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Chapter 5: Going beyond Time

.But you are always begging. You have never prayed without begging. When you don’t have anything to ask for, you don’t pray because you think, “What is the need? Everything is going so well.” That is why you don’t remember the divine when you are happy, only when you are sad. I want to tell you that God is only really remembered when he is remembered in your happiness. What you remember when you are sad is not the real God, because when you are sad, you start asking for your sorrow to be taken away. When you are happy, there is nothing to ask for, there is something to give.

Pour yourself into prayer, don’t ask for anything. Give, don’t ask. In the ultimate moment of prayer, a devotee lets go of himself at the divine’s feet; he gives himself, he offers himself.

As soon as you begin to search, you have lost. Everything is just here to be had, but in order to have it, one needs a mind that is not the mind of a beggar.

Your prayer and worship, your homage and reverence - they all become meaningless because your beggar’s mind keeps following you there too. To beg while you pray means to drench the seed you have just sowed with poison. You turn everything upside down: you want to do one thing and something else happens. It is better not to ask for anything - at least then the seed will be safe. Don’t worship - at least then the seed will not be poisoned. Save your prayers for the day when you can pray with thankfulness, with gratitude; for the day when you realize that the divine’s compassion is infinite: “You have given me so much. You have given me everything without my asking. You have given to me for no reason at all. I am not worthy, but still you have given me everything. Even though I am not worthy, still you have showered on this unworthy person. You have given me life, you have given me love, you have given me the capacity to experience bliss, you have given me the sensitivity to see beauty. You have given me all of this!” When you go to pray, go to give thanks for all of this.

On the day your prayer becomes a thanksgiving you will find that the divine has begun to descend into your prayers. As long as your prayers ask for something, you are standing in the world. Whether you are in a temple, in a mosque, or in a gurudwara - it makes no difference - you are standing in the marketplace.

And this marketplace is not something that is outside you. Don’t think that it is outside: that too creates a big fallacy. This marketplace is within you, this jostling crowd of thoughts is within you, this carnival of dreams is within you. This you, who is riding on dream horses in so many different directions, is within you. The outer marketplace is only a shadow of the marketplace within. The real marketplace is inside you.

So it sometimes happens that becoming tired of the outer marketplace, you start running towards the jungle, or you become a sannyasin. You have missed again.you have missed again. The outer marketplace was simply a projection of the inner one. The real marketplace is within. Drop this inner market! Then you will find that even the outer market is nothing but a temple. Even when you are sitting in your shop you will be in the temple.

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