Ardaas – half the job is ours

Prayer is a relationship; half the job is mine. If I want transformation, but can’t even be bothered to articulate what, exactly, I’m aiming for, how will it ever occur?  There’s a wonderful Italian joke about a poor man who goes to church every day and prays before the statue of a great saint, begging, “Dear saint, please, please, please… give me the grace to win the lottery.” This lament goes for months. Finally the exasperated statue comes to life, looks down at the begging man and says in weary disgust, “My son, please, please, please… buy a ticket” (Eat, pray, love, Elizabeth Gilbert).

This paragraph from the book Eat, Pray, Love made me think a lot. Ardaas or prayer is something I have incorporated in my routine. Like a ritual I am praying for the same things over and over again every morning. What use is this? When I am praying for the same things, I am not praying for it consciously; I am rather pressing a button on an automatic machine, without making any effort to do something about what I am praying for.


My way out has been to focus my ardaas on one thing. By focusing on one thing, it’s easier for me to remember what to focus on that particular day.  For example one day my ardaas could be focused on patience. I will ask God for His/Her Blessings that I can focus on patience that day, and the whole day I will remind myself of my mission whenever I meet a situation where the patience is challenged. When I am about to sleep, I look back at the day to see when I have managed to do be patient, and when I have not managed to do so. This has made my ardaas not a ritual, but a spiritual practice. My ardaas is a step to become a better human beings. It’s not mere words, it’s something I am making an effort to follow.

Our gurus condemned many rituals. We should critically look at all the practices we do today and ask ourselves if we are doing it as a ritual or if we are consciously doing something which has a meaning. Prayer is a relationship – you ask for something, but you also have to make an effort to achieve what you asked for. When you are just asking for something, it’s more like a ritual.


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6 thoughts on “Ardaas – half the job is ours

  1. As per our Guru Ji,
    Motto of Life should be: Naam Japna – Remember God and Meditate on him
    Kirat Karne — Honest Work ( your Job )
    Vand Chakhna– Whatever you have (food) , share it will all family members and others equally.

    So, if someone in his/her wisdom mind think about this. It covers all the essential things of life and how it should be lived. If you meditate on Lord your fear , sorrow, pain will vanish. ( everybody nowdays want this 🙂 )
    By doing honest work, your life would have a meaning and you learn to live in honest way.
    Sharing with others will make you down to earth. love for others , equality prevail.

    I don’t know, but I am foolish and ignorant, just try to think and follow as much as I can.
    Pardon my Ignorance.


    1. Dear Jaskaran veerji,
      I fully agree with you that my meditating on God and by doing honest work, you can achieve a lot of things in life and practice a lot of good deeds. Pardon my ignorance, I didn’t understand the connection with this post. I want to understand, can you please make me understand? I really appreciate your view and that you took time to comment this 🙂


  2. Dear Sister,

    I was saying in context to the novel EAT PRAY LOVE, instead of that Meditate, Honest Work and Share. This has nothing to do with your article. Your post is superb as usual 🙂

    Indeed Prayer is a relationship. Very well and beautifully said. I am not sure if you have heard about a Bird which lost in the deep forest in some season and couldn’t return back to feed her little ones instead bird thinks (meditate ) she is feeding her little ones lost in the dense forest and you won’t believe the little one survives the season without even fed, how beautiful is this ! . Bani support this fact with below lines..

    ” ooddae oodd aavai sai kosaa this paashhai bacharae shhariaa ||
    Thin Kavan khalaavai ,Kavan chugavee man mein Simran Kariaa ” ||

    Yes, half the job is ours. Consciousness plays major role in prayer.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, now I understand 🙂 I agree that to meditate, honest work and share should be important part of one’s life. Love is also something that is emphasized in sikhi. Love for each being. seeing everyone as equal and loving the God within them.

      Beautiful story, I have never heard about it 🙂 It’s related to a katha I have heard on the shabad “Nanak chintha math karo, chintha this hee hae. Why are we being anxious when God is there to care for us? God cares for every being, gives food even ants who live under the stones.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and clarifying your view!


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