Prayer without meditation remains part of the imagination. You create a kind of hallucination around yourself. You don't know what God is but you start having a dialogue with him. This dialogue is not really a dialogue, it is a monologue you are talking to yourself. It is a kind of religious neurosis - it is not true prayer.
Martin Buber says that prayer is a dialogue between "I" and "Thou". He is utterly wrong, because in real prayer there is neither I nor thou and it is not a dialogue. For the dialogue to be, the two are essentially needed. A dialogue between I and thou means "I am here and Thou art there." But you cannot exist if you encounter God: the moment you see God you disappear. Hence the god that you go on talking to in your prayers is only in your imagination; it is not the true God.
Prayer, to be true prayer, first has to become meditation. Meditation means putting your mind away.
The mind contains memory, thoughts imagination - everything. Once the mind is put aside you cannot imagine. Once the mind is put aside your Christianity, your Judaism, your Hinduism, all are put aside, because all those thoughts were in the mind When you are in a state of no-mind you are simply alert, throbbing with great awareness, pulsating. In that pulsation of consciousness a great thankfulness arises - not that you verbalize it, you cannot, because the machinery for verbalization has been put aside. You cannot even say thank you to God It is not possible to articulate at all.
So it is not a dialogue, it is not a monologue. it is an existential experience of tremendous love of exquisite beauty, of great joy, of infinite gratitude - but all existential.
I am using words to convey it to you, but when you are really m prayer there are no words. It i wordless thankfulness. That is the meaning of Dhyan Anna; let it become your experience too, then only is sannyas fulfilled.
Anand means bliss; viola is the latin name for the flower violet. Anand viola will mean blissful flower...
and that's what every sannyasin has to be.
[To a little girl he explained that everyone - the birds and the bees and we too - are all looking for bliss. Those who find it are called Buddhas or Christs... ]
... so from this very moment remember it - that we have to do things which bring bliss and we have to avoid things which bring misery.
Bliss is only part of that great phenomenon which is anand.
A few things can be indicated about the greater reality. One thing: bliss is there but it is neither hot nor cold. It is not a passion, it is not fever, it is not excitement. It is not even ecstasy, it is beyond ecstasy, because in ecstasy a certain flavor of excitement remains, a certain dance continues.
Ecstasy is celebration, but anand is going beyond even celebration, It is going beyond all possible states. It is utter transcendence, hence it is not hot like love and it is not cold like hate. It is exactly in the middle, so exactly in the middle that it is neither; it transcends both. It is peace, but not the peace that we understand by the word.
Our peace is nothing but the gap between two conflicts, the gap between two wars. It is a preparation for war, it is a preparation for another conflict, another encounter. On the surface everything looks silent, but deep down there is turmoil, great turmoil; you are sitting on a volcano. Apparently all is silent, but fire inside is burning. It can explode any moment, it is always ready to explode.
Peace is a state where conflict becomes impossible. It is not a gap between two conflicts, but a deep understanding out of which conflict is not possible at all. It is truth in its total blooming. It is consciousness with all unconsciousness gone. It is light, absolute light, not even a nook or corner of your being is dark. You are full of light, full of peace, full of silence, and a cool breeze - yes, that's exactly what you are: a cool breeze.
Anand is a very pregnant word; bliss only says something about one aspect of it, but it has many dimensions. Meditate over it because this is our goal.
[Fulfillment only happens when the river disappears in the ocean:]
But there are things which we cannot achieve; fortunately there are things for which no effort is needed. there are things which cannot be made the goals of our ambition. there are things which are so big, so huge, so enormous, that our very tiny hands cannot grab them, cannot grasp them.
Not only are our hands small, our minds are too small; we cannot even comprehend them. It is because of these things that religion is possible.
Bliss is one of those things which we cannot create, cannot manufacture. We have only to be on the receiving end. We have to be feminine like a womb. We just have to be open to the beyond so that the beyond can penetrate our being. We have to be available to the sky. That's what meditation is, prayer is: utter let-go, a total surrender. there is nobody to be ambitious, there is nobody who wants to achieve anything. It's a state of desirelessness, and in that state bliss starts happening, hence it is God's gracious gift.
[Pleasure is animal, happiness is human. But bliss is godly.... ]
Pleasure is of the body, happiness is of the mind, bliss is of the soul. And one needs to be very clearly aware of what is what, because they have a few similarities. One can be deceived by pleasure and can think it to be happiness; millions are deceived. Just the titillation of the body... and they think they are attaining happiness. Happiness is not of the body. It is not titillation, it is something higher.
Pleasure can be sexual; happiness is not sexual, it is possible only through love. Love is more than sex. Sex may be a part of it but is not the whole story. Animals live only in sex, they don't know what love is. Many human beings also don't know what love is: sex seems to be equivalent to love. Sex is beautiful in itself, I am not against it, but there are higher states to go to, to reach, to attain.
Happiness is more out of love. It is less physical, more psychological. It is less material, more non-material. You can have it through music, you can have it through poetry, you can have it through paintings. It is not an accident that many artists have remained bachelors, for the simple reason that they have found a higher quality of happiness so the lower pull is not so much. Maybe once in a while they feel the pull but they don't feel like settling in it. Hence they have always been thought a little bit immoral, for the simple reason that they are very sensitive people and they know something higher. Sex is a desire in them only once in a while - when they are moving closer to earth and the gravitation affects them. But it is not such a tremendous phenomenon that they would like to become committed to it; they can't become householders. And because they can't become householders they have been thought a little immoral. The reality is just the opposite: they are far more moral because they are moving at a higher stage.
And those who have known prayer can't be satisfied even by music. Music is only then a far, faraway echo of prayer, a reflection of the reflection of the reflection. They can't be satisfied by poetry. In fact the poetry just reminds them of worlds beyond stars, the poetry simply creates a nostalgia. It creates a longing to go beyond even words. Those who have known prayer, for them even poetic words are a kind of disturbance, even the musical sound appears like noise. When you have tasted the higher the lower becomes something totally different than it was before, because now you compare it with the higher.
If you have known the peace of prayer, the silence of prayer, the soundless sound, if you have heard it - the mystics call it "anahat", the soundless sound, the real music, the music of God, the music of the harmony of existence - then certainly, even art is a lower phenomenon.
Prayer makes you a mystic and prayer brings you to the world of bliss. Bliss is divine. To taste it is to taste God.
[We are neither the body nor the mind but the master of what are simply dwellings.]
The body is the gross dwelling, the mind is the subtle; you are the dweller. But ordinarily, a very strange thing has happened to humanity: the body and the mind have become masters and they have reduced you to a slave. The whole effort of religion is to make you free from this slavery, to give you back your mastery.
The body is beautiful and the mind too is beautiful if you are the master. Then you can use these instruments for tremendous good, for yourself, for others; they can become a blessing to you and a blessing to the world. But if you are a slave it is a very dangerous situation. It is as if the driver of the car is fast asleep and the engine is going on its own. The steering wheel has become the master and the man who is holding the steering wheel is no more the master. The wheel dictates where to go, where to move, what to do, what not to do. This is not a good situation; an accident is possible any moment. If it has not happened it is a miracle; it should have happened any moment.
Every man who lives in unconsciousness is accident-prone, and by accident I mean something metaphysical. He always lives on the border of hell. Any moment he can fall into hell; and many times he does fall and somehow staggers back. But he never becomes aware that the whole problem is: Who is the master?
Let consciousness be the master and your life will become immensely blissful. And this mastery happens through becoming more meditative. It comes naturally, it has not to be imposed. The body has not to be forced into slavery, because if the body is forced into slavery it can rebel any moment.
That's what the old traditional saints used to do: force the body into slavery. Their mastery was not true, it was imposed.
I teach another kind of mastery: just become more conscious of the whole situation, and in becoming conscious you become the master. The miracle is that you become the master and the body never feels that it has been reduced to slavery. This is the beauty of it: you become the master and the mind never feels that it has been reduced to something ugly, hence it can't rebel, and its obedience is natural. It simply follows you because it can feel and see that wisdom has arisen in you, that you have a light in your hands now, it has to follow.
[More about bliss, again using the analogy of the patient, diligent farmer]
The soil has to be prepared. Your consciousness is the soil. The seeds have to be sown, and one has to learn to wait, to be patient, because one never knows how much time it is going to take. One can never predict when the spring will come.
Sow the seeds of self-remembering in the soil of consciousness, and remain patient, hopeful, prayerful, trusting that it is going to happen. It has happened to other people before - to Jesus, to Mohammed, to Buddha, to Confucius. And you have all that Buddha had; it is just that he was a good gardener, that's the only difference.
Seeds you have, the soil you have and all the fertilizers that are needed; you just have to become a conscious gardener. You have to know that life is only an opportunity to grow. Life is not already given in the birth, and many people die without ever becoming alive. Very few people know what life is. Those who know what life is also know God, also know bliss, also know the eternal, the immortal, the deathless.
Everything else can be purchased, sold; everything else belongs to the marketplace - except meditation. It is inestimable. And it is priceless because it opens the door to God, to the kingdom of God; it is priceless because it brings love into your life; it is priceless because it helps you to become compassionate. It is priceless because for the first time you start feeling the music of existence, the poetry that surrounds you, the celebration that is always going on.
It becomes the door to all that is really significant. Insignificant things have prices, significant things are priceless. Meditation is the most significant because it opens the door for all other significant things: love, prayer, God, light, music, poetry.
Meditation is only the opening of the door. Meditation is a key to unlock the door of the mystery of existence.