Guruji, why do we start any event with a prayer? Usually, we chant the Omkar and Mantra, here at the ashram. Is there a purpose behind this?
To answer the importance of prayer, I shall first explain to you about the human brain. As you know, it consists of two parts – the left and the right hemispheres. The left controls the right part of the body while the right controls the left part of the body. Since most of us are right-handed, generally our left hemisphere functions more while the right hemisphere is not frequently used. Hardly 1% of the right side of the brain is put to use while the left side is used up to 5% to 7% of its capacity. So, you will observe that only 6% to 8% of our brain capacity is utilised by us. Even with this limited usage, how powerful the human brains are! Now imagine if we were to utilise even up to 10% of our brain capacity, how much more powerful we would become!
The roles played by the left and right hemispheres of the brain, in carrying out the tasks, are different. The right hemisphere works in the capacity of a Commander who issues orders, while the left hemisphere works as a soldier that takes orders from the Commander. Our ordinary thoughts and ideas go to the left hemisphere – for example, the routine idea of eating, studying, walking etc. However, any idea that requires creativity or originality goes to the right hemisphere – for example singing, dancing, music, painting, fine arts, etc.
Our ‘rishi-munis’ knew that chanting of “Aum” activates the right hemisphere of the brain. When we sing “Aum” – it is music, when we chant “Aum” – it is Sanskrit and when we merge with “Aum” – it is ‘Meditation’. ‘Aum’ is the most supreme sound.
Omkar starts from Bindu – the smallest point that vibrates. This vibration is Omkar, which exists in the smallest atom as well the entire universe. Mantras are words with great vibration and powerful spiritual energy. The Sanskrit Mantras that we use originate from the spiritual work of the ancient Yogis. The use of Omkar and Mantras activates the right hemisphere of the brain. So, since ancient times – as a matter of practice, Omkar, Mantras and Prayer have been used, before beginning any important event. This ensures the auspiciousness and well-being of the event, and our Rishis have made this a tradition with this particular purpose.