Shivangi was a God loving young girl. Unlike most of her peers she would spend a lot of time in prayer and devotional singing. Her parents married her to a boy from a very good family. Much to her dismay, Shivangi learned soon after her wedding that her husband Abhay was a compulsive alchoholic and had no interest in anything Godly.
Every evening when Shivangi would sit down to offer prayers to the Lord, Abhay would abuse her and show his annoyance. He would ask her to sit with him and give him company because he loved her so much. Shivangi had to give up her evening prayer routine to please her newly wed husband.
As months and years passed, Shivangi slowly persuaded her husband to let her sit for her evening bhajan for an hour everyday. He had grown more considerate because of the love and affection she showered on him. He was also drinking lesser because she impressed upon him time and again about the evils of alcohol.
Every evening Abhay would sit down to have his drink, but he would miss his wife’s company. He kept thinking of her. He kept visualizing her in the prayer room, singing bhajans. Time and again he would wait for the hour to be over, so that she would come and join him. In the prayer room, Shivangi would play the Harmonium and sing for the Lord. But, her thoughts would drift towards her husband. In her minds eye, she would picture Abhay, taking one drink after the other. She prayed to the Lord, to change her husband’s habits. Months passed like this.
One night, Shivangi had a dream: Abhay and Shivangi were kneeling before the Lord.
God said: Shivangi, Abhay is more devoted to me than you.
Shivangi: Lord! How is that possible? I sing your glory, but he drinks all evening.
God: When you are physically in the prayer room, you are mentally drinking. You think only of Abhay. “The drink is in you and you are in the drink.”
But, when Abhay is drinking, he constantly thinks about prayer and bhajan. He even mentally sings the songs he imagines you to be singing. “The prayer is in him and he is in prayer.”
Shivangi: But Lord…!
God: No my child! It is only when you remember me from the core of your heart that you can feel that “I am in you and you are in me.”
Prayer is talking to God. The time you spend in ‘prayer’ is of no significance unless you are able to establish the connection that makes you feel that, “God is in you, with you and around you!”
Baba says, “What counts is not the number of hours you put in, but how much you put in the hours.”