It was just a coincidence that you had the question and I talked about it. I was not aware of your question – I was not even aware that you are here! It is so difficult to remember sannyasins now – one hundred thousand sannyasins! If I try to remember them all, I will go crazy! I somehow manage…. Mukta goes on prompting me by the side every evening, who is coming…and then still I sometimes make a mess out of it. She says, “He has just come,” and I ask him, “When are you leaving?” Or somebody is leaving and I ask him, “When have you come?”
So what miracle?
The fourth question:
I have been praying for years, but none of my prayers has been answered. What is wrong with me and with my prayers?
Prayer simply means gratitude, thankfulness. It is not a demand, it is not a desire. And if you desire anything, then it is not prayer. Then don’t call it a prayer. And that’s what you must have been doing: desiring something, asking God, “Do this, do that for me.” And because he is not doing it, you are becoming frustrated. And rather than thinking that something is fundamentally wrong in the very idea of prayer that you are carrying in you, you may be even suspecting whether God exists or not.
Prayer is not a demand on God, it is not a desire for something. If it is, then it will never reach to him. Desires are heavy things. They gravitate towards the earth, they can’t fly into the sky.
When you have a pure gratitude, when you are not asking anything but simply feeling thankful for all that he has already done for you…and he has done more than you are worthy of, he has done more than you deserve. Just look at what he has done for you! He has given you life and love and joy. He has given you a tremendous sensitivity for beauty. He has given you awareness. He has given you the possibility of becoming a buddha. What more do you want?
Feel thankful, and then prayers have wings, they can fly; they reach to the ultimate. Then the earth cannot pull them downwards. Then they start rising, soaring upwards, they levitate. With desire the prayer gravitates downwards; it cannot levitate.
But millions of people go on praying with this wrong attitude: they pray only when they need something.
The Texan was on his knees in church giving thanks for all his blessings.
“Of course,” he added, “I am grateful for my six houses, although I could use two or three more. Now, I am grateful for my Rolls and six Cadillacs, but I could use a couple more yachts to add to my collection. And I know I should be grateful for the banks I own, but could you see your way clear to give me five more to make it an even dozen?”
A little man kneeled next to him and talked up to God: “I need bread and a job – I would be so grateful.”