I want to pray to God. Please teach me the way.
Don’t bother God, He’s got his own problems. Don’t you see whatsoever He creates dies? Keep your problems to yourself. Why should one want to pray to God? God does not need your prayers. You may be in need of those prayers, but they will not be anything more than vocalizing your desires, your demands, expressing your complaints. That’s what people are doing in the name of prayer – complaining and complaining and complaining, and saying “Things should not be like this.” Trying to help God to become a little more wise.
No, prayer is not needed, what is needed is meditation. Meditation has no reference to God. Meditation transforms you; it takes no account of God. And you don’t know about God in any way – how will you pray to something unknown, something x-y-z? In what language are you going to pray to God? You don’t know Him at all. And there are people who say “By praying to God you will come to know Him.” But prayer presupposes as a requirement, basic requirement, that you should know, only then can you pray. You should know, only then can you love. How can you love an unknown God? Your prayer will be formal; it will be nothing but a cliché.
Meditation is a totally different dimension. Kabir will suggest meditation, Buddha has suggested meditation, I suggest meditation. Meditation is a different approach – it has nothing to do with God, it has something to do with you, with your mind. It has to create a silence within you, a deep utter silence. In that utter silence you will start feeling the presence of God.
Prayer is a consequence of real meditation. Only a meditator can pray – because he knows, because he feels, because now God’s presence is not just an argument, not a logical thing, but something experienced, something lived. And then prayer is no more a complaint. Then prayer is a surrender, then prayer is pure love – no desire attached to it, no conditions. It is sheer gratefulness.m
Let prayer come after meditation. Meditate. Meditation will prepare your heart, it will cleanse you. It will cleanse you of your thoughts, it will throw out all the rubbish that you have been carrying in your head for ages, for lives; it will make space for prayer to happen. Meditation is like preparing a ground for a rose bed: prayer is like a rose. First you have to prepare the ground – you have to remove the weeds, you have to change the soil, you have to throw out all the stones. Meditation prepares the bed. And only in a prepared bed can you plant roses. Otherwise weeds will overrun your roses and weeds will exploit the whole soil and your roses will not get much – they will be poor roses. And if there are stones in the ground the growth of the roses will be stunted.
First prepare the ground, then prayer happens on its own accord. Prayer is something that you cannot do. Meditation is something that you can do, because it has something to do with your mind – it is your mind, you can do something with it. Prayer has something to do with God. God is beyond, far away, one does not know where. What is His address? What is His name? Where to send these prayers? So you can go on praying to empty skies and deep down you know that this is all futile. But maybe… perhaps it works, perhaps it doesn’t work, but it costs nothing, so one goes on praying.
First prepare yourself in meditation. Meditation means a thoughtless silence, a thoughtless awareness. Peace. When that peace is there, one day prayer bursts forth. You simply see a bud opening in your being, your heart becomes a flower and there is much fragrance. That fragrance is prayer. You bow down. Now God is no more far away, He is very close by – you are bridged by your flowering.
Prayers done without meditation are formal, foolish. Prayers done without meditation are meaningless – a sheer wastage of time and energy and life. I teach you meditation. And prayer cannot be taught. When meditation has happened, one day you stumble upon prayer. Prayer is grace. Meditation can be of effort, but prayer happens effortlessly.
Forget about prayer and forget about God; you have first to do great work upon yourself. Be absolutely concerned with only one thing: how to drop the mind. In the dropping of the mind is all – prayer will arise. Prayer is a reward to a meditator; it is a consequence.
About this, the Eastern mystics are very clear – from Patanjali to Krishnamurti, they all teach meditation. And the reason is that the work has to be with the human mind. Prayer means a dialogue with the universal mind. Wait, be patient, first be capable of that dialogue. And then you need not go anywhere – when you are silent you hear that still small voice within your heart. In fact the dialogue is always started by God from the other side. You cannot start the dialogue, you can only be receptive; on your end a great receptivity is needed. And the moment you are ready, suddenly something is connected and the bell starts ringing. But the call comes from the other side.
It is God who calls Adam “Where are you? Where are you hiding?”
When Adam committed his sin, his mistake – when he ate the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge – he became very much afraid of God. God had prohibited it; now he had betrayed, he had been disobedient. He started feeling guilty. And God started searching for him – and he was hiding behind this bush and that, and God was shouting all over the Garden of Eden “Adam, where are you?”
Since that day, God has been calling and you are hiding behind this bush or that.
You need not have any prayer. You only need a silent heart which can hear the shouting God, the call of God. He is calling you, you need not call Him. Just be a deep receptivity. That’s what meditation is all about, it makes you receptive. In that receptivity you start hearing God talking to you. Real prayer is when God talks to you, unreal prayer is when you talk to God.
From The Revolution, Discourse #2
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