Prayers – The Secret, Mystery & Science behind it

By Ramesh Kulkarni

35 yrs in IT as GM/VP/President
Lived in India, USA & now Canadian Citizen

PS from author - Caution This article could be disturbing to people & is meant for the rational, critical thinking & the free spirited .  I feel we MUST continuously question & examine our belief systems. Our search for truth should be pursued relentlessly & fearlessly so that we can seek the truth for the benefit of mankind.

Human beings started praying around 7000 yrs ago - at the dawn of civilization. When the human mind started getting confused & tormented…

People prayed to get relief from pain, sickness, worries difficulties, sadness, anxieties & problems.
To fulfill their needs, wishes, desires ambitions & aspirations…
People prayed for material things, mental peace & spiritual nourishment.
Praying with hope, faith, devotion, passion & fervor.

Prayers are universal
Today more than 5 billion people in the world pray.
That includes People from all the countries across the globe.
And from every section of the human community!
Across all genders - Men, women, Lesbians, Gay’s, Bisexuals & Transgender…
Of all ages - including the old, middle-aged, teenagers & children.
From different ethnicity – Caucasians, Africans, Asians, Hispanic, Arabs etc
Different education background - Scientists, Doctors, Technologists, Theologians, Philosophers as well as the uneducated & the illiterate.
Different economic status – The Rich & famous, the middle class, the poor as well as the beggars on the streets.
As well as - The Priests, saints, honest, virtuous as well as the sinners, criminals and evildoers.

People from across all religions have been praying
Prayers in fact form the core rituals of all religions.
Followers of all religions pray – From the oldest religions like Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Islam, Sikhism to new age religions like Bahai, Wiccan, Raelism, Eckankar, Theurgy, Western esotericism, Thelema etc to the agnostics & atheist (Majority of atheist do not but quite a few do)

People have been praying to different gods
Gods having a physical form ie statues, photos, images, carved out of stones, marble, clay, wood, plastic, cloth etc.
As well as a God without a form – An Invisible, odorless, tasteless but supposedly omnipresent and omnipotent God.

People have been praying in different settings
In fixed stationary enclosed setting like Temples, synagogues, churches, Shinto, Daoguan, Mosques & Gurudwara’s, Homes etc.as well as In moving trains, cars, buses and even airplanes.
People have been praying openly in publicly crowded places as well as quietly in caves, forest, mountain tops & even space.

People have been Praying in different languages
People have been praying in probably more than 1000 different languages Including Sanskrit, Aramic, Hebrew, Hindi, French, English, German, Arabic etc.
Prayers with different lyrics, words, text, constructs, composition, structures & context.
Prayers with different tunes, phonetics, rhythm, texture, dynamics, pitch, form and timbre

People have been Praying in different physical postures & style!!
Kneeling, Standing, prostrating on the floor, swirling, dancing, walking, sleeping (Shavasan), sitting & in lotus positions
Praying with open arms, clasped hands, with hands on their heart, as well as clapping etc
With their eyes open and at times closed.
Praying in different ways - reciting, singing & chanting.
At times loudly and at times silently in their minds.
Prayers read from books, Recited from memory or at times composed spontaneously.

People have been praying at different timing & frequency!!
Either on specific days of the year during festivals or ‘holy’ days designated by religions.
Praying at fixed times - morning, noon, evenings, before meals & before going to bed.
As well as randomly & spontaneously.

People have been praying in groups
Both large and small groups as well as alone.
In physical meetings and now virtually on zoom.

People have been praying on different occasions
During birth, baptism, thread ceremony, weddings, anniversaries, Death, special occasions & as a habit.
People have been praying when they are happy, sad, embark on a mission, feel hopeless or when faced with fear & danger.

People have been Praying to seek different types of favors & wish fulfillment
From fervently seeking material things like money, house, cars, Jobs, promotions, children, husband etc.
To praying for solace, mental peace, happiness, nirvana & Moksha.
Praying for self, family members, friends, loved ones as well as for strangers and humanity.

Prayers – Its effects & outcome
It is obvious that there is NO commonality in Prayers & the practice of praying.
The construct, method & technique of praying are completely diverse, dissimilar, disparate & even Antithetical in every conceivable way.

Yet prayers seem to have the almost the exact same impact and effect on all the 5 billion people who pray.
Prayers seems to bring instant calm, succour, solace, healing, a feeling of unity & oneness, altruistic feelings and peace of mind.
Prayers provide an emotional/psychological support & re-energises the human body and spirit

The Entity
So who is the real object of all these prayers?
Who is this mysterious entity to whom billions of people pray? And try to reach out?
Are they all communicating with the same entity?
What is the form of this entity?
What is its Nature?
And what are the capabilities of this entity?

Communication with the entity
What is the mystical bond people have with this entity?
How is this secret communication established?
That too Instantly in a flash!
What is the technical & scientific process thru which this esoteric communication is established?

Because for any communications to occur there has to be a sender, a message, encoding of the message and a channel/medium for transmission of the code.
And at the other end – A receiver, receiver’s ability to decode the message, translate or transliterate it, comprehend the message.
And then finally the ability, capability, capacity, competence & intelligence to fulfill/execute on all the prayer requests

How does this mysterious entity accomplish all these communication tasks?
How does this entity transcend countless barriers including 1000’s of different languages, accents, forms, modes & methods of communication by billions of people?
Is this mysterious entity a master of all these languages?
Languages that were created more 1000 years ago and some that were created in recent history.

The infrastructure issue
How exactly does this entity receive billions of messages from billions of people every day?
Are these messages received concurrently in real time or sequentially?
If sequentially - is there a off-line storage system where the messages are stored?
What is the capacity of such a storage system?
How does the entity access this storage system & then decode the messages?
What data base management system does the entity use?

Delivering on the prayer request
And finally the most complicated process - how does this entity accomplish the task of actually fulfilling the prayer requests of 5 billion people?
That too everyday!
From getting a job, a promotion, business contract, success in exams, to getting a child, a good husband etc
Are all the prayer requests fulfilled?
Does the entity fulfill the prayer requests of his devotees only?
Does the entity fulfill the prayer request of evildoers and sinners?
What is the logic and rationale applied by the entity to decide which requests to fulfill?
Or is it just random?

Prayers - Monkey behaviour & Imaginary friend
Annika Paukner a professor in comparative Psychology conducted a research on capuchin monkeys and found that these monkeys gravitate towards humans that mimic their actions.

Annika concluded that ‘imitation’ is a type of glue that ‘binds’ groups of monkeys together.
It says ‘we are alike’ and in doing so it lays the foundation for acts of selflessness by providing a means for two individuals (or groups) to form an ‘empathic connection’.

Human beings like the capuchin monkeys have a natural tendency for ‘Imitation’.
90 % of human behavior is imitating other human beings.
Every day we mimic the gestures and mannerisms of people we meet.
We sit in the same way, twirl our hair, shift our accents or scratch the same spot.
This Chameleon effect almost always is unconscious and subtle.

Is praying the imitation glue that human beings use to bind & group together?
To feel alike & build empathic relations?
Is praying just a capuchin monkey like behavior?

Secondly Human beings have a natural need/desire for empathy & sympathy.
Does praying to this unknown ‘entity’ fulfill this psychological need for a companion? A soul-mate?
Akin to lonely child’s imaginary friend?

And the more fundamental question.
Why do human beings need an imaginary friend aka the ‘entity’?
Is it a manifestation of deep rooted Psychological disorder & neurosis?
(Author will be releasing an article on this shortly)

Prayers – A tool for dominance
“Professor Annika Paukner also further states that imitation could be means of dominance as monkeys that imitated were more likely to be subordinates”

Prayers form the core ritual of every religion. 
A ritual where preacher/priests leads and followers mimic and imitate them.

Are religions using prayers as Psychological tool for dominance?
A Tool to dominate, subjugate & hold the flock together?
For enforcing their tenets, doctrines & dogmas.

Is praying and its benefits independent of religions?
Will this entity fulfill the prayer requests of a non-religious person or an Atheist?
Are religions & its preacher exploiting prayers as a free, easy & convenient psychological tool to enslave its followers and further their mission & objectives?

Prayers & Other species
There are more than 8 millions species of land/sea animals, birds & insects etc.
Do they also pray to this entity?
What is the language, construct & channel of their communication with this entity?
Do all these species have wishes & desires too?
If so what could they possibly be?
Does the entity decode their messages and fulfill their wishes too?
Or is the secret of prayers known only to the human species?
Are we the only specie communicating with this entity?
.
Prayers & Neuroscience experiments
Neuro science using modern technology MRI Scanners - have been able to discover some key things by mapping the origin & synapses of brain signals during prayers.
They have found that prayers triggers intense activity in the frontal lobe of the brain. 
Neuro science has been able to connect the cause (prayers) and effect (activity in the frontal lobe) without explaining why & how of the process. For eg the reason for the similar outcome given so many variables?                                              Neuro science attributes everything to a “high degree of plasticity of the human brain” for any function change throughout life - read - “we don’ know yet ”!!

Scientific Experiments on efficacy of prayer
Over the last 100 years numerous scientific experiments have been conducted to find out the efficacy of prayers.
Experiments in 1862 by Francis Galton followed by Leibovici in Israel, The double –blind study at Mayo clinic USA, The MANTRA experiment at Dukes university USA, & American Heart Journal, etc

Results of experiments

(1) The 2001 double-blind study of the Mayo Clinic found no significant difference in the recovery rates between people who were (unbeknownst to them) assigned to a group that prayed for them and those who were not.
(2) Similarly, the MANTRA study conducted by Duke University found no differences in outcome of cardiac procedures as a result of prayer
(3) In the similar study published in the American Heart Journal in 2006, - Christian intercessory prayer when reading a scripted prayer was found to have no effect on the recovery of heart surgery patients; however, the study found patients who had knowledge of receiving prayer had slightly higher instances of complications than those who did not know if they were being prayed for or those who did not receive prayer
(4) Another 2006 study suggested that prayer actually had a significant negative effect on the recovery of cardiac bypass patients, resulting in more frequent deaths and slower recovery time for those patient who received prayers

All of the scientific experiments to date have remained inconclusive, indeterminate & in fact contradictory?
Why?

So to come back to our mystery
Why have generations of our ancestors found praying so endearing & captivating?
What is the secret and mystery of praying?
What exactly happens when we pray?
What is the common & mystical thread in all the different prayers?
The thread that connects & binds all the 5 billion people to this entity?
What is the homogeneity in the heterogeneity of it all?
What exactly is the science behind prayers?

Prayers – Hoax & placebo effect
Is there really an ‘entity’?
Or is it just - a one way communication with an empty box, a nonexistent & imaginary friend ?
A delusional mind game & hallucination bordering on insanity?

Do prayers really ‘connect’ you with this entity?
Does praying really solve any human problems?

Does this entity actually fulfill all the wishes of billions of people?
Or is it a statistical 50% Event occurrence probability - as in the coin toss experiments where there are only 2 possible outcomes.

Are prayers just hocus-pocus mumbling of meaningless words & sounds?
With no real scientific benefits – either physical or mental?
Probably just a placebo effect?

Is praying Just a mental swing bar for the weak, irrational, neurotic & paranoid?
A mental swing bar on which 5 billion people are hanging - like expert trapeze artists?

Is prayer a self- delusional hoax?
A hoax perpetuated upon us albeit unwittingly & unintentionally by our ancestors and parents?

Should our generation also perpetuate this hoax on the next generation?
A Hoax that just paralyzes & benumbs the human mind.
The true opium of the masses?
A opium that mankind has got addicted to?
Should the human race continue to be a victim & perpetuator of this grand hoax?

Prayers a boon or bane?
Has praying anesthetized, benumbed & comatose’d the human mind ?
Inadvertently blocking mankind’s attempt for real scientific solution to all human problems?
Real Problems like material poverty, mental illnesses & neuro-biological brain disorders?
Problems that are still troubling, haunting & tormenting the human mind after 7000 years?

Are prayers inadvertently - the real obstacle to human progress & advancement?

Should our human race look for a scientific solution to all the human problems?
Or continue & perpetuate this hoax & use prayers as quick fix opium?

Is it time for the human race to pivot towards a human life based on science & Technology?
And towards evolving into a advanced specie.

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By Ramesh Kulkarni – (30 yrs in IT as GM/VP/CEO)
Center for introspection & enlightenment
www.ci-e.com
Initiatives for a Utopian world & human life based on Science & Technology
And evolve into advanced specie

 

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Everything is One – (part 1) - Origin, evolution & Nature of Life.
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About Author -

Ramesh Kulkarni - Founder Member
* 30 yrs in Information Technology in as GM, VP etc
* System Integration & Online transaction processing systems
* Lived in India, USA & now in Canada