Asking for a boon?

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Posted: 2011-01-07T12:06:36Z

Whether it be spiritual or material, I think it is in our nature to ask the Supreme Lord for something whilst praying.  For some it is the only reason for praying. Ouch

As depicted in the scriptures and mytho shows, people used to do severe tapas simply to get a vardaan. 

The asuras did severe penance to get boons of immortality e.g Hiranyakashipu, Ravana etc. Some did austerity to get children (Devaki and Vasudev in their previous birth). There are aslo a few exceptions who did penance without any expectations i.e just to glorify the Lord like the Four Kumaras, where Shri Hari himself granted them boons of his own free will...

The question which then arises is what vardaan to ask for? Shri Hari offered Mata Devaki salvation ("moksha") which is the ultimate goal of life. But Mata refused saying she only wanted the 'atoot' mother-son relationship with him. She cared for nothing else other that having that nurturing bond with him.

Questions for discussion:

Do you agree that it is our nature to ask for favors from God? Is it the only reason we pray? I know in this age of Kaliyug it is impossible to do such severe penance but if somehow or the other we are so blessed to have darshan of God, what should we ask for? More personally what would you ask for?

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Posted: 2011-01-07T13:39:14Z
Amazing discussion!Clap RES for reply.Tongue
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Posted: 2011-01-07T15:17:47Z
Lol though I have soooooooo much catching up to do around here, I'm going to have to start with this topic because it's that awesome - great thinking Vedo Clap It is especially of interest because a friend and I had a very similar discussion not too long back. We were talking about Sita Maa's prayers to Ganpati Bappa, Shiv Shankar, and Gauri Maa during her swayamvar, in which she says that "all my service to you was for this day, please make me Shri Ram's". Coming from Sita Mata, this seemingly greedy prayer was a matter of some doubts and confusion. I wanted to open up a thread where we could discuss that particular verse but was racking my brain trying to think of a broader context to fit it under, so... thanks for saving me the trouble LOL

Here's my take: ideal bhakti is certainly selfless and desireless and pure, ideally we should engage in devotion only for its own sake and not for some other goal. If not, then you're not really a devotee of who you're praying to but what you're praying for. For example, Hiranyakashipu and Ravan were devoted to the physical strength they prayed for, not Brahma and Shivji whom they got it from. Sita Maa, Radha Rani, Rukmini Devi, the gopis, etc. were ideal devotees of Shri Ram and Shri Krishna whom they asked to be united with, not so much of Gauri Maa and Ganpati Bappa and whoever else they asked to bless that union.

Moreover, asking for God to become a part of your life the way the gopis, Devaki--Vasudev, and Nand-Yashoda had done in past lives is not really a desire at all. They asked for such boons not for the glory and fame that being a part of God's leela might get them, but simply because it would give them a means to love him more fervently and deeply and constantly. The bhakti they put into those yagyas and tapasyas beforehand was all for the sake of opportunities to engage in even more bhakti afterwards. Bhakti for bhakti's own sake - in other words, pure and desireless.

So in conclusion, if it is in our inherent nature to seek some kind of reward for our devotion, the ideal reward to ask for would be more devotion. Either through Prahlad's simple "grant me the desire to desire nothing but You" prayer, or some more creative means like the gopis in their past lives as sages asking for him to be their beloved or the divine parents, their son (as for what I would ask for, probably the latter - creative ishtyle Tongue). Physical strength and material wealth will only get us so far, as proved by Hiranyakashipu and Ravan. The fun of devotion never runs out.
Edited by lola610 - 2011-01-07T15:19:18Z
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Posted: 2011-01-07T16:47:15Z
What would I ask for? hmmm...Well I would ask to have darshan in the first place. If I got to see Krishna, then that's it then!LOL

*edit, i will also ask to pass History and Math, lol jk

Edited by AishuJSKfan - 2011-07-31T13:15:54Z
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Posted: 2011-01-07T17:37:08Z

@ Lola - wonderful explanation! Clap  Clap

I loved the way you put it...yes I was watching epi 33 of Shri Krishna when this question arose in my mind. I was fascinated by the way Devaki Mata told the Supreme Lord to "remove his four-armed avatar and appear as a little child in front of her." She just truly wanted to love him and nurture and spoil him like any other mother! 

Originally posted by lola610

We were talking about Sita Maa's prayers to Ganpati Bappa, Shiv Shankar, and Gauri Maa during her swayamvar, in which she says that "all my service to you was for this day, please make me Shri Ram's". Coming from Sita Mata, this seemingly greedy prayer was a matter of some doubts and confusion...

Awesome reference! Big smile On the surface her words do seem greedy but I think her emotions behind them are not. The words that stand out the most for me in this scene are"...Te Bhagwan Sakal Ur Vaasi, Karahu Mohe Raghuvar Ke Dasi.."

She asked not to be his queen or anything like that but only to be his dasi... his servant!

I agree that the feeling with which we do devotional service is what matters the most. If it is done with pure love then we attain heaven on earth, our lives become sanctified. But if we do devotional service with selfishness behind it, then we may achieve what we set out to, but would that make us content? It becomes a cycle of I want to get this so I do that, or I want to get that so I do this which goes on and on...and so the true meaning of being devoted gets lost!

Pure devotional service gives us peace of mind, strength to face all odds of life and faith that the Lord is always there.

I think a good example of this is the way Ravana, Kumbhkarna and Vibhishana did penance. Ravana wanted to become immortal and Kumbhkarna wanted to rule heaven whereas Vibhishana wanted only to follow the path of righteousness. They all did penance in the same way, at the same time...but only Vibhishana truly got what he wanted. LOL

@ Aishu- yes yaar! If one gets sakshaat darshan of the Lord then what else would be left to ask for? Embarrassed As for myself, I think I'd be too overcome with emotion to utter a single word! LOL Prabhu would just have to know what's in my heart and grant me that boon only! Embarrassed

Edited by Vedo - 2011-01-08T07:24:38Z
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Posted: 2011-01-08T08:59:55Z
Good Vedo ....
totally agree with u Lola

I believe  we are like beggers ... always asking some or other thing from God lolzzzzzzzROFL

I hv heard ppl saying to do or perform this puja/prayer then u'll get this result .... and all
but i say when u truly Believe in Him then y insisting Him to give u this or that .. HE IS WITHIN EACH ONE OF US. He knows everything about us He knows what we want !!! then y keep begging ?? I think that will irritate Him hehehehhe ..LOL jk

Whenever i go to temple I Just keep looking at Him ... n forget to ask anything ... just get mesmerize in His divine beauty (I am Shiva Bhakt) then i thing what is there to ask for ... what He doesnt know about me ... ??

When i really want some thing or in some prob/confusion I talk to my soal, Where He resides. U'll get an answer !! Believe me just need to believe He is with u and talking to u.
HE ALWAYS GIVES U WNAT U WANT ... Just Need to be Patient Smile
hard to be patient but hv to coz He only knows the right time and right way to fulfill ur wishes

sorry what i want cant share here, personal

But im sure i'll get it .. that my Believe Faith Trust & Love in Him Big smile

Edited by ...PARiNA... - 2011-01-08T09:09:22Z
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Posted: 2011-01-12T08:17:37Z
I think asking boons or blessings is our nature as I believe humans arent satisfied easily. For e.g. if you bought a mobile, few years later you want the newer version of it and then the other which is newer so it goes on and on..
The reason why asurs did penance was Shukracharya I think. I think he told every asur to do penance and ask for immortality.
There are few asurs who were devotees like ravan,vibhishan, king bali( grandson of prahlad) etc but somehow they became greedy or proud and put their devotion aside.
I dont know what I would ask, perhaps mukti( salvation).
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Posted: 2011-02-07T19:46:22Z

Hey guys. Big smile

I was reading my Bhagavad Gita and I found the following verses pertaining nicely to the the discussion topic so thought I'd share 'em.

yo yo yam yam tanum bhaktah
shraddhayarcitum icchati
tasya tasyacalam shraddham
tam eva vidadhamy aham

"I am in everyone's heart as the Supersoul. As soon as one desires to worship some demigod, I make his faith steady so that he can devote himself to that particular deity."

sa taya shraddhaya yuktas
tasyaradhanam ihate
labhate ca tatah kaman
mayaiva vihitan hi tan

"Endowed with such a faith, he endeavors to worship a particular demigod and obtains his desires. But in actuality these benefits are bestowed by Me alone."

antavat tu phalam tesam
tad bhavaty alpa-medhasam
devan deva-yajo yanti
mad-bhakta yanti mam api

"Men of small intelligence worship the demigods, and their fruits are limited and temporary. Those who worship the demigods go to the planets of the demigods, but My devotees ultimately reach My supreme planet."

Bhagavad Gita 7.21 to 7.23

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