Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Krishnamurti Quote of the Day

Frognerseteren, Norway | 3rd Public Talk, September 9, 1933

Questioner: Do you believe in the efficacy of prayer, and the value of prayer that is directed out of wholehearted sympathy to the misfortune and suffering of others? Cannot prayer, in the right sense, ever bring about the freedom of which you speak?

Krishnamurti: When we use the word prayer, I think we use it with a very definite meaning. As it is generally understood, it means praying to someone outside of ourselves to give us strength, understanding, and so on. That is, we are looking for help from an external source. When you are suffering and you look to another to relieve you from that suffering, you are but creating in your mind, and therefore in your action, incompleteness, duality. So from my point of view, prayer, as it is commonly understood, has no value. You may forget your suffering in your prayer, but you have not understood the cause of suffering. You have merely lost yourself in prayer; you have suggested to yourself certain modes of living. So prayer in the ordinary sense of the word, that is, looking to another for relief from suffering, has to me no value.

But if I may use the word with a different meaning, I think there is prayer which is not a looking to another for help; it is a continued alertness of mind, an awakened state in which you understand for yourself. In that state of prayer you know the cause of suffering, the cause of confusion, the cause of a problem. Most of us, when we have a problem, immediately seek a solution. When we find a solution we think that we have solved the problem, but we have not. We have only escaped from it. Prayer, in the conventional meaning of the word, is thus an escape. But real prayer, I feel, is action with awakened interest in life.

Tags: prayer

Related Quotes
You have to become intensely aware of the cause of this prison, of this continual building up of securities, comforts and escapes, in which the mind is engaged.
Question: I should like to know if we need to pray, and how to pray.
A man who prays can never understand what is meditation, because he is concerned with gain.
Question: Is not the longing expressed in prayer a way to God?
Can the immeasurable, the unutterable, be concerned with our petty little worries, miseries, confusions, which we ourselves have created?
When the mind is supplicating, petitioning, it is comparatively still; and when you hear the inner voice, it is your own voice projecting itself into that comparatively still mind.
Concentration is brought about through effort, compulsion, direction, imitation, and so concentration is a process of exclusion.