Do You Know What Prayer Is?

March 29, 1996 |

Categories: Yogi Bhajan Lectures

In this lecture given by the Siri Singh Sahib, Yogi Bhajan on March 29,1996, he teaches a Meditation Kriya to teach you how to pray.  Scroll down to listen to this video lecture or read the following excerpts from the lecture:

Do you know the source of the word power of the prayer or you do prayer? Do you know what a prayer is?  Prayer is when you ask a higher authority to intervene. Is that true? You all agree with me, yes or no? Prayer is, when you ask God or some angel, whatever our things get lost, we call Saint Anthony? Yeah, you will find it out. I mean to say, it’s no bad idea to use Christian saint and Hindu saints and Jewish saints. Question is just use whatever is available. But fact is, you do prayer when you need the intervention of something higher than you. Sometime you are in a prayer because you are desperate, desperate. Sometime you are in prayer, you are insecure and sometime you are in prayer like me, I have nothing else to do. You know, what I mean?


My fun of the prayer is, what else to do? Somebody feeds me, somebody makes my clothes, somebody bring my shoes, somebody do everything. So, in subjective to that gratitude, you develop a habit of prayers.  It’s not that you don’t make money, or you are not rich, that’s not the problem. Work you must. But living in gratitude is a prayer. So, you have to pray that today in prayer that I am very sick, but I am not in the bed.  Call it anything.  It’s a matter of gratitude.  Actually, prayer is a gratitude. Once prayer become a attitude then you are far out person, you are beautiful then everything is for you, then nothing can stop you. 

And the funniest part is when you are in prayer, in attitude, you are very exalted, you are very gracious, you are very kind.  It’s automatic.  It’s not something that you have to learn. You cannot learn. Prayer comes from within.  Prayer is from the soul. Prayer doesn’t come from… It comes from many ideas but one idea is, this is a prayerful attitude, ‘Come to me. Get healed.’

This is prayerful attitude, ‘Give me all your pain, you shall be free.’

You know how vast claim it is? You have any idea? Instead of hey, ‘You took away my pencil, who are you? Oh, you didn’t return my scarf?’ Can you believe we do to each other? We fight for scarfs, pen, pencils.

Once somebody wanted a name, ‘Gave me a pen.’

I must have given to somebody, seven days later, she said, “You remember my pen?”

I said, “What was it?”

She said, “I don’t remember it myself, but I gave you pen, I didn’t get it back.”

I said, “Very sorry, I’ll send your pen.”

So, I went, and I got Cartier pen and sent her.

She said, “This is not mine.”

I said, “No, it is.”

She said, “Why this?”

I said, “You gave me what you can afford, I gave you what I can afford. It’s a matter of consciousness, it’s not the matter of losing pen or taking pen or giving pen. Not at all.  Because I feel, you felt that I took away your pen. You didn’t accuse me of stealing it, but less than that is almost right that, I didn’t return your pen and you are very fortunate that you remember it.”

In life you remember lot of things, and worst thing in your life which eats you up inside is when you remember your past.  That’s very anti-God. Yesterday is gone.  It has already gone.  It was yesterday.  No, you can’t pull it back. So, what do you do?  Pull it back by memory, by fear. You have a constant about yesterday and it is unfortunate your knowledge is so poor, only thing you know is yesterday. Why? Isn’t yesterday gone? You have lived one more day, so you have no right to decide your life on yesterday. If we say don’t live on yesterday, then you can live on tomorrow. You have lot of daydreams. You have lot of thoughts. That’s wrong too, because tomorrow will become today and will face you. Every day you face the day, so it will one of those days.

But where is your power? Your personal power?  Personal power of prayer, asking somebody higher to come in? Right? This you have been taught in the Piscean Age. That’s why religion has failed. Religion should have taught you to call your higher self in prayer, your higher self. Your higher self is easy, is handy, it is you. You can never go wrong, never go wrong. You never feel insulted, you will never feel down the hill, you can’t. Because, you are calling your higher self and if you undertake that prayer attitude, you shall have all the knowledge.

All it takes a person like me, “Ahh, it is a crazy day.” I mean that is a statement.

I said it, “It’s a crazy day,” right?

That I said it, “Oh me, taking out of the crazy day for my sake.”

I am out. See how fast your prayer works, watch out.

Let us do let us, let us play it like Hollywood, right? Put your hands like this, I am teaching you prayers, and now make a prayer, “Oh Lord, God, Jesus Christ, Heavenly Father,” whatever that is, “Come and please help me.” Do it. In your own way, do it right the way you want to do it. Whatever your thing is, just do it. Just experiment the very feeling, concentrate. God, Guru, Jesus Christ, Buddha, Moses, nobody, everybody, whichever you feel is yours, please pray on that and say ‘Please help.’ Okay? Cut.

Now second. Now, do same prayer to yourself, to your higher self, come on. Say it, for experiment sake. Your higher self. Your gracious self. Your soul, your spirit. You, the greatest, just for this moment of prayer, you should feel your greatness. Now, cut, relax.

Do you understand the difference? What happens when you pray outside you, you can’t concentrate. It’s very rare mind, which can concentrate. You need a focus. But when you concentrate on yourself, it is done on the spot. So, may I ask why you were taught to pray outside you? Because, we need your money.

Yes, yes, yes, you are asked to pray outside.  Then if it doesn’t work, then comes the pundit.  He says, “I’ll do puja, pray for you. It will take seven ounces of gold, thirty ounces of silver, seven tons of food. I have to do the whole thing.”

Now you cant afford it that way, time wise and you say, “Okay, what is the account? Oh, twenty thousand dollars? Okay here’s twenty thousand dollars, check, then do it.”

Now, what happens actually, you are mentally satisfied that you have prayed, you have done prayer to yourself, in-between you have lost twenty thousand dollars. Sociologically, that twenty thousand dollars is telling you that you did it, for you.

There was a one boy, he was very much in love with a girl. Girl was very nice.  She was in very much love. One day he went totally out of the way, out of the way, I am telling you, and he brought her a very beautiful present. He showed me, I said, “My sweet son, why you want to give it to her?”

He said, “Yogiji, I love her very much. I’ve never done anything.”

I said, “Did she ever show you that she wants something?”

He said, “No.”

“Is she not steady?”



“Is she not good?”


I said, “Okay, give her a present, see what happens.”

He said, “What will happen?”

I said, “I am here, we’ll discuss. That’s not the problem.”


So he took this most beautiful present, he got it gift-wrapped, and bah, bah, “I love you….” you know. She opened the gift, and she said, “I am very grateful, but I have to talk to you.”

He was already, warned by me.

So he said, “Well, let’s go on a cup of tea somewhere, sit down and talk.”

She went and she said, “Yah, you have a habit to expand your expenses beyond your means? I never saw you that way.”

He said, “No, no, I love you, I mean to say, it’s just a ordinary thing.”

She said, “You have in you the instinct of a gambler. My love is steady, and your present tells me that you want to convince me.”

And she said, “My love,” these are her words not mine, but she happens to be a good student.

She said, “My love, when in love people start convincing each other, game is gone wrong.”

Do you all look to your heart and see how you convince each other you love somebody? You do not know how to love organically. Inorganic with preservatives, right?  Is that love? You had sensuality, sexuality, sociological impact, personal impact and total impact of containing.  My dear people, in love, everybody is contained.  You don’t have to do a thing. Love comes from inside.  Prayer comes from inside.  When love comes from inside and prayer comes from inside, then it comes grace. Then you are bright, you are beautiful, you are trustworthy. Your word cannot be measured in money or in presents.

Giving is expression, forgiving is the best impression. But anytime you give somebody to impress or hold, you are not giving it, you are pressurizing the situation. Any time you pray from outside than you, you are abnormal.

If there is a story of your soul, of your mind,

(Yogi Bhajan recites a line of Gurmukhi)

If you have a story of your soul and if you have thing to do, call on your enlightened self and your enlightener. You will experience miracles.

In this brain of yours, there is a stem of the brain, not big thing, this much. It’s like, whole United States and you see little Florida down there like a little pinkie hanging. That’s how brain stem is. It will be investigated. That stem is not just a stem, it is your total personality, projection and progression control system. You can be very fortunate, if you understand how it works.

Please hold your hands like this…

View the instructions for this meditation

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