People in the West are more familiar with prayer than meditation. Prayer is a general term and many types of it exist, but the term usually refers to an active form of meditation in which we project an intention—calling on God to help us or our loved ones in some way. Both ayurveda and yoga use prayer (prarthana) along with mantra and meditation. Generally mantra is energized prayer, a prayer or yogic wish directed by special sound patterns or vibrations of the cosmic Word. Meditation is a silent or contemplative form of prayer in which there may not be any movement of thought or intention.
Devotional meditation is an intensely personal matter and is usually conditioned by one`s religious background. Other than worshipping personal gods and deities who appeal to a particular person`s consciousness, another important form of devotional worship is-the worship of planetary deities and cosmic powers behind the forces of time and karma.