Series | Lockdown
Lockdown, Day 93
Wild Wise Women Radio Show
Cape Town, South Africa
Ummm-hmm, umm-hmm, umm-hmm, umm-hmm, umm-hmm! Monday it is, and we are in a beautiful country called South Africa, even in the best city, Cape Town. And today we decided to bring you an extraordinary treat. (Extra treats?) Peace Ambassador, chef, (hopefully for me one day), inya-nah, [sp] just the good side of the dish....
Pilot! What else do you say about someone like this? A father-figure? [Fluffy: Yes.]
Host, Wild Wise Women Show
Host, Wild Wise Women Show
Spreading peace? [Fluffy: Peace Ambassador and inspirational speaker....] He travels more than a rock star? [Fluffy: Yes.] [Robyn: Going to countries?] Country to countries? I fly but....
Host, Wild Wise Women Show
Flies himself more than most rock stars.
Dude! I feel like we should just howl for him, just, bon-vom-sin-nyah, nah, [sp] just be like, “Hello and welcome to Africa, Prem Rawat, see? Hello-hello-hello-hello!” [Robyn: Howl?] [Fluffy: Yes.]
One-two, one-two, one-two....
All three interviewers:
“Owou, owou, ouwwwwwwww!”
Okay, that’s enough howling.
Damn! Okay, okay-okay-okay, ee-kay-eee-kay-eee-kay. Got it, got it, got it.
Prem, welcome to Wild Wise Women Show, man. How ya doin’?
I am good, and thank you for having me on the show. I look forward to watching all this wild stuff happen....
Ah! Prem, you said you would participate with us, so I’m being wild. Oh, man. So, first time.... [Robyn: On our show.] This is the first time on our show. [Robyn: That you have.] Like, you’re sitting with three crazy ladies. [Fluffy: Umm-hmm.] And....
Wild and wise ladies. [Lumka: Wild and wise ladies.] Let’s not throw the word “crazy” around too much, please.
And are you excited?
Yeah! I’m here; I hope I can say something today that’ll make a difference in someone’s life. [Lumka: Yeah?] And that’s always my hope when I go out and talk about my message of peace.
And yeah, for people who have never seen Prem before, it’s like, cct, it’s poetry to your ears, but it’s all about self, and self-understanding—[Fluffy: Umm] and things like that. So, for all of you that don’t know, where did this journey begin, of spreading the message of peace?
Oh, India, that’s where I was born. [Lumka: And yeah.] That’s where I started. I started speaking when I was four years old. And....
You know what; now, this is—just, just puts pressure on every other person who has a kid. Because everyone is just going to be like “You’re just eating sweets?”
No, well, I mean, that’s something I wanted to do. And I got up—you know, there was a big gathering. And my father was going to come and speak. But people were just scattered, you know, just scattered all over the place, and I felt, “This is not good. You know, it’s, he’s going to come and everybody’s all the place.”
So I got up and I sat where he sits on his chair and I started speaking. And when I did, everybody started to go, “Whoa, who’s talking right now? You know, sounds like a little kid!” And they all wanted to come and see, and they all gathered....
And then I sent the message to my father that “Okay, everybody’s here; you want to come out and talk to them?” So, that’s when it started for me, just speaking about peace.
So it’s, from the age of four, you had the gift of the gab?
Ahh, I don’t know, “a gift of the gab.” I think it’s just something my heart wanted to do. It just came naturally to me—I just wanted to talk about the possibility that what they’re looking for is inside of them. That whatever they think their human status is, they’re much better off than that—but they don’t know it; they don’t understand it.
This isn’t, like, coming from my head—I hope; I really hope. I pray that I never walk on any stage behind a microphone and start talking from my head. [Lumka: Yeah.]
It really needs to come from my heart. You know, it really, really needs to come from my heart. Because that’s my.... If the message doesn’t come from my heart, it’s coming from my head—I’m going to be confused and I’m going to confuse a lot of people.
You know, the subject of peace, the subject of being human, the subject of being alive—is something that you really have to feel inside; [Lumka: Yeah.] you have to feel it in your heart. And it’s not about the head.
Tell us a little bit about why you’re in SA. You designed a program called the “Peace Education Program”—and you’re here to promote that, and the book and your message. Do you want to tell us a bit more about that?
I’ve been coming to South Africa since the seventies. And it’s been on and off—because in the seventies when I first came, you know, they didn’t want me to do mixed meetings and so on and so forth. And I said, “Look, that’s just, I’m not going to do that. You know, anybody is welcome to come.”
And so, everybody would come—and that was against the law at that time. And I got blacklisted, so I couldn’t come for quite a while to South Africa. But then the situation changed and I started coming back.
And I’m here to talk to people about the same message, same message. And a few years back, we started this Peace Education Program. And the Peace Education Program really started in a very simple way—it was just a way to be able to reach people who really needed help.
So, in fact, its beginnings were in incarceration institutions, you know, (prisons, or whatever you want to call them), and reaching those people. Because there they were. And really not much hope. You know, every day, you see the bars—and there’s the sunset but there are the bars.
You’re in there—some of them are there for five years, ten years, fifteen years, twenty years—and it’s a tough life. You know, it really, really is a tough life.
So, the idea wasn’t to entertain them. That wasn’t the idea; it wasn’t like, “Society has said you should be incarcerated, and we’re coming along and making sure that everything is fine for you.”
No, the idea was this: “That if there isn’t a fundamental change in these people, they’re going to come back.” Because when you look at the rate of return, it’s just amazing. “And so, what can we do to have a profound impact in their lives, so they really just get out of this rut? How can a profound impact be made?”
So, the Peace Education Program started—and the University of San Antonio Texas took notice that people who were going through this program had the least rate of return—of all the programs that were in this one institution, the people going through the Peace Education Program had the lowest rate of return.
So, that—obviously, that, for him, it was like, “bing-bing-bing-bing, bing-bing,” all the alarm bells went off—“What’s going on here? What is so interesting about this program?”
Well, in fact, I went and I saw the inmates and I talked to them. And there was a really, a profound change in people’s life. And so, since then it has just been spreading.
But now it’s not just limited to prisons—yeah, it’s, veterans are going through it; hospice are going through it; hospitals are going through it; police are going through it; the army—I mean, just about every facet of society is being touched by the Peace Education Program.
And people really—the most important thing, most important—people just really enjoy it. Just, really, really enjoy it. And, it is, in fact, in some of these other programs where—but, you know, alcoholics and drug addicts, and they’re going through these programs and just really finding a change in themselves.
Because we, as human beings, need to be empowered. If we’re not empowered.... And we feel that we have—there’s nothing we can do. I mean, you go out there and you talk to people. You talk to people about the problems of this world, and the first thing they will tell you is, “What can I do?”
Because nobody feels empowered. And this is a problem in our society. People should feel empowered—“That, yes, whatever you do does make a difference. Whatever you do will make a difference.”
And so, that’s what Peace Education Program is. It’s really empowering people, empowering individuals, on a very individual level in where they participate; they talk about peace—what peace means to them; how they feel about peace; where peace is inside of them.
Because of the human being not being in peace, there’s no understanding of human dignity; there’s no understanding of human beings. People are dying hungry in this world—why!? Is there a shortage of food? [Lumka: No.]
Absolutely not. There’s no shortage of food; the amount of food that is thrown away is simply staggering—staggering, how much food is actually thrown away. But why is it that these people who are dying of hunger cannot get that food?
What happened to clean water? I mean, what happened to clean water? Everywhere you go: “Bottled water, bottled water, bottled water.” Well, you know, I was born in a generation in India where you didn’t have bottled water. You had water from your tap or a well—and it was sweet and it was wonderful and it was clear; it was....
And all of a sudden, it’s like, “Oh, no, the water has gotten contaminated.” Who contaminated it? You know, who contaminated this water—so that we can start buying bottled water?
And I’m just, I just want people to wake up a little bit—instead of saying, “Well, that’s normal now. You know, this is how, just, things, the way things are....”
There are certain things that we need as human beings. One of them—that we need right away—is air. We won’t last very long without air. Maybe about three minutes? There’s a rule of threes with these things.
And so, that needs to be clean—because it is incredibly essential and important for our body to have that air. The second thing is the warmth. Three hours—and you could go into hypothermia. So, the shelter that we need, needs to be good—that’ll keep us out of those elements; [Fluffy: And yeah.] that’s very, very important.
Then, we’ve got three days without food—you know, or three days without water. And then, you know, maybe three weeks or so without food—people have survived.
So, and taking a look at these things, it is so important that our food, our water, our air and our environment is there for us—because these things are important for us. We—and this is not a luxury! We need these to survive; we need these to live.
And people are not paying attention to those things—and we’re looking for prosperity, “prosperity.” What is the definition of prosperity? What is the definition of peace? Well, peace is something that needs to be felt. And prosperity, is it truly objective—or is it subjective: “I feel prosperous. I have water; I have food; I have a place to stay? I feel prosperous.”
Because there are people who have everything and they don’t feel prosperous. So, is it objective, or is it subjective? And the same thing with peace, “Is it objective, or is it subjective?”
I mean, okay, so you live on top of a mountain and you’re wearing a certain, you know, color of clothes—and your name is a certain way, and your hair is a certain way. And so, “Oh, you must be in peace.” [Lumka: Uh-uh.] Come on, that’s it?
That’s not peace. You know, peace is when you feel it. And peace is not objective, but it is subjective. And you have to feel it; you have to feel peace in your life, not just one day but every single day. [Robyn: Yeah.] Every single day.
Okay, this—it must be like, this must be one of your worst interviews.
But how do you expect people to actually have a conversation with you, when you like, do mike bombs, like mike drops everywhere? Those are like—you keep having these profound and powerful speeches. And like, we end up having the same facial expression, like, “What do you say next?” And you go, “Who am I?” Yeah, like....
But, but the thing is, these things are just simple. [Lumka: Yeah.] They’re not, you know, out of some slab that fell off of the skies. These are, see—well, this is just the need of a human being—and which—but that’s all we’re talking about, [Lumka: Yeah.] you know?
I mean it’s, this is nothing fancy—it’s, and you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure this out. We are here; there’s one planet Earth. Well, this is the planet Earth that we inhabit; we are here.
I mean, things are pretty straightforward, so far I’m concerned. Because they have been looking for life on other planets—and they haven’t really found it yet, you know?
And yeah! At all.
You know, they keep going, “Oh, there might have been life here; there might have been life here.” And I’m just like, “Okay. I know why they need to do that. They need to do that because one day this planet Earth is going to go away. And so, then there is a quest for human beings to live in other planets, other surfaces, other places.”
But are the foundations of that future good or bad—fundamentally, good or bad? If we cannot have peace and prosperity and human dignity on this planet right now—looking for other ones, we’re going to take the same disease and supplant it in other places.
At least, as a simple experiment—and you know, and this is what I say: “Peace will be mankind’s finest achievement”—finest! And we need to have it here! We need to have it here, so that we can say to ourselves, “Yes, we can all live in peace,” not blowing each other up.
As you know, like, in SA at the moment, there’s a lot of distrust between [Lumka: Yeah.] people, a lot of anger, a lot of frustration. How do we begin to move past that?
This is something that—people are really going to have to ask themselves one simple question. And the question is, “When you say ‘move past it,’ that means ‘move on.’ Not just past it, but move on—move forward towards something positive, to something good.” [Robyn: Yes.] Do you want to do that? [Robyn: Yes.] Do you truly want to do that?
I do. And I’m hoping that everyone else does as well.
And most people don’t; they’re not ready to, though.
Look, to come up with an idea that “I need to move forward. I need to go; I cannot stay in this situation; I cannot stay in this position. Because, so far I stay in this position, I’m still being victimized—by all that that has taken place in the past.”
South Africa has one thing that is incredible—really incredible. And that asset, I see, is the people of South Africa. Because what they have endured is absolutely amazing. I mean, it is a testament to endurance of a human being.
And if they put their mind to it, they can—they can do anything they want—with that kind of endurance, with that kind of power that they have.... But I don’t think that anybody is looking at empowering each other. You know, it’s just, distrust, distrust, distrust.
You know, there is a lot of bad in this world—but there is a lot of good in this world. There is a lot of hatred in this world, and there is a lot of kindness in this world. And what we have to do is to perpetuate the kindness; what we have to do is perpetuate the good in people.
You have this life. The day you were born, you have no control over it; the day you’re going to die, you have no control over it. But every single day in the middle, it’s yours. Make it happen, people, make it happen.
So, I’m here talking about peace and all this stuff—so, am I in peace all the time—no! No! Is everything perfect for me every single day—no! But you know what? Every day, I try. I try.
And what’s going to happen? Well, habit is something that makes something happen easily. That’s what bad habits do; that’s what good habits do. And if I can just form a habit to be conscious, not to waste my time, not to squander away my time—that my life, my life—this is my time. I can’t give it to anybody. [Lumka: Yeah.] I can’t.
And so, it’s yours—and you get to keep it—you get to do whatever with it. You can do whatever you want. You know, and I say; I say to people, I say, “Look, you want to die; you want to go to heaven. I understand that. But what is wrong with making heaven right here—for us? Making heaven right here?”