Shall I Pray to God or the Guru?


Dear Ananda ministers,

I always asked myself why should I pray to Saints or our Gurus if we can directly contact God when praying?

I ask that because my uncle died with great pain from cancer some years ago. And my mother, his sister, said that she desperately prayed to Mahavatar Babaji on his deathbed, but she doesn’t know if she did right instead of praying only to God. What are your opinions?

Best Regards,

—David, Brazil


Dear David,

I am sorry about the suffering of your relatives.

You raised an important question: Who shall we pray to, God, or gurus, and the saints?

First let’s get clarity on who are the saints and true gurus:

A true guru is one who is sent by God. He is an awakened son of God, who attained God realization. God send his awaken sons to this world to help humanity.

The guru is a personification of God in a human form. He is a living reality of God in this world.

In the book Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramhansa Yogananda shares many stories about the power of the gurus to heal their disciples. One such story was about himself: when he was eight years old, he was stricken with Asiatic cholera. His life was despaired of, as the doctors could do nothing. His mother, who had deep faith in her guru’s healing powers, Lahiri Mahashaya, asked her son to look at Lahiri’s picture on the wall, and bow to him mentally. As Yogananda gazed at the photograph with deep reverence, a blinding light enveloped his body and he was healed

For most people, God is too abstract to pray to. Having a guru, garbed in a human form, make it easier for people to relate to God in a human form.

Therefore, praying to God or the guru is the same. You can choose according to what inspires you. Don’t think that praying to Babaji is different than praying to God.

Our prayers are important, yet it is God’s will and the karma of the individual that will determine the results.

I hope that this is helpful to you.


Nayaswami Diksha