What is prayer?
It is a tremendously significant question because I do not have a God, but I still have some place for prayer in my vision, in my approach.
Prayer ordinarily is towards the concept of a God. I do not think that is a right kind of prayer, because in the first place it is based on a belief. You don’t know God, you have only heard about him. And you have heard from people who have heard it from somebody else. It is simply a hearsay. How can you love someone you do not know exists or not?
Prayer is love.
Prayer is gratitude.
Prayer is thankfulness.
My sannyasins can pray to existence itself. To the sunrise or to the sunset, or to the sky full of stars, or to the earth, to the mountains, to the rivers… they can pray to this existence which is their experience. It is not a belief; we are part of it.
Now prayer can be possible only if your life has become so beautiful, so blissful, that you feel a gratitude, a thankfulness towards existence. So prayer is not for everybody, it is only for those who have succeeded in meditation. It is the last word in meditation.
When you have come to know the silence of existence, when you have experienced life itself, when you have experienced the unspeakable, when you are drowned in the beatitude of your meditation, the last word is a wordless gratitude, a thankfulness.
It has to be of the heart. You need not say anything, because in such moments whatever you say will be a disturbance. It has to be simply of the heart.
Your heart should be full of gratitude – “Existence has been compassionate to me that it has allowed me to come out of misery, it has allowed me to experience the ultimate of consciousness and I am grateful to its compassion. Without its help it was not possible for me alone to reach to this beautiful space.”
So prayer is possible only for meditators –that too, when they have succeeded. It is a gratefulness; it is a thank you to existence.
From The Sword and the Lotus, Discourse #14
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