Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Yes, it must be happening to you. So it is happening to you already.
In devotion to God there are three things: Stuti (praise), upasana (being connected) and prathana (prayer).Praising the qualities of God, meaning viewing the wonderful creation of God and being wonderstruck by it. To realize the presence of a creator and say, ‘what a wonderful creation you have created oh Lord!’, and then praising the qualities of the creator that is stuti (praise). Just because you praise don’t think you are persuading God to grant you some favors. It is to hope that by praising, those qualities would come to you. Now see the boys who love cricket, they will also be cheering. Later on they will also become players, is it not? Will they be sitting simply in front of a cricket bat? They will be smart, is it not? They will also play. Similarly whatever qualities of God we praise it will come to us. Suppose we praise God as mother, then motherly qualities will come to us; suppose we praise valor and strength, then that will come to us. Do you understand? This way, whatever qualities of God we praise, at least a little bit of them we will acquire.
Whoever praises someone as being generous can never be a miser? Then praise him for being patient, and then you will also acquire patience. You say, ‘see what a patient person he is’, then that patience we will also acquire; a little bit of that patience, is it not! When you say my grandmother and grandfather were very patient people, won’t you also get that quality of being patient? That is why when we are praising the qualities; those qualities will come to us. This is Stuti (praise)
Upasana means to create a near or a close relationship. To think God is mine.
See if you think it is public property, do you develop love if God belongs to everyone. See, the bus stand belongs to everyone; do you ever feel that the bus stand belongs to you? No. But if you think that this is our house, inside my house, this is my room then your attachment to that will be more, is it not? Assume that in your house there are 5 rooms and all the rooms have been painted well except your room. How will you feel then? You will feel dejected, is it not? If you are painting the house, you will insist on doing your room first. Why? Because you feel that room belongs to you. The same way, a close relationship is to be developed with God. To develop a close connection with God, through mother, through father, through Guru, through your favorite Godhead (idol, name, and symbol) is called upasana.
Now prathana (prayer); what is prayer? It is a request to God to help you out in something in which you are deficient in. Make up the things in which I am deficient in. Then yes I am thankful to whatever you have given me so far, this is prayer.