The Bhagavadgita on How God Answers Your Prayers
Chapter 4 - Sloka 11
ye yathā mām prapadyante tāms tathaiva bhajāmy aham
mama vartmānuvartante manusyāh pārtha sarvaśah
ye = who; yatha = in whatever; mam = to Me; prapadyante = they approach; tan = them; tatha = in the same manner; eva = even; bhajami = reward; aham = I; mama = My; vartma = path; anuvartante = do follow; manusyah = human beings; partha = Partha; sarvasah = in every way, in all respects.
"In whatever (manner) they approach Me, in the same manner I reward them. O Partha, human beings follow My path in every way.
This verse gives the assurance that you can approach God in any way you want and you will be rewarded suitably. God is like a mirror. He is unconditional love, who reflects your thoughts, desires and attitudes exactly as you want. He will not decide what to give you, what you should want or what you should choose for yourself. That responsibility rests with you. It is up to you whether you approach him for material rewards, for spiritual liberation, or for removal of obstacles and difficulties. Whatever want you express to Him, He will manifest that for you.
In this verse, you have the assurance of God that He would not show any favoritism or preference to certain groups, nations and religions. He is not saying, “You follow this particular religion, prophet, scripture or guru and I will liberate you.” He is not telling you that you ought to follow Him against your wishes or in fear of Him. In these few words, He has conveyed amply that He would not impose any conditions upon you in how you may approach Him. You just have to knock on His door with a request, intensely and sincerely, and you will be rewarded. He will not decide what He should give you. You have to decide what you want from Him and make that clear to Him with right aspiration and faith.
However, since He does not interfere with your decisions, you must be clear in your mind what you seek. Those who blame God for not getting what they want are ignorant. They have to blame themselves for their miseries because they do not know how to ask God and how to pray to Him. If you are confused, confusion will prevail. If you are doubtful, uncertainty will manifest. If you are afraid of God, your fear of Him will grow and intensify.
Approach Him as if He is your friend and He will come to you as your friend. Approach Him as if He is your guru and He will manifest your prayers through your guru, even if your guru is false and ignorant. Approach Him as if you are an atheist and He will strengthen your faith in that conviction and make Himself invisible and unavailable you. Worship Him in the form of an idol with complete faith and He will surely manifest to you in those very idols, which others may mock and deride as mere statues.
God is the manifesting power, who would not deny any request and who is ever willing to help His worshippers in whatever way they approach Him. He is the giver and the benefactor, who rewards both the good and bad alike, according to their desires, thoughts, fears and aspirations. Since there are no limits to what you may ask and what He may give, you have to be careful about your prayers and your wishes because ultimately what you seek is part of your karma. If your intentions are clouded, you may pay the price ultimately.
Suggestions for Further Reading
- Om, Aum, Pranava or Nada in Mantra and Yoga Traditions
- Brahmacharya or Celibacy in Hinduism
- Atheism and Materialism in Ancient India
- Solving the Hindu Caste System
- How To Choose Your Spiritual Guru?
- Creation in Hinduism As a Transformative Evolutionary Process
- Wealth and Duty in Hinduism
- Do You Have Any Plans For Your Rebirth or Reincarnation?
- Understanding Death and Impermanence
- Lessons from the Dance of Kali, the Mother Nature
- Letting your God live in You - The True Essence of the Hindu Way of Life
- prajnanam brahma - Brahman is Intelligence
- Maslow's Hierarchy Of Needs From The Perspective Of Hinduism
- The Defintion and Concept of Maya in Hinduism
- The Meaning of Nirvana
- Self-knowledge, Difficulties in Knowing Yourself
- Hinduism - Sex and Gurus
- The Construction of Hinduism
- The Meaning and Significance of Heart in Hinduism
- The Origin and Significance of the Epic Mahabharata
- The True Meaning of Prakriti in Hinduism
- Three Myths about Hinduism
- What is Your Notion of God?
- Why Hinduism is a Preferred Choice for Educated Hindus