The prayer towards the Lord is for the betterment. Many times it tend to be quite self-centered. When one asks for boons from the Lord it ranges from very short time transient spike like material pleasures to the eternal bliss. Though one asks for very transient pleasure to God there is something good in it as it is asked to the God than to any mortal ones. As a side effect it could lead to the spiritual realization also. But whatever it is all the things including the one asking for the realization of the Truth and the liberation could be deemed self-centered as the prayer is only limiting the spiritual benefit of the one who does that.
In the sanAthana dharma tradition when closely observed all the rituals, whatever be the main goal of it, whoever be the doer, it always completes with the prayers to the Lord requesting for the betterment of the humanity and not only that it, prays for all the creatures, celestial powers in general. The shaivite saints in many of their hymns have stressed this Universal welfare and prayed to the Lord for that. Very importantly all the vEdic matras are completed only with the mantra aum shAntiH shAntiH shAntiH wishing for peace the highly important aspect. This peace is what is highly disturbed throughout the world. In the vEdas there would be a shAnti hymn as well wishing for good to all. There seems to be a shift in the universal thinking and well wishing to the self-centered worries. When the entire system is functioning well everybody will get their share, but when everybody stops bothering about the system and thinks only about the individual benefits everything goes into a chaos. Over the Universal prayer one could pray for the betterment of the self which would be more apt.
We call our Lord pashupati the Lord of creatures. While worshiping It, shouldn't we think for all the creatures ? The sages (R^ishhIs) are very much revered, isn't it because they passed on the great wisdom to others to flow for generations, without keeping them only in their minds ? The tradition respects the people who have the kind cool heart to all other lives. Because of whatever reasons and ignorance this practice has got curtailed down in the minds of the people. But this beautiful and necessory practice should be strengthened. This is the need of the day. The divine power should end all the chaos and restlessness throughout the world. Even after achieving that it should be something that is chanted all times for the sustainment of welfare of the Universe.
May the clouds pour without failure; fertility spring; king rule in the lawful way; lives live without short comings; The discipline (morality) as said in the four vEdas peak; austerities and rituals spread; the esteemed shaiva discipline shine over the entire world.
Posted On : 18.02.1998