Some people ask Amma, "praying and singing bhajans (devotional songs), are they not mere outward expressions of emotions, showing their weaknesses?" Praying and singing to God are never signs of mental weakness. They are not a mere show of emotions. They are practical ways to unburden our minds and to awaken our hearts. Just like opening the valve of a pressure cooker releases the steam inside, this is a spiritual way to release the pent-up emotions and conflicts inside our mind.
Prayer is communication of hearts between God and the devotee. In such a communion, what the devotee experiences is pure bliss. Two people who love each other deeply will never experience boredom, no matter how long they speak to each other. They will never feel as if it is just an outward show.
Prayer is truly a communication with the lover within. More than that, it is experiencing discrimination between what is permanent and transient."You are not jeevatma (individual being), but Paramatman (supreme consciousness). You must never feel sad. Your true nature is pure bliss." This is the essence of prayer.
Through devotion, we are not searching for a God who is sitting beyond the sky. Instead we should see God in every living and non-living things. A devotee does not go around anywhere in search of God. Prayer is the means to realize the consciousness of God who is permanently shining within us.
The hundred-watt light bulb in the kitchen became so dull because of the smoke that it did not even have the brightness of a zero-watt bulb. But if the smoke is wiped off and the bulb cleaned, the brightness will return to it. Similarly, prayer is the action which removes all the dirt hiding the divinity within us.
Like the path of knowledge, through devotion also we can reach the same state of experiencing true bliss. A child is bringing medicine to his disease and bed ridden father. Just as he approached the room where his father was laying, the electricity was lost and in the dark, he could not see anything. The child touched the wall and said not this, touched the door and said not this, touched the table and said not this, touched the cot and said not this and finally when he touched the father he cried, ah.this is it, here is my dad. By repeatedly saying not this, not this, he finally found his father. It is the same in devotion also. The devotee refuses to welcome anything but God. His only thought is about God. When those who follow the path of knowledge say that I am not the body, I am not the mind, I am not the intellect,but I am Brahman (Supreme Consciousness), a devotee is saying, "I belong to God, you are my everything."
Through prayer, we are cultivating a stance or point of view that God resides in everything. A devotee who sees God alone in everything, forgets himself. There, the limited individual or I completely disappear. He becomes one with God. The devotee's very life itself becomes a prayer.
Amma, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi