Chapter 33: Prayer: Your Psychological Armor
He was removed, but without Napoleon his army was not capable of fighting Nelson, and seeing the situation of Napoleon, everybody in his army became a little afraid: something very strange was happening.
A child is weak, vulnerable, insecure. Autonomously he starts creating an armor, a protection, in different ways. For example, he has to sleep alone. It is dark and he is afraid, but he has his teddy bear, and he believes that he is not alone - his friend is with him. You will see children dragging their teddy bears at airports, at railway stations. Do you think it is just a toy? To you it is, but to the child it is a friend. And a friend when nobody else is helpful - in the darkness of the night, alone in the bed, still he is with him.
He will create psychological teddy bears. You are to be reminded that although a grown-up man may think that he has no teddy bears, he is wrong. What is his God? Just a teddy bear. Out of his childhood fear, man has created a father figure who knows all, who is all-powerful, who is everywhere present; if you have enough faith in him he will protect you. But the very idea of protection, the very idea that a protector is needed, is childish. Then you learn prayer - these are just parts of your psychological armor. Prayer is to remind God that you are here, alone in the night.
In my childhood I was always wondering.. I loved the river, which was just close by, just two minutes walk from my house. Hundreds of people used to take a bath there and I was always wondering.. In summer when they take a dip in the river they don’t repeat the name of God - Hare Krishna, Hare Rama - no. But in cold winter they repeat, “Hare Krishna, Hare Rama.” They take a quick dip, repeating, “Hare Krishna, Hare Rama.”
I was wondering, does the season make a difference? I used to ask my parents, “If these are devotees of Hare Krishna, Hare Rama, then summer is as good as winter.”
But I don’t think that it is God or prayer or religion; it is simply the cold! They are creating an armor with Hare Krishna, Hare Rama. They are diverting their minds. It is too cold, and a diversion is needed - and it helps. In summer there is no need; they simply forget all about what they have been doing the whole winter.
Our prayers, our chantings, our mantras, our scriptures, our gods, our priests, are all part of our psychological armor. It is very subtle. A Christian believes that he will be saved - nobody else. Now that is his defense arrangement. Everybody is going to fall into hell except him, because he is a Christian. But every religion believes in the same way that only they will be saved.