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Prayers are the fundamental part of any religion and are the first step in spiritual growth. They purify our mind, inculcate discipline, and make us better persons.
In Hinduism we have the Stotras which include prayer and meditation and Mantras, which are accompanied by appropriate rituals and ceremonies.
Most of our Prayers are from the Vedas. The Mantras in the Rig Veda are nothing but a collection of hymns. We find hymns or Stotras not only in the Puranas, but also in the writings of great Saints like Adi Shankara and many others. Such hymns are mostly written in Sanskrit, and sometimes in vernacular languages. They play an important role in the religious lives of people.