A reader asked me whether human sorrow and suffering can be overcome by prayers and total surrender to the Almighty. Here is my response on this subject.

Some karmas cannot be washed away with prayers. Suffering is a self-correction process. Since we do not have all the knowledge or all the answers, we learn our way through trial and error. If the sorrow is meant to improve you spiritually or intended to teach you a significant lesson, it may not go away even if you pray. If you examine the sorrow and ask yourself, why it has come to you, what lessons it has to teach you and find an answer in your heart, perhaps that will take away the sorrow. In this regard, learning from your sorrow and suffering is more effective than superficial praying. So when you pray express your gratitude and also seek forgiveness from the bottom of your heart for whatever mistakes you might have committed in the past knowingly or unknowingly. Show some willingness to lean from your past and improve your ways. Both will amplify the effect of prayer. A prayer to God is a prayer to your own Soul. So be honest with it. Regarding the second part of your question, there is a contradiction. Total surrender means you let life happen to you. You will be equal to both happiness and sorrow and will not choose either . Those who surrender totally, will NOT pray for anything for themselves. However, they may pray for others out of compassion. That will surely work as is evident from many miracle healings we hear frequently. If someone else prays for you it will be effective. Christians do it regularly in the churches. Unfortunately, we do not.

Jayaram V

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