Is Praying Out Loud Helpful to Reach out God? What Does Science Say?
“Uday sir, parents compel me to pray aloud. I am an agnostic. I have read your book on the Science of Sanatan Dharma. I am an Indian. So I am writing to you. I have a question related to prayer. Does it really help?”
God hears our prayers on all occasions, people believe. Some say we must pray out loud. Some say pray silently in our hearts and minds. Some use even loudspeaker to reach out to God.
Many-a-sects shout out loud or in public in the name of prayers or faith as if God is suffering from progressive hearing loss. A friend of mine said that his neighbouring building is bought by a sect of a certain believers group. And on Sundays, they shout creating noise pollution and disturbance to the public. As you know, nobody in India can talk against organized cults or religious groups.
Scientifically, it is sheer idiotic to think that God – for them, a man is sitting above the or the ‘sky citizen’ – has only one sensory organ – ears! He doesn’t have any other senses – he cannot speak, touch, sea, and taste. He can only hear! Such beliefs are not only illogical but childish too.
However, some studies have proven that prayers in the form of music helps. It’s not because of the content or words in your prayer – it is part of music therapy. I remember reading a study that Carnatic music in certain degrees of the scale (thala) and notes (raga) had helped plants, animal and human beings in many ways. Music boosts brain chemicals too. But fast numbers and shouting in the name of music or prayer can damage the brain cells. It just creates noise pollution, nothing else.
Also, studies are undergoing on how Vedic chants in the original form of reciting in the prescribed scale and notes could affect the surrounding. But Vedas are not prayers. Vedas talk about universal existence and nothing to do with religion. Studies have also proven that sounds with certain specific frequency alter even the DNA codes! Some changes are for good, but noise can create genetic mutation too.
Prayer is a belief based action. There is no empirical evidence that God hears your prayer. Personally, sometimes I pray silently – that’s just to satisfy when my mind (ego) plays with me.
Deep within I know that everything would happen by Hari Itcha or Hari Kripa (for non-believers, it means the design of the existence). I am just being an instrument. Everything in the universe – even unicellular organism – is designed with a purpose. Each one of 37.2 trillion cells in your body has specific karma – it completes its life cycle and dies. It would do its karma, without expecting any results, as if it understands that it doesn’t have the right in the result. Only one species in the earth – human being – would do karma with eyes on the result or expectations.
That’s why one of our ancestors warned us – you have right for your karma and no right on the results. (His name was Krishna and he has said this in Gita). So he said to focus only on your karma (which is based out of your Dharma, means duty, rights, responsibility, and privilege together) and not on the results. So, prayer has limited value, limited to the conditioning of your mind.
I also believe that if God exists, it (he or she) knows even before a thought comes to our mind. Otherwise, it doesn’t have any divinity, right? So, in the divine spectrum too, there is no need for prayer. God should know before you pray, right? Or is it that God has a petty ego to make you pray and beg in front of him? I don’t think so.
But, we are mere humans with lots of ego – visible or subtle. I didn’t find anyone without ego till this moment. For centuries we followed the belief that prayer is one of the best remedies for ego. It comes in our genetic memories too! So, we would pray. In the mid-night, I would wake up seeing some terrible nightmare and mind (ego) becomes fearful. The only way out then would be prayer – that’s how I am (means we all are) conditioned.
Praying loud can disturb or irritate non-believers and people from other faiths. So, should pray loud or in public or using loud-speaker, is an ethical and moral question. The answer depends upon your mindset and attitude towards society.