Champions of Hope - complete

When we kill each other, we kill ourselves!
May 18, 2016
Prem Rawat came to South Africa to speak about peace in 1972. He was 14 years old. Nelson Mandela was in prison, serving a life sentence (before his 1990 publish) for his attempts to overturn its brutal Apartheid regime. When government officials discovered that the young Prem was addressing racially mixed audiences, they told him he could only speak to segregated racial groups. Prem refused, and the government blacklisted him. He was probably the youngest person ever to be blacklisted by the Apartheid regime for refusing to hold segregated events. Standing up to the regime was an extraordinary example of Prem’s courage.

MC: (Tumi Mahasha)

I would like to welcome onstage, Mr. Ernest Leketi.

Ernest Leketi

Deeply inspired by Prem Rawat’s message of peace,
Ernest Leketi and his team have shared it with over
1,500 people in Soweto, South Africa.

Ernest Leketi:
Thank you! I’ve become very ... very emotional. [Audience: Why?] Because we started from small beginnings. When we started the Peace Education Program, we were very few. Let me share this with you—because for us to master the future, we must be clear with our history!

His Excellency Mr. Prem Rawat ... was blacklisted in South Africa in 1972. He was blacklisted by then, regime, by then, government to say, “No, you are not going to address a united country. You are not going to address ... different racial groups.”

And he refused. He said, “No, I’m not going to do that. I want to address people, all of them, Black and White together.” And they said, “No, you are not going to do that.” He said, “No, okay; it’s fine. I’m going.” And he was blacklisted in South Africa.

Then he came to Soweto again in 2014, after those years. Can you imagine, 1972 to 2014? It’s a long time.

So, South Africa, we have to unite. It doesn’t matter how we differ in regard to the political views. But the reality is that, we must take this country forward. His Excellency, you are in Orlando. You are in the home of champions.

Bishop Desmond Tutu? Vilakazi! Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela? Vilakazi, here in Orlando. Utata Ultasi Zulu [sp], Vilakazi, here in Soweto. Let me take this opportunity to really welcome onstage, the father of many nations, a human being just like you and me, who’s in the journey, just like you and me.

A founder of the Peace Education Program, international Ambassador of Peace, international speaker, Ubaba U-Prem Rawat! [sp] You are welcomed onstage.

You are welcomed.

Onscreen text:
Prem Rawat

Prem Rawat:
Distinguished guests, I would like to say one little thing before I begin. Yesterday was a, a very historical day for me—and again, today is a very historical day for me. Yesterday I was on two radio shows in one day.

And, this is what I want to say—is that, in one of the radio shows, people were asking me questions. And everybody, in a way, who called ... was saying how difficult the situation is—[Individual: Yeah, why?] that nobody is interested in peace; that people are angry, people don’t have hope....

I would like to say today ... to all those people, “There is hope.” And that there is a lot of goodness here. There may be problems, but there is a lot of good here! And what is my proof? My proof is you. [Individual: Thank you!] You! You are here! Please, give yourself a hand.

Louder! Louder! [Audience: Yay!]

There’s no question in my mind ... that the good has not died. Good is alive, and good is well. [Individual: Is that true?] You are here. [Individuals: Yes!] This is your goodness—and the hard work of the Peace Education team. They have done so much! And believe me, all of us, we have just begun. We have just begun. This is just a beginning.

So, that’s that. Now, what do I want to tell you? I want to tell you this. A few years back, a scientist decided to do an experiment—and he took a huge mirror, bigger than this backdrop, huge mirror, and he put it in the jungle. He put it in the jungle.

And of course you know, monkeys are the most curious, right? [Audience: Mmm, that’s right.] So they came! And they stood in front of the mirror—and they started screaming! Showing their teeth! Hitting the mirror! Freaking out—then they would run away.

Then, a big gorilla ... came. And he went in front of the mirror and he screamed! And he beat his chest to say, “Who are you?”

And he was angry! He was very angry. And he screamed, and he beat his chest again, and he paced back and forth and back and forth and back and forth.... Why? Do you know why? Do you know why? [Audience: No!] He did not recognize himself. [Individuals: Oh, that’s right! Oh!]

That gorilla he was seeing was not an enemy! It was him! Are we seeing ourselves in the mirror ... and not recognizing ourselves? [Individuals: Yeah! Yeah.]

When we kill each other, we kill ourselves! [Audience: Yes, that’s right.] When we rob from each other, we rob from ourselves ... because you, and you, and you, and you, and you ... are my reflection.

You, and you, and you are each other’s reflection in that mirror. When you become angry at each other, you become only angry at yourself! [Individuals: That’s true!] When you tell a lie, you tell a lie to yourself. When you harm each other, you only harm yourself! [Audience: Oh, yes, we do do that.] Because you do not recognize ... it’s you.

This is you! Not somebody else. It is not a question of ideals. Where South Africa wants to go—you see, you don’t travel as much as I do. So you think this is only South Africa’s problem—no, this is the world problem. [Individual: That’s right!]

In the whole world people are not recognizing themselves—that “this is just me.” From America to South America, to Australia, to the Pacific, to Europe, to Africa, to India, to everywhere, [Individual: West Africa!] it is the same problem. And if South Africa wants to be where it wants to be—like Ernest said, to be a nation of milk and honey...!

(Which only—it doesn’t mean literally, “milk and honey.”) [Individuals: Yeah, right.] You don’t want to be a nation of milk and honey. If you become a nation of milk and honey, you will have a lot of flies.

But it is just a saying, to say, “of plenty!” [Individual: Yeah!] If you want to be that nation, it is possible. If you dream of a nation where people are kind to each other, this is possible. If you want to be a nation where people care for each other, this is possible!

If you want to be a nation where people help each other, this is possible! It is possible! [Individual: Yes, we want this.] But, you will have to unite. You will have to stop fighting your own reflection. You will have to come together! You will have to debate. You will have to understand. And you can go forward.

Who are you? You are a human being. What is a human being? A human being is someone who can feel pain ... and a human being is someone who can feel joy. “Wow! Feel pain, and feel joy? How can that be?” But that’s who you are!

You can be clear, or you can be confused! [Individual: Yeah, we can. True.] You can be clear, or you can be confused! You can be in sorrow, or you can be in joy! And all you have to do—is understand what you want in your life.

Choice! Choice! What do you choose? Time for a story. You like my stories, so I’ll tell you stories. [Individual: Yes, we do.] Most people have heard it—but some of you haven’t, here.

Once upon a time, there was a tribe living in a valley. And in this tribe there was a boy. And the boy went to the chief ... and said, “Chief, I have a question.” And the chief said, “What is your question?”

And he said, “Why, why is it that sometimes people are good ... and then, same people who are good, sometimes they’re bad! I mean, how can this be? I mean, good would be good; bad would be bad. But these—sometimes these people are good—and sometimes these people are bad! How can this be?” [Individual: Indeed!]

So the chief said, “Inside all of us there are two wolves, a good wolf—and a bad wolf. And they fight each other—they fight each other.” So the boy thought—and he said, “Why?” He said, “Oh, they fight each other so that they can have supremacy over you.”

So then the boy thought some more—and he said, “Chief, who wins? Who wins, the good wolf ... or the bad wolf?” And the chief said, (are you ready for this?) [Audience: Yes, we are.] The chief said, “The one you feed—because the wolf you feed becomes strong! And that wolf wins.”

Which wolf do you feed? Which wolf do you feed? Who are jealous? Why—and why are human beings jealous? Do you know? Do you know? [Audience: No, we don’t. No.] Well, you are jealous sometimes, aren’t you? [Individuals: Yes!]

So why are you jealous? If I see ... that Ernest can sing better than me. And, I am afraid, afraid ... that I will never be able to sing better than Ernest, then what will I be? [Audience: Jealous.] Jealous.

When we see a rich man—and we are afraid that we will never be like him, what happens? We become jealous! [Individuals: Yes, exactly.]

If you see a man with one cow walking on the street—and you have two cows at home, will you be jealous? [Individuals: No. Right.] Will you? [Audience: No. No.] But—why not?! You don’t have any cow right now with you. Your cows are at home! And he has one cow, and he’s walking with his cow. So why aren’t you jealous!?

Because you know you’ve got two at home! You’re not afraid. [Individual: Right.] Fear ... makes you jealous! Have you ever been angry? [Audience: Yes. Yes.] Why? Do you know why you were angry? [Individual: No, we don’t know—rejection?] Same reason as jealousy—fear. You were afraid. When you’re not afraid, you have no reason to be angry. [Individuals: Yeah, and that’s the truth. Yeah! We know this is right.]

If somebody who is taller than you, bigger than you, comes at you like this ... will you be afraid? [Audience: Yes. Yes.] A little baby about this big ... comes at you like this. Will you be afraid? [Audience: No!] You’re not afraid of the baby—but you are afraid of ... being hurt by this person—fear! [Individual: Yeah!]

You see, fear is not responsible for just one thing. Fear is responsible for a lot of problems! [Individual: Yes, sir.] People become depressed! Have you ever been depressed? [Individual: Yes, we have.] There are a lot of people in South Africa that are depressed right now. Why? Because they’re afraid ... nothing good will happen in South Africa. [Individuals: Yeah, that’s true—that’s very true.]

Should they be afraid? No! If you come together—because, either you can be afraid, or you can be doing something. When you’re doing something, you won’t be afraid. Live from your heart! Live from the genuine place. Be a human! Don’t be afraid to be a human—human is good.

See, this is why we need Supermen—because we don’t believe in human beings.

Somebody said to me on Facebook, when I went to the radio show, “We need people like him, father of this nation.” And I said to me, “I don’t want to be father of this nation.” You know what I want to be? I don’t want to be father of this nation. I want to be a friend of this nation. [Individuals: Yeah!]

And who should you be? [Individuals: We don’t know.] Who should you be? You should be a friend of this nation—not a citizen of this nation—you should be a friend of this nation. You should be a friend of this earth! [Individual: Yeah, okay, and we’ll do that.] Friend! Not foe—friend. [Individuals: And we have to do that.]

Today, you have two roads ... in front of you. One road ... is to continue and hope for the best! And the other road ... is to take the destiny in your own hands, and say, “I will have the best. And I’m going to do something about having the best.”

Now the question becomes, “What do you do for the joy?” What do you do for the joy? Do you allow your problems to affect you? Do you allow your problems to affect you? [Individuals: Yes.] Do you? [Individuals: Yes!] Do you? Your problems come—do they affect you? [Individual: Yes. They do.] They shouldn’t!

They shouldn’t. [Individual: Definitely!] They shouldn’t. They shouldn’t. But if you don’t want the problems to affect you, you will have to live your life consciously. [Individual: Okay. Yes.] What I say—I say this! It would be incredible f the “dark continent”—(that’s what Africa is called, “the dark continent,”) gave light to the whole world.

And it would only be appropriate! Because this continent is the birthplace of humanity! This is where it all began—this is the birthplace of humanity! [Audience: Yes.] You’re a small nation—but that doesn’t matter. It is the size of the heart that matters. [Individuals: Yes. Thank you. That’s true. That’s good.]

To remove darkness you don’t need a light as long as the road. To remove the darkness you don’t need light as long as the road, so far, so far it is able to light in front of you ... for as long as the road is ... that you have to travel.

It doesn’t need to be that big! It, the light can be very small—but it can illuminate what is in front of you. You don’t need to see where you have been—and you don’t need to see where you might end up in three days. In front of you—that is enough.

Same way, illuminate your path, your journey in this life. But what you have to do—is, you have to be a lit lamp. Only a lit lamp can light other unlit lamps. You have to be a lit lamp.

So, with that good news—and the good news is, if you want to bring a profound change in your life, of joy, of clarity, of understanding, this is possible—and it is up to you.

Ernest Leketi:
We thank you for the wonderful message. Colleagues, we are going to have the Q&A session....

Individual: [male]
And when you said that, “Fear makes you jealous,” the question is, to which extent does fear make you jealous? Thank you.

Prem Rawat:
To what extent the fear—(was, I think that was the question,) works into jealousy? Hundred percent. Hundred percent. Hundred percent. If—okay, I’m going to go back to the example of the lion. If the lion sees you, he’s not, he’s not jealous you’re wearing pants. The lion is not jealous you have sunglasses. [Individual: Yeah, the lion’s okay about it.]

If you are huge, the lion doesn’t care. [Individuals: No.] Because the lion knows it can take you!—has no fear of you. No fear of you. But you, you are afraid of the lion. You see the lion’s might, and you go, “Whoa! I want to get away; I want to run away!” You hear the roar of the lion, and you go, “Oh, my God, what is that?”

You see, we fear the unknown ... first. What we don’t know, we fear it. We fear ... that we will not succeed, that we will not be successful in life. We fear, (not knowing ourselves,) we fear that we will never amount to anything. Because this is what the world tells us! “You are poor! You are this! You are that!”

And the fear of failure—everybody has the fear of failure! (Actually that even sounds right: “Fear of failure.”) Everybody is afraid to fail. Everybody’s afraid to fail. The musician is afraid he will play the wrong note! The mother is afraid she won’t raise the child properly.

The cook is afraid he may put too much salt in the food. And you are afraid ... that nothing good will come your way. Sometimes, the things that divide us are unfortunately, things that we have been taught!

We have been taught by our parents, “Study hard, study hard”—and my parents used to tell me, “Study hard, study hard, so when you grow up you will be successful.” Right? [Individuals: Yeah, that’s it.] “Work hard, work hard so that one day you will be successful.”

Nobody tells you, you are successful. So I tell you, I tell you ... that if breath is coming into you, you are successful.” [Individual: Thank you!] Start from that. Start from that. That’s your first success. That’s your first success. [Individuals: Okay. Yeah.]

Misunderstandings—about what is success, of what is good, what is right, what is wrong. Harm? How many rules do you think countries have? I could—I couldn’t even count! All they need is one simple rule: “Harm no one.” That’s the only rule you need!

And, and, in that “no one,” you are included! “Harm no one.” You don’t harm yourself, and don’t harm others. When you waste your time, who do you harm? [Audience: Ourselves, yeah!] When you’re confused, who do you harm? [Individuals: Yourself.] When you are afraid, who do you harm? [Individuals: Yourself.] Harm no one. That’s the only rule you need!

So, I hope that answers your question. [Individual: Yes.]

Langa Classte: [sp]
Okay, my question is this. After every storm, and when we experience rainfall in our lives, with that comes a growth spurt, right? How then do we manage the weeds—or what measures can I put there to prevent the weeds from you know, overcoming this growth spurt that I’m currently experiencing?

Prem Rawat:
Very, a very good question, and I have an answer for you—and this is the answer I will give you. The rain will come. The rain will come. It will. It may take a little longer than before, but rain will come. And when the rain comes, growth will happen.

So there was a farm. And so they decided they were going to make a crop, and sow the seeds. When they got to the farm they realized there were a lot of weeds—so they started to pull the weeds. And they kept pulling the weeds, and pulling the weeds, and pulling the weeds, and pulling the weeds, and pulling the weeds, and pulling the weeds, and pulling the weeds.

They were so busy pulling the weeds ... that when the time came for the crop to be ready, there was no crop! You know why? Because nobody planted the crop! Plant the crop! [Individual: True!] The weeds can be always pulled out—but there is a season for the seeds. There is no season for pulling out the weeds—you can pull them day or night; they don’t care.

But there is a season for the seed—and you have to be ready, as a farmer, for that. So, don’t worry about the weeds! Plant the crop! This is what I am trying to tell the whole world.

Everybody is like, “Oh, yeah, but there is this wrong. And there is this wrong. And there is this wrong.” It’s like, everybody’s trying to pull out the weeds, and, “Pull out the weeds, pull out the weeds, pull out the weed, pull out the....” “And, hey, anybody ... plant the seeds?” [Individual: And no, we haven’t done that, right.]

I mean, if you are not going to have a crop, why are you even interested in the weeds? [Individual: That’s true.] What’s the point!? [Individual: Yeah!] You know, if everybody is fine, suffering—why have hope? [Individual: Yeah, really, it’s true.]

If you are quite content bickering with each other—fear, jealousy, everything...? [Individual: Yeah, we do do that.]

There is a fundamental question: “Is greed ... normal to a human being?” [Individuals: We don’t know that.]

It’s a very important question—“Is greed normal to a human being?” So, here is the answer. “Up to a certain point—but it’s limited.” Food, you can only eat so much. After that you will stop. And if others come to eat, you will have no problem.

Water, same way. You cannot drink too much water! [Individual: Yeah.] You cannot drink too much water—after you’re satisfied, your thirst is gone, you will be happy to leave and let other people come and go, and enjoy the water.

But today, the greed for the fame and the wealth has become so significant—and why?

Why? I’ll tell you why. I call it “the Bolly-Holly dreams.” (That’s Bollywood and Hollywood.) They are the dream-makers! They are the dream-makers! They are the ones who say, “You are not pretty, because you don’t look like Beyoncé. [Individuals: Yeah! That is true.]

“You don’t sing so well, because you don’t sing like Beyoncé. [Individuals: That is true, definitely.] And this is the dream you should have. Your house should look like this, and your clothes should look like this, and you should be doing this....”

And you go, “Ah-hah, yeah. That’s what I should have; that’s how I should be. I want to look like Beyoncé.” [Individual: We do.]

No. No. No. No, no-no-no-no-no. If you know yourself ... if you really understand yourself, you will go, “How come Beyoncé doesn’t look like me?” [Individuals: Yeah!]

You, you are beautiful. You are intelligent. [Individuals: Yes.] You are full of kindness. [Individuals: And yes, we are doing that.] Please, just don’t feed the wrong wolf! [Individual: Yes!] Don’t feed the bad wolf, only the good wolf. [Individuals: Yes.] So I hope that answers your question—about the weeds.

[Individual: Good. Good, yeah.]

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