Intro : I have composed this prayer for non-Indian seekers of Hinduism in English. It is important to know that Hinduism (Sanatan Dharma) is a complex mix of many profound theologies, philosophies, schools of thoughts, etc. Contrary to popular opinion among Westerners, Hinduism is not polytheistic. It may be considered as henotheistic and panentheistic. Profound philosophies like Advaita Vedanta, Achintya Bhedabheda, Vishishtadvaita, Tantra, Vedic texts, etc. form the base of Hinduism (Sanatan Dharma). "Sanatan" means eternal and "Dharma" means moral order. Because Hinduism is henotheistic, its scriptures mention and praise numerous deities as if they are one ultimate unitary divine essence. While concentrating on one form of God, the devotion of a Hindu sadhak rises to such a level that for a particular period of time that form of God is worshipped as Supreme. There are a plethora of schools of thoughts in Hinduism which can be described as being monist, monotheist, henotheist, panentheist, etc. Different sects have different interpretation even though all of them are united as a single Hindu family. While making this humble attempt to compose an English Hindu prayer, I would like to clarify that I do not intend to disrespect any school/sect and I indeed respect and endorse all of them. All these sects/schools are like pearls tied together with a single string of Hinduism (Sanatan Dharma). Therefore like most Hindus, I respect all deities/names/forms as manifestations/representations of the same Supreme Divine. Most Hindus consider different forms as signifying different attributes/qualities of the same Supreme Divine. Thus, Hindus are secular in the sense that we see even non-Hindu names, terms and forms of God (of different religions of the world) as that of the Supreme Being itself. I recommend reading the Bhagavad Geeta (Advaita Vedantic interpretation) to understand the true essence of Hinduism.
I begin by reciting the sound Om (ॐ), which is the divine cosmic sound containing all vibrations of the Multiverse and symbol of the cause of the Multiverse, essence of life, Brahman (God principle), Atman (soul), and Self-knowledge (Swabhaas).
I bow with folded hands (Namaste/Namaskar pose) before the One who is worshipped first (Pratham pujya) Lord Ganesha, remover of all obstacles in the path to righteousness (Dharma) and god of auspiciousness.
I bow with folded hands before Swamy (Lord Of Lords), Lord Vishnu, preserver of the Multiverse and Swayam Prabhu (God itself).
I bow with folded hands before Father Lord Shiva, destroyer and transformer of the Multiverse (Sanhaarak), Pashupatinath (Lord Protector of all beings), Rudra (mightiest of the mighty) and who is the essence of the world (Sansar saaram).
I bow with folded hands before Mother Adi Shakti (Parvati/Mahakali/Parashakti), protector of righteousness (Dharma) and force underlying the whole Multiverse.
I bow with folded hands before Mother Saraswati, embodiment and bestower of knowledge, music, art, wisdom and learning.
I bow with folded hands before Mother Lakshmi, goddess of abundance, wife of Lord Vishnu and bestower of wealth, fortune and prosperity.
I bow with folded hands before Lord Krishna, who is the embodiment of love and is Swayam Prabhu Purna Purushottam (God itself complete with all divine qualities).
I bow with folded hands before Mother Radha, supreme goddess of blissful devotion and soulmate of Lord Krishna.
I bow with folded hands before Lord Ram, who is the perfect ideal person (Maryada Purushottam).
I bow with folded hands before Gurudev (teacher/guide/expert/master) Lord Hanuman, the embodiment of devotion, knowledge, power, excellence, part incarnation of Lord Shiva (Shivaansh) and supreme devotee of Lord Ram.
I bow with folded hands before Lord Narsimha, incarnation/avatar of Lord Vishnu and he who strikes terror in the minds of non-religious and non-righteous (adharmi).
I bow with folded hands before Lord Venkateswara Swamy, manifestation of Lord Vishnu and destroyer of sins.
I bow with folded hands before Lord Vithoba (Vitthal/Panduranga), manifestation of Lord Krishna and guide towards the Supreme.
I bow with folded hands before Lord Mururgan (Kartikeya/Shanmukha/Swaminath/Skanda), son of Lord Shiva and god of war.
I bow with folded hands before Lord Brahma, creator of the universe.
I bow with folded hands before Brahman (pronounced “Brahm”), the highest universal abstract impersonal formless genderless pervasive infinite eternal true blissful principle/reality underlying the Multiverse and also existing apart from it.
Thus bowing before all the divine forms of the Supreme, I end by reciting Om (ॐ), concentrating upon Om (ॐ) and dissolving my whole being into Om (ॐ).
Source : Akul Vashishtha (https://www.instagram.com/akulv1994/)
I remember…I remember the starry sky and the deep dark woods…I remember the young maidens…I remember the distant music from the flute…I remember the slender silhouette under the banyan tree…I remember the beautiful young face turning towards me…I remember looking into those smiling old eyes…I remember listening to my longest heartbeat…Who was that man in blue……?
Intro: "If—" is a poem by British Nobel laureate Rudyard Kipling, written in 1895 and first published in Rewards and Fairies, 1910. It is a tribute to Leander Starr Jameson. The poem is written in the form of paternal advice to the poet's son, John. As poetry, "If—" is a literary example of Victorian-era stoicism. John was killed at the Battle of Loos in 1915. The well-known Indian historian and writer Khushwant Singh claims that Kipling's "If—" is "the essence of the message of The Bhagavad Gita in English."
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.
– Rabindranath Tagore