Most of the times, we resort into saying heavy slokas and stotrams in Sanskrit that we might not understand or even try to understand. This reciting maybe as a result of practice or by repetition by elders at home. In most of the households in South India, the morning begins with the tuning in of Vishnu Sahasranamam and over the years, the lyrics become familiar and without our knowledgee we tend to repeat.
On thinking about the same, one may wonder what is the use of this parroting? Prayers can be simple dialogues between us and the Supreme. When I got this forward, it served as an eye opener and proved a fitting reply to my doubts. Am sure, many like me would be having the same view point and this would benefit them too.
An old farmer lived on a farm in the mountains with his young grandson. Each morning grandfather wakes up early sitting at the kitchen table reading his Bhagavadh Geetha. His grandson wanted to be just like him and tried to imitate him in every way he could.
One day the grandson asked, "Grandpa! I try to read the Bhagavadh Geetha just like you but I don't understand it, and whatever I do understand, I forget as soon as I close the book. What good does reading the Bhagavadh Geetha do?"
The Grandfather quietly turned from putting coal in the stove and replied,"Take this coal basket down to the river and bring me back a basket of water."
The boy did as he was told, but all the water leaked out before he got back to the house. The grandfather laughed and said, "You'll have to move a little faster next time," and sent him back to the river with the basket to try again. This time the boy ran faster, but again the basket was empty before he returned home. Out of breath, he told his grandfather that it was impossible to carry water in a basket, and he went to get a bucket instead.
The old man said, "I don't want a bucket of water; I want a basket of water. You're just not trying hard enough," and he went out the door to watch the boy try again.
At this point, the boy knew it was impossible, but he wanted to show his grandfather that even if he ran as fast as he could, the water would leak out before he got back to the house.
The boy again dipped the basket into river and ran hard, but when he reached his grandfather, the basket was again empty. Out of breath, hesaid,"See Grandpa, it's useless!""So you think it is useless?" The old man said, "Look at the basket."
The boy looked at the basket and for the first time realized that the basket was different. It had been transformed from a dirty old coal basket to a clean one, inside and out.
"Son, this is what happens when you read the Bhagavath Geetha. You might not understand or remember everything, but when you read it, you will be changed, inside and out. That is the work of Krishna in our lives."
Was touched by the above story that I do not question myself when I read my daily slokas.
'Prayer requires more of the heart than the tongue '- Adam Clarke