Prayerful Heart – In Gita Verse 11.41-42 Thinking of You as my friend, I have rashly addressed You “O Kṛṣṇa,” “O Yādava,” “O my friend,” not knowing Your glories. Please forgive whatever I may have done in madness or in love. I have dishonored You many times, jesting as we relaxed, lay on the same bed, or sat or ate together, sometimes alone and sometimes in front of many friends. O infallible one, please excuse me for all those offenses.
Krishna was Arjuna’s friend because of his Prayerful Heart. Also because of Arjuna’s Prayerful Heart Krishna was enjoying when Arjuna was addressing him as “O Kṛṣṇa,” “O Yādava,” “O my friend.”
Arjuna got Divine Eyes from Krishna because of his prayerful heart.
Many times this question arises and you ask someone who is a seeker – Is prayer useful? If so, teach me how to pray. I mean, prayer to receive god’s love, to feel his grace.
To this my answer is – First, prayer is not useful – not at all. Prayer has no use, no utility. It is not a commodity. You cannot use it; it is not a thing. It is not a means to anything else – how can you use it?
I can understand the questioner’s mind. The so-called religions have been teaching people that prayer is a means to God. It is not! Prayer is God. It is not a means towards anything – to be prayerful is the end in itself. When you are prayerful, you are divine. Not that the prayer leads you towards the Divine: in prayerfulness you discover your divinity.
Prayer is not a means. It is the end unto itself.
But this fallacy has persisted down the centuries in man’s mind. Love is also a means, so is prayer, so is meditation – all that is impossible to reduce to means has been reduced. And that’s why beauty is lost.
Love is useless, so is prayer, so is meditation.
When you ask: “Is prayer useful?” you don’t understand what the word ‘prayer’ means. You are greedy. You want God, you want to grab God; now you are finding ways and means to grab. And God cannot be grabbed!
You cannot possess God. You cannot contain God. You cannot interpret God. You cannot experience God. Then what can be done about God? Only one thing: you can be God. Nothing else can be done about it – because you are God. Recognize it or not, realize it or not, but you are God. And only that can be done which is already there; only that can be done which has already happened. Nothing new can be added… only revelation, only discovery.
So, the first thing: prayer is not any utility. The moment you use prayer, you make it ugly. That is a sacrilege to use prayer. And whosoever has said to you to use prayer has been not only irreligious but anti-religious. He does not understand what he is saying. He is talking nonsense.
Be prayerful, not because it has some utility, but because it is a joy. Be prayerful, not because through it you will arrive anywhere, but through it you are! Through it you start being. Through it you are present: without it you are absent. It is not a goal somewhere in the future; it is a discovery of the presence that is already there, that is already the case.
Religion is concerned only with one thing: to know where we are!
To celebrate this moment is prayer. To be here-now is prayer. To listen to these birds is prayer. To feel the presence of people around you is prayer. To touch a tree with love is prayer. To look at a child with deep respect, with reverence for life, is prayer.
So, first thing: don’t ask “Is prayer useful?” And then the second thing you say: “If so, teach me how to pray.”
If you start by ‘if’, prayer cannot be taught. The very beginning with ‘if’ is the beginning of doubt. ‘If’ is not part of a prayerful mind. Prayer needs trust; there is no ‘if’. It is so. It is absolutely so.
When you can trust the unknown, the invisible, the unmanifest, then there is prayer. If you start by ‘if’, then prayer will be at most a hypothesis. Then prayer will be a theory, and prayer is not a theory. Prayer is not a thing, not a theory – prayer is an experience. You cannot start by ‘if’.
The very beginning goes wrong. You have taken a step in the wrong direction. Drop ifs and you will be in prayer. Drop all ifs, don’t live life through hypothetical things: “If this is so, if there is God, then I will pray.” But how can you pray if God is just an if? If God is just ‘as if’, then your prayer will also be just ‘as if’. It will be an empty gesture. You will bow down, you will utter a few words, but your heart will not be there. The heart is never with ifs.
Don’t start by if. Gather all the moments of your life which were beautiful – they were all moments of prayer. Base your temple of prayer on those moments. Let that be the foundation, not if. The bricks of if are false. Build the foundation with certainties, with absolute certainties – only then, only then is there a possibility of your ever entering into the world of prayer. It is a great world. It has a beginning, but it has no end. It is oceanic.
So please don’t say “if so”.
Let prayer happen! Don’t prepare for it. A prepared prayer is a false prayer. And a repeated prayer is just a mechanical thing. You can repeat the Christian prayer – you have crammed it, it has been forced upon you. You can repeat it in the night and fall asleep, but it will not make you aware – because it has not been done as a response!
I mean prayer to receive God’s love, to feel His grace.
Again your question is wrong: “I mean prayer to receive God’s love.” You are greedy! Prayer is to love God. Yes, love comes from God a thousandfold, but that is not the desire: that is the outcome of it; not the result, but the consequence. Yes, love will come like a flood. You take one step towards God and God takes a thousand steps towards you. You give Him one drop, offer Him one drop of your love, and His whole ocean becomes available to you. Yes, that happens! But that should not be the desire. The desire is wrong. If you simply want God’s love, and that’s why you are praying, then your prayer is a bargain, then it is business. And beware of business!
Don’t make prayer a business. Let it be a pure offering: just give it out of your heart. Don’t ask for anything in return. Then much comes… thousandfold, millionfold, God flows towards you. But, again, remember: it is a consequence not a result.
Arjuna’s heart was prayerful. So Krishna was always in his life as his friend, and he could address him like “O Kṛṣṇa,” “O Yādava,” “O my friend,” even in his unconsciousness, he had prayerful heart, innocent heart. Not only Krishna but even Bhishma and Drona also used to love him.
If your heart will be as prayerful as Arjuna, Krishna will become your friend also.Tags: Prayerful Heart