The first question:
I have heard you say not to ask for anything in our prayers. Then why does Jesus say to us, “When you pray, say: Give us our daily bread. Forgive us our trespasses. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”? And also Jesus himself asked, “My father, if it is possible, let this cup pass me by, yet not as I will, but as thou wilt.”
Religion has a long history. Much of it is only a hangover from the past. The real religion, the essential religion is possible only now, because man has come of age. The past of humanity was very childish – not child-like, remember, but childish. And it was bound to be so; it was inevitable, unavoidable. So I am not complaining about it, I am simply stating the fact that whenever you think of religion, never think in terms of the past, otherwise you will have a totally wrong orientation. Think more in terms of the present.
When you think of the Theory of Relativity, you don’t bring Newton in. You know he did contribute something to scientific growth, but his days are over. We are grateful for whatsoever he did, whatsoever he could do, but with Albert Einstein, Newton was finished. He will remain only a footnote in the history of scientific growth.
The same is true about religion, about every human endeavor. When you are going to the moon in a spaceship, the man who invented the bullock cart has certainly contributed immensely. Without the bullock cart there would have been no possibility of the spaceship, but you don’t go on worshipping the man who invented the bullock cart. You don’t even remember his name. And while you are involved with a spaceship, it is better to forget all about bullock carts. They are not going to help; their mechanism is out of date.
But about religion we are not so rational; about religion we are very emotional. About religion we are not so scientific. About religion we are very illogical, superstitious.
Religion has passed through two phases. The first phase was that of prayer; that is the bullock cart era of religion. The second phase is meditation, that is the spaceship age of religion. They are totally different dimensions. Their sources are different, their workings are different, their whole milieu is different. And one should not get confused between the two.