The Answer Within
Peace Is Possible Author Event, Manchester, UK
What I want to talk about is the reality of us, of what it really means to be alive. Who are you? You pride yourself on being different; I can see, so many people are wearing just, different kinds of jackets and ties and have their hairdo differently—it’s not like you’re all looking the same from here.
But what if I was to tell you that all of you are going to go through this one thing—you came through one wall and you’re going to hit the other wall and you’re going to be gone.
I deal with this. People write to me. People want to talk to me. I just talked—I just saw a lady in France. She wrote to me, said, “I’m ninety-eight years old. I have been with you since 1972—and I just want to shake your hand.” So I said, “Sure.”
So, when I was in France I called her. I was—I have to say, I was shocked. I was shocked. She looked younger than me! And I’m like, I thought, you know, she’d be like, eighteen people holding her—no! Just.... Then she started to tell me her story.
For four years she was in the German concentration camp—lost her mother, lost her father there. Showed me her tattoo.... And a smile on her face. She said, “I knew there was something more”—that that horror, whatever that was, “That wasn’t it!”
You think having gratitude in this life is a small thing? Not for, “thankful for your job, not thankful for your car and your cat, your dog”—but to be thankful to be alive. My friends, I’m talking about “alive,” the difference, the difference....
The difference between you and I isn’t about coming through that wall and going to hit the second wall. It is what we make between the two walls, that’s what makes us different. That’s the difference between the devil and the angel.
Who are you? Who are you? In this equation of all those other people—who are you? You don’t know. You know them—but you don’t know you.
If you had to get a message across to you, how would you do it—seriously? If you had to get a message across to you, how would you do it? You cannot “self-SMS.” How would you do it? Your silly little device doesn’t know.
You need to tell yourself, “Be happy. Be content. Be in joy. Be in love.” Please, please send yourself this message. You need to send this message to yourself—you need it.
You need to tell yourself, “It’s okay.” You need to tell yourself, “Be thankful.” You need to tell yourself, “Be content.” You need to tell yourself, “Be in clarity.” You need to tell yourself, “Enjoy.” You need to tell yourself.
What’s your number? What’s your number? What’s your handle? What’s your dot-com? Do you have the email of “dot-heart”? Do you have the email that ends with “dot-wisdom”? You don’t—you don’t—and you need to.
This happened to me—in London. So, I’m stuck in the famous London traffic jam, compliments of progress. (I came to London in 1972; believe me, there weren’t traffic jams like that....)
So, I’m sitting in the car and I see this man walking, and he’s got a stick—and so I realized that he couldn’t see; he was challenged, visually challenged, so he can’t see through his eyes, so he’s just using his cane. But I realized he was really clipping along. He was just, “Whshew, chu-chu-chu-chu-chu-chu-chu....”
And of course, I had nothing else to do except, sitting in the car, stuck in a traffic jam—and he would absolutely, completely pass us, and then we would catch up and I would start looking again; it’s like, “Wow. Man, he’s really moving. What’s he doing? How is he so sure?”
Then I realized, “Oh my God. This man is not looking for something, but one thing and one thing alone—he’s only looking for a clear path.” He doesn’t care about Westminster; he doesn’t care about the traffic jam here, the traffic jam there; he doesn’t care about the time on the Big Ben; he doesn’t care about all the pretty boats on the Thames.
All he cares about: “Is the path clear?” And not the whole path—just enough for him to pass, that’s how much he’s scanning with the stick. That’s all he cares about: “If that’s clear, keep walking.”
And then I realized, “Oh my God. He doesn’t care about the obstacles.” You would think he cares about the obstacles; he doesn’t care about the obstacles; he only cares about a clear path.
So when problems come in our life, do we look for a clear path—or do we look at “how we’re going to overcome the obstacle”? You don’t have to overcome the obstacle—if there is a mountain in front of you, figure out a way to go around it. And go around it. Don’t have to try to go, “Oh my God, how am I going to climb that mountain.”
I mean, is that what you do when you come across—you’re driving and there’s a huge building in front of you? Do you go, “But and, how am I going to drive through that building? And that’s, that’s really going to hurt my car—and me and, and, and everything....” No, you look left and right and you say, “Well, yeah, there’s a road; just go around it.”
Does that make sense? [Audience: Yeah.] Just today? [Audience: And yeah, that’s right.] Just today? No! You always knew this. And this is garnering wisdom; this is wisdom: “Don’t try to go over it; go around it.”
You have problems? You’re going to have problems. Of course, you’re going to have problems. Why are you going to have problems? Because you always try to go on top of the mountain. That’s why you’re going to have problems. I’m telling you, life is sweet—just go around.
Like that man, he taught me so much, taught me so much, just in that little time. Now, now I actually look forward to traffic jams in London. I can learn something—“Wow, what am I going to learn today, you know?” Because it’s going to happen....
They told me, “Oh, yeah, but oh, but it’s going to take two-and-a-half hours to, you know, go twelve miles.” I said, “No problem; let’s go!”
My friends, these are the possibilities. Are you ready to engage with the seed of clarity? Are you ready to engage with the seed of joy; are you ready to engage...? Because if you’re not, you need to send yourself a message—to be ready, and to do so. You need to send yourself a message.
And when that happens, imagine what you will have in your life. Imagine how beautiful that clarity is. That’s the power of light—“Turn on the light; turn on the light; turn on the light; turn on the light. Enough darkness.” And where does the light need to shine? In your neighbor’s yard—or yours? Try yours. That’s where it needs to shine—because there is a light inside of you. Discover, uncover.
This is what I help people do—those people who don’t know their number, I have a special software; I call it “Knowledge.” And it goes through and finds your number and it connects you to it. And it’s pretty good software; it’s very, very good software.
But even that software requires wisdom to use it, unfortunately. And me coming and going to all the places in the world, I am sharing my wisdom—because without that wisdom, it is very difficult to take and make proper use of Knowledge.
This is what I do. People listen to me and they go, “You make sense.” (Thank you; that’s what I do; that’s what I’ve been doing.) I was doing it since I was four years old—that’s my gift. That’s my gift. That’s my gift. And today, this is my gift to you.
Finding Your Inner Strength
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Visible onscreen, sign:
I’d like to tell you a story. In the old tradition, the way learning happened is those students who wanted to learn something would find a teacher—the teacher would sit down and tell them. Books did not exist; tradition was oral—and a lot of the teachers really didn’t want to write it down because they said “Writing it down would not allow it to be current.”
But this provided a beautiful background in which discussions happened and wonderful things happened. And so there was this wonderful teacher, and he wanted to drive a point home to his students. So, one day he got a glass of water—and he says, “How much do you think this glass of water weighs?”
And the students being students, started to, you know, take their guesses: “Oh, it weighs, you know, twenty ounces, this, this, you know, half a pound, or this,” or whatever, whatever came to their mind.
And he said, “Well, you know, it’s only a glass of water; it’s not that much, right?” And it’s like, “Yeah, it’s only a glass of water.” “So well, do you think—is it a big problem to hold this glass of water?” They said, “No, it’s not a big problem to hold this glass of water. It doesn’t weigh that much....”
He said, “But for how long? Because if you keep holding it with your arm stretched out—the same glass of water, without adding any more water to it—guess what will happen? It’ll keep getting heavier and heavier, and heavier, and heavier, not because of the water, but because your arm will start to get tired, and more tired, and more tired—and there will come a time when you won’t be able to hold the same glass of water.”
That’s the story. But what does it mean for you? You look at a problem in your life—and you say, “I’ll deal with it later. I, I can take care of it; I—it’s okay; it’s okay, I can, I can deal with it.”
And you’re holding onto it—and it’s getting heavier and heavier, and heavier, and heavier, and heavier—till that same—without the problem becoming any different, you can’t hang onto it. You can’t hold it anymore. What do you have to do? What is the solution? It’s very simple; put it down. Put it down. Let it go.
In our life, too, we are so impacted by all these problems that we get—and what’s wrong about that—that truly, the fundamental human nature is not to be in anger. The fundamental human nature is not to be in confusion; the fundamental human nature is not to be in darkness—the fundamental human nature is to enjoy.
To feel gratitude every day of your life, to understand its preciousness, to understand the value of this breath that you have been given—this is the blessing. This is the reality—for you, this is the reality.
I always say it; there are two walls—and you came through one wall—the day you were born, you came through one wall. Now you are alive; you keep going, keep going, keep going, and you’re going to hit the other wall. And when you do, you’ll disappear, “whitchew”; gone through it. Where to? Nobody knows; they’re still trying to figure it out.
Then comes the whole complex saga: “Heaven—are you going to go to hell; are you going to go there,” and everybody has their definitions on it, “And this will be this way; this will be this way; this will....”
I’m not here to argue it; I’m not here to change your mind about it; I’m not here to say “That’s not the way it is.” All I’m saying—is that it’s also possible that this time that you have between the two walls, you can also create your heaven here, now—that’s all.
So let me tell you that these problems that you deal with are like that glass of water—put it down. Give it a break. That’s not what your life is for. Open your eyes and see. Understand—not just imagine, but understand. To see the beautiful reality of existence, for you. For you.
The day you understand about the richness of your existence, after that you will never be poor—never, never! Because that is priceless. Priceless.
The day you understand your strength—this is what I was talking about before. The day you understand your strength, you will realize that indeed, you can move the mountains—not the physical mountains, your mountains.
Your mountain is the darkness. Now having said that, I want to tell you something else. From darkness to light there is a clear path. From pain to joy there is a clear path—find it; don’t look at the obstacles; don’t look at your problems. Everybody has learnt in this world to look at problems. “What do you do?” “I talk about peace.” “Oh, there can’t be any peace in this world.”
Oh, yes, there can, if you know how to find the path.... Not the problems—not the problems. Not the obstacles and the overwhelming, being overwhelmed by the obstacles, but find that clear path and just stay with it—and you can achieve incredible results in your life.
Simple. Simple. But again, it’s a question of the habit. You have become so good at recognizing problems—that when solutions come, you can’t see them. Solutions come—and you can’t see them.
What habits have you given yourself? And, why...? Look, I’m not a psychologist; I am not a person who goes around giving advice of how families should be. That’s not—that’s none of what I can do.
But why am I telling you this? I’m telling you this—is because maybe one day, just one day, not being shy to say “I love you” to the ones you love—one day, one day you’ll be able to look at yourself and say “I love you.” And that day, I guarantee you your life will change.
Because you’re not loved by you; you’re judged by you. And I’m not talking about the wrong kind of love. I’m not talking about ego love; I’m not talking about, you know, “Yeah, I can do no wrong,” kind of love; that’s not the love I’m talking about.
True love: “I am in love with this breath—because it is a gift that I could not even ever imagine asking for.” Could you; could you? Could you ever, ever imagine asking for a gift like this breath? Could you? You would ask for a house; you would ask for a car; you would ask for a girlfriend; you would ask for a watch; you would ask for a shoe, or you would ask for a shirt—which you do.
Asking for a gift as incredible as the gift of this breath.... Understand and accept this incredible opportunity of life. Not be caught in some imagination, but see the reality, and see the reality, how beautiful it is. That this breath comes into you and it brings you life, and you are filled? And how beautiful it is.
And it’s not about that wall. That wall doesn’t win. I don’t want that wall to win. Because if I can understand the value, now, then I have defeated that wall. That even though this circus will pack up, but a heart will leave from this circus that will be full of gratitude.
Not empty. Not Alexander’s case, “Empty-handed you came and empty-handed you have to go.” “Empty-handed you came but empty-handed you don’t have to go.”
That when this heart is full of gratitude, when this heart has recognized, when this heart has understood the beauty of this incredible garden that I live in, of every day, the doors that open, the opportunities that come....
Hey, excuse me—I’m not telling you that’s the way it is for me every day. Do I get lost in my problems? Absolutely. Do I forget to put the glass down? Absolutely. But I need to keep making an effort to put the glass down.
Today, somebody came to me and said, “You know, could you talk about mindfulness,” (because I was talking about mindfulness at the Kind Malaysia event), “So would you talk about the, you know, the mindfulness...?” And I said, “Actually, there is a problem.” And I said, “The problem is....” So, I was talking to this person, talking to this person....
And I think I’ve coined a new word—and it’s not “mindfulness”—it’s “heartfulness.” Because I know what my mind is full of. I am very clear—well, I know what my mind is full of. So I know what my mind is full of—but I also am fortunate enough to know what my heart is full of.
And I want to be from that full heart, the heartfulness. Because that’s where I will recognize light, not the darkness. That’s where I’ll recognize compassion, not the anger. That’s where I will recognize clarity, not the confusion.
Because the problem is my mind doesn’t actually know about clarity, but it’s very clear on what confusion is. My mind doesn’t actually know about light, but it’s very clear on the darkness. And my mind doesn’t actually know about compassion, but it’s very clear on the anger, “and who you should be angry with.”
And my mind is very clear on what’s not going to work, half the time. But my heart is very clear on what is going to work. Heartfulness. In your life, heartfulness. Because that is the realm of going within and feeling who you really are. That is the fundamental step, the fundamental step to knowing yourself.
The rest? The grind goes on. You have come here—I thank you very much—you have come here; you have given me a chance to say what I wanted to say; you have listened to me; thank you. Will you remember it? Probably not. [Audience: Yeah.] And not most of it. But I must tell you that if you could implement just a little bit of what I have said, this can change your life—for the good.
This is an amazing pill; it’s called the “pill of clarity.” It is powerful. It is powerful. Those who have taken this have sung praises of, “How clear,” how that clarity brings that joy of the heart.
Prem Rawat in conversation With Peace Day Founder Jeremy Gilley
Visible onscreen, book title:
Peace Is Possible
You know, is peace a kind of a universal language, right—[PR: Umm-hmm, right.] because of course, it could be different in Italian and it could be different in Japanese or in French or in German or in English, whatever—Arabic. [PR: Umm.]
Is, is peace—you know, can it be talked about in one way; do you see what I mean? [PR: Yeah.] Is there any differentiation between, you know, cultures, in relation to the essence of peace?
Not so much the cultures, but the human beings themselves. Everybody has different-colored glasses. So when you mention the word “peace,” they have their own definition of what peace is.
So, if somebody’s in a country where it’s, food is the problem, then it’s like, “Okay, if everybody had food we would have peace.” If somebody is in a war-torn situation like Syria or Iraq or so many other places, “that’s peace.” [JG: And, yeah.] But you have to get—you have to establish that, and get beyond that to really define and talk about what peace really is.
Yeah, yeah—it’s very interesting, this, because I know exactly what you mean. Having traveled like you have, (I mean, it’s 133 countries)—or wherever, whatever it is, whatever the number is, [PR: Umm-hmm.] but we’re traveled a lot. And you’re absolutely right; the conversation of peace is completely different, you know, in each place.
And interestingly—you know, we’re sort of getting into technology now, and I know that you’re a great lover of technology; [PR: Umm-hmm.] I mean, that’s why—I spoke to you, the sort of, [PR: Yeah.] “the Jedi!” [PR: The Jedi.] You know, I mean, what you do, flying, filming, you know, writing—I mean it’s just, it’s inspirational.
But, I was sort of thinking that, you know, technology—sometimes I hear people say, “Oh, yeah, but, you don’t need to worry about what’s going on in the developed world; you need to be thinking about, you know, what’s going on in places where these conflicts are going.”
And I’m thinking to myself, “No, actually—no, they’re not—you’re not worried about food right now. And that, you know, you’ve got a roof over your head. We, who have the privilege of that situation, must be, really come involved. We, we’ve been given that gift and that opportunity to become involved.” Do you think along those lines sometimes?
Yeah, I do. And because, one of the things I see is, the conflict that is happening in what we consider the “Third World countries” is actually initiated by the First World countries.
You know, it takes a lot of money and it takes a lot of technology to start a war these days. And that technology is not technology that was born in the Third World countries—it’s First World country technology that comes and starts, [JG: Umm-hmm.] you know, devastating people’s lives. [JG: Yeah.]
To me, the peace that I talk about—because, you know, “no war,” or “no this problem” or “no that problem”—these are results of something that is amiss inside us.
So, is there a reason why people go hungry? There is absolutely no logical reason—because the amount of food that is thrown away—every day, if it was gathered and handled properly....
Because the earth produces more food than is required, even at this stage of the game. But why are people going hungry, then—if there is more food than is necessary, and plenty to feed everybody, why are people...? It is not about food—it is about distribution, (as people start to hoard)—not food, but distribution of that food, then people start to become hungry.
So, I just see that so much, in the Western world.... And look at it, you know—are you really voting for lawmakers in the Western world? Because that’s what we’re told, “Oh, yeah, you know, vote for this person; they’re going to, yeah....”
But when they are elected, they go into their—it is the lobbyists who are creating the laws. [JG: And, yeah.] And what is being protected; not the people....
Will this change, should this change, can this change? I’m not a politician—but I know one thing. That there is enough goodness in every single human being on the face of this earth, that if that was brought out, if that was allowed to be nurtured, that there would be one simple thing that would happen—not sympathy, but empathy.
It would be the first time that the world will start to use knowledge wisely.
We are after accruing knowledge, but we don’t accrue wisdom. And so it’s like, in a cockpit, pilots know there is a checklist—all pilots know there is a checklist—but to use the checklist is wisdom.
And it’s the same thing. To accrue knowledge, (yeah, I mean), invent new things—like even the phones. And all of a sudden, when you don’t use the phone wisely, it can actually land you in the hospital; people have been killed because they were using their phone. [JG: Yeah. Yeah.]
So, to me, these are the little things that need to happen, and understanding yourself is the first primary step to peace.
Umm, umm. Yeah, wow. I mean, I’m just—I mean, there are so many things that I’m thinking as I hear you talk. (And I’m sure, you know, people who are listening to it are, of course, we’re all thinking you’re inspiring us and provoking thoughts....)
When I saw you six years ago, I.... I mean, I was thinking about Peace Day; you know, you’re obviously thinking about Peace Is Possible. We’re talking; we’re trying to inspire; we’re trying to promote—we’re doing anything that we can—I mean, the incredible work that you’ve been doing in prisons for years, I mean, extraordinary....
There’s something that’s really, now, worrying, isn’t there—and that is the amount of time that we have left in terms of our resources, and the way in which we’ve treated this beautiful planet that we have, and....
More and more my conversations now, Prem, over the last, (I don’t know), five years, I would say—really in the last five years, particularly in the last couple—as I’ve spoken with people who are very, very knowledgeable, (I’ve ended up on a platform with them), they’ve said, “You know, 350 to 400 years left of human beings.” I mean—and they’re very, very knowledgeable people.
You know, you talk about the checklist? You know, we know the checklist. And with the wisdom, is there time? I mean, I am.... Also personal experiences in understanding human beings and what they say and what they do—I mean, I am concerned; I’m worried; I’m frightened and I’m sad.
So, the analogy that comes to mind, hearing this is, your house is on fire—and you’re standing outside—you’re fine but [JG: Yeah.] your house is on fire.
So, you can stand there and you go, “Guess what, guys; my house is on fire.” Five minutes later, “You know what? My house is on fire.” [JG: Yeah.] Six minutes later: “My house is on fire. My house is on fire; my house is on fire; my house is on fire; my house is on—my, my house is burning down; my house is going to burn down; my house is going to burn down....”
And if you keep doing this, that’s exactly what’s going to happen—your house is going to burn down. [JG: Right, yeah.]
Because what you need to do—is grab a bucket; grab a hose—and don’t sit there and lecture about how the house is on fire. Do something about that fire!
And I’m just saying that because just very recently there was a huge fire where I live—and many, many houses, unfortunately, were devastated; my neighbor’s house was devastated.
But it takes a proactive approach to alter this, to change this scenario. And my thing is, we have the possibility to change it—but we have to stop looking at it as “we,” and we have to say, “Every single individual has to be empowered.”
We don’t, when we walk on a stage.... And it really needs to be, “I am here”—not “we are here”—“I am here on this stage. I want to tell you the possibility of what we, (collectively and as individuals) can do to change this scenario.”
The problem happens—is, as soon as that “I” goes to “we”—as soon as it goes to “we,” people say, “He’ll fix it. He needs to change. I don’t need to change; I don’t need to fix it; I don’t have the problem.”
I’ve seen this; this is sixty years of experience talking, you know?
And it can be changed. It can be changed, and it can be changed. It can be changed, and the reason why it can be changed is because this problem that we are addressing right now is created by human beings—and if it is created by human beings, they can reverse it too. [JG: Yeah.]
You know, this is—this is a gift that we are here—this planet, the beautiful ocean, the rivers, the forests, the butterflies, that every bit of it is spectacular. And what we have done is taken it and used it without understanding the consequences of our actions. This is a disease with human beings—we act like we know what the consequence will be—but we actually don’t.
And so we have done a lot of things that we thought are good—but we didn’t really understand what their consequences were. [JG: Yeah.] And now, those consequences are starting to surface. And they’re reversible; they can be reversed. Every scientist I listen to, that’s the good news about everything that they have to say at the end of it: “It can be reversed.”
Right. So, yeah, I mean, but what we know and what you know, and what I’m listening to and what I’m hearing is that, you know, we’ve got to get to the individuals—whether it’s in that place where the rocks are, in the middle of absolutely nowhere—or whether it’s in New York City, or in London, Sydney, whatever.
We’ve got to, you know, we’ve got to try and engage, (haven’t we), that sense of individuals understanding that they, they are the ones who can change the world—and then, collectively, obviously, we can—you know, we can shift the level of consciousness around the fundamental issues that we face.
And that’s all it takes. [JG: Yeah.] It’s, and you don’t have to push the box all the way. Just enough, [JG: Yeah.] just enough, and once it tips the balance? It’s fine.
Yeah. I want—I just wanted to talk about three things, just to help me—and maybe it helps some others. Can you just talk to me a little bit about the importance of family?
And, you know, when I think about the world and I think about peace, I think about, you know, if my family—and if my family’s together and one.... And if we can do that on a global scale, then we’d sort of create world peace. Can you just tell me about the importance of us really holding ourselves together? (Talk to me a little bit about that.)
Well, a family is that unit that’s a bumper in the front, so when a blow comes, it can soften it. [JG: Wow.] The family is the nourishing, nurturing, somebody who can understand when nobody else will understand you. More than your friends.... And obviously, somebody who can give you advice, even at the peril of your anger—and give you good advice.
A family is you in another form. It’s like, not just one flower, but a tree that flowers—that’s a family. [JG: Yeah.] And to me, to have that family, to have an understanding of that family, and not to berate that family, not to second that family, but to understand that that’s number one....
And look at nature; it’s not about just one flower. A plant will not just be satisfied with one flower—another one, another one, another one, another one, and before you know it, it’s a family.
And its mission, its job, its purpose, whatever it is in this world, will be fulfilled far greater and far more beautifully when it is flowering and there are a whole bunch of flowers on that plant, not just one flower.
Yeah, amazing, amazing. And that, yeah, I mean, on Peace Day, 21st September, one of the things that we’ve always said is like, “Bring the....”
Somebody’s like, “You know, well, what can I do?” I’m like, “Well, you know, bring the family together.” You know, bring the family together; be one on that day, you know, with the sort of global family, and also the ones that we have. And so hopefully, we’ll see a lot of that, you know, going on, on the Day.
So, but a little bit about love. [PR: Umm-hmm-hmm.] Yeah, that’s like, you know—and I was sort of just thinking at the weekend, you know—I was with my little girl, and I, you know, I just sort of.... You know, I just adore her, right? My, my entire existence, like, nothing comes first, you know, like....
You know, when I’m with her, that’s, there’s no—it’s about Rose. It’s not about the work, right—and it has to, and it has to be that way for me and I love it. How do I contain it, you know? I mean, like, you know, I love her so much, [PR: Umm-hmm.] I kind of just sort of want to do everything....
I mean, have you ever sort of felt that? Have you, have you any sort of words of wisdom for us, you know, both in terms of personal relationships or with family relationships? When you love so much, you know, it can kind of almost sometimes be too much....
It never is.
It never is? Okay, great.
It never can be. It can never be. [JG: Okay.] Stop thinking—start loving. [JG: Yeah.]
Don’t think about love. Feel the love in your life; it’s a gift. It always won’t be the same. It won’t. [JG: Yeah.] It changes. You will change—and one day you won’t be here. [JG.: Yeah.] So, love like there is no tomorrow. Stop thinking about what it all means; start loving.
If we did that, this world would be a different place today.
Fantastic. And what about—and what about, (I mean, these are, yeah, these were big thoughts), but what about death? You know, I mean I, I’m getting—I’m now fifty years old. And I’m, you know, looking at my mum and dad, and I’m thinking, “Wow, you know, you guys are like, doing so well....”
But I think about, you know, not so long ago when I helped my mum say goodbye to her mum. I mean, and you know, is that the—is it the same as love—I mean, we just love...?
I mean, you know, it’s like, I look and I just, I, I get frightened. I think, “You know, and you guys are amazing in the support that you’ve given me and encouraged me,” and I’m just like—the idea of them not being around is a, just like....
Will they, will they—is that what you’re afraid of, that they won’t be around?
Yeah, I think it is, a little bit. Sometimes I look at them and I think, “Well, what would I do when I have the moments that are tough—and I would ring my mum or I’d ring my dad and go, ‘Hey...?’” You know, and it’s like, “Yeah, you’re there; you’re there.” And I worry about sometimes, that they’ll not be there.
Well, you won’t ever lose them. They live in you—and they will always live in you. You’ll never lose them. So far you’re alive, they will live inside of you. [JG: Yes....]
It’s just like the moon and earth. That moon was born of the earth. It is no longer part of the earth, but it is always part of the earth. It influences. That wisdom that they gave you when you called them in times of trouble, that’s in you. That’s not going away.
That, that’ll—it’s, don’t worry about death, because death is automatic; you don’t have to make an appointment; you don’t have to go see anybody—no, no, it comes.
Don’t be in fear of losing what you will not lose—because they will be in you. Genetically, you are a part—you’re just like a moon. You came from them. You will orbit. They will be there for you—in your memories, they will laugh; they will dance; they will tell you things; they—but it’s a wonderful thing, human beings.
And no fear, no fear. Take that energy that you use to be afraid, to be concerned—and use it just to love. Love them like there’s no tomorrow. And then they’ll be closer to you than you realize.
Wow, yeah. It’s a beautiful thought—thank you, Prem. It’s amazing to see you again.
Good to see you too, Jeremy.
Okay. Thank you.
Taylor’s University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
People talk about world peace; people look at me like, “Okay, tell us about world peace, and fix all the problems.” And I’m like, “No, I can’t fix any problems—because the way it works is, at first, you find your peace. First, you find your peace—and then, make peace with the world—and then you will have world peace.”
And whether or not there is world peace, at least you need to make peace with yourself. Because that’s the fundamental step.
So, before you can even begin to tackle the job of making peace with yourself, the question is, “Who are you? What are you?” What are we all about? What are our fundamental basics? And one thing that we all share in common—that we all want to be content. We want to be happy; we want to feel good.
It doesn’t matter what you call it. It’s this state of being in which we find ourselves to be us, and we are happy with it. It isn’t built upon ideas and theories and philosophies and all of this stuff—but just that you feel good. You feel good! Because you feel good and you feel good from the inside, not psychologically.
That you indeed have a strength—and, talk about emotion.... When do we become emotionally strong? We can only become emotionally strong when we’re strong within ourselves.
Otherwise, emotions eat us apart: “Does my friend like me; does my dad like me; does my mom like me?” And then we just run the game of seeking approval—approval from this world, approval from our friends, approval from our parents, approval, approval, approval, approval, approval—and in this process of finding approval we uproot ourselves.
And then? We’re lost. Having everything, and we’re lost. The goodness that resides in us becomes dormant.
It’s very simple. If you take a field—if you take a field and leave it be, don’t do anything to it, what do you suppose is going to happen? Things will grow—but what will grow is weeds. And maybe somebody, seeing that there are weeds growing; nobody is using the land, they will start to throw trash in there too. And the situation of the land will deteriorate.
However, even going through this whole process of being dumped on, weeds growing, has that land ever lost its potential for growing beautiful flowers, pure beautiful vegetables, or a beautiful crop? No, that potential is still there—and how does the potential return? The potential returns as soon as somebody starts to take care of it, take out the weeds.
People don’t want to know themselves. People don’t want to understand who they are. And when I say “who you are,” it’s not about your personality. It’s not about your likes and dislikes. It’s not about your ideas—it’s not even about your dreams.
You see, because your dreams are going to change. Your dreams are going to change! Your ideas are going to change; your circumstances are going to change—but who truly you are, you are not going to change.
Your body is going to change. The way you look at your body is going to change. Your stamina is going to change. Your friends are going to change. What you think is hip is going to change—your fashion is going to change. But who you truly are is not going to change.
So I say to you, that “Who are you?” Fifty percent bad. (Sorry.) Exactly fifty percent—not forty-nine/fifty-one—exactly fifty percent, you’re really bad. That’s the bad news. The good news is, fifty percent? Good. Very good. Amazingly good, incredibly good.
What do you think of that? “Fifty percent bad; fifty percent good.” Because the fear is in you, and that’s the bad—and courage is in you; that’s the good. Confusion is in you, and that is the bad, and clarity is in you, and that is the good. War is in you; that is the bad, and peace is in you; that is the good.
In you. Your fear comes wherever you go. Your disappointment comes wherever you go—it’s just always there. You book one seat on the airplane? They’re all over you.
But—knowing yourself is understanding not only the bad, but understanding the good. Because most people, when they would talk to me sometimes, they say, “You know, I get angry very easily.” They have understood their bad—but they have not understood their good.
Because I have to point out to them that “If you can get angry, that means you have something else too—and that is, forgiveness, joy, is also there.” When I say, “Know yourself,” that’s exactly what I mean—you know your bad; you haven’t felt your good yet—but it’s there.
I want you to understand that it is there. And you can get in touch with it. You don’t need to get in touch with your bad—because you are very familiar with it, right? But are you familiar with the good?
Whenever a circumstance needs it, you can summon the bad just like this, right? How long does it take you to get disappointed? Just like that!
Let me tell you something. In this life, understanding and knowing that the good is in you—and not accepting the failure.... This is the core; this is the foundation of emotional strength, physical strength, mental strength. Clarity—that’s what clarity is: “The good in you and the bad in you, both are there wherever you go.”
Your mission, if you choose to accept it, has to be in life, to perpetuate the good, the kindness, the generosity. The clarity.
Generosity isn’t giving money out to people. Generosity existed before money was invented. Generosity begins with being generous with the kindness that you have. Kindness. Understanding that every human being on the face of this earth is just like you—nobody is better and nobody is worse.
There is a possibility here in this life—and this is the real possibility. And the possibility is—like against all odds, you learnt how to walk, failed, but never accepted a failure....
It’s up to you. That’s my suggestion. That’s what living this life without accepting the failures is about—to consciously make a choice. To understand that the possibility of peace is here with you—always has been, always will be—that the peace is inside of you, even as you walk this world.
Whatever you do and wherever you go and whatever happens and how dire the circumstances are, the peace is still inside of you.
Prem Rawat: [voiceover]
What you’re looking for is inside of you. The joy that you need in your life is inside of you.
You have not been put on this earth without the tools that you need to get the most out of this life.
This time that you have begins with you; your understanding begins with you; your use of the tools that you have been provided begins with you.
You find yourself. You understand, finally, in your life that perhaps, “There is a self that I do not know.” My thing is, take it in! Chill with it.
FOR YOUR LIFE
Peace Is Possible Event
People come to me, “Oh, I want to be happy.” You want to be happy? Do you want to be happy? Do you want to be happy? You want to be happy? [Audience: Yes.] Get eight hours of sleep.
“So, if you are not offering happiness, what are you offering?” I am offering peace. “What, happiness is, peace is separate?” No, peace can make you happy too—but so can eight hours of sleep make you happy as well! But eight hours of sleep can bring you happiness but not peace. And what I am offering is the peace that already is in you.
Understand, see. Don’t look at this world, don’t look at your life as all these other criteria—they’re not; there are no criteria. This is the stage you’ve got. You’ve got to work with it and dance and dance the most magnificent dance you can.
And dance every day of those 36,500 days. Dance from your heart; dance because you’re celebrating your existence.
Celebrate being alive. People—“Oh, my birthday today.” Only once a year? And what is the bad part of celebrating a birthday every day? You would get really old really quick. But celebrate your existence every single day. Feel the life.
Not your issues. This is real stuff. I’m faced with issues: “What do you want—what do you want, Prem? Problems?”
Just because you have life doesn’t mean you know how to live it. Because if you want to live your life, you need wisdom. You have to garner wisdom. Knowledge is great to acquire, but if you don’t acquire wisdom, you will not be able to do what that knowledge can allow you to do.
A simple example that I give—that “pilots know they have a checklist in the cockpit; wisdom is to use it.”
So, you gather knowledge—but you don’t gather wisdom. If you don’t gather the wisdom to use, to be wise: “Wow, my priorities—what are my priorities today? What do I want to live for? What is my focus; what should be my focus?”
I want, every day, to be in touch with who I truly am. Because when I get in touch with myself, I also get in touch with the divinity that exists inside of me, the simplicity that exists inside of me, the joy that exists inside of me.
There is something within you that is constant, and there is something that is always changing. What is changing is in the outside; what is constant is on the inside—what do you want?
On the outside everything will change. Will you look the same? I wish I had a time-lapse camera, “Chook, chook,” on, right here: “Chk, chk, chk, chk, chk, chk....”
What does it all look like now? I started at nine years; I started talking about peace when I was four—started sitting on the stage and talking behind a microphone, thousands of people.
There was a time, I was the youngest. Of course, in my family, I was the youngest—and pretty much, wherever I went I was the youngest.
It’s not like that anymore. These eyes have seen change. And this heart has experienced the timeless. And the changeable is fascinating—is fascinating. The timeless is magnificent.
The changeable: “Wow. Boy, look. Oh my God, did you see that person; you see that person; you see that person?” And the heart, opening the eyes and seeing, “I also see the timeless in each one of you.” That’s the recognition. When you recognize the one in you, you recognize the one in each one. Because so it is. So it is.
The way this world is, where greed can have so much power, so quickly.... And this world is being run by greed. Everywhere you look, greed-greed-greed-greed, greed-greed-greed-greed, greed.
If we human beings do not bring the formula of the human back in—and replace greed—we’re all doomed. The stakes are very high now, where we won’t even have a planet to be on. We punish, through our actions, polar bears—who have done us no wrong. We punish the penguins—who have done us no wrong.
The other day I saw somebody who had gone to Africa and shot a beautiful lion. And I was like, “Hey, you know what? If this guy really wants to go hunting, he should be allowed to. But without a gun.” Even keel.
It’s not fair. The poor lion doesn’t have a gun. He doesn’t know how to use a gun—you do. And where is that little wisdom, “The strong shall protect the weak”?
No. The stakes are much, much higher. The world is becoming enslaved to a device that, it is still called a “smartphone.” It should not be called a “smartphone”—because the least amount of thing that thing does is phone. And it’s not smart. There’s nothing smart about it—all the people who you don’t want to receive calls from, call it. How can it be smart?
So, make every step you take on this stage of life count. Make it count. You owe this to life. And one day, you will be rewarded with the most beautiful gift called clarity, called gratitude, called understanding—and your life will never be the same again.
Life is this stage. Play, play this symphony; play this dance every day. Your heart yearns for it.
It’s been a while, but here I am again. And doing a lot of things, as you can see; this is all a new setup getting ready for the PEP. And, you know, taking care of things, and as slowly, things start opening up, the possibilities of starting off and going different places are looking better and better, whenever that happens....
The most important thing, of course, is to stay safe—for you, for me, for all of us. You know, and if it’s two more weeks or four more weeks, or whatever it happens to be, it’s okay. You know, just stay fluid like water. Remember that tree that knows how to bend, how to flex in the wind—and by that flexibility, it is actually assuring itself a long life—so that’s really wonderful.
Anyways, so what inspired me to come out here and talk to you? Well, I was saving the questions—but there was one question that came up that got me thinking. And let me begin with a little story. So, I hope you’re not bored with this, but this could be, you know, your mouth could start salivating—but let me talk to you about a samosa. And so, what is a samosa?
So, it’s a thin dough—and it’s whole wheat dough, but it’s thin. And you make a filling. And one of the very popular fillings in India is potato. And you add, you know—everybody has their own version of samosa filling.
So, why am I talking about a samosa? Well, so it hit me that there was a time when I was a little boy—and I remember this particular day, because what happened was all my brothers and my mother and some other relatives, they all decided to go to the movies. And they weren’t going to take me; I was too young, I guess.
So I stayed home—but I was devastated. I remember I was absolutely devastated that I wasn’t going to get to go. And I was crying and it was terrible.
So, my father happened to be at home—which was rather rare, because he would always be traveling somewhere—but he happened to be home that day. And he was, you know, a little concerned that I was crying. And so he said, “Why are you crying?” And I said, “Well, you know, they didn’t take me. So, I’m, I’m”—I was heartbroken. (I didn’t tell him that, but I was.)
And he says, “Okay, you and I will go and have a good time.” So I said, “All right.” It wasn’t going to be the good time that I had imagined—because it was a real suffering from my idea of how it should be—they didn’t take me and I was, you know, I was devastated....
So, he took me, and we ended up going to this restaurant—and I was a little boy—and I remember this. And I remember he ordered—he looked at me and he says, “Would you like to eat something?” And I said “Yes,” and he said, “Okay, how about a samosa?” And I said, “Oh, that sounds good.” And I said, “I’m also going to have some ice cream.”
So, believe me, I have had a lot of samosas and I do have ice cream—but that day, that particular day, that samosa and that ice cream, I remember.
Do I remember the filling of that samosa? Absolutely not. Do I remember what kind of ice cream was it that I had that day? Absolutely not. I don’t know if it was vanilla, it was strawberry or it was chocolate. But, boy, I tell you, it was the best samosa and it was the best ice cream that I have ever had in my life.
Now, I had—another time I had samosa, and it was really delicious. And, you know, samosa having that thin dough and then it’s deep-fried, the caramelization happens and it gets crispy. And it’s just, the aroma, the—you know, it’s just amazing. Umami is just amazing.
And this particular day, I was traveling—I was older—I was traveling. And the people where I was, where I had started from had forgotten to pack the lunch—they had packed the lunch but they had forgotten to give it to us.
So I was really, really hungry and so we pulled over, and there was a little place on the side of the road. And this samosa filling I remember—and it was this, just the simplest samosa filling—it was the potato, a little bit of black pepper, salt, little bit of chilies, (chopped green chilies and a little bit of red chilies), and coriander.
And so it was just, when you bit into it, that umami of the fried bread was there; the dough—and the potato, you could taste it, the coriander, the pepper—and the salt and the chilies. And all of these flavors and the smells were there. So, anyways, my mouth is watering; I don’t know about yours.... But it was just something that really hit the spot.
So, now, why am I telling you about samosas? Well, you see, that other one, that other samosa I had that was the best samosa I’ve ever had—and the best ice cream I have ever had—had nothing to do with the flavor, had nothing to do with that particular stuffing. It had to do with the company that I had—and how much it meant to me.
And so, sometimes we don’t understand what “good” is. So, anyways, now let me come back to what caused me to, you know, what—this question that I saw and it really got me going....
So, the question was, “What if the bad wolf ate the good wolf?” So for, (if some of you don’t know this story), I’ll just very quickly reiterate the story. A little boy traveling with the tribe came to the chief and said, “Chief, I have a question.” Chief said, “What?” He goes, “Well, why is it that some people who are good sometimes are bad the other times?”
And the chief said, “Because there is a good wolf in us and there is a bad wolf in us, and they fight.” And so the boy thought about it, and then a few minutes later he said to the chief; he says, “Which one wins?” And he said, “Well, the one you feed. So if you feed the bad wolf, it gets strong; if you feed the good wolf, it gets strong.”
So, when I first read the question, I giggled—I mean, I’m sorry but I giggled, because it’s like, well, you know, here I talk about these stories; I give these analogies—and here is somebody giving this analogy back to me, “What if the bad wolf ate the good wolf?” I mean, “Ate the good wolf?” And then I started thinking about it—“Is that even possible—the good and the bad?”
So, that’s where the samosa example comes in—and by the way, samosa is not from India; it’s from Persia, and it was developed at the court. A lot of people used to come and they would be standing all day long to hear the verdict of the king, you know, and in different cases, and so there was nothing for them to eat....
Somebody came up with the idea, “A little bit of bread, fry it; stuff it with something,” and it became samosa. And of course, when—anything that makes it to India becomes Indian very quickly. And Indians have made it their own—and done a fabulous job of it.
So, good is much bigger than you realize. And the bad is much bigger than you realize—it is more than the sum of your life—it’s huge; it’s massive. This unsettled war of the good and the bad has played out on the face of this earth as far back as stories go—they are about the good and the bad. It is all about the good winning over the bad.
And how far does that go? (Not in terms of time), but how big is that good? Because if that good wasn’t good—and that good wasn’t big, then in this life, things become uncertain. If truly it was possible for the bad wolf to ever eat the good wolf, we’re in trouble; we’re in serious, serious trouble.
But then, if you remember what Krishna says, “That even in your darkest moment, I will not abandon you.” There—that’s about the good: “You will not be abandoned,” even if it seemed to you that the bad wolf is eating the good wolf or has eaten the good wolf—as dark as it gets!
Because for me, that day when I didn’t get to go with my family, (my brothers, my mother), I was devastated. You know, there wasn’t the good wolf coming along and saying, “No, it’s, you know, it’s all right; you don’t need to worry about it; you don’t need to be bothered.” I was very bothered; I was crying.
And it had such an impact on me, the bad—and then, going to the good, the most wonderful samosa and the most wonderful ice cream; I mean, my goodness, you know, that flavor.... That you’ve got that hot samosa, the crispy samosa, the salty samosa, and then you take a bite of that cold ice cream. I mean....
You know, and of course, the temperature of the ice cream has to be right. Because if it’s too liquidy, it won’t taste good. And if it’s too cold and it’s like a brick, it won’t taste good—so, everything was just right. But more than that—it was the company.
So there is something that is good that goes beyond the scope of everyday activity that you’re involved with. That everything that happens in your life, for whatever the period is, five years, six years, two years, one day, one minute, one second, whatever, there is a good that prevails. And it’s much, much, much, much bigger than you realize.
Never underestimate the value of darkness; it’s huge. It is very powerful; it’s very potent. But for us human beings on the face of this earth, whatever our challenges may be, there is a good—and that good is more powerful, is backed up by more. There is a power behind it. There is a strength behind it. And this is the strength that we have to, in our lives, latch onto—the strength of the good.
To remember that even in my darkest hour, I am not abandoned. I may feel abandoned, but I’m not abandoned. Because I haven’t latched on; I haven’t made it my home, the goodness that is in me. I haven’t made that good wolf my companion. Not just something that I feed, but that that goodness becomes my companion.
And that that other wolf is something that I stay away from. Not only is a question of feeding it, but I stay away from it—because that’s something that I don’t want a relationship.... I want my relationship with the good, with what is powerful. Because this is who I am.
You know, what is the difference between day and night? Not much. There are the stars; there is the planet Earth, still going around and round and round. But there is a huge difference. And that difference is that during that day, there is the light of the sun and I can see. And that seeing makes all the difference—that I can be, now, awake. It’s not just that I can see, but I am awake too.
And that I have a fundamental need to sleep—and it works very well when the darkness comes because I need that darkness to be able to fall asleep in.
So, one great disadvantage is that when it is dark, I don’t know what’s out there. I need to know that. If somebody is challenged visually, they use a stick to figure out what’s out there. But we need to know what is out there.
And the same thing about the good in our life. That is the beautiful, truly the beautiful, amazingly the beautiful that resides in the heart of every single person that is alive.
Now, you know, of course, there are people—I’m sure they’re going off on this tangent of, “And this could have happened, and that could have happened and, you know, there are people out there that have done horrible things, that have done terrible things.”
True. I’m not saying that that’s not true. But as a human being, we always carry in us the possibility of a change—that we can go from darkness to light. That this war that we engage in can be won. That it isn’t about winning every single battle, but it is about winning the war. And we can win that war. We can win.
I mean, I know that we’re faced with this challenge—and, you know, seeing this, how governments are reacting to it—absolutely unbelievable.
I mean, here is a moment in which humanity needs to come first, not politics. Humanity needs to come first—that those people who are going off and harping on these politics and politics and making this a game and making this a terrible thing, really need in their lives to understand that they are, first of all, they are human beings.
And their decisions of how they handle things affect so many other human beings. So many people that die—and now, I read, so, and they want to manipulate the data! I mean, okay, they’ve been manipulating the data ever since, so it’s not going to be a big shock to anybody.
Because, you know, one of the things is—and this is true, that not all politicians are like this—but I think they all take an oath, or most of them who are just, have got their head buried somewhere else, take an oath that—they take an oath of telling the truth all the time, that they will always lie. (And something like that.)
Because it seems to be so confusing, with “Do this and don’t do this; do this; don’t do this.” And it’s all about ego....
But here is a chance to do something good. And if—and here is my point of it. If they can’t do it, you can—because you find the goodness in you. And you keep safe—and you keep your neighbors safe. And you keep the people around you safe—because the good is in you.
And what are you doing to do when this coronavirus is no more, and everything goes back to, quote-unquote, “being normal”? Are you going to remember this period? Are you going to bring out your best? Again, not measuring how much, but bringing out your best—because it is in you? Are you going to let that shine? Are you going to let that manifest?
Or are you going to be like, “Well, I don’t have the time for it”—another excuse. You have time to make excuses—and as human beings, we are very good at excuses: “I don’t have the time; I’m too busy; I’m this; I’m that.” And yet, your life; you make the decision.
So, going back to my samosas and ice cream and everything else, just to remember how powerful this possibility is. And one thing that I have to say—and my father used to say this; I’m saying it—that the seed is never destroyed; the seed is always there.
So, yes, the seed of bad is never destroyed—but the seed of good is never destroyed. You can hold your head and go, “Oi, you know, it’s all over,” or “the seed of bad is never going be destroyed,” but the good news here is not that—the good news here is that the seed of the good will never be destroyed. And you carry that good inside of you.
And it’s much bigger. However long you’re going to live, however, whatever is going on in your life, the seed and the cycle of the goodness is more, is bigger than you. It’s huge; it’s massive.
So, I don’t know—I thought that there were so many questions being asked that are actually connected to this question. So, answering this particular question, (which, at first, I thought it was hilarious)—but then when I started thinking about it, I saw the depth of what it means.
This is the drama that’s been playing out—again and again and again and again; this is what Mahabharat was all about; this is what Ramayan was all about—that the good won. The good was victorious.
And at the end of the day, we always, all of us, have to make that effort to make the good win in our lives every day. And if it can be boiled down to that, sure.
Now, when pain comes, when trouble comes, you know, that flattens us. It’s like, pegged against the wall, “What are you going to do? Oh my God, oh, this is terrible; this is horrible.”
But—there is something else too—and that “something else” is bigger than the sum of all the problems that are on the face of this earth. And there are a lot of problems on the face of this earth, a lot; I mean, from small problems to huge problems....
And just imagine what’s happening in this world today. You know, whatever is happening in your little life is happening in your life, but imagine what is happening. Somebody was just born—just born. Another person was just born. Somebody just died. They’re gone—they’re gone forever. They’re never going to come back.
Somebody just became really rich. Somebody just became really poor. Somebody just lost their way. Somebody just found their way. The dramas that are going on all the time out there, they’re not trivial. They affect human beings deeply.
But the way that the good affects the human being is also very unique. And that goes back to “I don’t remember the filling of the samosa but it was the most delicious samosa; I remember that. I don’t know what kind of ice cream it was—but it was the most delicious ice cream I have ever had, bar none.” And I have had some good ones, but nothing as delicious as that.
So, stay safe; be well. Stay fluid. This thing hasn’t played out yet. You know, God knows—it’s, what some of the politicians are doing just to make a name for themselves—they have no interest, human interest in sight. That it’s just about their name, their fame, their two minutes of glory—at your expense. At your expense.
I don’t want to talk about that so much—because I can talk about the good that is in you. And that is much bigger than all those trivial little things that still have to play out with this coronavirus thing—this coronavirus thing has got everybody—it’s got everybody’s attention like you wouldn’t believe.
Now, if we give the attention to the good inside of us, we will have a different world, a beautiful world. So, again, be well; be safe. Take care of yourself. And I’ll talk to you soon. Thank you.