If you really go into intense passion with God, it is answered. Jesus is an answer to many people's prayers. Buddha is an answer to many people's prayers, so is Mahavir, so is Mohammed, so is Nanak. These are the answers! Think of them as the answers to people who had prayed.
Just the other day I told you: When the disciple is ready, the Master appears -- and in no other way. When the disciple has really prepared his heart, has opened himself up, is vulnerable, has dropped his arm our, the Master immediately appears. The disciple is the question: the Master is the answer.
Prayer is the bridge between the question and the answer between the disciple and the Master, between the seeker and the sought, between the immediate and the ultimate, between the desire and the fulfillment.
Prayer is born out of our experience of love, the way we address each other. Have you not felt sometimes the difference? We use the same words, but the quality changes. When you say 'you' to somebody to whom you are indifferent, the word is the same, but there is no prayer in it. And when you say 'you' to the woman you love or the man you love, the word is the same but the quality is different. When you say 'you' to a woman you love, there is prayer, there is love. The word is pulsating, alive, streaming. When you say 'you' to somebody in the marketplace, the word is dead.
Prayer has arisen, slowly slowly, out of the experience of love. When a person falls in love with one person, such great joy arises that, slowly slowly, it became apparent to people who were intelligent enough, aware enough, that "If so much joy comes by falling in love with one person, how much joy will come if I fall in love with the whole!" Love paved the way to prayer.
People pray to each other when they are in love. See the eyes of lovers when they look at each other. That look is sacred. It may be momentary, it may be lost, but for a moment the flame is there For a moment, the guest has arrived from the beyond. People pray to each other when they are in love. The way one man says 'you' to another, respectfully, intimately, desperately. The way someone says 'you' to you -- hopefully, expectantly, intensely, his voice seeking or caressing.
It may be that prayer to God grew out of this way that people have of speaking with each other when they are in love. Yes, that's how it has slowly slowly dawned into the consciousness of man -- that if we can say 'thou' to existence with great love, expectant, desperate, seeking, imploring, asking, with tears in the eyes, with hope, with helplessness; if we can say 'thou' to existence, that is prayer, the beginning of prayer. A point comes when 'I' and 'thou' also disappear -- that is the end of prayer, the crescendo.
In the old days prayer was so much a matter of fact that not in a single scripture has the question been raised: What is prayer? The Vedas don't ask the question: What is prayer? The Koran does not ask the question: What is prayer? Prayer was taken so much as a matter of fact, it was so obvious to the people... when a thing is obvious, nobody asks a question. Now people are asking: What is prayer? What is love? These things have disappeared from life; they have become questions.
If you go far back into the beginnings of human consciousness, nobody asks: What is God? Who is God? Does God exist or not? It was almost as if God was walking with people on the earth, he was living with people on the earth. He was so visible, nobody asked the question. Just think -- has anybody asked the question: What is the sun? What is light? Nobody has asked.
But if one day suddenly the whole of humanity goes blind, and once in a while a man with eyes arrives, then people will ask him: What is sun? What is light? The question simply shows ill TO what impoverishment we have fallen.
In the Bible, there is no word for prayer. It was such a diffused experience that even a word was not needed for it -- so much so that in the Hebrew language it is difficult to translate the word 'pray', 'prayer'. Praying was calling, rejoicing, laughing, crying, reviling, imploring, according to how one felt. But there was no single word for it.
Man has lost many capacities, and one of the MOST important has been the capacity to pray -- because it is only through prayer that we make a bridge between our tiny self and the infinite and the absolute.
You say: WHAT EXACTLY IS PRAYER?
I cannot define it exactly -- I can only indicate. I can hint. A few directions I can give to you. You will have to know it by your own experience.
They say that man can be divided into three groups: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened. Please be of the first category. Move into prayer -- that is the only way to know what it is. Love if you want to know what love is; have a taste of it. How can you explain to somebody who has never tasted wine what it is and what happens through it? He has never been drunk. There is no way to explain. All that you can do is to invite him, let him drink. Let him feel lost. Let him forget the world. Let him disappear in the world of intoxication... and he will know. That is the only way to know.
Prayer is an intoxication. Prayer makes one drunk with God. But only drunkards know it, what exactly it is. And even those who know it cannot put it into words. Let it become an experience Let us not only discuss it -- let us go into it. This very moment. If you feel grateful, a great silence will surround you, a great benediction will start surrounding you. This very moment! right now! you can be thankful for all that the whole has done for you.
If you are a religious person, you can think of the whole in terms of God; if you are not, there is no need to use the word 'God'. Forget all about it. Words don't matter. Call it 'the whole' Just feel what it has done to you, how much it has given to you and how much it goes on pouring into you. And you have never thanked it; you are so ungrateful. And still it goes on pouring! Its sharing, its giving, is unconditional.
And the moment thankfulness arises in you -- this can arise THIS very moment -- there is prayer. Nothing stirs in you, all is still. But suddenly one feels like bowing down to some unknown force, to some mysterious force. That bowing down is prayer.
The second question:
EVERY TIME I SIT DOWN TO WRITE YOU A QUESTION, THE ANSWER ALWAYS COMES BEFORE I AM FINISHED WRITING. YET THIS DESIRE TO WRITE TO YOU AND BE ANSWERED REMAINS. WHAT IS THIS DESIRE? P.S. I KNOW THE ANSWER.
ANAHATA, NO ANSWER IS GOING TO HELP -- that s why the desire remains. A question arises, and if you silently wait it is bound to happen that the answer will arise. In fact, the answer is there, that's why the question has arisen. The answer is there before the question has arisen in you.
The answer is hiding in the question itself. If you go deeply into the question you will find the answer. The question is nothing but a hard shell around the answer. You will always find the answer if you wait long enough. And if you wait silently. But still, no answer is going to help -- that's why the desire to ask remains.
One has to go beyond questions AND beyond answers -- because coach answer will create new questions in its own turn. So if one question is answered, the answer will create ten questions in its turn... and so on and so forth. And you can go on and on. And you can go on chasing and chasing, and you will never arrive.
When all questions disappear -- and not only questions but all answers too -- then the desire to ask will disappear. Never before it.
I am reminded by your postscript of a very famous Sufi story:
A Sufi mystic was going to Mecca on HAJ -- for his pilgrimage. He came into a town, a small town, and even before he reached the town the message had reached that a great mystic was coming into the town, so the whole town gathered. The mystic was a very silent one, and the townspeople asked him, implored him to deliver a discourse to them. "We have been waiting for months, and now that you have come we can't let you go unless we have heard something from you."
The Master was reluctant. He said, "But I have nothing to say." But they wouldn't listen. They persisted. The Master said, "And that which I know cannot be said!" But they wouldn't listen. The more reluctant the Master was, the more interested they became, naturally.
And they said, "We will sit here, we will fast and we will not eat till you give us a message -- because rarely has such an enlightened person passed through this village. We cam lot allow you to go."
So the Master agreed. They went to the mosque. The whole town gathered, with great expectation about what the Master was going to say. And they knew it perfectly well, that never before had he spoken in any other village. He had been traveling, coming from a thousand miles, and everybody had been asking him, but he kept silent. They were very happy -- it was a privilege! that the Master had agreed to speak to them.
The Master came. He faced the audience and asked one question: "Do you know what I am going to say to you?"
They all said, "Of course, how can we know? We don 't know . " They all said, "We don't know what you are going to say."
The Master said, "Then I cannot speak to such ignorant people who don't even know what I am going to speak about!"
The people were very much puzzled and the Master went away. Their desire became more aflame. They thought their answer was not right. "Yes, the Master is right: how can he speak to such ignorant people?" They rushed, brought the Master back and they said, "You ask again. Our answer was wrong, but you come -- give us one more chance."
The Master came and he said, "Do you know what I am going to speak about?"
They said, "Yes!We all know what you are going to speak about."
And the Master said, "Then finished! If you already know, then what is the need for me to tell you? Such an enlightened town!"
Now the people were even more puzzled. And the Master left them again. They talked around amongst themselves; the whole town was agog with only one thing: "What to do? And tomorrow morning he is going to leave! Some way has to be found."
They talked and they discussed and they found a way and they went in the middle of the night and they woke up the Master and they said, "We have come -- our answer was wrong, we are sorry. You ask again!"
The Master went back to the mosque and again he asked, "Do you know what I am going to say to you?" And half of the people said, "Yes," and half of the people said, "No." That was the only way. Now how can he escape?
And the Master said, "Ha, ha, ha! So those who know should tell those who don't know. How am I needed? Just tell the people, talk between yourselves. I am absolutely unnecessary.
In fact, if you go deep into your own questions you need not ask anybody. All asking is unnecessary, because whatsoever answer I give to you is really there inside you. I only make it apparent. I help it to surface in you. I have no ready-made answer for you. I have no catechism. It is not that my answer is fixed for ever.
You ask the question. I look into your question.
I try to do what you should have done yourself, and then find the answer there, and I make it clear to you. The work of a Master is to make your OWN answers clear to you. He brings rarity, he does not give you any answers. A Master is not a scholar, he is not a professor. He does not give you answers. He simply brings clarity, vision, capacity to see.
So if you are here... as Anahata IS here, and he has been listening to me, and the clarity is growing, and the transparency is growing. So whenever a question arises in him, suddenly the answer is there. This is beautiful. This is how it should be -- to everybody. Then I will be spared the trouble.
But remember: it is not a question of questions being answered. Something more is needed. Only that 'something more' will be the manna that will satisfy you, fulfill you, quench your thirst. That transmission -- that transmission of energy from a Master to the disciple, like the flame jumping from the lit candle to the unlit candle. It is not a question of answer or question. It is not verbal, it is not intellectual. It is existential.
It is needed that a flame jumps from me to you, so you also become aflame, afire, so that your inner being is no more in darkness. In darkness all kinds of questions arise. If you become a little more intelligent, clear, alert, aware, you will find the answers.
But each answer will bring many more questions. It is an infinite process, AD NAUSEA. You can go on and on.... That is not going to transform you. That's why, Anahata, the desire to ask still remains.
The third question:
MY BECOMING A SANNYASIN HAS CREATED A GREAT STIR IN MY COMMUNITY. THEY THINK THAT I HAVE GONE CRAZY, ALTHOUGH I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO HAPPY AND BLISSFUL AS I AM NOW. OSHO, WOULD YOU SAY SOMETHING ABOUT IT?
THEY ARE RIGHT! YOU HAVE GONE CRAZY. They have a certain idea of what sanity is. Because of that idea, they cannot say that you are sane. If you are sane, then they are insane. That idea can allow sanity to only one: either to them or to you. And who is willing to lose his own sanity?
They said the same thing to Jesus, "You are mad." They said the same thing to Socrates, "You are mad." They say the same thing to me, that I am mad. They will say the same thing to you, that you are mad. They are not really saying anything about you; they are simply saying that your presence creates a disturbance in them. Your very presence makes them suspicious of their sanity.
And, naturally, the suspicion becomes very very strong because you are joyful and you are happy and you are celebrating and they are miserable. Sanity should give people joy. It has not given them joy. They become suspicious, doubtful. Whenever they come across a person who is really joyous, they become suspicious of their whole life-style: "Is there something wrong in it?" And, naturally, to defend their life-style they have to say to you that you are wrong. That is their defense measure. Don't be angry at them, just understand their problem.
Their problem is that their whole way of life is at stake because of your presence. They will call you mad. And if it becomes too difficult for them to tolerate your presence, they will murder you. They did that to Jesus. They have been doing that to thousands of mystics down the ages. And I am trying my best to transform you into a mystic.
This sannyas is no ordinary phenomenon. It is a quantum leap into the mysteries of life. And, of course, I am giving you a totally different vision. They are bound to react. And they will be hard with you.
I remember an old story of a college professor named A2:
A2 lived in Flat Land. Everything in Flat Land had just two dimensions, height and breadth. Nothing had depth. If a friend turned sideways, you couldn't see him. People lived in flat houses, ate flat meals, drank flat cokes, thought flat thoughts, and lived flat lives.
A2 taught higher mathematics at the university. One night, he threw a party for some of his friends. Upstairs his precocious little son, Pentagon, tried to sleep. As he tossed on his bed, he began to dream. He dreamt a dream no one had dreamt before. Suddenly, Pentagon dreamt that everything had not only height and breadth, but depth! Houses and trees and especially girls looked so different. He felt different. Life took on a whole new scope. This new dimension affected the way people thought and acted. Then, as unexpectedly as it had started, the dream ended.
Pentagon couldn't keep a dream like that locked up inside himself. His bare feet hit the floor and carried him downstairs right into the middle of his father's party. There he stood in his rumpled pajamas pouring out a dream of an unheard-of dimension of life. Pentagon tried to explain what depth looked like and felt like. People didn't have to go on living flat little lives and thinking flat little thoughts. They could sink their roots down into a whole new dimension of depth.
A2 couldn't hide his embarrassment. Nor could he shut Pentagon up. The party ended in a shambles. Far into the night A2 tried to reason with his son, but Pentagon stamped his foot and kept saying that another dimension of life existed.
The next morning, Pentagon talked to anybody who would listen. People thought the poor boy had lost touch with reality. So for the sake of his sanity and theirs, they locked him up .
People ARE living in a flat land. They have lost the dimension of depth. And that dimension is God! I am teaching you depth here. And once you start living in depth, you will be constantly in trouble -- trouble from the people. You will be utterly happy inside yourself, immensely happy, as you have never been before. Your life will become richer and richer every moment. You will know things as you have never known them. The whole existence will turn psychedelic. Trees will be greener and roses will be rosier, and for the first time you will sing the songs of the birds. And for the first time you will see in what a wonderland you have always been living with closed eyes. Your life will become a dance, a song will explode in your being.
But from the outside, from the herd, from the crowd, there will be shouts. They will say that you have gone mad, that you are crazy. This is not the way to be! To dance, to sing, with such abandon? To love, to live, with such abandon? This is not allowed. This is against the rules of the game. One has to be serious and sad, and one has to be a long face. At least saints are not expected to dance, or sing, or be joyous, Saints have to be dead men.
By becoming a sannyasin you have entered into a new vision. That vision will be constantly in a world which is not supporting it, which cannot support it. You will not be supported by the people. You will be colliding with them. So you have to learn one thing: when you are with people, don't be too joyous. Keep it in. And don't try to talk about the dimension of depth -- unless somebody is willing to hear it. ACT as if you are sad. ACT as if you are a long face. ACT that you are a dead saint. Avoid people.When you want to dance, dance alone.
And this is not a new teaching I am giving to you. Sufis have always said it, that when you pray, pray when you are alone. Nobody should hear it, nobody should know about it. Not even your wife! In the middle of the night, wake up and bow down in immense joy, delight. Don't let the woman know, because she will talk to the neighbors tomorrow and the thing will go around, exaggerated in many ways. And you will be in trouble.
These people are living a very sad life, neurotic, not healthy at all, pathological. So when somebody turns to being healthy, he has to be very alert.
One of my friends became mad once. He was caught by the police -- the story is old, before India was divided -- and he was kept in a prison in Lahore. He was imprisoned there for nine months. After six months, just an accident... but he became sane. He was mad and he found a tin of phenol, so he drank it. The tin must have come for the bathrooms. He found it in the bathroom and he was mad so he drank it.
It gave him great nausea, naturally. For fifteen days he had diarrhea, vomiting, but that diarrhea and vomiting cured him of his madness. Maybe it was a good catharsis; all the poisons in the body were thrown out. And after fifteen days, when he became healthy again and the nausea disappeared and the diarrhea disappeared, he was perfectly sane. Then the trouble started.
For six months he had lived amongst twelve hundred mad people, and there was no problem because he was also mad. Now he was sane, and twelve hundred mad people... think of him! Somebody is pulling his leg, somebody is trying to sit on his head -- and he is sane! They were doing this for six months, but then he was insane himself, so there was no problem in it. It was accepted It was exactly as things should be.
He went to the superintendent and he said, "Now it is difficult -- I am sane now." But the superintendent wouldn't listen because he said, "They ALL say that they are sane -- all mad people say that they are being tortured unnecessarily. They are sane!'? Each mad person thinks that he is the sanest person in the world. In fact, psychologists say: The day an insane person thinks he is insane, he is already sane -- because insane people never think that they are insane. So nobody would listen to him.
Those three months, he was telling me, were such a hell that he started praying to God "Make me mad again!"
To live with these mad people, even for three months, one needs to be mad.
You are living with a certain kind of world, a flat world, joyless, depth less, superficial. People's lives are just trivial. They live for money or for power, prestige -- which are all meaningless. In the ultimate reckoning they carry no weight. Death comes and all money and all power and all prestige disappear -- and you are thrown to the dustbin. Nobody ever remembers you again. You may have been a prime minister or a president of a country -- nobody cares a bit. You may have been the richest man in the world, but death is very communistic.Whether you are a beggar or a rich man, death treats everyone equally. It comes and destroys all, without any exception.
People are living in a flat world. So when you start moving into the dimension of depth, you have to be a little alert -- otherwise you will be in trouble from the outside. The inner joy will grow, and as it grows, the outer conflict will grow proportionately. So unless you enjoy that conflict, act as if nothing has happened to you. Only share your joy with those who understand.
That's why sat sang is immensely valuable. You can share your joy with other orange people. They will understand. They will be happy. They will be joyous through your joy. They will SEE what has happened to you. But don't go on sharing it with those who don't understand -- unless you enjoy it. If you enjoy it, then it is perfectly okay.
A saint once heard about the evil city of Sodom. Being a saint, he went to the city with love and concern for its people.When he saw wickedness all about him, he began to preach and plead and protest daily.
After many years of this, a friend asked, "Why all the bother? You have not changed them a bit!"
The saint replied, "In this city of madness and sin, I must go out to shout, to preach and plead and protest -- not that they should become like me, but that I should not become like them."
All that you can do, and all that is needed is: don't become like them. Do everything, take every precaution. If you feel a very strong desire to share with people who don't understand, then move into that knowing perfectly well that they will treat you the same as they have always treated others. Go knowingly into it; then if they start throwing stones at you, don't complain. This is your choice. If they crucify you, don't complain. This is what you have chosen of your own accord.
A farmer was driving his wagon past an insane asylum. One inmate cried out to him, "What have you got there in the waggon?"
"A load of horse manure," was the farmer's reply.
"What do you do with the horse manure?" asked the inmate. "Spread it on strawberries," answered the farmer.
"That's really wild," the inmate called out. "You should be in here. We put sugar and cream on ours."
Always remember with whom you are talking... otherwise you will create trouble for yourself.
The last question:
MY WIFE IS VERY MUCH AGAINST REASON. SHE CALLS ALL REASONING 'RATIONALIZATION'. WHAT IS REASONING? AND WHAT IS RATIONALIZATION?
I CAN UNDERSTAND YOUR TROUBLE. Reason is male, emotion is female -- hence the difficulty of communication between a man and a woman, between husband and wife. They are always shouting at coach other, but the message never reaches to the other -- because their way of understanding things are totally different.
In fact, became the ways are different, that's why they are interested in each other, they are attracted to each other. They are polar opposites like positive and negative in electricity. They are pulled together. But because they are opposite, communication is very difficult, almost impossible.