Prem Rawat in Sebokeng, South Africa

Every day that you wake up in the morning, you should be excited—about being alive!
Dec 09, 2016

Well, good morning everyone! [Audience: Good morning!] What I have to say to you, I’ll try to make it very simple, so my little audience that is here, can also understand what I’m trying to say.

Listen to me carefully, because I want to present to you a very simple idea. And it’s not an idea—it’s a fact. And the fact is, from thought comes action. When the thought is good, the action is good. When the thought is confused, the action is confused. When the thought is bad, the action is bad.

Now, bad action will not only hurt people around you, but also hurt you. That is why it is so important to have thought that is good, [Individual: Right!] that is clear, that is simple, that is beautiful—so the action that is born from the thought is also beautiful, also simple, also profound.

Do you understand that? Do you? Little ones? Do you understand that? [Children: Yes!] Good! Now, we all—we want to be happy! The world wants to be happy. Every South African wants to be happy! [Individual: That’s right.] But what do we need to be happy? What do we need?

So, some people think, “More money!” Not true! Because people who have a lot of money, they’re not always happy. Some people go, “Food!” So, there are people who are huge! Huge! And they’re not happy—and they have a lot of food! You can see they have a lot of food—but they’re not happy.

So, what do you need to be happy? One, you need hope. Every day that you wake up in the morning, you should be excited—about being alive! Are you? [Audience: Yes, yes.] Really? [Audience: Yes!] Are you sure? [Audience: Yes!] Now, really? Really? [Audience: Yes!] You are never disappointed? [Individuals: No. Yes! No. No.] That’s the problem!

We are saying “yes”—(remember what I just talked about? First thought, then action?) You are saying “yes,” but you’re not thinking. Because most people are buried with responsibility. When you haven’t done your homework, do you look forward to going to school? [Individuals: No. No. No.] And don’t you have to wake up before you go to school? [Individual: Yes, I do.]

And so that day that you have to go to school and you haven’t done your homework, you are looking forward to going to school? [Individuals: No!] So, how can you be hopeful; how can you be happy? [Individual: Right!] You’re not. It’s like, “Eeeh-eeh-eeh, no...!”

I know! I used to go to school too, just like you! And when I hadn’t done my homework, I didn’t want to go to school. Right? [Individuals: Yes.]

When we grow up, we don’t have homework; we have responsibilities. And when we remind ourselves of those responsibilities, we too start to lose hope, because we are fighting those responsibilities, fighting those responsibilities, fighting those responsibilities, and they never stop.

Something new comes up; something new comes up; something different comes up, and it bashes us, and it beats us, and we too don’t want to get up—and so there goes our hope. But, hope is important! Hope is important! Because without the hope, the person cannot thrive, cannot shine, cannot be happy....

We have to feel like we belong. The youth of this country, and of the whole world—is losing hope. They don’t feel like they belong—and when they don’t feel like they belong, sadness, fear, anger, disappointment take the place of hope. So, are you ready for a story? [Audience: Yes.]

So, one day—(no—are you ready for a story?) [Children: Yes!] And you? [Individuals: Yes!] Yes? So, one day the king said to his gardener—he said, “In this part of the palace, I want you to make a very beautiful garden. The gardener said, “Okay.” The palace was up on a hill—and underneath, below the hill, there was a river.

So, every day, the gardener would come down from the top—and he got himself a pole, and he tied a big pot in the front and a big pot in the back—and every day he would come down to the river, fill the two pots with water, and walk all the way up to the garden, to the palace, and water the plants.

This happened again and again and again and again and again. Every day he had to do this—he had to go from the top to the bottom, fill the pots up with the water, climb to the top, water the plants....

One day, accidentally, the pot in the back, (as the gardener was putting it down,) it hit a rock—and it got a hole in it. So now, the gardener would come all the way down, he would fill both pots, he would climb up, up, up, up the pathway to the palace.

And by the time he would get to the palace, the front pot was still full, but the pot in the back was empty. All the water would come out!

One day, the pot in the front said to the pot in the back, “You are useless. You’re no good!” And the pot in the back said, “Why?”

He said, “Because, you have a hole in you! And every day that this gardener comes down to the river, fills us, takes us up—I am the only one that has water! You have none! This garden is because of me, not because of you—you don’t bring any water here.” This made the pot in the back very sad.

Next morning when the gardener came to pick up the pots, he saw that the pot in the back was crying. So he went to the pot and he said, “Why are you crying? Why are you so sad?”

He said, “Because I’m useless! I have a hole in me! And when you take us to the river and you fill us with water, and you bring it to this garden, by the time you arrive here, I have no water in me—but the pot in the front is still full—and this garden is because of the pot in the front, not because of me.”

The gardener—laughed. The gardener laughed, “Ah-ha-ha!” Why? Because he said, “Let me show you something. I know you have hole in you—I know that. And when I discovered that you have a hole in you, I would still fill you with water. And all along the path that I travel, I planted seeds.

“And I would bring you up, you were watering all those seeds. And I want to show you the garden you have created. This garden that belongs to the king, only the king enjoys—but the garden you have created is along the path—and all the people who travel on that path enjoy your garden.”

So! Why did I tell you that story? (Did you like the story?) [Audience: Yes!] (Are you just saying “yes,” or did you like it?) [Audience: We did!] Okay! Because of hope.... That pot in the back lost hope, because he could not see what he was doing—that what he was doing was still amazing, and he had no reason to lose hope.

It isn’t just prosperity. It isn’t just fulfillment of our ideas that should bring us hope. But the reality, the reality of being alive—that is what should bring us hope. The reality of having peace in us, that should bring us hope. The courage that resides in our heart should bring us hope—and understanding, every single day.

So, you need hope! And you need gratitude to be happy. What kind of gratitude? Parents teach their children to say, “Thank you.” Somebody gives them something—they say, “Say ‘thank you.’” Is that right? [Audience: Yes.] And sometimes when you see a little child say “thank you,” the child will go, “thank-you!”

You see, they are being taught manners! Not, feeling of gratitude. What is gratitude? Gratitude is—when somebody does something nice for you—when somebody does something nice for you, and you feel good! And you take a little bit of that “good” that you feel, and you give it back to the person who gave you that which made you feel good—that is gratitude!

That is true gratitude. So, we teach manners, (and there is nothing wrong in manners; we need to learn manners.) But we need to understand what really, that “thank you” means. And so—the heart full of gratitude, of understanding, of hope, this is what takes us closer to being happy in our lives.

What else do we need to be happy? We need to know ourselves. If we don’t know who we are, how will we know what is our need? How will we know what makes us happy? (Ready for another story?) [Individuals: Yes! Yeah!]

So, there was a farm—and there was a farmer. And the farmer, he had some sheep. And every day he would take the sheep grazing, close to the jungle. Every day he would watch out for them; bring them back; put them in their corrals.

One day, when the farmer was taking his sheep out, he got pretty close to the edge of the jungle—and at the edge of the jungle he saw a little baby lion. And this little baby lion was almost dead—breathing, but not moving.

So, the farmer took pity on the baby lion, and picked up the baby lion, brought him back home, gave him milk, kept him warm—and pretty soon the baby lion got better—and the baby lion would start to walk around, go places. So the farmer decided he didn’t really have place for him in his house, so he took him and he put him with the sheep!

Now, every day the farmer would take the sheep out for grazing—and the baby lion would go along! Every day he would hang out with the sheep—and this went on for years and years and years and years—and pretty soon the baby lion grew up quite big....

One day, there was a terrible roar from the jungle, huge roar, earth-shattering, shaking roar from the jungle. And a huge lion with a big mane, powerful body, powerful legs, powerful neck, huge teeth, big eyes, stepped out of the jungle and roared again.

And when the sheep heard the big lion, all the sheep ran to hide themselves! (And so did the baby lion.) He also ran—and he found a tree that was hollow, and he ran inside of it, and he hid his head.

The big lion looked—and he saw that all the sheep were hiding. And, something he had never imagined—a lion was also hiding in the tree. And the big lion went up to the little lion—and says, “What are you doing!?” And the lion, the little lion said, “Oh, please, don’t eat me! I am just a poor little sheep! Don’t eat me; I, will, I, I, please don’t eat me!”

And the big lion said, “You are not a sheep!” He said, “Oh, anything you say, but don’t eat me; I’m just a poor little sheep; don’t eat me!” And the big lion said, “Come with me.” Reluctantly the little lion pulled his head out from the hollow of the tree—and, scared, shaking, he walked with the big lion, and the big lion took him to the edge of the lake.

And he said to the little lion, “Look! Look at your reflection—and see who you really are.” And when the little lion put out his neck and he saw his reflection in the lake, he was surprised! He said, “You are right! I am not a sheep! I am a lion!”

And the big lion said, “Yes. Living with the sheep, you forgot who you are. All you saw, every day, were the sheep! You played with the sheep; you grazed with the sheep, and you started to believe you are a sheep as well. You’re not a sheep—you’re a lion! Come! Roar with me!” And the big lion roared—and the little lion roared too! And the little lion was happy!

Why was he happy? Because he had found himself. Now, he knew who he was. This, this is what I have come to tell you! You live with your problems every single day! You grow up with your problems—and when you grow up, you begin to believe you too are a problem! [Individuals: Okay, right, yeah! Yeah!]

But, you are not a problem. You may have problems, but you are not a problem. You—are a human being, the gift of all the possible gifts. Amazing gift that you receive, the gift of being alive every day. This is who you are! Not your problems. Not your ideas. Not your disappointments!

But you are a gift. And the peace that you seek is not on some mountain. But the peace that you seek is already in you—already in you. People say—people say, “If peace is in me, how come I don’t know? If peace is in me, how come I don’t know?” So, I ask you—do I have a handkerchief, or not? [Individuals: I don’t know.]

I’m asking you a simple question. I do! Do you see it? [Ind.m..: No, we don’t.] So, how do you know? Are you guessing?

Watch! Watch! You’re thinking now, right?—“Does he have a handkerchief? Doesn’t he have a handkerchief? Where is the handkerchief? What color is the handkerchief?” Right? Thinking? Thinking-thinking, thinking-thinking, thinking-thinking, thinking, right?

And you can think all night long. And you can think all day tomorrow. And you can think, and think, and think, and think, and-think, and you will never know. You want to know the power of knowing? You want to see the power of knowing? Yes or no? [Audience: Yes!] This is knowing.

[Individuals: Yeah!] Now you know! [Individuals: Yes!] It’s white, and it’s in this pocket—right here! And, yes, I have a handkerchief! And now are you still thinking? [Audience: No!] Finished! That’s knowing!

So, everybody—“And what is peace? Where is peace? How come I don’t know?” Because you haven’t felt peace. You have to feel peace—just like this! Not, think about peace. The world thinks about peace—that’s why they’ll never have peace. Because peace is not about thinking—peace is about seeing, knowing, feeling! That’s what peace is.

So, why don’t you know!? Because it is hidden! Why is it hidden? Who is hiding it!? Your ignorance. Your ideas. Your ideas are hiding it. Remove that—and be the human that knows. Feel, understand yourself, and you will feel peace within you.

So that is what it takes to be truly happy, to have hope, to have gratitude, to know yourself, and to not be reliant on others—to stand on your own feet.

How much time is wasted in your life, thinking about what others think about you? Hmm? Too little? Too much? [Individual: Too much!] So, if you are busy all day long going, “I wonder what that person thinks; I wonder what that person thinks of me; oh, I wonder what that person thinks of me,” how can you be happy?

Doesn’t matter! What do you think about yourself? Do you know yourself? Do you understand yourself? This is what it takes to be happy.

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