“Faith (or Bhakthi) can move mountains” is a recurring theme across civilizations cultures and times.
Sincere prayers to even a sardine’s head or a pebble can grant wishes is heard in many cultures.
Answers to prayers are not a product of faith, or the power of the deity but of the karma of the worshiper. With the rare and miraculous exception.
Such an answer to a prayer can more often be the gateway to ruin.
Not all deities are proxies of Brahma, There are numerous counterfeits. There is also a hierarchy of deities and the lower level deities are easily pleased and careless in granting wishes, though there are limits to what they can do to alter Brahma’s laws of Karma, Dharma and personal choice. Any rightful wish or prayer will be granted in accordance with divine law irrespective of the deity worshiped.
There are always forces of darkness,and anti law abroad, which also flow from that same Brahma. Creation itself arises from duality and the resultant opposites. To add to this blur, Brahma has granted Manushya, even more than any other life form, the freedom of choice and self determination through formidable intellectual, tool making and adaptive abilities.
The granting of wishes is the simplest process by which dark forces seduce persons to do their bidding. When the trap is sprung, they enjoy the suffering and misery that flows from it. It could be as simple as the pain and misery that comes from the subsequent disillusionment of the believer. It could be the denial or punishment (discipline) imposed either by the self or by external demands of some cult or leader or, it could the great subtlety of selfish self indulgence and pursuit of “entitlements” to the pain and misery of others. It could be the carrot of more wish fulfillment or the stick. In the worst case it could cause misery, destruction and pain to millions over generations through the creation of prophets or preceptors who preach the tenets of darkness and anti-law as the true law and the path to light.
How can a simple mortal without the gift of spiritual vision discern and discriminate? It is not easy to develop such a vision for it comes from having been successful in discrimination.
There is a simpler method. So easy is this that many disregard it as too simple and easy to fulfill their particular ambitions. It is the path of moderation.
Know that any thing unnatural, any pain or suffering inflicted by your self or by others on yourself or on others is a sign of the forces of darkness and anti law. This includes both fasting and gluttony. This is both sadism and masochism, Any teaching or person who demands such penances even if it be so simple as the perambulations, pilgrimages, attendance, alms,donations, or the mindless repetition of sounds and syllables, represents the forces of darkness and anti law. Quite often playing jiu jitsu with the forces of light and subverting noble purposes to evil intent
In this, the forces of darkness, as in any ‘con’ or deception, take advantage of the subject’s innate proclivities and weaknesses. Of greed, lust, unnatural ambition that seeks to prosper at the cost of others rather than by the greater good and happiness of all
Here too, it is the golden mean of moderation that can be the guiding light for the pursuivant or “sadak”. Moderation, even in working for the happiness of ALL which is the only source of sustainable personal joy..
I have come to a point in my exploration where I have no fear or respect for man or “God”. I have affection for many and reverence for very, very few. By the simple application of experience of “good” and the pursuit of moderation.
This may be a good time for me to repeat myself on Karma and Dharma:
The notion of “Karma and Dharma” originate in the Prathamo Upanishad that was received from Brahma by the Saptha Rishis, the patrilineal ancestors of Shroutha-Smartha Brahmins . This Upanishad precedes the Rik Veda and has been passed down father to son, at the time of the Upanayana (Opening of the eyes) during the Yajnya Upaveethi investiture ceremony.
Briefly, and without dwelling on the Upanishad itself (which may not be revealed to the uninitiated, but only interpreted to them by learned Arya-Brahmanas), this Upanishad explains the purpose with which Brahma created Manushya.
Manushya was created by Brahma to build (Karma) a Heaven on Earth on the three principles of truth, virtue and beauty and within the ambit of the divine law (Dharma) of generosity, compassion and moderation.
Every step that Manushya takes towards this goal brings untold joy. Every step away brings untold misery.
Manushya are the individual spirits that are born from the will of Brahma. They don fresh bodies by discarding worn out bodies, time and time again. But the accumulation of Karma and Dharma follow the spirit. The accumulation of consequences of the deeds of Manushya attach to the comparatively immortal Manushya rather than to the temporal bodies Manushya occupies.
Enjoyable and unpleasant consequences do not cancel each other out, but, rather play out until the goal is accomplished or the accumulation reaches a nullity.
The Grace of Brahma attained through any of Brahma’s “officers”, can lead to an end of the cycle of births and re births by the accumulation of consequences being passed on to another willing Manushya. Naturally, there will be many takers for enjoyable consequences but not many for the painful ones.
Such negotiations may be conducted off-stage (in the period between temporal “birth” and “death” with Brahma’s officers or during the material manifest with the help of proper Arya-Brahmana priests (including astrologers and other adepts)
Chandrashekhara Bharathi, Shankaracharya of Shringeri had this very interesting analogy to make about Karma.
You are in a boat at sea. The winds and waves are your Prarabhda Karma (the results of your bright thoughts words and deeds through all your previous lives and times and the results of all your dark words, thoughts and deeds through all your previous lives and times). The boat is your body. The sail is your senses. The rudder is your mind. You are the inner controller: the immortal.
You have no control over the winds and waves, but you can manage (Praptha Karma) the rudder and the sails to achieve your mission in life. Remember, even the winds of good fortune, badly handled, can capsize the boat. Even the waves of misfortune, properly handled can help you achieve your mission
Be like the Mythical Swan that consumes the milk and leaves the water behind from a mixture of both..
Learn discirmination and follow the Brahmin path.