Chapter 11: Sober Up
You go on in such a way as if you are not going to die, ever. Your mind says, “Death always happens to others, never to me; it is always a phenomenon happening to others, never to me.” Even if you see a man dying you never think, “I am dying in him. His death is symbolic: the same is going to happen to me.” If you can see that you are going to die, will you be able to play these games so seriously, putting your whole life at stake for nothing? The monk was right to call in the morning, “Sober up!” Whenever you start playing a game again - with your wife, in the shop, in the market, in politics - close your eyes, call yourself and say, “Sober up!” And the monk used to reply, “Yes sir, I will make every effort that I can.”
Another thing is that he used to remember in the morning. And why the morning? The morning sets the pattern, the first thought in the morning becomes the door; hence all religions insist on at least two prayers. If you can be prayerful, that is the right thing, but if not, then say at least two prayers - one in the morning, one in the night. In the morning, when you are fresh and sleep has left you and consciousness is arising again, the first thought, the prayer, the meditation, the remembrance, will set the pattern for the whole day. That will become the door.because things move in a chain. If you are angry in the morning the whole day you will become more and more angry. The first anger creates the chain, the second anger follows easily, the third becomes automatic - and then you are in it. Then whatsoever happens around you creates anger. To be prayerful in the morning, or to be alert, to call yourself, to be mindful, sets the pattern.
In the night also, when you go to sleep, the last thought becomes the pattern for the whole sleep. If the last thought is meditative the whole sleep will become meditation; if the last thought is of sex then the whole sleep will be disturbed by sexual dreams; if the last thought is of money then the whole night you will be in the market purchasing and selling. A thought is not an accident; it creates a chain, and then things follow and similar things follow.
So pray at least twice a day. Mohammedans pray at least five times. It is beautiful, because if a man is to pray five times a day then it is almost a continuous thing. He has to remember, “Now the morning has come, now the afternoon, now the evening prayer, now the night has come..” There are gaps, but two prayers are so near that they become joined together. Look at Mohammedans praying: they are the most beautiful people for prayer. Hindus don’t look so prayerful - they will do it in the morning. But a Mohammedan has to pray five times; only then is he a Mohammedan. It is a simple rule, and five times continuously remembering sets the pattern. It becomes an inner flow; you have to come again and again to it. Between two prayers it will be difficult to be angry; between two prayers it will be difficult to be greedy; between two prayers it will be difficult to be aggressive and violent. The fundamental thing is that if what one does is continuous, there is no need for five prayers. Still there will be gaps, and you are so cunning that you can fill the gaps with something wrong and then your prayer will be affected. Then it will not be real prayer. You will be praying, but inside deep down the wrong current will go on and on and on.