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This article was featured on Deccan Chronicle, a major newspaper in Southern India on May 24
Recently, I discovered that saying a simple prayer, reading a few shlokas from The Bhagavad Gita As It Is by Srila Prabhupada, lighting diyas at the altar with some agarbattis and chanting my favourite Hare Krishna maha mantra or attending Sunday mass at the Church have had a deeply calming and soothing effect on me.
At first, I did this purely for my selfish need for dealing with aggression, day-to-day frustrations or impatience and have become attached to this ‘under 10 minutes only’ but extremely necessary routine.
I avoid overtly religious displays, despise social gathering for religious causes and even avoid commenting about God to anyone.
I’m more like a fish out of water in these situations. A few years ago, at a spiritual gathering in my aunt’s house, I was introduced to the Hare Krishna movement or ISKCON, when I developed symptoms of extreme exam anxiety.
I was lucky to have the guidance of a wonderful teacher Shyama Vallabha Das Prabhu and the loving direction of several devotees who introduced me to the Radha Gopinath Mandir at Girgaum Chowpatty, Mumbai and to Radhanath Swami Maharaj. I love their ease at explaining the beautiful language of God and the simplicity of their way to worship Him.
Their preachings are extremely lucid, their application even simpler. I have found happiness, joy, success and even peace here, even more so when I feel furious about an unkind comment or get angry about a social snub or when I’m afraid and lonely. Praying helps me ease anger, lower my aggression and lessen the impact of provocation. My all time favourite prayers are Radha Madhava and Namastey Narasimhaya.
So just say a prayer, even if you’re not religious. It slowly starts growing on to you and you look forward to it, just like the eagerness of having a dessert after a delicious dinner.
The writer is
a popular actor