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Q.: What about the prayers Baba has given -- can you tell us about the circumstances under which they were initially given and any significance they might have that we might not know?
A.: Regarding the circumstances surrounding the prayers given by Baba, he has given us many prayers besides the ones you read about or recite, such as the Master's Prayer (also called the Universal Prayer or O Parvardigar!), at first given to us in Gujarati language on 20th August, 1953, at Dehra Dun, and the Prayer of Repentance, which was given to us earlier.
I have a prayer book with me of prayers given to us by Baba, which He wanted us to recite before Him time and time again. These prayers are all new to you. There was nothing particular about the situations which led Baba to dictate these two prayers; when He gave out the Prayer of Repentance and the Universal Prayer, it appeared a simple and natural thing for Baba to dictate something. The Lord gets a whim, He says, "Come, take dictation." He dictates the prayers, and the prayer then becomes universal. People love it, recite it. In the same way, when He first gave the Repentance Prayer, He would say, "Come now, recite this." So we recite it, and that's all. Now we find so many Baba lovers reciting the Prayers, and many knowing them by heart.
But there are other prayers too. There were times when He wanted us to say this prayer or that prayer, befitting a particular circumstance or situation.
Q.: When He gave these prayers, did He just rattle them off, perfectly composed, or were they revised?
A.: When a prayer was given by Him, it remained a prayer. Some words were in Gujarati, Urdu, some in Hindi or Persian, most in English. Then we'd do a little dressing-up in English and read it out to Baba, and He'd approve what He had dictated. He also inspired the ones who would do the dressing-up. The whole thing was "rattled out" in the first place, given quite spontaneously.
Q.: Without a stop?
A.: Yes. then there were the traditional "orthodox" prayers Baba wanted us to recite. I still remember them: a Christian prayer, a Zoroastrian prayer, a Sikh prayer. These were sorted out for special occasions. A Christian would be asked to read a Christian prayer; a Hindu, a Hindu prayer; a Muslim, a Muslim prayer; a Buddhist, a Buddhist prayer. Followers of Guru Nanak would be asked to read a Sikh prayer.
We have gone through the two prayers which are common amongst Baba lovers; we’ll now get to other prayers. One of the prayers is so intriguing, so beautiful. The prayers were given to us; but He would also participate while we recited them. Why He wanted us to recite them we did not know, they were not just for writing down; they required active and sincere participation on our parts.
We were asked to recite the "101 Names of God" according to the Zoroastrian prayer book. We used to recite them without knowing the meaning behind them, for they are in a dead language of ten thousand years ago! Baba translated each one of the Names of God, what each Name meant. For example, "Ezad" means “the one worthy of worship."
As for some of the different prayers He gave us, here is one written in Gujarati. It's a "Prayer for the Road during Man-O-Nash Wandering," given to us in November, 1951. Who will now translate this into English?? It would take a lot of time . . . but it's so beautiful . . . it shows us how He became a simple human being aspiring for God. Do you know what Man-0-Nash means? It means the annihilation of the mind. Who annihilates the mind? A person who has a mind, who is striving to seek God, who is a seeker and is imploring the Lord to help him. So you see, Baba becomes all that; He is all, everything, on all planes. He’s here and He as a seeker now dictates the following prayer:
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