Question: More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of. Mahatma Gandhi has wonderfully exemplified its efficacy in his daily life. If individuals without distraction and materialistic aggrandizement lift their hearts to God in penitent prayer, then the mercy of God will dispel the catastrophe that has overtaken the world. Is this not the right attitude to develop?
Krishnamurti: We must differentiate between prayer and meditation. What do we mean by prayer? Generally it means supplication or petition. You demand, beg, or ask from what you call God, something which you want. To put it plainly it means that you are in need and you pray. You are in suffering and you pray. You are mentally confused and you pray. That is, you petition or you supplicate somebody to tell you what to do. To whom are you praying? You say to God. But surely God or Truth is something unknown and which cannot be formulated. If you say I know God it is no longer God. God and Truth are not created. it must come to you and you cannot go to it and ask. When you ask you are creating it and therefore it ceases to be God or Truth. So before you ask, you must know whether you want peace from God, that is, Truth. When you yourself create this chaos in this world you look to another for help. So God cannot give you peace, because it is your fabrication. What is the good of praying? Is not then prayer an escape? Please do not bring personalities into it. Let us think about it directly. It does not matter who prays. Once a person in America came to see me and he said that he had prayed to God to give him a refrigerator and he said that he had the refrigerator. But you pay for it in the end. If you want peace you will have it, but it will not be peace, it will only be decay, stagnation and regimentation. Peace is something very dynamic which is creative and you cannot have something creative through supplication. But prayer is completely different from meditation.
Public Talk 26th October, 1947