Those who were in the presence of Jesus, those who were in his satsang – those who lived close, those who lived in his milieu – breathed him. If you allow me to say it, those who drank him and ate him, who allowed him to enter into their innermost shrine…. That transformed, not the prayer; prayer was just an excuse to be with him. Even without prayer it would have happened, but without prayer they might not have found an excuse to be with him.
You are here with me. I go on inventing meditations for you. They are just excuses so that you can be here a little longer, a little while more, so that you can linger around me – because nobody knows when my presence will touch you. Nothing can be said about it; it cannot be manipulated. It happens when it happens; nothing can be done directly for it. Just be here. Even without meditations the thing will happen, but without meditations you won’t have any excuse to be here.
I go on talking to you. Even without talk it can happen, it will happen, but if I don’t talk, by and by you will disappear because you won’t have an excuse. What are you doing here? I have to give you something to do so that you can be. I have to engage you and occupy you so that you don’t feel restless. The thing is going to happen from some other dimension, but when you are occupied that dimension remains open. If you are not occupied, you become too restless. All meditations and all prayers and all methods are toys invented for children to play with, but that is useful, very significant. Once you are occupied your innermost shrine is open to me – you are not restless, you are doing meditation – and then I can do my work. It is not good to say that I do my work, then it starts happening.
You are right, twenty years of Christian teaching, listening to The New Testament stories, may have been futile – not because those stories are futile, they are superb as far as stories go. The poetry of The New Testament, the poetry of the whole Bible, is something not of this world. There are great poets – Shakespeare and Milton and Dante – but nobody can surpass the Bible. The poetry is tremendously simple, but it has some quality which ordinary poetry cannot have. It has awe; that is the religious quality.
Have you watched sometimes? You see a beautiful flower. You may appreciate it, it has an aesthetic quality. You appreciate it and you move ahead. You may see a beautiful face, even the face of a Cleopatra – the lines, the proportion, the marble-like body – but that too is aesthetic. And sometimes you come across a few things or a few beings that inspire not only aesthetic appreciation, but awe. What is awe?
Facing some thing or some being, thinking stops. Your mind cannot cope with it. You can cope with a Cleopatra, you can even cope with an Einstein – howsoever abstruse, abstract, difficult, you can cope with it, just a little more training of the mind may be needed – but when you come across a Jesus or a Buddha the mind falls flat, it bogs down. Something is too much for it. You cannot think about anything, you are as if in a deep shock – and yet the shock is blissful. That is awe.