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Chapter 2: Gratitude Is the Only Prayer

Can one really miss you? When love and this incredible pull are there, can one really go astray?

Prem Anugraho, it seems almost impossible to miss the goal when you are just one foot away, but people have missed even then. How far away was Judas from Jesus? He was his most cultured, educated and sophisticated disciple. In fact, he was the only one who was educated amongst all the others; and he was really close. But life always remains unknown: it is not something like mathematics or logic, where you can come to a conclusion.

Just because he was so close, he missed. It is very illogical, but if you go deep down, you can understand the psychology of it. Because he was very close, he was hoping - perhaps unknowingly - that he would be the successor of Jesus. I am not saying he was intentionally trying to be the successor. In fact, it was obvious that there was nobody else except Judas to succeed Jesus. In every way he was qualified. In every way Jesus showered his love and his blessings on him.

But the day Jesus said, “Nobody is going to be my successor. I have not come here to create a dynasty, because my kingdom is of the other world. It is the kingdom of God,” that distance of just one foot became a distance of thousands of miles. The same night, Judas betrayed Jesus. He sold him to the enemies for only thirty silver pieces. Of course, it was done in a very emotional, hasty way - again unconsciously.

This is the trouble with man. His actions are not conscious. Hence you cannot even condemn him. He is groping like a blind man in darkness, not knowing where he is going and why he is going. He becomes a little alert when it is too late, when he has done it. And then, there is no way to undo it.

When Judas sold Jesus for thirty pieces of silver, he was not aware exactly of what he was doing and what it was going to lead to. On the day Jesus was crucified, Judas was in the crowd with tears in his eyes and he threw away those thirty pieces of silver. He had never thought that this was going to be the consequence of an act done in anger, rage, frustration - he was not thinking that this would mean crucifixion.

And twenty-four hours after Jesus’ crucifixion, he hanged himself in a tree, committed suicide. Christians don’t talk about Judas much. In fact, his psychology should be understood more clearly, because he is not alone. It has been happening almost always, with every great master. Strangely enough, those who were very close have gone far away. And those who were far away - had never thought, dreamed, of being very close - came close.

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