When a master is praying, if the disciples can simply wait and meditate, much will happen to them. Because, when the love of the whole descends on the master, it will naturally shower on the disciples also. Only a master can pray; a disciple can only meditate. Because prayer is possible when you have known what God is. Prayer is possible when you have known the whole. Meditation is possible without knowing anything about God. In fact, for meditation, God is not needed. That’s why the religions which are based on meditation are atheistic: Jainism and Buddhism are both atheistic; they don’t believe in any God. There is no need. They are meditative religions: they simply sit and wait. Whenever they are ready, God comes. The religions of prayer: Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, don’t just sit, they run towards God. They move. You can think of Buddhism or Jainism as a silent ocean with no ripples, no waves. You can think of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, as the ocean in high tide – great waves rising to meet the sky.
Prayer is different from meditation: meditation is passivity, prayer is activity. That’s why Buddhism and Jainism teach renunciation, moving away from activity. Christianity teaches service, moving into the marketplace, going to seek and search God. But only a master can pray, because love is possible only when you know the other. How can you call God? – you don’t know. How can you call him “thou”? – you don’t know. At the most, he remains a hypothesis, and a hypothesis cannot be called “thou.” At the most it will remain “it”; it can never become a “thou.” It can be used, but cannot be loved. Nobody can love a mathematical theorem. Nobody can love the greatest formula there is, the Einsteinian formula: E = MC2. How can you love it? How can you call this formula “thou”? How can you bow down before it? How can tears go on flowing from your eyes; how can you dance around it? Maybe the formula is very great, explains much, but an explanation cannot be worshipped. God, when known, is touched as you touch your beloved, kissed as you kiss your beloved, looked deep into the eyes of as you look deep into the eyes of your beloved. Unless God comes to you like a lover, prayer is not possible. Your prayer will be false.
But a master can pray. When he is praying the sky descends over him, surrounds him, touches him from all over, from all dimensions. And if the disciples are just there, sitting silently in deep zazen, meditating, their hearts will be thrilled. The unknown will touch them also, the unknown will penetrate their beings also. Because when it rains, when God rains, it does not rain like a miser. When God rains, it rains tremendously; it fills the whole earth. Even one Jesus prays, and God rains and fills the whole earth. Wherever people are waiting silently, meditating, suddenly they will be full of him. Then prayer becomes possible, not before it. A real touch is needed, a contact is needed. God has to be touched, one has to be touched by God; only then, trust arises.
Meditation does not need God. You can discard the hypothesis and meditate. If you go on meditating, then one day God will fill your heart. But if you have a master who can pray on your behalf, who can pray for you, who can simply pray, you will gain much of which you were not yet worthy.
It is the last night, Jesus is going to leave the next day. He would like to give them a gift, a gift of God. He said to them, “Sit ye here while I go and pray yonder.” He wants to go into deep isolation, alone, because even the presence of the disciples can be a disturbance. Meditation can be done in a group. Prayer is such an intimate phenomenon; it is a meeting of two lovers. Nobody should be a witness to it, nobody should be a bystander to it, nobody should observe it. Otherwise, the very fact that somebody is there will become a jarring note. Prayer is always in the alone.