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14 November, 2010



In Daily life, we see elders give asirvad or blessings. What is their efficacy? How does it work and what is its matrix like? Very often we find that it fails to give the intended result. Even mass prayers do not meet with the desired outcome. Are these merely good wishes then? If so, why are they given so much importance in the Hindu Religion?


All religions of the world praise the power of prayer. Offerings of prayers have been prescribed by scriptures in all religions and cultures. Hindu religion is no exception. In fact, it is said that prayers offered with sincerity, devotion and surrender to the Lord yield the best long-term results that are appropriate and the beneficial to the individual. And in many cases, they do give the desired results. However, your point that some times they do not seem to give desired results is also valid. Let us analyse both view points.

Our Rishis have recommended inculcating the practice of daily prayers in our life from our childhood as part of our daily rituals, for the sake of obtaining blessings of the Lord and, in some cases, for the sake of obtaining worldly objects. These are practices prescribed by the Vedas. According to our tradition, these practices are for attaining, dharma, artha, kama or moksa. Of course, faith in these practices is a primary requisite to obtain any positive result. Our prayers or hymns also include the phala sruti which indicates the result which will accrue if the prayer is under taken sincerely for a certain period of time. This shows that prayers and blessings certainly work. Let us see how.

Prayers are performed for purification of mind and the blessings gained from these prayers are directed towards the soul (jiva), not necessarily the physical entity (body). The soul is the beneficiary of our prayers. Also, prayers either at Karma (action) level or vak (special) level will yield two types of results, the seen (drsta) and the unseen (adrsta) results. Seen results, as the word suggests, is the evident result which we can see or experience, whereas the unseen result is not immediately available for experience. Prayers and blessings are designed to give more ‘unseen results’ or ‘adrsta phalam’ which are in the form of peace of mind and merits (punya) for the soul. These merits will then express as joy in the life of that soul (jiva). Therefore, if there is an expectation of receiving certain types of results from the prayers we offer, and these results are not ‘seen’, we easily derive the wrong conclusion that prayers and blessings are ineffective.

Blessings by a great sage or mahatma are special. Mahatma are known to have given up their individuality or reduced it to a great extent, they identify themselves with the totality. Because of this and the lack of selfishness in their lives, their prayers or blessings are more effective than those of ordinary individuals and will yield desired results.

Source: Br, Prabodh Chaitain, Chinmaya Mission, Tapovan Prasad Aug 2010.

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