Prayers Before and After Meditation

Question

I want to know the prayer to be done before and after meditation.

—Sreenivasa Rao ch, India

Answer

Dear Sreenivasa,

Yogananda advised us to pray deeply from our hearts, offering our love, our all, to God in the form we hold most dear, and to our guru if we have one. We invite them to be with us as we meditate guiding our practices. We may ask God’s presence with us in a particular aspect we seek now such as peace or joy. Yogananda said our prayers should not be like hothouse plants which are carefully cultivated but the wild flowers of our heart’s craving. Here is a very beautiful prayer poem from Yogananda that captures this vibration.

I Will Not Offer Unto Thee Mind-Made, Hothouse Songs

I will sing a song untouched by the voice of any. I will offer unto Thee my virgin song.

I will sing to Thee a song which lies singing in my heart, unheard by any. I nurtured my song-child, and I bring it out unto Thee for its training.

I will not offer unto Thee an intellectual, premeditated and disciplined song; I will offer unto Thee the wild songs of my heart. I will not offer unto Thee civilized, emotion-born music or mind-made song-flowers; but I will offer unto Thee the wild blossoms which grow on the high tracts of my soul.

— from Whispers from Eternity Paramhansa Yogananda, edited by Swami Kriyananda

At the end of meditation it is lovely to pray for others asking God to send healing energy to them. Here we often use Yogananda’s healing prayer technique. Mary Kretzmann, the director of our Ananda Healing Prayer Ministry, made a video explaining the principles of healing prayer and the technique which you might like to watch here on our Ananda.org website.

Many blessings,
Nayaswami Mukti