Sufis say, if you really want to pray, pray in such a way that nobody knows that you are a man of prayer. In the middle of the night when even your wife is snoring, sit silently in the bed and pray, and so silently that nobody comes to know. Don’t make a fuss.
The real man of prayer hides and prays, and the pseudo makes much noise about it. In fact, his prayer is nothing but noise; he goes to the temple shouting. In India, every temple has a big bell; he rings the bell so the whole neighbourhood knows. And if there are many people in the temple, then his prayer becomes very long; if there is nobody, he finishes quickly. What is the point?… there is nobody to see. If there is a photographer, then see how prayerful he is, how his face becomes divine! If the news reporters are there, then he will do real prayer. You will see his humbleness, his simplicity. He will fall down on the ground, he will roll on the ground, he will cry and weep—all are crocodile tears, because when nobody is there he does not care a bit.
Sufis say, pray in a way that nobody knows. Why? For the simple reason that ego is cunning. It wants to brag; it wants to brag even about religion, about spirituality, about prayer, about meditation. It does not matter what it brags about. It will brag about money, it will brag about meditation, it will brag about power, it will brag about prayer. “I am doing something special, something great, something extraordinary. Don’t think that I am nobody…I am somebody!”
The world is full of noise and haste. Why is the world so full of noise? Because each mind is noisy, and the world consists of minds; hence there is so much noise. The whole world has become almost a madhouse. Everybody is shouting and nobody is hearing. Everybody is talking almost to himself; the other is only an excuse.
Just look at your conversations: when the other is talking you are simply pretending to listen, just pretending to listen. Inside you are working on your own. And then you will find a word, a sentence, a statement that you can use as a jumping-board, and then you start talking. Your talking is nothing to do with what he has said; it has a connection with what was going on inside you, it is a continuum inside you; he is just an excuse. That’s why people never agree, because they never hear. Husbands never hear what the wife is saying, wives never hear what the husband is saying, children never hear what the parents are saying. Nobody hears! Everybody at the most pretends. The world is full of noise because the world is full of insane minds.
The world can be really silent only when there are many, many meditators. Only when the world consists of a great majority of meditators, will there be a profound silence, an almost tangible silence. You can touch it, you can taste it, you can smell its perfume.
We are living out of noise and everybody is in a hurry. There is great haste, everybody is rushing. Nobody knows where, nobody knows why…just a deep restlessness. You can’t sit; if you sit, others won’t allow you. They will say, “Don’t just sit there, do something!” And I say to you, “Don’t just do something, sit there!” Nothing is better than something. But people say just the opposite; they say, “Something is better than nothing. Do something!”
When you see the whole world rushing, you start rushing. We force children to run. That’s what our whole educational system is meant for, from the primary school to the university. Twenty-five years we waste on every person—almost one-third of the life to teach him to rush. Then twenty-four hours in his day it is rush hour! He is never anywhere for a single moment. He cannot see the beauty of the trees because he cannot sit underneath the trees—Buddha must have known the beauty of the trees—he cannot see the beauty of the stars, he cannot see the beauty of people. In fact, when he is in Kabul he is rushing to Katmandu, when he is in Katmandu he is rushing to Poona, when he is in Poona he is rushing to Goa! He is never where he is; his mind is always ahead of him, planning how to reach there. And if you ask him, “For what?” he will say, “We will enjoy!” And he is not enjoying this moment—how can he enjoy any other moment? He has lost all capacity to enjoy herenow; his only enjoyment is planning, always planning, planning to enjoy.
There are people who are working their whole lives just waiting for their retirement; then they will relax and enjoy. And they know perfectly well: six days they work in the office and wait for the seventh day, the holiday, and hope, “Soon Sunday will come and we will relax and enjoy.” And they cannot relax and they cannot enjoy. In fact, the holiday seems to be so long and so boring; they have to fill it with something.
They go for a picnic. The same things that they would have eaten at home, relaxedly, now they rush to a picnic spot miles away to eat. And they are sitting in the grass, and ants are clever; they know perfectly well where the picnic spots are. Their astrologers tell them, “Go ahead, that is the place!” And the mosquitoes, they are always there waiting for you. They say, “Hello, so you have come!” And then quickly people finish because they have to reach home, and they rush. And cars are going there bumper to bumper. And many more accidents happen on Sunday than on any other day, many more deaths on the road than on any other day. Strange! Some holiday!
And the whole city is going to the same picnic spot, the same beach! I have seen pictures of beaches and I cannot believe what is happening. There is not even space to walk! They are packed—no marketplace is so packed! And all kinds of fools are there. Six hours it takes them to reach the beach, then for one hour they lie down amidst this whole mass of fools under the sun, and then back home… And the whole way they were quarrelling with the wife and the wife is quarrelling with the husband… This you can do at home more at ease, relaxed in an armchair—nag each other, do whatsoever you want! What is the point of going to the beach? Nobody is seeing the sea, nobody is seeing the sun. Nobody has time.
And these same people think that when they are retired they will rest…they cannot. Sixty years of habits, how can you drop them? Impossible. They have become so deep-rooted that people suffer more when they are retired than they have ever suffered, because nobody knows how to rest, how to relax. This is sheer madness!
The only thing worth remembering again and again is: what peace there may be in silence. Give a little time, energy, to silent moments, because only in silent moments will you know what peace is. And the person who has tasted something of peace is rich, is immensely rich—all others are beggars—because he starts knowing the inner kingdom of godliness. Peace is the door to the inner kingdom of godliness. Silence helps you to know peace and peace leads you into godliness.
Excerpted from Guida Spirituale/Courtesy:Osho International Foundation/www.osho.com
This was first published in the April 2012 issue of Complete Wellbeing.
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