Prayer of Repentance

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The Prayer of Repentance is a prayer written by Meher Baba. Meher Baba dictated the prayer in Gujarati in Khuldabad, India in November, 1951.

The prayer is one of three often recited at gatherings of Baba followers, along with the Parvardigar Prayer and the Beloved God Prayer. The three prayers are repeated morning and evening at Meher Baba's samadhi in Ahmednagar, India.

Text of the prayer[edit]

We repent, O God most merciful; for all our sins;
for every thought that was false or unjust or unclean;
for every word spoken that ought not to have been spoken;
for every deed done that ought not to have been done.
We repent for every deed and word and thought inspired by selfishness,
and for every deed and word and thought inspired by hatred.
We repent most specially for every lustful thought and every lustful action;
for every lie; for all hypocrisy;
for every promise given but not fulfilled,
and for all slander and back-biting.
Most specially also, we repent for every action that has brought ruin to others;
for every word and deed that has given others pain;
and for every wish that pain should befall others.
In your unbounded mercy, we ask you to forgive us, O God,
for all these sins committed by us,
and to forgive us for our constant failures
to think and speak and act according to your will.[1][2][3][4][5]

History[edit]

Meher Baba originally dictated the prayer in the Gujarati language in Khuldabad in November 1951.[6] It was then translated into English by two disciples Eruch Jessawala and William Donkin."[7] However it was not recited aloud until one year later on November 8, 1952. Baba introduced the prayer saying, "Maybe some of you, or many of you, or all of you have no bindings, or desires and attachments. But as today I am in this state (of a devotee) I would like you to join me, to encourage me in asking God's forgiveness."[8] The prayer was read aloud numerous times in Baba's presence, often with an added prelude written by Baba.[9] For example in 1954 it was read aloud in Baba's presence by his disciple William Donkin with the following prelude:

O the eternally benevolent Paramatma! O all-merciful Allah! O the most merciful God Almighty! O giver of all boons, Yazdan! Being fully aware of your absolute independence and your absolute indifference, Baba, with all humbleness, implores you, O allmerciful God! to accept the prayer of repentance from him on behalf of all his lovers and on behalf of all who are worthy of being forgiven.[10]

In an interview by Tim Owens at Meherazad in 1980, Eruch Jessawala described the process of translating prayers by Baba. "When a prayer was given by Him, it remained a prayer. Some words were in Gujarati, Urdu, some in Hindi or Persian, most in English. Then we'd do a little dressing-up in English and read it out to Baba, and He'd approve what He had dictated. He also inspired the ones who would do the dressing-up. The whole thing was 'rattled out' in the first place, given quite spontaneously."[11]

The prayer was one of two prayers Baba asked his followers around the world to recite daily for a period of six months, from the end of January to the end of July 1968.[12][13]

Variations[edit]

Some printings of the prayer contain variations. The original 1964 printing of Charles Purdom's The God-Man (London: Allen & Unwin, 1964) reads "harm" (not "ruin").[14] Also, an editorial footnote in the first English text of Lord Meher: The Biography of the Avatar of the Age Meher Baba (1986 print edition) notes that the last word "will" was originally "wish," but was unintentionally changed due to a printing error.[15] However, this account is contradicted by Eruch Jessawala, who said he originally translated it as given. In an interview with Ward Parks published in LoveStreet LampPost (January-March 2000, p. 45), Eruch explained: "In [Gujarati], the last word of the prayer was marji (marzi in Urdu), an etymon that does not differentiate between 'wish' and 'will' but encompasses both meanings."[16] The prayer is recited as given above during arti ceremonies at Meherabad, and is given in this form on the official Avatar Meher Baba Trust website.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Purdom, Charles Benjamin. The God-Man: The Life, Journeys and Work of Meher Baba with an Interpretation of His Silence and Spiritual Teaching (Crescent Beach, S. C.: Sheriar Press, Inc., 1971), p. 238.
  2. ^ Kalchuri, Bhau, Lord Meher: The Biography of the Avatar of the Age Meher Baba, 1986, p. 3951
  3. ^ Davy, Kitty, Love Alone Prevails: A story of life with Meher Baba, Sheriar Press, 1981, p. 703
  4. ^ Natu, Bal, Glimpses of the God Man, Volume III, 1952–Part VIII, p. 180
  5. ^ Natu, Bal, Glimpses of the God Man, Volume V, 1954–Part VIII, p. 157
  6. ^ Kalchuri, Bhau, Lord Meher: The Biography of the Avatar of the Age Meher Baba, p. 3951
  7. ^ Parks, Ward, "According to His Will." Love Street LampPost, January-March 2000, p. 45
  8. ^ meherbaba.org - Prayer
  9. ^ Awakener Magazine Vol. 19, No. 2, p. 12
  10. ^ Purdom, Charles Benjamin. The God-Man: The Life, Journeys and Work of Meher Baba with an Interpretation of His Silence and Spiritual Teaching (Crescent Beach, S. C.: Sheriar Press, Inc., 1971)
  11. ^ Awakener Magazine Vol. 19, No. 2, p. 8
  12. ^ Kalchuri, Bhau, Lord Meher: The Biography of the Avatar of the Age Meher Baba, pp. 6560, 6573, 6633
  13. ^ Family Letter no. 76, January 25, 1968, pp. 308-309 in the book 82 Family Letters to the Western Family of Lovers and Followers of Meher Baba, by Mani S. Irani (North Myrtle Beach, SC: Sheriar Press, (c) 1969, 1976 by AMBPPC Trust)
  14. ^ Purdom, Charles, The God-man: The Life, Journeys and Work of Meher Baba , Allen & Unwin, 1964
  15. ^ Kalchuri, Bhau, Lord Meher: The Biography of the Avatar of the Age Meher Baba, 1986, p. 3738
  16. ^ Parks, Ward, "According to His Will." Love Street LampPost, January-March 2000, p. 45
  17. ^ Avatar Meher Baba Trust – Prayer of Repentance

See also[edit]

External links[edit]