Come, spread this moonlight, wrap yourself in it

Fourth Question



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The fourth question (he says third!):

Question  4


Prayer cannot be done, prayer happens. This very feeling surging in you is prayer. If you do anything it becomes false. If you do anything it becomes formal. If you do anything it becomes borrowed, it becomes an imitation of others.

Prayer is not imitation.  It is because of imitation that prayer has disappeared from the earth. People go each to their own temple. If there is a mosque next door they don't go to pray there, they go two miles away to pray in their temple. If the time wasted in going two miles were spent in prayer... the mosque is next door, where are you going? But the one who prays at the mosque is in the same situation. The temple is next door. He doesn't even notice it. He turns his back and starts off.

In Jaina scriptures and in Hindu scriptures there is a certain suggestion. The same suggestion because stupidity is the same in everyone. In Jaina scriptures is the suggestion: if you are passing in front of a Hindu temple and a mad elephant is after you, then it is better for you to be trampled under the elephant's feet and be killed than to take shelter in the Hindu temple. And exactly the same thing is said in Hindu scriptures: if a mad elephant is after you then be trampled under his feet and die but don't take shelter in a Jaina temple.

What crude ideas are propagated in the name of religion! But Hindu and Jaina are at least separate religions. Among Hindus there are some people who believe in Rama who will not go into a Krishna temple. And some who believe in Krishna who will not go into Rama's temple. And an even stranger thing is the Digambar and Shvetambar Jainas, who both believe in Mahavira, but their temple cannot be the same.

Man gets entangled in politics in the name of religion. And this whole disturbance is because of imitation. Prayer is a natural uncomplicated feeling. Looking at a tree bliss starts surging within you. Bow down there, prayer has happened. Bow down by the tree. Put your head on its roots, and your salutation reaches the divine, because the tree is joined to god. The idols in your temples are not joined to god at all, because they are made by you. Trees are alive, life is flowing in them, a stream of nectar is flowing. Otherwise they wouldn't be green. Otherwise new shoots wouldn't come out. Otherwise flowers wouldn't bloom. They are united with god, bow down.

At the roots of a tree the feet of the divine are more easily attained than at the idols in your temples. They are all false, just a formality. You are going to search for god in man-made idols? In man-made things you are going to search for the one who has made man? You are mistaken. His nature is spreads in all four directions. His rivers are flowing, his ocean is filled with high waves. His moon is rising. His sun is coming out. The trees are his, the plants and animals are his, you are.

If you bow down in a moment of loving at the feet of your child then too your salutation will reach. If you bow down in a moment of loving at the feet of your wife your salutation will also reach.

Prayer is  informal. Don't make it a formality. But prayer has become so formal that you have forgotten what informal, spontaneous, natural prayer is.

You say: As I listen to you a mood of prayer begins surging in my heart.

This is prayer, what more are you asking for?

Now you are asking, But how should I pray?

Prayer is happening. Sitting in satsang prayer happens. If I am prayerful and you sit with me in direct feeling, if there is no argument inside of you, you are not listening to my every word as if you are my judge, that you are going to decide what is right and what is wrong  --  if you listen to my words as someone listens to music, without thinking what is right, what is wrong  --  if you are just receiving the juice of being near me, then prayer results, prayer happens. Something bows down inside of you. Something is effaced inside of you. A fresh beginning starts inside of you. A wave arises in which you are drowned. This is prayer.

But I understand your difficulty. You are thinking it happens only once in a while. How to do it systematically every day? Whenever you do it systematically it becomes false. It happens when it happens. A time cannot be fixed for prayer. It is not that you can wake up every morning and pray. Whenever it happens... Sometimes it will happen in the middle of the night, sometimes in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon. There is no fixed time for prayer, because all time is god's. There can be no auspicious time for prayer, no right moment.

Instead of creating a rule, instead of making it a ritual, move towards your own spontaneity. When it happens, close your eyes, and dissolve for a moment. You will be surprised where it will start from. You have probably never thought it will begin in such places. Someone is playing flute and it begins. It is afternoon, tranquil, the winds have stopped, the trees are not moving... and it begins. It is night, the chirring of the cicadas and it begins. You are sitting with your friend, hand in hand, and it begins. There is no prescribed time. And it is difficult to say how it will happen each time, because it never repeats. It is a state of being. Prayer is not a matter of thinking.

Prayer is not a gramophone record that will be just the same, the same again and again. Prayer is a salaam, a greeting with praying hands, that manifests in fresh colors, fresh forms, fresh styles.

Please accept my salaam of deep longing, please accept my love

Distressed my sorrowful eyes are searching for your splendors

That have disappeared like dreams

Searching for those beautiful moments

If it is not distasteful for you please accept my complaint

Please accept my salaam of deep longing!

I searched for a glimpse of you only, the object of imaginations - you only

For me only you are the idol, for me only you are divine

Please uphold the honor of my devotion, please accept my adoration

Please accept my salaam of deep longing!

As long as no message can be be received from your lowered eyes

Neither the soul can be consoled, nor the heart attain relief

And I will know the pain of separation, please accept this one gift

Please accept my salaam of deep longing!

Anywhere,  send your salaam from anywhere. Bow down near any flower, send your salaam. Hearing a cuckoo cooing, let dance arise, send your salaam. It is drizzling, on your roof rain drops striking music, send your salaam.

Please accept my salaam of deep longing, please accept my love

And there is no need to find words, send it without words. God does not understand your language, he understands your feelings. Languages are many. If god had to understand language he would go mad. There are some three hundred languages on the earth. This is just the main ones. If other small languages are counted, and other dialects are counted, he will be in great difficulty. You can understand god's problem. And there is not just one earth, scientists say there is life on at least fifty thousand planets minimum. There can be life on more, but life must exist on fifty thousand. It is such a great expanse. And it is not just a question of man, birds and animals also become prayerful.

In the ashram of Maharshi Raman a cow died. He celebrated her going as is done for a person who has experienced samadhi. People were very surprised. But the cow was not any ordinary cow. She loved satsang, being near the master. Other people who came to Raman's satsang sometimes came and sometimes didn't, but the cow came without fail. No day passed that she did not have Raman's darshan. She came and stood with her head inside the window. She stood outside the window, but put her head inside the window. She stood for hours. While others kept sitting, she kept standing. When the satang dispersed, she too went away. And sometimes streams of tears poured from her eyes, standing right there at the window. When the cow became sick and could not come one day, Raman himself went to her. As soon as the cow saw him coming a stream of tears started flowing from her eyes. Raman's hand was on her head when she died. He gave her the same respect as is given to a person who has experienced samadhi. He had her samadhi constructed.

People asked, "Maharshi, do you think this cow was really so important?"

He said, "This is her last birth. Now she will not return. Her prayer has been heard. Her salaam has reached."

So it is not just a question of man. There are birds and animals, among them some are prayerful. There are plants, among them some are prayerful. Now scientists are involved in a great study. And one thing has been proven absolutely clearly, decisively: that plants are very sensitive  --  as much as man, perhaps more but not less.

If plants hear the sitar playing of Ravi Shankar they are absorbed in joy. Scientists have made experiments on this. The plants become ecstatic. Now instruments have been devised like the cardiogram, from which your heart beat is known, such instruments have been devised from which the pulse of trees is known. The instrument is put on the tree and its emotional state begins to be revealed. If it is sad or happy, angry or compassionate.

Listening to Ravi Shankar's music the trees leaned in the direction where the sitar was playing. They started bending. And listening to modern music, jazz and that kind of music the trees started leaning away, started bending in the other direction. They wanted to say, please stop it! What is all this racket? Your Indian film music goes on blaring. People have set up loudspeakers that make noise they call music,. The trees are distressed. Perhaps man has lost his sensitivity, the sensitivity of the trees is the same as ever.

The scientist who was experimenting with trees was amazed and couldn't believe it when he first started finding these results. When someone takes an axe and comes to cut trees  --  he has not started cutting yet but when the trees see a woodsman coming with his axe, all the trees start trembling. The instruments immediately say that the trees are anxious, they become very nervous, who knows whose turn has come. Even more surprising is that if you cut one tree then all the nearby trees are in agony. And it is not that they are afflicted only by cutting trees. If you kill a bird, all the trees are afflicted. From killing a bird! What do the trees have to do with it? But the bird is theirs too. It builds its nest on them. It gives a dignity to the trees, gives a blessing. It used to dance nearby, sing its song, make its cheerful sounds. When it was, there was life. And whosoever's life is being harmed the trees are sensitive to it.

And when they sense the gardener coming with his watering hose they are overjoyed. Water has not yet showered on them but their thirst is aroused. They are ready. They are happy. A thank you starts arising. These are all scientific facts now. Poets have always been saying these things. Thousands of years ago poets said these things that it has taken science thousands of years to comprehend.

Mahavira certainly must have heard this kind of thing in the trees, he must have known. He has said, "Don't pick unripe fruit from the tree. When the fruit ripens and falls by itself, then accept it." When this is how it is with trees, how will it be with birds and animals? How insensitive people are who go on eating birds and animals! And leave aside unimportant people that you have no expectations of...

Just recently the president of India, Sanjiv Reddy, returned very angry from Madras. At the governors palace in Madras he could get meat. He is a Gandhian. Does someone become a Gandhian by wearing a Gandhi cap? What kind of Gandhianism is this? A Gandhian is eating meat? Then why bring up meaningless nonsense about nonviolence? Stop this rubbish! Forget Gandhi and the very name Gandhi. Why are you repeating these falsities? Who are you deceiving?

But most of your political leaders are meat eaters. Most of your politicians drink alcohol. And these are all Gandhians. And on October second they sit at Gandhi's tomb in New Delhi and start turning their spinning wheels. A man can eat meat while making the claim of being nonviolent? What can be more false in this world? But behind all this there is only one goal  --  how to get your votes.

I have heard that an Indian political leader gathered a crowd and shouted out, "Sisters and brothers, something to be said and something to be left unsaid, something that is heard and something unheard too, something to think of and something unthinkable. You must have seen many miracles brother, but stay, stay until the end and you have seen the whole show. So... so here is the first act... you have seen much magic, many shows... now put your hand on your hearts, and put your head somewhere else. My sisters, my brothers! Let each brother and each sister promise that they will not leave in the middle, otherwise this twenty-seven year old daughter of mine will be left lying here cut in two. So whose daughter is it?"

"Ours," reverberated as one voice.



"Tell me, shall I cut off her head?"

"Cut it."

"Yes, cut it. Who is she to you? She is my daughter. Say: cut it and join it, leader!"

"Cut it and join it, leader!"

"Yes, this is right appreciation."

Putting a sheet over, he cut the neck of independence and separated it.

"Show us leader, take off the cloth."

"No," many voices were raised  --  but the leader's voice was the loudest  --

"It is promised, do not slip away from your place, otherwise your independence, your truth will be left lying just like this. Gentleman, place your votes, one, two, as many as you can. Burn my child's funeral pyre."

He sat to one side and in a panic each one at the gathering, seeing the cut head, fearfully put all the votes into his poll box.

Your leaders are not much different than magicians. And the desire behind everything they do is one: how will you vote? So they spin spinning wheels, wear homespun khadi, and use Gandhibaba's name. They go to temples, they go to mosques. "Allah and Ishwar are thy names, give everyone pure thoughts Bhagwan"  --  they even sing devotional songs. And if he doesn't get meat, the president of the country is upset  --  the president of a country like India! He cannot get meat for one day, so it is a problem. If he had gotten it, perhaps the people would never have known he eats meat.

Mahavira must have seen that to harm trees is possible only when you are not sensitive, when you become stonelike. It is possible to kill animals for food only when your heart has died, and your soul has become completely gross.

This is just what Gorakh said yesterday, you remember, no?  You worship stone and you have become stone. Your temples are stone, your idols are stone, your insides are also stone. Within you, life has disappeared.

The whole universe is sensitive. The whole universe is praying, each in its own way. Worship goes on, the offering continues. It is not a question of language, but of feeling. Drop language. When feeling surges up, when feeling is filling your life, then be drowned. Yes, if you want to cry, cry. If you want to laugh, laugh. If you want to dance, dance. This is the way of feeling.

Your tears will take you closer to god than your scriptures can take you. Your tears are your own. They come from the depths of your heart. Your tears are your humble request.

Please accept my salaam of deep longing, please accept my love

Dance sometimes delighted, he has given you such a rare world. He has given you such a valuable life. Each and every thing is invaluable. Each single grain is filled to the brim with him here. Such a rhythmic universe  --  and you do not even give thanks?

Thanking is prayer. And certainly his remembrance will torture you. This is good. His remembrance will churn inside you, this is good. But don't make this remembrance a formality, otherwise it will become false. Formality does not work.

I was a guest in a home. The young daughter of the house was competing in debate at school. She said to me, "You speak so much, and I have to give only a three minute speech, please help me prepare a speech. And if you help me prepare, I am definitely going to win the first prize." She was really after me, so I helped her. I had her repeat it again and again and prepared her. First she said, brothers and sisters, if I make any mistake then excuse me: I told her to say this first. Her mom and dad were going, they asked me to come too, so I went to listen. She started her speech looking in my direction. She was very happy because she was fully prepared. She said: "Brothers and sisters, if I have any excuse you are mistaken."

Now what to do? If you repeat like a parrot, you will not get very far. In the same way your prayers stumble and fall down. You have learned like parrots. You do your devotional songs, but it is all learned and studied. It is acting, not real. It has to be real.

So don't ask how prayer can be done. Let the surge come, float in that surge. Just don't stop it, when the surge takes you, don't stop. We have become very miserly. We are afraid to cry, we are afraid to laugh. We are afraid to dance. We are afraid of being overwhelmed by emotion. We are completely dried up. Our whole humanity has become false, hollow, hypocritical.

Your remembrance tortures.

The throbbing of the wound increases!

The cuckoo is speaking in the mango tree

New leaves dissolve in the pain

You are beyond the sight of my eyes

Hidden somewhere a woman sings of longing

Your remembrance tortures.

Somewhere you play your intoxicating veena

Sleep is snatched away from my eyes

Writhing in the desert, a delicate fish

Touching you, the east wind comes!

The throbbing of the wound increases!

Now I say a few words

Give me a few priceless kisses

Heart to heart let us exchange

The years are passing by!

The throbbing of the wound increases!

Your remembrance tortures.

Let the remembrance of god torture you. Let the throbbing increase. Let the wound within you deepen, this wound is prayer. Prayer is not in words, prayer is the reverberation of life.

Don't be in a hurry to put it into words, otherwise the mind is very clever. The mind knows how to make everything false. If you meet someone on the path you immediately start smiling. That smile is false. It is not inside of you, it is only plastered on your lips like a Jimmy Carter smile.

I have heard that Jimmy Carter's wife has to close his mouth at night, otherwise his mouth will stay open all night  --  he practices all day. She has to close his mouth otherwise if a mouse goes inside or something there will be a disturbance.

Your smiles are false. You laugh because you're supposed to laugh, you cry because you're supposed to cry. You cry if someone has died.

I was a guest at a home. In that home one gentleman had died. No one was upset that he had died. Everyone was happy because the gentleman had tortured them plenty. He had been sick for many years. And if there was a prayer that moved in everyone's heart in that house it was that he go somehow, that god take him. He had set the whole house on edge. He died, so everyone was happy, but the happiness could not be shown. You cannot beat a drum and proclaim that you are delighted. You will have to cry. It was cool weather, I was sitting outside. The woman of the house had said to me, if anyone comes to mourn, please ring this bell. Why? I said.  She said we will have to cry won't we? If someone suddenly arrives and sees that no one is crying then we will need to protect our honor. So I said, okay. A gentleman came, I rang the bell. The gentleman went in, I also went in, I looked in and was astonished. That woman grabbed a veil, drew it over herself and started crying loudly. She put on a veil because tears will not be coming. How can tears come? She lowered a veil over and began wailing loudly. As soon as the gentleman left, she put away the veil... started conversing again. Everything was fine, no problem anywhere.

You cry it is false. You laugh it is false. Your whole personality is phoney. Don't let this false personality be a part of your prayer. This is why people have the story of Satya Narayan recited at death. They hire a pandit saying, brother, recite, here's ten rupees. Recite the story of Satya Narayan so that god stands behind him, so it can be said we had the story recited.

The Tibetans make a prayer wheel. It is like a small cart wheel, like a spinning wheel. As many spokes as there are... there are one hundred and eight spokes, the same as the one hundred and eight beads of a mala. On each spoke a mantra is written. They give the wheel a spin. As many times as the wheel turns, that much merit is received from reciting the mantra, that much virtue, is attained.

I was in Bodhgaya. A Tibetan lama was staying with me. He was reciting from his book and once in a while gave his wheel a turn. I watched one day, I watched two days. I said to him, just try something: what is this ancient method you are doing? Wire it with electricity and connect it to power. Then you can do whatever you want to do, it will go on turning and turning. Even at night when you are sleeping it will go on spinning. Your virtue will have no end. Virtue upon virtue will go on showering upon you.

Who are you deceiving? People go on inventing devices for prayer which are false. People are false so whatever they do will be false.

Don't ask how I can pray. A wave is arising, a feeling is arising  --  just don't interfere with this feeling. Don't hinder it. Wherever this wave wants to take you go with it. You will feel afraid at first, thinking, "I don't know where it will take me,  perhaps I'll start crying in the middle of the market, where people are sitting seriously I'll start laughing, people will think I am mad."

Take note, only the mad can pray. Only one who has the courage to be mad can travel the path of prayer.

Touch the ache of my soul, be my beloved!

What was quite disentangled, please entangle today

What was quite tangled up, please disentangle today

Dry the rainy season of my tears today

I want you to make me sad today

O affection of my eyes become eternal affection

Touch the ache of my soul, be my beloved!

Become a rain drop of affection, torment me life long

Do not show yourself to the love-bird of my consciousness

Steal a smile from these lips

Do this much and I will take it as great fortune

Become the eternal past to my present

Touch the ache of my soul, be my beloved!

Face to face with me is not false passion

Not just founded on dreamy hopes

Tune the tangled strings of my veena

With a gesture, play it just for a moment today

Sing my song, be mine!

Touch the ache of my soul, be my beloved!

Real prayer is not yours. Only what comes from the divine is divine. You are only a medium, a hollow bamboo. He sings a song through you. Only then is prayer true. And only then does prayer liberate.


Next: Chapter 8, Come, spread this moonlight, wrap yourself in it, Fifth Question


Energy Enhancement          Enlightened Texts          Gorakh          Death is Divine



Chapter 8






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