Is there got to be a reason? The title makes it sound like a selfish exercise; which it is most of the time. I pray for various things at various times and at various moods. I pray when I am anxious, thrilled, happy, excited, sad, relieved, glad, and in anticipation of things.
I pray when I am happy, excited and feeling good to thank Him (it is a ‘him’, right? Or her? It?) for the happiness.
When I am a little down, I pray for things to be all right.
In nostalgia, I just remember Him for all those good days and moments He has given.
In a retrospective mood, I thank for things to have turned out all right!
When I am missing my Mum, I pray for her good health and happiness. And ask for health, wealth and wisdom for everybody else I love.
More often I pray to him to give me mind enough to be a good person I’ll be proud and happy to be. In all those cribbing and bitching, I hope I might not lose the essential essence of oneself that keeps one going in tough times- a belief in oneself; and with that, one knows that since he is essentially good, nothing bad could actually happen- God will help him find a way out of anything.
It’s hard to put down all that one prays for. There are tiny things, big things, things you keep to yourself, things you ask other people to pray for as well, things you are happy happened, things you are hoping happen, things you are relieved passed on, things you wish recede.
Praying is definitely a private activity, and that one can do any day any time. But Diwali pooja is one great event- the central and most integral part of the festival, when everyone in the family draped in new clothes gathers around the idols of Laxmi, Ram ji, Seeta, Shivji, Ganesh Ji, and a dozen more Gods and Goddesses (because we in India do not believe in differentiating between people, let alone Gods; and also, since we know they are just different faces to the One) whose idols we clean and dress up in new clothes few days before. With the aroma of sweets, the sight of lamps burning in the oil, the tinkling of bells being played harmoniously with the aarti and the scent of incense sticks, the moment specific to Diwali is created- the feeling of purity, happiness and togetherness in the air.
This year we would be using the Sampoorna Lakshmi Pooja Pack for the pooja. It comes with an instructional booklet and an audio CD to guide us to perform an authentic and traditional Lakshmi pooja at our home or office. No running around for the book of shlokas’ (which is a funny business every year) and with the melodious shlokas being played in the CD at the background, it is a complete pooja in a pack!