would take him/her to a hospital and look after their families needs too. So, this then became prayer in action.
Noting all this, should we not make prayer a part of our lives?
By Jamuna Rangachari