Sanjay Giri Goswami: Today, we have with us Mr. Prem Rawat. Mr. Rawat, I have heard a lot about you. Many people talk about you. But everyone wants to know, who is Mr. Rawat? What does he want? What is Mr. Rawat's vision? And how did Mr. Rawat's journey begin?
Prem Rawat: Firstly, my heartfelt greetings to all of your audiences. And I have this opportunity to talk about my message. I'm very pleased about that. I have a deep connection with Uttarakhand. So when I found out that you were coming, I was happy to have this opportunity.
Sanjay Giri Goswami: We are very fortunate to have you on our channel today, and you're giving us a live interview.
Prem Rawat: So I'd like to answer your question this way. There is an ocean. And there are countless drops in that ocean. And I am one of those many drops. I'm not yet in the ocean; I'm still a drop. But one day, I will merge with that ocean. And this is going to be the case with everyone. The thing is, when I merge with the ocean, I won't remain a drop. I will become the ocean.
Sanjay Giri Goswami: You will become a part of the ocean.
Prem Rawat: There's no separation. An ocean is an ocean. We identify them separately: Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean ...They are not separated. They're all one. And as long as I am a drop, I'm not the ocean. But there's an ocean within me. Quoting couplet by Kabir: "There's a drop in the ocean, everyone knows. But that the ocean resides within a drop, only a few know." So this is not the case just with me, but with everyone. And what is my journey? Where did I begin? One day I was born, and one day I have to go.
Whatever I learned, whatever I understood, if I don't realize it in my life today, then when would I do it? When I become the ocean? I will no longer have a personality. Lord Krishna says to Arjun, "There's a big difference between you and me. And that is, you don't know your last lifetime. You've forgotten it, but I know." So, I will forget too. Who I was, what I did, what I ate, what I drank ...I will forget everything that happened. But there is one thing. There is abundant peace within me. And did I understand that abundant peace? Did I realize it in my life, or not? When you eat a mango, you find it sweet. You like it.
And the mangoes from Dehradun are amazing. Think about it. That drop came from the ocean...rose from the ocean, went up, rained, landed down, went up the mango tree, became sweet. You enjoyed the sweetness and one day that very drop will merge back with the ocean. This is something to understand. Will this drop ever give anyone sweetness or sourness? This is possible. If I could give myself sweetness, then I would share that sweetness with others too before the mango shares its sweetness with others ...
Sanjay Giri Goswami: It will first have to be sweet. Yes.
Prem Rawat: When I experience that peace within my life, then I can help others experience it too. So this is my life's journey. I don't know where it began, when it was born. I know what it is today, and I also know that one day it won't be there. But as long as I am alive, one thing is possible: that I can do something for myself and for others. And if I am empty, then what can I give to anyone? The fruit is first born on the tree; then one can eat it. We often forget this. We start out with wanting to give someone the fruit, but how? The tree has to first bear the mango for someone to eat it. And I understood this and have been trying to bring about awareness in people around the world that they can experience peace.
Sanjay Giri Goswami: Mr. Rawat, you talked about peace, but when it comes to spirituality every person is confused, unable to understand where the path to peace is. How can troubled people become calm? How can they find peace?
Prem Rawat: The most important thing ... You asked a very good question, because people seek peace in spirituality. Some don't look for it in spirituality; they look for it in their factory. Some aren't looking for it in their factory but are looking for it in science. Some are looking here; some are looking there. But none can find it. And they're moving away from it. The biggest issue is this. And this is what I try to explain to people: why are you searching for something which you already have? You already have it. Why are you searching for it? Where are you searching for it? How will you find
something that's already within you? Search for it if you don't have it with you. And if you're lucky enough, then you'll find it somewhere. But it is already with you. Peace was never away from you. Ever since you were born, and for as long as you are alive, peace is within you. Peace is a part of you. The desire for peace is a part of you. The breath is with you, just as you desire the breath. Peace is also within you. It's with you. Don't go looking for it, but start enjoying it. Start knowing it; start recognizing it.
But they're looking for peace. What does peace feel like? What does peace taste like? How much does peace weigh? What does peace sound like? Does anyone know? There are great personalities who give lectures, but what does peace sound like? What is the fragrance of peace? What does it taste like? Is peace like velvet, or is peace like thorns?
Is peace like flowers, or is it like hot water? Who knows? Why? Because they have not experienced peace; they just talk about it. Talk is not going to help. Does talk satisfy your hunger? When you go home and say to someone, "I'm hungry. Please get me some food." And they reply, "What do you need food for? I'll tell you all about food. Halwa, halwa, halwa..." Are you now full? That doesn't help. You need to eat. When you're hungry and someone gives you a lecture about food, then it's possible that you'd get angry with them. You might beat him up because food is what you need.
When a human being wants to experience peace in his life, then he needs peace, not lectures. He need not run to some place. It's within him. It needs to be recognized and experienced. It needs to be experienced.
Sanjay Giri Goswami: "Experience." This is a big word. Many people go places in pursuit of experience. They say that you also travel to many countries. Mr. Rawat, I'd like to ask - things have changed in today's post-COVID world. Perhaps nobody has more experience about this than you do. You are an Indian first. So in comparison of India and other countries, is there something that stands out to you, like there's something still missing?
Prem Rawat: I wish to make more effort in comparison to what I have done so far.
Sanjay Giri Goswami: You don't want to stop with the effort you've made?
Prem Rawat: No, I'm not done yet. I can do more, and I want to do more. I want to go to more places. I feel that hours in a day are still not enough. And months in a year are not enough. Because there's a need for us to understand.
Couplet by Kabir: "The fragrance of musk resides within the deer's navel, but it wanders around the forest in search of it." And the divine resides within us, but we wander the world in search of it...running after technology.
Creators of technology are running after our wallet. And this is the spectacle happening around the whole world. It was in the news that someone lost a billion dollars. Do you know how much a billion dollars is? I can't even fathom. How can it be lost? I mean, such a humongous thing! If someone says to you, "I've lost my elephant," "What? You lost an elephant?" If a needle was lost, I'd get it. But lost an elephant? Then I'd ask if one was in their right mind. A billion dollars lost.
How? Where did it run away to? Who ran away with it? Who stole it? But this is the state of this world. A special interaction: if only the billion dollars existed. But someone said they did, so they exist. And if they said it doesn't exist, then they don't. What is it? Credit. Credit. Someone wrote a document declaring that you are worth so much, so you are worth that much.
There was a time when even if one rupee was printed, the silver worth that much was accounted for. It was embedded into the currency. And when Nixon became President, he got rid of all this in America. After that, people went to town with printing money.
So people are running, running, running -running this way, running that way. And nobody is running after that which everyone is looking for. And that is peace. I have never said that one shouldn't be successful in their business. One should be. One should be. But that doesn't mean that you don't need to be healthy. You need to be healthy also in your business. Right? If you go to a doctor, he will tell you the same thing: focus on your business, but also focus on your health. What would a chef say? Focus on your business, but also make sure you eat. What will one who gives you water say? Do business, but also hydrate. And I'm someone who offers peace. I say, "Do business, but also be in peace." Be in peace and also experience peace in your life.
This message is very important because we are blinded by technology, and this will not have a positive outcome. This is not going to turn out well because this technology is going to distance us from ourselves. There is technology that connects us with ourselves, and then there is technology that distances us from ourselves. And we are caught up in this technology.
Look at the young kids. During the first years without the phone, their head is up; they look around. The minute they get a phone in their hand, they only look in one direction. That's it.
Sanjay Giri Goswami: The significance of relationships seems to be coming to an end. Perhaps technology is contributing to that.
Prem Rawat: Humanity is coming to an end. Humanity is coming to an end. What has a human being been reduced to?
Sanjay Giri Goswami: He has become a machine.
Prem Rawat: Exactly. And the creators want you to stay involved so that their wallet swells and yours shrinks. They have put such high prices on things, and people are willing to pay. Who is speaking up and saying this is wrong? Nobody! Everyone goes along and agrees. What has it come to? You have a new phone, so I should get a new one too. I mean, what has happened? What should be happening is, "You are radiant so teach me to be radiant too." "You have peace, so please help me find peace too." "Be happy and teach me to be happy too." What happened?
But people don't think about this anymore. It's just one thing now: running, running, running ... Where to? No one knows, but still running.
Sanjay Giri Goswami: Exactly. Rushing and running everywhere. Mr. Rawat, what's your perspective on India? You have extensive experience. The environment today and the technology you spoke about ... everyone is fed up in today's post-COVID world. And you boldly speak to any topic. What's your perspective on India?
Prem Rawat: I still see it the way I have always seen it. In India's culture, tolerance is its greatest strength. When the Indian people exercise tolerance ... not, "You are this way; you are that way"... but when they see unity - the true unity that exists in India. And in difficult times, that unity has taken the Indian people out of deep problems. If someone has a microphone, a stand and two speakers, then people will say anything. But when people exercise the unity that India has, then no matter who it may be, no matter who it is, they will not stand a chance. That's the kind of strength unity has. And we forget about that unity time and again. So this is our misfortune, and it is our good fortune that we know the power of unity. This is our good fortune. The misfortune is that we forget.
Sanjay Giri Goswami: What's your take on the Indian culture?
Prem Rawat: Unity, compassion, and the greatest of all, culture. When the people of India treat each other with compassion ... I'm talking about India,
but no matter where you go in the world, when you treat others with kindness, everything transforms.
I have an education program called the Peace Education Program. The numbers from the program show that it is now in correctional facilities. People from countries have graduated from that program. At the time, this program was started for the people who were in prison. Now it's also in the police force, military, and other places. But it was started for those who were incarcerated. What hope do the inmates have in their lives? They become disheartened. But when they reflect upon themselves, then the flower of hope blooms in their heart. They understand that what they did was wrong, and that's why they've been imprisoned. They also know that they can turn their life around, be better, do better, and move ahead. They find relief in considering the fact that they can improve their life by transforming it themselves, whether someone else does it for them or not.
When they understand these things, their life takes a turn. Then their hopelessness turns to hope.
I'm telling you this because this topic is also for those who are not behind bars...that we can change hopelessness to hope. There are people who are unhappy. Many of those will also watch your interview. I don't know what the reason of their unhappiness is. And I don't deny that they're unhappy.
Yes, they are unhappy. A human being becomes sad. That is his nature. But when he feels sad, it doesn't mean that there is no happiness in his heart. No matter how dark it may be on the outside, there still is light within his heart. No matter how dark it may be. All he has to do is glance within, and he will see a burning lamp.
Sanjay Giri Goswami: About books, Mr. Rawat, you have authored popular books. And you're now launching another book. What is it about books that people think they want? Like you mentioned, everyone is rushing around these days. Peace is your mission, and your advice is to hear one's self. With your statements, it feels like, indeed, there's something that you want to give. Through your book, what do you intend to offer to people that is important for them and what will people receive? What will they embrace?
Prem Rawat: I had declared a long time ago that I won't write any books because I thought that writing a book is like establishing some religion. People will quote the book and claim, "This is it, this is it. Believe in this, this is everything." No. As long as one does not experience it in their heart, it doesn't work.
I wrote this book because I was asked to write about my experiences. So I honed in on that because no matter who it may be, he can learn to reflect within himself. Enough reflection has been done on the outside, and we also know what that has to offer. It's not that there's no calm and tranquility.
That's there. There's just one thing ... It's temporary. It's like, you have a car and the car has wheels and the tires need air. It won't run properly without air in the tires. And after you inflate them, the air runs out in minutes. How will the car move forward? It will be hard work to stop the car every few minutes and inflate the tires.
This is the case with this world outside. And what is the case on the inside? There's no deflation on the inside. It's solid. This is what the book is about.
Sanjay Giri Goswami: Your experiences made you a writer. Could that be said?
Prem Rawat: I am a human being. Firstly I am a drop. A drop that emerged from the ocean. But that drop has written something.
Sanjay Giri Goswami: I was looking at the title, "Swayam ki Avaaz." Why is it "Swayam ki Avaaz" (Hear Yourself)?
Prem Rawat: Because we function on noise...the noise poured into our brain by this world. We still remember them. Everything our parents told us, we remember them to this day. "Son, focus and study or you will fail in life." Those noises echo. What the teacher said in school echoes. What the friends said echoes. My question is: does your heart too have a voice that echoes within you? How's it possible that the voices on the outside echo and the true voice within is not echoing? There are two sides to this. One is: the noise on the outside can be blocked. But how can the noise between the ears be blocked? No amount of cotton or earplugs will block that noise. And these voices are not our own. What is our very own voice?
And how important is it to listen to it...our very own voice...the voice of the heart? That's why I titled it "Swayam ki Avaaz" (Hear Yourself). In English it is "Hear Yourself" and in Hindi it is "Swayam ki Avaaz."
Sanjay Giri Goswami: "How to find peace in a noisy world." The peace which is talked about, that which everyone is after. So, do you think that peace is achievable if we hear ourselves?
Prem Rawat: At least the noise would quieten. The noise is drowning out our voice. Lowering the noise is the greatest skill. We will hear our voice when that noise stops. What does our heart want? What does this drop want
before it merges with the ocean? The sweetness of a mango, the sweetness of litchi? The tartness of lemon? Or offering the hungry or thirsty some water? Because one day this drop will merge with the ocean. Do what needs to be done, today.
Quoting a hymn:
"This human life is precious.
Don't waste it away.
You have received it now, but will not receive it again.
Never again, never again."
Sanjay Giri Goswami: Mr. Rawat, you mentioned litchi, which is special to Dehradun. You also mentioned that you have a deep connection with Uttarakhand. There are many things said about Uttarakhand. They say that a lot gets planned in Uttarakhand. The mountains, the youth and the water of Uttarakhand are of no use. You must have heard this too. And you have given Uttarakhand a lot. You have helped immensely. But even today we hear the same thing: the plants, the water, the youth, and the mountains are of no use. I'd like Mr. Rawat to share his thoughts about Uttarakhand.
Prem Rawat: There's a short story about something that's useless and something that's useful.
Once upon a time, a king asks his gardener to renew and beautify an old garden...to grow lots of flowers in that garden. The location of where the garden was to be grown was high up on a hill. And the gardener had to walk all the way down to the river to get the water. So he fastens one pot on one end of a bamboo, another pot on the other end. And he would go down to the river everyday, fill the pots and bring them up the hill and water the flowers he had sown. And gradually the garden began to flourish.
One day a tiny rock hit the pot in the back and made a hole in it. The pot couldn't contain water due to the hole. By the time he went down the hill and brought it back up, the pot had emptied out. One day the gardener placed both pots on the ground and went away to drink some water. The pot in the front says to the pot in the back,"You are useless. You are useless because you have a hole in you and you can't bring water to this garden anymore. There will come a day when the gardener throws you away."
So the pot in the back started crying. The gardener came over and asked him, "Why are you crying?" The pot replied, "I'm useless because I have a hole in me. I can't contain any water." The gardener laughed and said, "Why do you worry? Look, I'll show you something." He showed him the sides of the path and said, "Look, there are flowers growing on both sides of this path. Do you know why? That's because of you. The flowers growing up there in the king's garden can be enjoyed by the king's guests.
But this path is used by people coming and going, and they all enjoy the beauty and fragrance of these flowers. And all this has been made possible by you. When you got a hole in you, I wondered if I should throw you away. Then I had an idea. I would fill you up too and move you to the back, so that you would water the sides of the path as I walked back up. That's when these flowers bloomed...because of you. You are not useless. You are very useful. The only difference is, you water the flowers on the path and not the king's garden. But thousands of people will enjoy these flowers and the flowers in the garden will be enjoyed only by a few people invited by the king.”
Nothing is useless. Nothing is useless. If we consider something to be useless, then why not do something to make them useful instead? There are mountains, and they belong to nature...not made by man. Nature has created them so they can be enjoyed by everyone. I know very well what you're saying, and it can turn political very quickly. And I don't dip my toes in politics. I don't touch politics. All I know is one thing: politics is such a thing that .... People like politics because it gives them someone to point a finger at and say, "They did that." But when one finger points towards them, always remember the number of fingers pointing back at you.
No matter who you are, what are you doing to help it? You can do something too. Do whatever you can for the betterment of others.
Sanjay Giri Goswami: Precisely, something needs to be done. I'd like to ask you two more questions. We have discussed spirituality and we've discussed peace. Why did you choose this path? What inspired you to spread peace? Or the message you've been giving to people, "Stop running. And recognize yourself."
Prem Rawat: I chose this path because it has nothing to do with spirituality. This is not about beliefs. This is about experience. Perhaps you've heard this for the first time: belief versus experience. Belief versus experience. Belief versus experience. Belief is not experience and experience is not belief. If you're experiencing something, then you don't need belief. And if you're caught up in beliefs, then you will not pursue experience. But unless you experience ... unless you experience, you will not understand exactly what all this is about...what peace is.
We chant Brahma's name, but what Brahma is, we have no idea - neither do we understand it. Brahma is not something to understand, but to experience. There are things that are not meant to be pronounced, like Roti (Indian flat bread). It's meant to be eaten. Roti is neither to be described nor to be worshipped this way, and that way. No. The best thing to do with it is, when it's piping hot, spread some ghee or butter on it and eat it with chutney. That is it's worship. That is it's worship. And the worship of that Brahma which resides within every individual is by experiencing it. I chose this path because it has nothing to do with spirituality or beliefs. I don't go after beliefs. I go after, "It means nothing unless you experience it." Like when one get's sick, the doctor says, "Just believe that you'll recover." But he's in pain, so what is he to do? Should he tell the doctor that he hurts, or not? So belief versus experience. Belief versus experience. What do you want? Belief or experience? If your bank says, "Don't worry, you don't need a balance. Just believe that your money is fine." No, you will ask for proof. "Give me proof!"
Belief. Belief. Why not believe in the path of spirituality? Shouldn't you believe? Belief is the foundation of a human being. It's the support structure. And when a human being forgets about experience and stays stuck in beliefs, then he ends up with circumstances dealt out by the world. Why? Is there a shortage of religions in this world? Is there a shortage of spirituality in the world? No. They keep growing. New ones keep coming up. But there is a shortage of experience. And that's what I offer.
Sanjay Giri Goswami: Everything begins with experience.
Prem Rawat: Without experience, you are limited. If you're not experiencing it, then you're limited.
Sanjay Giri Goswami: What is your message of Peace for our audiences and for the readers of your book?
Prem Rawat: Good news! Peace is within you. You don't have to wander around. It's within you. Quoting couplet by Kabir: "The fish is thirsty in the water ..." It's within you. Quoting couplet by Kabir: "It resides within, but we look outside, far away from the self." This is within you. Experience it. This book will tell you the same thing — experience it. But what's the need for this experience? This book will openly explain that too. So I recommend that people read this book because those who have read this book ... I wrote it, and when I was proofing it and recorded the English audiobook, I felt that the more I read it the more my life transformed. It's that powerful. And even though I wrote it, it positively impacted me. And I hope that people progress towards peace, towards experience. Beliefs are okay. Makes no difference whether one does or not. But until you experience it, there's something missing.
Sanjay Giri Goswami: Mr. Rawat, you have addressed some significant points through "Swayam ki Awaz" To find peace in a noisy world, it is indeed important to hear yourself. And your own voice is such that I don't think in today's world many people are able to hear it.
I wish and hope that through this book of yours people can know that there is indeed a voice within them that they need to listen to. Thank you so much for giving us your time.
Prem Rawat: My greetings to you and your audiences.
Watch the interview (in Hindi): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoPpslbq450