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tions or obtain a mastery over the passions that assail my heart. I, therefore, beseech Thee with the utmost humility, Oh Fountain-head of all mercy! that be Thou pleased to grant me confidence and strength of faith that I may keep myself aloof from all that is evil and impure. Wash off the impurities of my mind, bless me with good sense that I may spend every day of my life according to Thy wishes, and preserve me.
Ere on my bed my limbs I lay,
In health and strength for many a year;
Awake to thy eternal day! Amen.
(CHILD'S EVENING PRAYER).
Oh Father of the Universe! What words can fice to express the gratitude I owe Thee. Thy loving kindness has enabled me to live till to-day and to reach
• From Ishwar opûsinâ by the Ahmedabad Prârthanâ Samáj.
this stage of life. Thou hast given me food to eat and cloth to cover my body at night. Thou protectest me when I am asleep at night and at day also Thou art my preserver. Thou art my sole support. Without Thy assistance I cannot live even for a moment in this world. I owe to Thee whatever blessings I have either enjoyed in the past or I may enjoy in the future. Thou alone art my friend and helper. Just as Thou protectest me, lead me to the path of rectitude, and grant me good sense that I may live a life of virtue and piety. This world abounds with temptations which try to delude my mind and lead me astray; I implore Thee, therefore, to give me knowledge and strength of mind that I may overcome those temptations and thus become fit for Thy service. Teach me to find what actions are sinful and what righteous, and help me that I may remain aloof from sins and perform good actions. Benevolent and Supreme Being That I may secure Thy approval by my conduct and actions, is the sole desire of my heart-the principal aim of my existence. Good gracious Father! Hear this humble request, accept my profound obeisance and grant my prayer.
Oh Lord! Let there be peace everywhere!
"ÎSHWARA PRARTHANÂ MÂLÂ, I.”*
God of boundless mercy! There are various obstacles preventing me from discharging the duties incumbent on me in the journey of life. By these my mind becomes deluded and I am often tempted to do evil. At such a time I cannot do without Thy help. I, therefore, beseech Thee to listen to this humble prayer, and to purify my heart.
* By the Ahmedabad Prárthand Samôj.
Thou art never imposed upon by external show (of piety) or mere words. Thou art present in every heart and knowest all the evil thoughts arising there. These evil thoughts are in Thy estimation as culpable as evil deeds. With words of entreaty, therefore, I beg Thy pardon, and offer this prayer, promising ever to walk along the path of morality and virtue. But if, while praying to Thee I am thinking of fraud, deceit, treachery, homicide, dishonest misappropriation of property, and such other sinful actions, I know most positively that all prayers are in vain, and I become liable to a double chastisement from Thee. Just and impartial as Thou art, Thou wouldst never forgive my sins, crediting my insincere words, unless the heart has first been purged of all its impurity. I pray to Thee, therefore, most sincerely and devoutly, oh Lord of infinite goodness! to throw the light of truth on my heart and to point out the right path to me. Salvation is possible only if sincere and earnest (fervent) prayers are offered, and if unrighteous deeds are not at all thought of. After repenting for past misdeeds, and after asking Thy forgiveness for them, were I to continue repeating the same misdeeds, it would be foolish for me to hope for Thy pardon. Inspire me, therefore, Omnipotent God! to recede from committing repeated sins, and help me to keep myself aloof from the very thought of sin.
When my mind becomes quite engrossed in thoughts about Thee, Thy infinite power and wisdom are at once visible in every phenomenon of the Universe. At that time Thy brilliant form and Thy kindnesses become spontaneously manifested to me, and Thy laws and wishes are impressed so vividly and ineffaceably on my heart, that I cannot but feel hatred for transgressing them. But as soon as I enter upon the affairs of this world, on account
of the debased nature in me as well as the passions of my heart, that impression becomes fainter and fainter; avarice, longing for worldly things, and sensuality get an upper hand over my reason, deaden my spiritual aspirations, and like a blind man I go where the baser passions lead me till I am hopelessly entangled in many a snare. At such a crisis Oh world-protecting Divinity! I stumble here and there without Thy assistance. Without Thee to whom am I to look for support in order to subdue the passions and to strengthen my reason? Therefore Oh gracious and all-powerful Being! I supplicate Thee with sincerity and unflinching faith, to lead me along the right path. Help me to keep myself away from selfishness, avarice, sensuality, and such vices; keep aside malice, conceit, cupidity, and such other obstacles that hinder me and my fellow-brothers from performing the true duties: lend me Thy hand that I may ever act up to Thy wishes and laws. Guard laws. Guard me from sins and misfortunes, and eradicate all such desires and actions of mine as run Amen.
counter to Thy divine will.
ISHWARA PRARTHANA MÂLÂ I.” *
Oh God! the all powerful, the all merciful, the lord of the world, I submit to you, and humbly place my head at your feet.
Oh God! do not abandon me though I may err in many ways. Forgive your humble child, and have for him in your mind kindness.
Oh God! Your deeds are mighty, your glory great, your mercy all comprehensive. I do not beg of you an elephant, nor a horse.
By the Ahmedåbåd Prárthaná Samáj.
Oh God! I humbly bow to your feet, which ward off all adversities.
Oh friend of the helpless! save me the humble. Oh Lord of the world! keep me by your side.
Oh Lord! I commit many sins every moment, still forgive them all. Oh all merciful! I am a very humble child. If you do not save me, then what help there is for me.
Oh Lord of the world! you are the ocean of kindness. I humbly place my head at your feet. I am sinful, of bad ways, and fallen; you, in your mercy,
-" MODI READING BOOK, No. 2".
God should be praised, and not man in vain. God is a fit object of praise and not so the man.
All through the kindness of God I see with my eyes, hear sounds with my ears, walk with my feet, taste with my tongue, speak sweet speech, do many sorts of work with the hands and take sleep to have rest and wake up again.
Oh ocean of mercy! I crave for you; give me good mind. Do not give me evil thought. You can curb my mind.
You have given us life and you have given us food, and thus feed us. us mind and ask us to labour. You knowledge for our salvation.
protect us. You You have given have given us
are our pa
We are your children and you rent. We have no help except your mercy, Oh God. -"MODI READING BOOK, No. 2."