So if you are doing the prayer just to feel well-being, there is no harm, it is perfectly good. But it has nothing to do with the search for truth. It has nothing to do with the inquiry into your own being.
Meditation moves inwards; prayer directs you outwards. That’s why I say their dimensions are polar opposites. Prayer needs a God, an object. And you can have any kind of object. Hindus have thirty-three million gods. Why have just one, when you are going to imagine? Why be so miserly? Hindus have gods in abundance. You can choose, according to your liking, any kind of god.
To outsiders it looks very strange, but they don’t understand the psychology of prayer. It does not matter what you are praying, to whom your prayer is addressed. All that matters is that you should be concentrated.
You can do the same just lying down looking at the light bulb without blinking your eyes, praying – at least the light bulb is not your imagination, it is there – and soon you will fall into a hypnotic trance. And when you wake up you will feel very refreshed, rejuvenated, livelier than ever, younger.
So nothing is wrong as far as all these things are concerned. The problem is, if you think this is religio, this is spiritual growth, then you are falling into a very dangerous fallacy.
Religion is a journey inwards, and meditation is the way. What meditation actually does is, it takes you, your consciousness, as deep as possible. Even your own body becomes something outside. Even your own mind becomes something outside. Even your own heart – which is very close to the center of your being – becomes outside. When your body, mind and heart, all three, are seen as outside, you have come to the very center of your existence.
This coming to the center is a tremendous explosion which transforms everything. You will never be the same man again, because now you know the body is only the outer shell; the mind is a little bit inner, but not really your inner core; the heart is a little bit more inner, but still not the innermost center. You are disidentified with all the three.
It is because of this that George Gurdjieff used to call his way “the fourth way” – because if you can transcend these three, you reach the fourth, beyond which there is no way to go. You have come to the very end.
But this gives you many experiences. You start feeling, for the first time, crystallized, not that old wishy-washy person you had always been. For the first time you start feeling a tremendous energy, inexhaustible energy that you were not aware of. For the first time you know that death will happen only to the body, to the mind, to the heart, but not to you.
You are eternal. You have always been here, and you will always be here – in different forms, and ultimately in a state of formlessness. But you cannot be destroyed, you are indestructible. That takes all fear from you. And the disappearance of fear is the appearance of freedom. The disappearance of fear is the appearance of love.