Prayer Vs Meditation: Communicating With God•
Posted on October 11 2021
Prayer and meditation are two means of communication with one’s favourite God. Both of them help a person find inner peace and true happiness by connecting with the Almighty or supreme power. While Hindus prefer to say their prayers either loudly or silently, meditation is often done silently. Prayer requires the person doing this to be a theist while meditation can be done even by an atheist. Also, prayers can be done either alone or as a group whereas meditation is best done alone, making it a more intimate experience.
Prayer and meditation play an important role in developing goodness and positive attitude in an individual along with relaxing the mind. They help an individual with forgiveness to self and others, self-control and relief from stress. Meditation, additionally, offers assistance in developing empathy. Whether a person prays or meditates, he/she portrays his gratitude to the Almighty. This gratitude helps him/her become a better human being.
Prayer guides you towards looking up whilst meditation guide you towards looking within you. A prayer can be oriented towards the future. In contrast, meditation emphasises on the present.
The two terms prayer and meditation are often used interchangeably because they quieten the mind and affect human brain activity. However, they have a few noteworthy differences. Read on to know some of them to help you analyse these two aspects that provide opportunities for you to do some self-introspection and become a better individual.
Prayer focuses on the person talking to God and pouring out your heart to Him. In other words, an individual uses prayer as a medium to open up to his/her favourite deity about his problems and sufferings. He/she asks God for relief or a solution to his problems through prayer. Prayer reminds a person of the contrast between the lord and him/her.
On the other hand, meditation is associated with an individual isolating himself/herself from all external distractions and understanding his/her inner self. He/she holds himself/herself accountable for all the mess and pains in his/her life. When a person meditates, he/she learns to listen to the voice of God and His commands and seeks solutions from within. Meditation, however, considers God and the practitioner as a single entity.
Through prayer, an individual focuses wholly on his/her favourite deity and surrendering himself/herself completely to God. Prayer is also a religious practice and the praying method varies across religion.
Meditation is represented as a form of concentration. It is not essential that the person focuses only on the lord. He/she can focus on any object or even his/her breath. An individual can also meditate by repeating a mantra. Moreover, meditation is in no way connected to religion or religious beliefs.
There is no right or wrong way regarding how a prayer must be said. You can say your prayers to God just like how you would have a casual conversation with your friend. In other words, you can just let your thoughts flow through. Many Sanskrit prayers are said for their meanings rather than for how their words are pronounced. They can be translated into English or any other language that the person is comfortable with.
However, a person who opts to recite a mantra for meditation must pay attention to how each syllable of the mantra is pronounced. Mantras are generally formulated taking the sacred vibrations associated with them into consideration. The energy associated with the sound produced from the syllables is what makes them powerful and effective. They have to be pronounced as intended and recited only in Sanskrit.
A person can pray when he/she is on the move or while he/she is engaged in another task. In other words, the individual does not have to leave other tasks aside to engage in prayers.
Meditation requires the person to leave all other tasks aside and lay emphasis on the act. He/she should remain still and focus only on one task at a time.
Both prayer and meditation help a person getting closer to God and can be done in several ways. One form cannot be considered to be superior or inferior to the other in any aspect. A person can follow one of both methods depending on which best suits him/her. A person who believes in the power of prayer considers himself/herself to be a child in front of God. However, during meditation, he/she associates himself/herself to be in the company of the supreme power.
Written by Deepthi K