Our news is filled with people trying to leave Afghanistan now the Taliban hold the capital. Here, we bring multifaith prayers for Afghanistan. You may read Christian Prayer, Jewish Prayer, Urdu Prayer to Allah, Jain Prayers, Buddhist Mettasuddha, and the Hindu Pavamana mantra.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Blessing for surviving illness or danger
The Birkhat HaGomel blessing is said after surviving illness, childbirth, or danger (including a hazardous journey or captivity).
- Blessing: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam, hagomel lahayavim tovot, sheg’molani kol tov.
- Congregational Response: Amen. Mi sheg’molkha (for a woman: sheg’molayikh) kol tov, hu yigmolkha (yigmolayikh) kol tov. Selah.
- Blessing: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the Universe, Who bestows good things upon the unworthy, and has bestowed upon me every goodness.”
- Congregational Response: “Amen. He Who has bestowed upon you every goodness, may He [continue to] bestow upon you every goodness. Selah.”
Note: Mizrahi (Syrian) Jews precede this blessing with reciting Psalm 111:1. ….:
- O’de Adonai b’khol levav b’sod y’sharim v’eda.
- I shall give thanks to the LORD wholeheartedly in the assembly of the upright and the congregation.
… and (among Mizrahi) the Congregational Response at the end begins:
- Amen. Ha’el sheg’molkha kol tov, ….
- Amen. God who has bestowed upon you every goodness, ….
This prayer has its origins in the Talmud (T.B., Berakhot 54b): “Rav Judah said, in the name of Rav, There are four person who have to offer thanksgiving: (1) One who has crossed the sea, (2) one who has crossed the wilderness, (3) one who has recovered from illness, and (4) one who has been freed from captivity.” This was deduced from Psalm 107, where these four situations are mentioned. In the days of the Temple, such a person would bring a thanksgiving sacrifice, but as this is no longer possible, such a person stands and recites the blessing.
The word גמל (gomel) means a recompense, a reward, and frequently a generous benefit (e.g. Psalms 13:6, 103:2 & 10, 116:7). Joseph H. Hertz (1872–1946), chief rabbi of the British Empire, in his commentary to the prayerbook says: “The Benediction is not limited to the above-mentioned four classes [listed in the Talmud quotation], but is recited after any signal escape from danger. This Benediction is followed with deepfelt sympathy by the fellow-worshippers.” Hertz mentions an instance in Britain in 1940 when was recited by an entire congregation because they were the survivors of a Blitz bombing of the previous night.
Urdu Prayer to Allah (Muslim)
Zindagi shamma ki surat ho Khudaya meri
My longing comes to my lips as supplication of mine.
Oh God! May like the beauty of the candle be the life of mine.
Door dunya ka mere dam se andhera ho jaye
Har jagha mere chamakne se ujala ho jaye
May the world’s darkness disappear through the life of mine
May every place light up with the sparkling light of mine
Ho mere dam se yunhi mere watan ki zeenat
Jis tarha phool se hoti hai chaman ki zeenat
May my homeland through me attain elegance
As the garden through flowers attains elegance
Zindagi ho meri parwane ki surat ya Rabb
Ilm ki shamma se ho mujh ko mohabbat ya Rabb
May my life like that of the moth be oh Lord
May I love the lamp of knowledge oh Lord
Ho mera kaam gharibon ki himayat karna
Dardmando se za’eefon se mohabbat karna
May supportive of the poor my life’s way be
May loving the old, the suffering my way be
Mere allah burai se bachana mujhko
Naik jo rah ho, ussi reh pe chalana mujhko
My God! Protect me from the evil ways
Show me the path leading to the good ways
Buddhist Prayer – Mettasuddha
What should be done by one
who is skilled in wholesomeness,
to gain the State of Peacefulness is this:
One should be able, upright, straight and not proud,
easy to speak to, mild and well content,
easily satisfied and not caught up
in too much bustle, and frugal in one’s ways,
with senses calmed, intelligent, not bold,
not being covetous when with other folk,
not even doing little things that other wise ones blame.
(And this the thought that one should always hold):
“May beings all live happily and safe,
and may their hearts rejoice within themselves.
Whatever there may be with breath of life,
whether they be frail or very strong,
without exception, be they long or short,
or middle-sized, or be big or small,
or dense, or visible or invisible,
or whether they dwell far or they dwell near,
those that are here, those seeking to exist—
may beings all rejoice within themselves.”
Let no one bring about another’s ruin
and not despise in any way or place;
let them not wish each other any ill
from provocation or from enmity.
Just as a mother at the risk of life
loves and protects her child, her only child,
so one should cultivate this boundless love
to all that live in the whole universe—
extending from a consciousness sublime
upwards and downwards and across the world,
untroubled, free from hate and enmity.
And while one stands and while one sits
or when one lies down still free from drowsiness,
one should be intent on this mindfulness—
this is divine abiding here they say.
But when one lives quite free from any view,
is virtuous, with perfect insight won,
and greed for selfish desires let go,
one surely comes no more to be reborn.
Some examples of Jain mantras are Bhaktamara Stotra, Uvasagharam Stotra, etc. But the greatest is said to be the Namokar or Navkar Mantra.
The Navkar Mantra (literally, “Nine Line Mantra”) is a central mantra in Jainism. The initial 5 lines consist of salutations to various sanctified souls, and the latter 4 lines are explanatory in nature, highlighting the benefits and greatness of this mantra.
Namo Arihantânam I bow to the Arihantâs (Conquerors). Namo Siddhânam I bow to the Siddhâs (Liberated Souls). Namo Âyariyânam I bow to the Âchâryas (Preceptors or Spiritual Leaders). Namo Uvajjhâyanam I bow to the Upadhyâya (Teachers). Namo Loe Savva Sahûnam I bow to all the Sadhûs in the world (Saints or Sages). Eso Panch Namokkaro,
Mangalanam Cha Savvesim,
Padhamam Havai Mangalam.
This fivefold salutation (mantra) destroys all sins
and of all auspicious mantras, (it) is the foremost auspicious one.
Pratikraman also contains the following prayer:
Khāmemi savva-jīve savvë jive khamantu me I ask pardon of all creatures, may all creatures pardon me. Mitti me savva-bhūesu, veraṃ mejjha na keṇavi May I have a friendship with all beings and enemy with none.
Main article: Pavamana Mantra
असतोमा सद्गमय । तमसोमा ज्योतिर् गमय । मृत्योर्मामृतं गमय ॥
asato mā sad gamaya, tamaso mā jyotir gamaya, mṛtyor māmṛtaṃ gamaya.
(Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad 1.3.28)
“From the unreal lead us to the real; from darkness lead us to the light, from death lead us to immortality.