Series | Lockdown
Lockdown, Day 43
Students of the Peace Education Program At Taylor’s University
Individual 1: [male]
Just recently I asked about, “What do I really want in my life?” And I always compare myself to others.
Individual 2: [female]
We are too busy in our life coping with assignments and we often forget these little important things.
Individual 3: [male]
During all his sessions, all Prem’s sessions, there are a lot of questions that pop up in my brain—and then I will ask myself, “Why are we doing this? Why we did this; why we did that?” Everything—it makes me go thinking and thinking and thinking....
Individual 4: [female]
I think what he’s trying to say is something that we all know—but it’s not something that we are always mindful of. It’s a very big reminder for all of us, especially for me, where he talks about appreciating life. And that is what I’m in lack of....
Individual 5: [female]
It’s somewhat like—makes me think of what I have always ignored in my life. But I never figured out, like, peace actually is already in our heart.
Taylor’s University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Taylor’s University in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, was the first institution in Malaysia to offer the Peace Education Program. Administrators have praised the program for helping the school fulfill its holistic mission of enriching students’ “minds, hands, and hearts.”
In October of 2016, Prem Rawat spoke at Taylor’s University as part of their “Emotional Wellbeing” series, which is aimed at cultivating and empowering students and staff with emotional wellness and health.
Individual 6: [male]
You started speaking about peace—it says you were four years old. So, actually what inspired you, or what made you choose to speak in front of so many people when you were four and a half?
Well, and to me, you know, it—in my life, at that moment in time, there wasn’t any sorrow; there wasn’t any problems; there wasn’t any big dramas, you know, which could lead one to go to the extent of saying, “Okay, I’m going to renounce the world; I’m going to, you know, pursue peace.”
Because one thing I understood—that peace wasn’t absence of war. So, goodness, generosity, (for instance), is something. And then, to be greedy, all it is, is the lack of generosity.
So, a lot of people think that, you know, “There’s war—and then there is peace.” No. There is peace—and when this peace is lacking, when there is an absence of this peace, there is a war. What kind of war—the war can be in your mind; the war can be physical. The war can be in your thoughts. The war—it’s the same thing—but it’s a war.
And for me, none of this was there. But I understood that there is something called “peace.” And that each human being on the face of this earth, regardless of their circumstances, is very fortunate.
And that’s what I, in fact, said. I was actually reading my first speech, a few weeks back, and that’s what it was about, “How fortunate we are, that we are alive—and that, peace lies inside of us.”
Individual 1: [male]
After attending this program—and I feel that what I really want is within me, is in myself. And I don’t really have to compare with others. I’m just who I am. And it really makes me, like, grow and really answer a few of my questions in my mind.
Individual 5: [female]
So, just that it’s simple—and continue with the life and enjoy it. Yeah, that’s what I think.
Individual 3: [male]
It’s so wonderful, you know—it, the feeling of, after you’re thinking, you get the answer—like, “Yeah. That’s the thing that I want to do. Yeah, that’s the things that motivate me since I was young.”
Individual 4: [female]
Prem Rawat actually encourages us, all of us to see something that is within us, to see the gifts that we have. And it is a blessing to actually have this breath.
Video content courtesy of The Prem Rawat Foundation
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
KIND MALAYSIA 2018, Connecting Corporates with Civil Society
It doesn’t take much to spark a revolution. Let’s spark a revolution for peace. Let’s spark a revolution for kindness. Let’s spark a revolution that makes a difference in this world, not only in Malaysia.
Because if Malaysia can be a lit candle, guess what Malaysia can do? Why not every country; why not—why not you who are sitting here, the participants, be the makers, movers and shakers of that incredible, incredible possibility?
Making a Difference, Kind Malaysia
I started speaking about peace when I was four years old. I started taking this responsibility of spreading the peace, first in my native India, when I was nine. I was around thirteen years old when I went to the West, to England, America, and brought this message to outside of India.
So, here I am, and I am sure there are a lot of people, “Oh, the Ambassador of Peace,” and I’m an Ambassador, but well, what is “Ambassador of Peace” mean anyway? You’re all Ambassadors of Peace; don’t you know it? I’m not the only one. You’re Ambassadors of Peace.
And it is your responsibility too, to make sure that the peace spreads in this world—because what other option do we have, by the way? What other option is there?
So, what is this law that I am talking about? This is what gives me heart—my effort that has been going on for such a long time, this is what gives me heart. And what is this law? Here is the law. “If you take two candles, (a lit candle and an unlit candle), and bring them together, guess what happens? The lit candle will light the unlit candle.”
Not the other way around. That’s the law of nature. A lit candle will light the unlit candle—not that the unlit candle will put out the lit candle. No—not even fifty-fifty. Every single time, the lit candle will light the unlit candle.
Take heart—in whatever little effort you make in your life to bring peace. Where does peace begin? People think it’s going to begin with the world. It’s not—it’s not.
Yesterday I did four interviews. And of course, I was asked these questions, “You know, you talk about peace, and the world’s going to,” you know, “down the tubes.” (I’m not going to say the word but, “down the tubes,” it’s the opposite of heaven.)
And I said, “Wait a minute. What is really happening? Are we doing anything about peace?” Because most people, you talk to them about peace and what do they think? About “utopia.”
One day I looked up the word “utopia.” What does utopia mean? And it’s very interesting. It was around 1531 that this word was coined—it was in a novel—and you know what utopia actually means? It means “no place.”
What is being said is, “Don’t go there. There is no place like that. It’s just in your imagination.” Peace is not utopia; peace is real, on this earth, tactile. And how and where does it begin—it begins with you. It begins with your family. It begins with your friends. It begins with your neighbors.
Who are your neighbors, by the way? The house next door? The house next door is your neighbor only when you’re in your house. Your neighbor actually is whoever is closest to you, wherever you happen to be—includes a parking lot, by the way.
And these are little things that we forget in our everyday life because we are busy with our agenda.
You have a mind—and you went to school for this mind to be sharpened. You have imagination; you went to college for this imagination to be honed. Oh, by the way, you also have a heart. What have you done to hone the skills of the heart? What have you done in your life? Just sat there and thought about heaven?
A lot of people say, “You know, how is it different, what you say, than religion?” And I say it’s hugely different. And religion talks about heaven after death—I’m talking about a heaven before death, now, on this earth.
To understand the value of what we have been given—acknowledging, an acknowledgment of the simplest things in our existence: life, breath—and every day that you get.
You want miracles? Well, a miracle is happening right in front of you. Today you are alive; that is one of the most incredible miracles there is.
Do you know what it took to put you in that seat that you’re sitting on? Do you know how many species went through evolution so you could be like you are? We all take it for granted, “Oh, here I am.” But do you have any idea of how much evolution it took, how many experiments it took, so today you could sit in that chair?
What is the world that we live in? What is this world that we live in? Think about it—there is more food available today than there ever was.
There’s no shortage of food, (by the way). If you don’t believe me, go to a supermarket. If you don’t believe me, go to the buffet of a hotel. From one end to the other end, food, food, food, food, food, food, food. You don’t believe me? Start counting the restaurants on the road when you drive.
I was just in Japan. I couldn’t believe it; it was like, “Restaurant. Restaurant. Restaurant. Restaurant”—I mean, it’s like, “How...?” I mean, it was like, “Wait a minute, these Japanese are pretty skinny. How much do they eat?” But it’s like one after another, after another, after another, after another.
One of my points that I’m trying to make—is, there was a time that people thought that “If we had enough food, we would have peace.” Well, guess what? We have enough food—and we still don’t have peace. Once upon a time, people thought that “If we would have enough wealth, we would have peace.” Guess what; we do have more wealth now than we have ever had.
More diamonds have been dug up now than they ever were. More gold has been extracted from the earth than there ever was. More silver has been extracted from the earth than there ever was. There is more wealth in this world than there ever was—but there is no peace.
People said, “If people were educated there would be peace.” There are more schools now than there ever were, and there’s still no peace.
People said, “If we could communicate with each other, there would be peace.” Boy, do we know how to communicate with each other. That’s all we do: “Da-da-da-da, da-da-da-da,” and people, I mean, it’s amazing.
The first time I came to Japan and I went on the train, I couldn’t believe it—thousands of people making their way across in the subway and nobody touching each other—it was like a ballet; it was like a dance—and everybody just going, you know, as fast as they could.
And this time I was there, and there were people who had just come to a stop, going.... And it’s like, bumping into each other.
So, we have more means of communication than we ever have, but do we know what to say—no. That’s the problem. We have not caught up to technology. We don’t understand what to do with this technology.
We don’t know what transportation can do for us—we just know it’s there—and we can go anywhere we want. We don’t know why we’re going there—but we’re going there.
We have more food than we know what to do with, more recipes—more fusion food exists today than it ever has. Chinese-Indian—can you imagine Indian, (like, Indian-Indian, Eastern Indian), and Chinese food brought together? My goodness—but they have it. And it’s very popular in India.
Indian pizza! The Italians would die. And they’d go, “Eh, oh my God....” But that’s true. And we still don’t have peace.
The only equation we haven’t tried—is that “Peace begins with you.” That the kindness needs to be surfaced. We need to have a society in which we are mindful of our kindness, we are mindful of our compassion, we are mindful of our capability to be able to help the ones around us—if they need help, and that help will begin by first helping our selves.
People just listen to this, and they go, “But that’s selfish.” No, if you have traveled on an airplane, the flight attendant, I’m sure, has told you, “Before you put the oxygen mask on somebody else, put it on yourself first.” (Because if you’re passed out, you can’t help anybody else.)
Who are you? An incredible miracle? Yes. And you carry a desire for peace in you, only if you can understand that. These are your fundamental callings.
You know your routine every day—you get up, and what do you think about? Your responsibilities. Do you think about life? Do you think about life? You are alive till you are! This show that you put on is only good till this breath is coming in and out of you. That’s it, folks! When the “the end” comes after the movie, it is “the end!”
And people go, “No-no-no-no, no, I’ll, I, I.... I’ll be somewhere else; I’ll be, you know—that can’t be.” Well, yeah, we can talk about it all night long—and that’s not going to change anything. Because once you’re gone from here, you are gone from here.
It’s not about death—it’s about life. It’s about life. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do while you’re still here.
A lot of people go, “I’m too old”—there’s no such thing as that. So far you are a lit candle, how tall do you have to be to light another candle? (By the way, how tall does this lit candle have to be?) It can be that big—so far it is lit, it has, still, the capability to light an unlit candle. And that’s your forte in life.
So, what I am trying to say is, “What is truly yours?” So, what is truly yours is compassion. What is truly yours is kindness. What is truly yours is clarity; what is truly yours is understanding; what is truly yours is the light you carry in your heart.
Oh, by the way, do things that will enrichen you in your kindness. Do things that will enrichen you in your clarity; do things that will enrichen you in your compassion; do things that will enrichen you in your understanding.
And that is the day, I guarantee you, you will really, really begin to feel rich, very, very rich. And from that richness will spring forth a desire to give. And you can give nobody a better gift than compassion. Yes, people need food—but people also need compassion. Yes, people need money, but they still need compassion.
And compassion isn’t pity. What is empathy? What is empathy—look it up. What is empathy—it is “to understand, to see the similarity between you and the other person.”
It is not to take pity—and I’m not talking about taking pity. That’s not what this “kindness” is about. This kindness is about helping people, first of all, realize in themselves, their potential, their understanding. This is what the world needs.