Prayer is not sitting in front of an idol or reciting verses or visiting a place of worship. Prayer is simply living Life fully – being content with what you have and being happy, caring and loving!
A Sufi mystic was so full of love, and so full of joy — his whole Life was laughter, music and dancing. And the story goes that God became very interested in him because he never asked God for anything; he never prayed. He felt his whole Life was a prayer, there was therefore no need to pray. He never went to the mosque, he never even uttered the name of God; his whole existence was the argument for the presence of God. If anybody asked him whether God exists or not he simply laughed — but his laughter was neither a yes nor a no.
God himself became so intrigued that he decided to pay the mystic a visit. When he met the man, God said, “I am immensely happy because that’s how I want people to be — not that they should pray for one hour and do everything against it for twenty-three hours. Not that they should become very pious when they enter the mosque, and when they go out they leave their piety in the mosque and they are just their old selves: angry, jealous, full of anxiety, hatred and violence. I have watched you and I have loved you. This is the way: you have become the prayer. You are, right now, my only argument in the world that something more than man exists — although you have never argued or vouched for my existence, you have not even uttered my name. Those are superfluous things… but you live, you love, you are so full of joy that there is no need for any language; your very presence becomes the argument for my existence. I want to give you a blessing. You can ask for anything.”
The mystic thought deeply and said, “But I don’t need anything. I am so joyous, and I cannot conceive there can be anything more. Forgive me, I cannot ask because I really don’t need anything. You are generous, you are loving, you are compassionate; but I am so over-full, there is no space within me for anything else. You will have to forgive me, I cannot ask.”
Osho, the Master, would tell this story to his followers and explain that true prayer is not an action. It is a state of being. In that state you are everything that Life is about – joyous, peaceful, abundant, loving, forgiving and giving. In that state, you don’t need an external God to pray to. You become the prayer. When you reach this stage of evolution, you even learn to wish your detractor, or someone that you can’t relate to, all success, good health and joy. Selflessly. The selfless seeking of another’s joy, success and bliss is true prayer.
It is very easy to love someone you like. But it is very difficult to love someone you don’t agree with, relate to, or even, at times, hate or have hated. Our normal tendency is to distance ourselves from people we don’t agree with or get along with. But if we make an effort, we may still be able to do our duty in a situation where such differences arise and exist, and more importantly, do that duty in peace. Prayer is about practicing to do this. Day after day after day. And include in the circle of influence of such prayer, every person we know on this planet. Slowly, our world becomes the world we always wanted to be in. Full of peace and calm. This is when, as they say, you dissolve in prayer and you realize God or discover Godliness in you!!