Hello, everyone. I hope you’re all doing well under the circumstances—and today, again, we’re going to be going through some questions that you have written in. Now, these aren’t all of the questions.
But one of the questions from Emmanuel is, “What solutions would you like to see for all humanity and this world within your lifetime?”—so, I see in my lifetime....
Well, I don’t really have a long list. My list is rather simple; I would like to see a little bit less greed. I would like to see a little bit more kindness; I would like to see a little bit more generosity. I would like to see people first—then everything else.
I would like to see the hunger eliminated. There’s no reason for it unless the person wants to be hungry. Now, of course, you know, eliminating hunger doesn’t mean that you force-feed everybody. If somebody really wants to be hungry, fine; that’s fine.
But, you know, those things that are just unnecessary—and are because of our bad behavior on the face of this earth. And if we can eliminate that, have a little more kindness all around, have a little bit better understanding of ourselves—which will help us understand other people, because they are just like us.
And less of these differences that people have, you know, “You’re Chinese; you’re this, you’re that,” but no, just look at the human beings as human beings. And the variety that we have, welcome it; welcome the differences.
You know, and people just pointing down at other groups that are different—to stop that. You know, that just to treat human beings as human beings, whatever their preferences might be, however they want to live, however they want to exist, however they want to be—to have a society that is tolerant of that—not intolerant, but tolerant of that.
And so, you know, that’s, I guess, a pretty long list, but that’s what I’d like to see, just a little bit less of that greed, you know, a little bit less of that anger, a little bit less of that macho, bully-on-the-block that every country wants to be. Just a little bit less—I think that would make a huge difference.
And sensitivity to the nature, the environment, to make things right with the environment, to make right things with all the creatures on the face of this earth, rather than seeing ourselves as the custodian of them and then doing nothing.
If we are going to see ourselves as the custodian, if we are going to see ourselves as the crown of creation, then we’d better act like one, like the crown of creation—and help all those creatures, rather than, you know, all that means is you have ownership of it. But that doesn’t mean anything if you don’t take care of it. So, that’s what I’d like to see.
And then there is another question from Rita, “Thank you for, again for sharing beautiful and interesting insights into this lockdown period. I’m so happy you will be doing trainings with us”—and these are the PEP trainings. And that, yes, they will be for everybody, because they’ll come out just like this. So, whoever wants to go through it....
Oh yeah, and talking about PEP—it was brought to my attention that a lot of people watching don’t actually have any idea what PEP is. So, what is PEP? Well, PEP stands for Peace Education Program.
I have some statistics here. The Prem Rawat Foundation, (which is TPRF), started the program worldwide in 2012—and in 2013, began collecting meaningful statistics. The Peace Education Program is eight years old; it’s working in six continents: Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Europe and Australia, (Oceania area).
There have been more than eighty-five countries since 2012—currently active in thirty-nine countries, translated into thirty-five languages, presented in 600 correctional facilities globally—and total attendees since inception is nearing 94,000. (So, that was as of March first, so some of that has changed, I’m sure.)
And in different areas, in South America, Australia/Oceania area, North America, Europe, Asia, Africa—so, adult learning center, (the type of facility), there have been forty of these PEP trainings, twenty-nine in the Australia/Oceania area, twenty-two in North America—and Europe, fifty; Asia, seven; Africa, nine.
Business organizations: sixty-four in South America and nothing in Oceania, nothing in North America. Europe, four; Asia, two; Africa, four. Civic and government: fifty-four of these trainings have happened in South America; eight in Oceania; twenty-three in North America; thirty-six in Europe; forty in Asia and ten in Africa.
So, it goes on like this—and you know, corporations and foundations: forty in South America; two in Australia; sixteen in North America—Europe is twenty-two; Asia is thirty; in Africa is fourteen. Educational: 355 in South America; Australia, twenty-three; North America, seventy-seven; Europe, 132.
Anyway, the grand total—so it covers veterans, special groups, senior centers, police and law enforcement, non-profit and NGOs, health and wellness, educational, correction and prison, corporations and foundations, community centers, libraries, civic and government, business organizations and adult learning centers....
All put together, 843 of these trainings have happened in South America; 244 in Pacific/Oceania area; 985 in North America; 910 in Europe; 360 in Asia; 722 in Africa. That’s just a little introduction to PEP. It’s a really, really, really simple program. Because of its simplicity; it’s successful.
And so, it is a series of lectures that are given by me in different environments—some are direct to camera; some are at different events that I did—and then the participants are just simply asked to reflect on what they have heard and pay attention.
And I guess it’s just that “paying attention” business that makes all the difference. That if you could just closely look at what is being said and then give it some thought, that that’s what makes a big difference. Anyways, so that’s what PEP is and yes, it’ll be open to everyone.
The question, the next one, (no name), but, “Whenever I do any work with full concentration, I do it once, twice, but after that, I lose my concentration and continuity. I easily forget to do right works, but not the wrong ones.”
You know, I don’t know what exactly your situation is. But wandering off, losing focus, losing concentration, that happens to a lot of people, so first of all, you’re not alone. But secondly, most importantly, a little discipline goes a long ways into keeping you focused.
Because, you know, we become so easily adapted to, “Am I enjoying this or not?” Sometimes the enjoyment comes a little bit later—and you have to have patience for that. You know, not everything is instantly rewarding all the time. And in life, that’s a lesson you have to learn.
So, a little bit of discipline, a little bit of patience, a little bit of those powers that you have—will go a long ways in helping you out in your situation.
“I have been to a lot of teachers”—somebody who’s been searching. And the question is, “How will I know I’ve found the real one? How would I know?”
Well, it’s not a question of real one or a fake one—but something that your heart will tell you. Somebody who touches your heart—that’s what teaching about life, a teacher about life needs to be, that, somebody who touches your heart.
Not just your mind; not just engage your mind—but somebody that touches your heart, that has that encompassing feeling and sees you as a human being, not somebody who is searching for truth but just as a human being. And keeps looking at you as a human being for the rest of your life. That what that teacher offers is something from their heart to your heart. So, I hope that helps.
“Dear Prem, in your Lockdown talks about ‘consequences from actions’”—I knew I was going to get something on that—“you say that it’s in that moment called now....” And that, yeah, the moment called “now” is where all actions take place. That’s it; that’s the bottom end of that.
“Please help me understand, how can I make my life more successful and simpler by just choosing the right action and avoiding the wrong ones?” Look, your life is simple. This is how it is. Now, you have brought in all the little bits and pieces that make it complicated. The process of making this happen is taking away, is a process of subtraction, not addition.
What am I talking about? All right, so you’ve got a white shirt. You’ve got a white shirt—you realize it’s dirty. How do you clean the white shirt? Do you go out and buy “cleanliness” in a bottle and pour it over the white shirt? No. You go and you buy detergent which removes the dirt.
The cleanliness is already there—but it is being masked by the dirt. When you take away the dirt, the cleanliness comes right back.
That’s how it is in life, too. We make things very complicated; we like it. You know, “This is how it is; this is how it is; this is how it is.” And the next thing you know, there is so much noise between the ears that you can’t even hear yourself.
So the process of making life more enjoyable, making life more simple is a process of subtraction, not addition. It’s not—but we’re so used to adding things, you know; we’re so used to adding things that we are like, “Okay, I have to add enjoyment to my life now.” No, life is actually very enjoyable just as it is.
And if you don’t find it enjoyable, it is because you have brought in all this dirt called “complication,” all these ideas, all these pictures that you have in your little camera that are just pumping away, picture after picture after picture after picture. Take all that away—and there you have it.
How do you clean a window? You—it gets to a point where you can’t see out the window—how do you clean a window? Whatever is making that window dirty, you take that away; you wash it away—and all of a sudden you can see.
And that’s how it is. So, the “right thing, wrong thing”—give yourself a break; you know, give yourself a break. Do that, please. Take it easy. One step at a time: life, one day at a time.
Tackle life exactly as it comes to you—meaning “one day at a time.” Keep things simple. Keep things fluid. Be that tree that knows how to sway in the wind and not break in the wind—and you will have a great time, believe me.
“My question is, ‘How do you feel about lifting the lockdown regulations now or later?’” Well, I hope it happens. And it would be nice for it to happen, but it should happen when it is safe for it to happen.
Because there’s a—look, you know, what I want? Yeah, I want it to be lifted right now. But that is not a wise thing. If, because of my stupidity—if I perpetuate this and end up giving it to people who had nothing to do with it, who may be a little bit older than me, who would certainly have a terrible time of it if they got it, why should I do that?
I mean, yeah, you know, taken for granted, there are problems with the lockdown—whatever. But my actions are not limited to just myself; my actions can affect other people too.
You know, this—I realized this when I was going to go to Argentina—and then after Argentina, I was supposed to go to Uruguay. So, I’ve already flown for almost seven hours, forty minutes from Spain to Brazil and I am supposed to go to Argentina. And this, you know, the lockdown happens.
So, naturally, the idea comes, “Well, let’s just go to Uruguay. At least we will get something done there”—that Uruguay wasn’t going into lockdown. But then I thought about it. And it’s like, “Wow, you know, I could call all these people in a hall and get them all sick? I’m not going to do that.”
So, if my actions have—you know, me, I can be responsible for me. But how can I be responsible for other people? And how can I give them something because of my stupidity?
And so that, to me, is the main issue here. And that it’s not—it’s not that lockdown is nice; it’s not nice. It’s not that it’s wonderful; it’s not wonderful. And, you know, as more and more days click on, it does get under your nail—understood. But at the same time, you have to look at the entire picture.
I don’t know; you know, I fly a lot—and you’re forced to take a look at the entire picture. You know, here we are—you’re flying across the Atlantic, but you’re looking at St. John’s weather; you know, you’re looking at Ireland’s weather; you’re looking at—and it depends where you’re going, of course.
But you’re looking at all these places—and it’s like, “Okay,” but you know, a lot of times I’ll fly into Spain—and I’m looking at the weather, you know, across those, Santa Maria and Portugal. And it’s like, you know, why we are doing that—it’s just the whole picture. So, “In case there was a problem, where do we go?”
So this, it’s an intelligent decision. And that’s what it needs to be, it really, really needs to be. (Yeah, I mean, we’d like to all get out of here, but....)
And this is a very long one—“I just finished listening to Lockdown 33 and felt disturbed”—this is about Krishna and Mahabharat. And he is saying, you know, (and rightfully), he’s saying that “Terrible things were done to a lot of the leaders like Martin Luther King, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X—towards the end of his life he started talking about peace....
“And I remember a march in Alabama where hundreds of African-Americans were beaten and some trampled by horses. And,” (yeah), “they walked and talked of peace as did Gandhi, Yudhishthira and Vidura in Mahabharat, all trying to help guide the blind king, Dhritrashtra and his son Duryodhan from destruction.
“My African-American heroes were murdered in society, of sufficient numbers that would have stopped the violence by coming together in peace. We, as a society, haven’t stood in agreement for peace. We have stood for greed and greed destroys dharma.
“Krishna begged the blind king and his foolish son to give the Pandavas back what was taken through deception, so as to avoid war. They were never listened to, Krishna, ‘the black one’—it never happened because destruction had come, the invitation of their own actions.” But he—so he is talking about the story and relating it to the injustices.
And, you know, you can take Mahabharat many different ways. It’s a huge epic. But remember one thing of how, why Krishna, (who is Vishnu, and in the Hindu religion, the “boss-man” of the whole world across), why, why does he incarnate and come to earth?
Because the earth takes the form of a cow—and that’s why, folks, you know, “holy cow,” that’s where it comes from. And so the Indians or the Hindus believe the cow is sacred.
Because she takes the form of a cow and goes to Vishnu and says, “Help me. I am—my udders have been milked so hard that they no longer give milk; they are bleeding. I am frail; I’m not given the food that I need and people are abusing me.”
And so the symbology here is really that, injustice is being done to this earth—that greed is taking over at a huge pace. And Vishnu says, “Okay, I will come to put matters right. The injustice will be taken out.”
And yes, these incredible injustices have been done on the face of this earth. And so far we understand that the biggest, biggest transformation we can bring about is to get rid of this weird thing that people have in their heads when they look at somebody, that they look at the color, that they look at the height, that they look at the shape, that they look at all these things and judge people by that.
They need to judge people by who they are as a human being—that in you runs the red blood; in me runs the red blood. I am not any different.
You know, there’s a documentary I watched—and this lady, she had been brought up in a household where they absolutely hated, you know, everybody who wasn’t of their type. And she ended up in prison. And when she ended up in prison, it was only these two ladies who were willing to help her. Of course, they happened to be those that she had been raised to hate.
But she slowly started working with them and realizing that there was no hate to be had. And she—and they were the only ones that would, that befriended her. And it’s, to me that was like, “Yes!” You know, “Yes, you understood; you saw; you broke through.”
That’s what has to happen; that breakthrough needs to happen, so we can collectively all live in a harmonious, progressive, productive, full of peace, society, and go forward. We need to go forward.
We have a huge agenda. There has been years and years of disrespect, neglect of cultures, of people on the face of this earth, of the nature on the face of this earth. And there’s so much homework to be done to put it back together the right way.
There are a whole bunch of people who are just racing off: “More, more, more, more, more,” but they don’t know “more of what.” They keep inventing new things; they keep on bringing new things—but they’re doing nothing—no technology is being utilized properly to bring people together.
When people are brought together, what is brought together sometimes is the worst form of those people, not the best. And we need to have stuff that brings the best of us together to move forward, to move progressively. And, you know, that is what is needed.
So, anyways, I mean, I’m not a politician by any stretch of the imagination, so I’m not even going to get into that. There are quite a few more questions....
But don’t forget why Vishnu came to the earth in the first place was to make that “right,” you know, truly right—the wrong that had been done to earth, to put it right; this is why Vishnu had come.
So, anyways, be safe; be well. And I’ll talk to you later.
Onscreen text: Courage in Peace
Narrator: For more than twenty-five years, the small South Asian island of Sri Lanka was devastated by civil war. According to the United Nations, an estimated 80 to 100,000 people were killed and millions more were traumatized.
Since 2009, the nation has embarked on a challenging process of reconciliation—and in recent years, that process has included the Peace Education Program, embraced by the Bureau of Rehabilitation to help former fighters and civilians alike heal and build a culture of peace.
Prem Rawat, founder of the Peace Education Program, was invited by government officials to meet with ex-combatants and rehabilitation officers.
Individual: [male, translated onscreen]
I’m very happy to have seen you. In 1983 I was involved in the war, and I am now rehabilitated. Had I learnt the Peace Education Program before, I would not have got involved. But now I understand the truth inside, and we learnt it through your message.
In my life, even for my children or my grandchildren, if all those millions of people could only learn this. The Peace Education Program, we should learn it from an early age.
When you look at Sri Lanka now.... Thirty years ago there was war. After the war, now there’s no war in our country, but there are so many people affected by the war. This peace, when we see your video, it must go to everybody. Not only the people who have been involved in the war, it must go to everybody! It must reach everybody.
Prem Rawat: Umm, yeah, well, we are trying; we are trying. And so many schools now, we are starting the Peace Education Program, so people can have an understanding.
You are right: war punishes the innocent. And the first casualty of war is truth.
So, whatever has happened, and what can happen? The most amazing miracle is that the breath is still coming into you—and so far this breath keeps coming into you, you still have an agenda—and the agenda is life. Live it; understand it; feel the joy in your life; feel the clarity in your life. Grow. Be who you are. Understand what is inside of you. And be fulfilled.
Individual: [male, translated onscreen]
Good morning to everybody. I am an officer of the army. I am somebody who is very deeply involved in the rehabilitation process. And after this program, this peace, the peace between people, between races, to develop these, this program became a great resource.
And we are very happy; we have to be happy—that we are able to engage and connect on this occasion. And we wish that the peace in Sri Lanka, peace in the world, and the peace in the universe, to make it happen. We pray that you will have the strength and the courage to make it happen, now and in the future.
Prem Rawat: Thank you; thank you.
Onscreen text: What is Peace?
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Prem Rawat: As I travel the world and I say to people, “peace”—and people have no idea what peace is, no idea. For most people, escaping from their problems is peace.
You see, let me ask you a question, “Why do you want peace? Why? Why do you want peace?” [Individual: We want peace—because we are human.] Well, so what? You want dahl too. No? Do you like rice? [Individual: Yes, definitely.] Do you like rice? [Individual: Certainly.] So, you like rice too!
But that doesn’t say “rice is possible”; that says, “Peace is Possible.” Why do you want peace? [Individual: To be happy.] Ah, to be happy! Oh, how many of you want peace because it makes you happy? Raise your hand.
So, next question, “Why do you want to be happy?” [Individual: Because it feels good.] It feels good? And that’s why you want to be happy, because it feels good? [Audience: Yes, because it feels good.]
Why do you want to feel good? [Individual: Yeah.... It’s our nature.] Well, you have many natures. You have a nature to itch when it itches—but your parents have told, “Don’t stick your finger up your nose.” And sometimes your nose itches, but it’s not nice, so you resist, right?
You want to resist peace? [Audience: No.] You want to resist feeling good? [Audience: No.] You want to resist being happy? [Individuals: No, that’s what it’s for.]
So the question again becomes, “Why do you want to feel good? Why do you want to be happy? Why do you want peace?”
So, is your happiness not always there? Does happiness fall from the sky? Does happiness grow in the field? What is your happiness? I am asking these questions because I want to engage you. I want you to think! I want you to understand that peace isn’t running away from your problems. Peace isn’t about your problems. Peace isn’t about the good and bad; peace isn’t about the confusion. What is peace?
As human beings—as human beings, we have two parts to us. Why? It’s just a physical rule; you cannot have a one-sided coin. Every coin has two sides; even if you split the coin to get rid of one side, you will still have two sides. Just the law of nature, right?
So, every time you are confused, guess what the other side of that is—clarity, that far away. When you find yourself in darkness, light is that far away. When you find yourself in sorrow—happiness, joy is that far away. That—I’m just being, so you can see. It’s less distance than that, believe me.
And you have two natures in you. You have kindness; you have clarity; this is your nature too. Kindness, clarity, compassion, joy, light is your nature too—and confusion, anger, frustration is also your nature.
So, don’t get, you know, like, “Oh, yeah, yeah. I like that. I like, ‘Light is my nature.’”—no, darkness is your nature too. Darkness is your nature too—but so is light. So is light.
So there is a place in you, the place where that light is, where that joy is, where that clarity is, where that understanding is. And that, experiencing that place will bring you peace. That’s what peace is. That’s what peace is. If you want to call that “the Divine,” feel free. (It doesn’t matter, not to the Divine; it matters to you, not to the Divine. Never has; never will.)
What I tell you today is so that you can benefit in your life—that this life that you have is the most precious thing there is. Nothing will be more precious than this life that you have.
The tragedy—the tragedy is to have this life and not know it, to have the wealth and not recognize it, to have the Divine and never find it. That’s a tragedy. That’s a tragedy. Looking for what you always had and you never found it—because you didn’t need to look; you needed to discover.
This relationship of absence and presence—we don’t understand the presence; the presence is real. Absence is nothing.
What is the presence? The presence is, this breath just came into you; this is the presence. And we forget. We forget—we forget because we are playing the wrong game, not of the presence, but of the absence. And so far we keep this, this is the game, my friends, of ignorance. And what you are looking for—that word “peace” indicates knowledge, not ignorance.
And the world is trying to figure out, in the world of ignorance, “what knowledge means.” “Impossible.” I say, “Impossible. Impossible.” It’ll never figure it out—that’s why the world doesn’t know what peace is. Because we’re playing a game of ignorance with ourselves—and wars that we hate are a result, not of knowledge, but of ignorance.
So, which world do you want to live in? Which world do you want to live in? The world of presence? Or the world of absence?
If you want to live in the world of presence—not beliefs, but knowledge.... That’s what happens; when you live in the world of absence, you have to have beliefs because there’s nothing present. So, belief: “Believe it’s there; believe that’s there. Believe this there; believe this there; believe this there; believe this; gods live just slightly above the clouds....”
I’m a pilot—and I, when I travel around the world, I fly myself. And don’t you think, also being born in India, I keep a lookout? So, you’re climbing above the clouds and you’re going, “Hmm, anybody there; anybody there?”
Because you don’t want to hit a god.... And that will be messy. (Some of those gods go around in their own vessels, you know, and you don’t want—that would be messy.) There’s nothing there. Just clouds, more clouds, more clouds, more clouds, more clouds.
But, you live in the world of beliefs: “They are there.” You live in the world of “present,” in the world of knowledge.... “Where, where, where?” Then the answer is, “Here, here, here, here.”
Look within; turn within—it’s the most beautiful journey, most incredible journey. That’s the world of knowledge; that’s the world of peace; that’s the world of understanding that we are human beings, that we can all make a difference. And this is the possibility. This is the possibility.
In your life, goodness awaits—the Divine, for you, awaits to be discovered—joy, treasures! Hey, listen, you have no limit for joy. Pain, you do. After a little while, it’s too much; “Aaaah, I want out.” Joy, no limit.
You can be joyful every day for the rest of your life—not a problem. Not a problem. Not a problem. Sadness every day? Ugh, uh-huh, and you will find a big cliff somewhere—“Whsht.” And that’s what people do.
A lot of people think they’re insignificant. Right? “I’m nothing....” Ah! But this is where the Divine lives. This is where the light lives; this is where the goodness lives; this is where compassion lives; this is where kindness lives. What are you talking about, “insignificant”?
The only reason why you would want to pretend to be insignificant is so you can offload your responsibilities. “I’m nothing; I can’t do anything.”
And what is God? Presence or absence? Who are you, presence or absence? Are you beliefs? Because if you do not know yourself, you’re just beliefs—absence, not presence. When there is the possibility to know, you don’t stay in beliefs; you come to knowledge. And Knowledge of the self is the most beautiful knowledge there is.
Socrates said, “Know thyself. Know thyself.” Aristotle said, “To know others is wisdom; to know the self is Knowledge.” Then everything changes. Now you’re not taking a bucket—and trying to fill it with darkness and throw it out the window.
When sadness comes, you go, “Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa, whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa, whoa-whoa, wait-wait-wait-wait, wait-wait-wait-wait, wait-wait, wait.” Sadness comes; you go, “Wait-wait-wait-wait and where is the joy?” It’s like, “Oh, yeah, let me get rid of the sadness here.” No, bring the joy.
Welcome in your life, every day, the Divine—that is not only outside but also inside of you. Find the treasures within; live this life.
When everything is right in your life, there is something that happens—and let me tell you, (this is, again, sixty years talking), something happens—and you know everything is right.... You know how you know everything is right?
When your heart is full of gratitude, then you know—then you know. Not “gratitude to whom,” not “gratitude for what?” No, no, no, no, none of that; just when your heart is full of gratitude, then you know all is well. All is well. Life is blessed.
When we found out that Prem was going to be in Cape Town, I mean, he’s world-famous for promoting this idea of peace—and specifically in Cape Town and South Africa as well, we’re dealing with quite a few issues at the moment.
Smile 90.4FM Radio Presenter
And having someone like Prem here to talk about peace and what peace really means from a global perspective is something that I think all of us need to hear and need to listen to, in terms of starting to deal with the problems that we’re facing here at home.
[From her interview with Prem Rawat]
Obviously, you know, our nation is a very, very young one at the moment—and post ‘94, that was our initial idea of, “What is peace now?” And at the moment, we are seeing kind of an upsurging of different tensions among different—whether it’s racial groups, whether it’s income groups....
That idea of peace that we had post ‘94 doesn’t seem to be the same one that we have now. Is that something that interests you as well?
Global Peace Ambassador
Yes, very much so—because I think, anywhere you go on the face of this earth, people have their formulas of what peace is going to be: “Well, yeah, make me economically more viable, and I’ll be happy for the rest of my life.”
But in reality, peace or happiness is subjective, not objective. And people forget that, that they can’t just follow a list and say, “Yeah, I’m happy now, because I have this and I have this and I have this!”
But first of all, we have to understand ourselves: “Are we the source of our joy and peace or not?” Because if we’re not in the equation, then it doesn’t matter what happens around us; we are never going to be able to enjoy it or feel it.
So it becomes very, very important that we begin with ourselves. It is all about you; you are the one; you have to say, “Yes, I feel peace” or “No, I don’t feel peace,” because whatever the list is and how many things are marked on it has nothing to do with it. Because peace and happiness really are, very much so, subjective, not objective.
And I started speaking about peace to people when I was four years old. When I talk to people—and this is what I keep praying every day—that all I see is people. Not the color, not their suits, not their ties, not their hairdo, not their lipstick, not their faces, but I see people.
And I can look at every person.... And this is something that I really have to hone in on—that I am not looking at people from South Africa; I’m looking at human beings. And when I look at human beings, I see hope. I see a joy; I see a need that is unfulfilled.
We are human beings on this face of this earth; we all began our—mankind started from this continent, Africa. And I always say, “How incredible it would be, that this was the birthplace of mankind—and it would be incredible if this was also the birthplace of peace and hope for mankind.”
In 1950, the apartheid government of South Africa introduced the Group Areas Act. As a result, people of color were forcefully moved to areas known as townships, historically associated with gangsterism, desperate poverty, and horrendous abuse.
Prem Rawat visited a school in one of these most deprived townships—a place stricken with gang warfare and drug-addicted poverty, with little hope for the future.
Prem spoke to children ages seven to thirteen, many of whom have suffered unthinkable abuse.
Die Duine Primary School
Die Duine Primary School Principal
I think you see it as you travel to the school—you sort of look at the housing, and you can see immediately that it’s basically your underdeveloped, lots of poverty....
Global Peace Ambassador
No matter how ugly the situation becomes, you are not ugly—because in you, there is a profound beautiful beauty. Know and understand that.
The Hero In You
Die Duine Primary School
The challenges we face are absent parents, lack of a value system in our homes of learners, single parents, drug abuse by parents and sometimes learners, as well as gangsterism and violence. All of this has a negative impact on the learners—and then ultimately, on the teaching.
That even in the middle of the chaos, you find your strength. That even in the middle of all the things that are wrong—and when there is no light, and when there is darkness, and when there is confusion, that there is a light in your heart.
Ben Caesar: [rap song]
I see you; well, what’s up?
I see you; I see you; I see you; I see you, hey!
Right in front of me, I’m looking at the future of this country,
It’s looking lovely. Oh, yes, yes, give me an up; what’s up with you?
I see you; I see you; I see you....
I would like to talk to you a little bit about something very, very special. And what I want to talk to you about is the Superman in you. You know about Superman? [Audience: Yes, I do.] And he’s strong. Even when things on the outside are not good, he’s still strong.
And the same way, I want to talk to you about your strength. I know that there are problems—there are problems everywhere—but you have a strength. And you need to tap into that strength, because not all days are going to be good. But even when the days are good and even when the days are bad, you have a strength in you.
Let me tell you a story about knowing your self. Would you like to hear a story? [Audience: Yes!] So, one day, there was a lion, and he was in the jungle—and people were afraid to go into that jungle because they knew there was a big, big lion.
But there was also this farmer and he had some sheep, and he would take them grazing. And sometimes they would get a little close, too close to the jungle, and they would hear the roar of the lion and all the sheep would go running.
One day the farmer came across a little baby lion lying on the side of the road. And the lion was almost dead, very weak. So he picked up the baby lion and he took him home—and he put him under a nice blanket, and he gave him some warm milk and he took care of him. In a few days, the baby lion recovered.
And he started bouncing everywhere—you know, the little baby lion is going here, going there, “Aaa-whaa, ah-whaah, ah-whaah, ah-whaah.” So, he thought that the baby lion would tear up his whole house, so he took the baby lion and he put it with the sheep, where all the sheep stayed.
And the baby lion wanted to play with the sheep, and—at first, the sheep were afraid of the baby lion. But then they saw that it was just a baby; that it couldn’t really hurt anybody—so they became friends.
And every day, the farmer would let the sheep out, and the baby lion would go out—and he saw the sheep grazing and so he started grazing. And when the sheep would go, “Baah-hah-hah-hah,” he tried to go, “Baa-hah-hah-hah,” but he couldn’t. And day after day after day, being with the sheep, he too thought that he was a sheep. That’s all he knew.
One day that big lion from the jungle gave a big roar, and stepped out of the jungle towards the farm. And all the sheep, upon hearing this big, ferocious roar, got very afraid. And all the sheep ran to hide. And some went and hid under the barn, and some went and hid behind that tree, and some went and hid behind the bush....
And the baby lion, too—because what did he think he was? [Audience: A sheep.] Because he thought he was a sheep, also went and hid in the trunk of a tree—there was a big hollow and he went, and he’s shaking. All the sheep are shaking; he’s shaking. He’s afraid.
And the big lion comes into the farm.... And he sees all the sheep are afraid of him—but then he saw something really curious. He saw this lion—and he was afraid of the lion. And he sees this lion is shaking.
So, the big lion said, “I can understand why all the sheep are afraid, but why are you afraid?” And the little baby lion said, “Oh, please, please don’t eat me.”
“Eat you? Don’t you know you are a lion?” “Oh, yes, anything, anything you say, anything you say, but don’t eat me.”
“So, what’s wrong with you? Don’t you know who you are?” He said, “Oh, I’m just a poor little sheep. I’m just a poor little sheep. Don’t eat me.” And the big lion said, “No, you’re not. Come with me; I’ll show you who you are.”
So he took him by the lake, (still shaking), took him by the lake—and he said, “Look, look at your reflection—and see who you are.” And both the big lion and the little lion looked in the lake—and the little lion saw, he was not a sheep; he was a lion!
And at this, he looked up, looked up at the lion—and without fear, he too gave out a big roar. Not, “Eh-heh-heh-heh,” but a roar. And the big lion roared and the little lion roared. And he said, “Come with me. Come to the jungle, where you can be the king.” So, that’s the story.
We look at our problems; we look at this world; we look at what is going on—and we start to feel a part of it. But in reality, we are not a part of it. We are something else.
First of all, no matter what happens around us, we need to be our own island; we need to be our own strength; we need to be our own understanding.
If you look at this world—and if it was a map, on this map you will see many, many roads, many, many, many, many, many roads—but not all those roads take you to a nice place; not all those roads take you to a good place.
There is one road that does. And you have to go on that road; you have to be on that road. Because knowing yourself is also understanding who you are, what is your nature. Your nature is not anger; your nature is to love. Your nature—your nature is to be in peace. This is who you are.
And this is what makes you that Superman—that even in the middle of the chaos, you find your strength. That even in the middle of all the things that are wrong—and when there is no light, and when there is darkness, and when there is confusion, that there is a light in your heart—and you let that light shine. And there is a hope. When everything is hopeless, there is a hope.
Do you know, when I say Superman, I really mean it. And this is—I’m going to give you another example. Do you know you did something really incredible? You’ve all done something really incredible, but you don’t think about it.
Today—today, if you fail at something, do you become sad? Yes? And sometimes so sad that you give up? But do you know that you have done something where you failed—but you never accepted failure? That’s what Superman does. He fails—many times he fails, but he never accepts failure—and he tries again.
So, all of you, (you’re quite young), but when you even were younger, and you were learning how to walk.... I don’t think you remember that, do you? You do? [Child: Yes, we know this.] Have you seen other babies learning how to walk, maybe your brother, maybe your sister?
And so they get up—right? And they go, “Eeuuhh-ah-ahh....” And then they fall down. Right? Do they get sad? Do they accept failure? [Audience: No.] No, they get right back up.
And you did the same thing; you did exactly the same thing. You failed—but you never accepted failure—and you got up. You got up. Do you remember that? Have you seen that? That is wisdom! That’s genius. That’s Superman in action.
Learning how to walk: failing, but getting up. And one day, because that kept happening again and again and again and again, the baby finally took the steps and did not fall down. And the baby learned to walk.
You know how to walk, right? [Child: Right.] You know who taught you how to walk? Do you remember who taught you how to walk? [Audience: Yes.] Who? You! You taught yourself how to walk—because at that age, nobody could give you a lecture.
And that required courage; that required understanding; that required patience—and most importantly, that required never to accept failure.
Know who you are, because when you do know who you are, you will learn your powers; you will learn your strength; you will learn who you want to be. This will bring you happiness, even when the situation is sad. This will bring you joy. This can make your life, every day of your life a Christmas.
Do you know that every day you are given presents, every day you are given gifts—do you know that? And the most important gift that you are given is the gift of life. Every day, you are given a gift of life. Yours to do with, what you want to do. If you accept it, accept it.
You have something to do; you have a mission—Superman, you have a mission. And your mission is to shape yourself to face the world; be educated, so that you can go out in this world and accomplish what you want to accomplish.
Focus. Practice peace—and you will become good at it. So, if you just remember who you are—you’re not the problem. You’re not the problem. Remember that you have the strength in you. And remember that you are that lion, not the sheep. Also, remember, whatever you do the most, you will become good at it. And that’s how simple it is.
Because, if you understand, think—this is also one of the gifts you have. Know yourself; understand yourself—and with strength, go out into this world. Be the strength; be that power. And that’s what I wanted to come and tell you today.
No matter how ugly the situation becomes, you are not ugly—because in you, there is a profound beautiful beauty. Know and understand that.
So, that’s what I wanted to come and tell you today—it’s great to see you, great to meet you—and I really hope that you take what I have said to heart, so that you can have a beautiful, bright future. You don’t have to be a part of all that is wrong; you can be a part of all that is good, all that is right.
N17 (N1) Pretoria
I’m here today in a free South Africa.
NELSON MANDELA SQUARE
But we have to make sure that the freedom is not only outside, but the freedom is also on the inside. Because without the freedom that is inside, freedom outside really doesn’t matter.
Peace Education Program Facilitator
Kabelo Moses Padi:
We see that people are thirsty for this kind of message to come to them.
UDF – OUR STRUGGLE FOR LIBERATION IS A STRUGGLE FOR PEACE
Kabelo Moses Padi:
Because especially here in Soweto—Soweto, it’s a township in which most of the apartheid activities have occurred. And I think the message will really educate our local communities to say, “Peace begins with you—your inner peace.”
Youth Development Coordinator
City of Joburg Department of Social Development
Before and after I attended the Peace Education Program, it’s different. Because before, I never had a clear understanding of peace—but it was only the general peace, which is the social peace. After I got the message which was shared by His Excellency Prem Rawat, I got the understanding of inner peace.
Blossoming in South Africa
PEP continues to blossom in South Africa, as a growing number of NGOs, schools and training centers have integrated the workshops into their programs. Ernest Leketi and the passionate team of volunteers in Soweto have played a key role in expanding the reach of programs in that historic township and beyond.
When we engage communities, you find young people who lost hope. But once they’re introduced to the Peace Education Program, they now start to respect themselves to take themselves very seriously.
PEP Support Team South Africa
It doesn’t point to their problems; it points to them as a source of hope, as a source of energy to take things forward.
It taught me to love, not to have grudges and to forgive people who have hurt me.
I was a person full of anger—even a simple thing, I would snap. But through the program, it taught me to be chilled, not to take things abruptly or act in a manner which I might be ashamed of tomorrow. So, there was transformation because I’ve got to learn new things, new techniques on how to avoid situations which might lead me into trouble.
PEP Participant: [female]
For me, this whole program has just, it basically introduced me to me. And it showed me that, in order to be good with other people, I’d have to start with me first.
A Formula for Peace
Prem Rawat in Soweto, South Africa
You have to remember one thing—and one thing that you have to remember is, you are not your problems.
Whatever the problems may be, whatever the problems may come and go, you are not your problem. You are a human being; you have a certain power; you have a certain strength. And problems are like clouds—they come; they go; sometimes they are big; sometimes they’re small; sometimes they’re not there—and sometimes they’re there, everywhere!
But the mountain that sits on the ground does not move with the clouds, doesn’t become bigger or smaller with the clouds. You are the mountain; clouds are your problems. So, here is the story.
One day, there was a man who had never seen elephants—he had never seen an elephant. So he decided that he wanted to go see an elephant, so he inquired—and he was told that there is a village in Africa where they have big elephants. So the man made his journey to Africa—he went and he saw very big elephants. And never having seen the elephants, he was really surprised.
And then he looked and he saw that the elephants were tied with a very small thin rope around their feet—and that was it. So, he was surprised: “Such a big elephant, only being held in place by a small little rope?”
So he went to the chief—and he said, “Chief, these elephants, they’re strong, aren’t they?” And the chief goes, “Oh, yes, they’re very, very strong.” He said, “Chief, I have a question. How can such a big animal, so strong, so powerful, be held back with just this tiny little rope?”
And the chief said, “Oh-ho, let me explain. When they were babies, we used to tie them with this rope. And they tried to move but they couldn’t move. And we kept them like that.
“And now that they have grown big and strong, they stopped trying. And they think that this tiny rope can still hold them in place. Of course, if they tried, this rope cannot hold back such a powerful animal—but the elephants have given up trying.”
So, why did I tell this story—because in a way, this is what is happening. Who we are, who you are is much bigger than the sum of your problems. But these problems come and they’re holding you back—and you do not realize your own power. You don’t realize your own strength—that as a human being you have the strength in you to go beyond these barriers.
If you dream of a clear day, it is possible. If you dream of a country that gives you opportunity and hope, it is possible. And who is going to do it—you have to do it.
We, the people of this planet Earth, are the people responsible for its destiny. We look towards leaders to solve our problems. These so-called “leaders” have been failing us year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year—and we just sit there; go, “Yes, fix it.” How?!
Our reliance needs to be on us! Not on the leaders—us. Us, bringing hope to each other; us, lighting the way for each other.
One thing that, before I came here, I was having a meeting with some of the people. And I said to them that “Even when you have your problems, even when you have situations that are not good, the good is always there.” The good is always there.
If one morning you wake up and you open your door—and it’s foggy, very hard fog, very dense fog. Does that mean everything has disappeared? It’s still there—you cannot see it, but it is still there. And when the fog lifts, it will come back.
This requires patience. This requires patience. But if you only have patience and you are doing nothing else, it’s not going to work. You cannot just sit there and go, “Okay, okay, what can I do; what can I do; what can I do; what can I do?”
Do whatever it takes. Do whatever it takes—and people will say, “Well, what can you do about the fog?” Move! Move to a place where they don’t have fog. You don’t like fog; move to a place where you don’t have fog.
But people sit there and go, “Oh, yeah, I’ve got terrible problems. I have got....” Because we like to complain. We love to complain.
If we had nothing to complain—and two people met each other on the street, I don’t know what they would say to each other. They would be like.... “I don’t know what to say.”
But we love to complain; we love to complain about God: “Look what....” And just recently I saw an article where somebody said, “Oh, God is terrible; God is this; God is this.” Why are you complaining? God made you; you made your problems—why are you blaming God? God made you—and you are the god of your problems. You created your problems.
And are you more important in your world—are you more important than your problems? No. Problems come to eat you and you go, “Here, which hand would you like to eat first? Would you like my leg first; would you like my head first? What?”
This is not strength. This is weakness. This is not clarity. This is doubt. This is not your life; this is not who you are. You are that powerful elephant—who has forgotten who he is, who she is.
So, four things: I will give you a formula to be in peace, to be happy—and here it is, four things. (It’s really good. It’s easy.) One: (And I’m writing a book on this.) One: “Know yourself.” You don’t know yourself? You’re going to be a ping-pong, just bouncing off this wall, bouncing off that wall, bouncing off that wall.... This is what you’re going to be.
Two—“Have gratitude in your life. Be thankful.” Because gratitude will bring you appreciation—and appreciation will bring you gratitude. Appreciate what you have.
The problem of greed in this world? One thing a greedy person cannot do, and you know what that is? Appreciate. As soon as a greedy person starts appreciating, greed stops. That’s what they cannot do.
There are people in this world who, every day, want to make “more money, more money, more money, more money, more money.” If they started appreciating the money they have, they would stop making it. So, they want to make more money—and so they don’t appreciate what they have; they just want more and more and more. So, the second thing is gratitude.
Third thing—very important for you; pay attention—third thing. (All these are very important.) Third thing: “If you fail—if you fail, don’t accept failure. Separate failing and failure.”
What do you think? Do you understand what I’m saying? (Fail and failure?) Let me give you an example. And here is the example—you have all done this. You have all experienced in your life that you failed but you did not accept failure. Do you know that?
When you were a tiny baby and you were learning how to walk, you failed. You got up—and you went, “Yeah-aaaah, bonk!” You failed! Right? But you did not accept failure. You got up again—and you went.... And you failed again! But you did not accept failure. You got up again.
Today, when you fail, what happens? What happens to you when you fail today? Finished: depression, “Oh my God, what’s going to happen to me; I failed?”
You think the little baby does that? “I’m depressed. I failed....” And this failing can go on a whole day, two days, three days, four days, five days, six days, seven days, eight days, nine days, ten days. But because the baby failed but never accepted failure, the baby succeeds. But you fail and immediately accept failure.
So, remember now, “Know yourself”—this will bring you peace. Knowing yourself will bring you peace. “Gratitude, appreciation” will bring you happiness. “Failing but never accepting failure” will bring you hope. Because now, you will look at the whole world a different way. If you fail? “Ha-ha, no problem; try again.” Hope! That’s what hope is.
When you see no door, when you see no path, when you see no road, that is the end of hope. That’s the end of hope. You see no other chance. But if you see another door, another road, another way, another path, hope: “I’ll go that way. I’ll go that way.” And that’s what it is.
And the fourth thing. Ah-ha-ha-hah, I know the fourth thing is going to be shocking to you—because of your culture; I understand your culture. Indian culture is very similar—and it’s because of that. But now, we’re talking about being in peace—and having a happy life, right?
So, the last thing, very important: “Don’t care about what other people think of you.” Don’t. So, you’re sitting there going, “Oh, yeah, I wonder what he’s thinking, and I’m, and I bet he thinks I am crazy and—and, I think he’s thinking that, you know, I’m no good and I, neh-neh, naah....”
As soon as you stop caring about what other people think of you—you empower yourself to be strong. So, I know this is difficult—but here are the four things. If you can take these four things and really take them to heart in your life, I guarantee you a change.
Because these are the things that put us in a box—and we forget who we are, that we are the powerful elephant, and these things that we call “problems,” they can’t keep us. But we have forgotten, and we think these ropes are much stronger than they actually are.
So, I wanted to tell you that—and I hope you think about it. That’s all I want you to do, at least, think about it.
PEP Facilitator in Sri Lanka
The government of Sri Lanka had offered us to do this Peace Education for the ex-combatants. The government are interested in getting the reconciliation part of it done on a national level—and the UN is supporting them.
Ex-Combatant – Sri Lanka
Selvanayaki Sebastiampillal: [female, translated]
This is very essential for our life. I realized instead of searching for peace here and there, that there is peace within me and there is a way to feel the peace.
We are also having these events in Jaffna University. Initially there was a question mark in the Jaffna University students. They thought, “Peace, it must be a boring subject,” you know?
And once they completed, they became so happy about it—and they start telling the other students about this Peace Education. And the second batch, we had 285 who completed the ten classes of Peace Education.
Student – University of Jaffna
Without looking outside to find who we are, we must find answers within ourselves. Then only we can be successful and that is the message given here. When we understand this properly, our self-confidence and peace can be found easily.
Video content courtesy of The Prem Rawat Foundation
NEWS 1st Interview
COLOMBO, SRI LANKA
SONALI WANIGABADUGE NEWS ANCHOR
Good evening and welcome. Our guest today is a gentleman who has addressed over five million people in over fifty countries. I’m happy to introduce Mr. Prem Rawat, global Peace Ambassador—good evening and welcome. It’s fantastic having you here in Sri Lanka.
Thank you for having me here; it’s a pleasure.
Mr. Rawat, for our Sri Lankan audiences watching us right now, could you elaborate on this term, “global Peace Ambassador,” since peace is really of the essence, especially in the current context in the world?
PREM RAWAT GLOBAL PEACE AMBASSADOR
Well, a lot of people, of course, refer to me as the “Peace Ambassador”; I refer to everybody else as a Peace Ambassador. Because, in this world, in these circumstances that we live in today, peace is incredibly important—and peace has always been important, but the necessity of peace is more and more being recognized by people around the world.
Because people don’t want to be torn apart; people don’t want to be in a situation where they’re constantly worried about “how things are going to be tomorrow.” But they want to be content; they want progress; they want to become successful. And peace is something that is within inside of them.
So, for me, the context of peace is not utopia, but something very practical, something very real for every human being on the face of this earth. One, we have to understand that peace is possible—and two, we have to understand that peace is within inside of us. We don’t have to go and push buttons to try to create it.
Peace isn’t the absence of war—but peace is the absence of war within inside of us. Peace isn’t the end of conflict outside, but peace is the end of conflict on the inside. Because so far we have the conflict on the inside, it doesn’t really matter—and sooner or later that conflict will manifest itself on the outside.
So that’s what peace means to me—and being an ambassador, I think everybody is an ambassador because everybody carries peace inside of them.
Across the world, we see, especially in the West, how xenophobia is raising its head once again—racism, hatred. How does one go about ensuring that peace prevails over all this negativity and toxicity?
If you have a hole in the boat and you want to plug it up, isn’t it important to know where that hole is? [Interviewer: Sure.]
So, let’s understand, where does all this stuff come from? Does it come from the sky? Does it come from a tree? Does it come from a particular frog; does it come from a particular crab? Or does it come from inside of people—because of misunderstanding of who we are?
We’re all human beings. We’re all the same.
You see, the way I look at it—all of us have a little twang, a little silly thing which is that “I want to feel important. And if I can feel important, that’s good.”
It goes even to when you’re parking your car. If you got there a second before the other person and you were able to park your car, that makes you feel good. If you’re standing in a line waiting for a ticket for the movie theater—and all of a sudden you are allowed to go, “front,” that makes you feel good. It’s like, “This is cool; this is good.”
When a person feels inferior, they want to feel superior. And this is at the root of racism: “I want to feel better than these people. I want to feel better than this person; I want to feel better....” This is where bullying comes from. This is where gangs get created; one gang has to be better than the other gang.... It’s going on around—it, there’s no limit to it.
But the problem is, we’re all number one—and the tragedy is we don’t know it. We’re all number one. There is something so special about us that we don’t understand.
How does one go about tapping into this potential? Because across the world, we see racism; we see bullying; we see negativity. There is so much of negativity around us—and so little psychosocial care, for example. We see this in schools; we see this in universities; we see this at the workplace. We see this in parliaments across the world! [PR: Yes.]
How does one go about releasing one’s potential, in your opinion?
It’s very simple. We have to go back a long ways, at the time of Socrates—and he said something very, very beautiful and very simple, very profound: “Know thy self.” All of this is all happening—all the negative stuff that is happening is because we really don’t know who we are.
What does it mean to be a human being? We don’t know that. We think we are a robot: “We have to get up in the morning; we have to do this; we have to do this; we have to do this; we have to do this; we have to do this.”
And we judge our day by how much we accomplished—and we judge our burdens on our shoulder by what we didn’t accomplish. Because that bears down on us, “I have still, still to do this; I have to still do this....” We go to sleep at night—what do we dream about? We dream about all the terrible things we still have to do, all our responsibilities. That’s not a human being.
A human being is somebody who carries in them, not the darkness, but light—who carries in them caring. Not, not caring; caring—who carries in them, joy, who carries in them, clarity, not doubt. But somehow, when we don’t understand who we are, then this was what happens.
There was an experiment done by this photographer in Africa—and what he did is he put a big stainless steel mirror in the jungle. And this gorilla comes—and he does not know that’s him. And so he assumes that’s his enemy.
And he starts beating his chest and making bad faces and screaming at him; it’s like, “Get away; go away; this is my territory....” He doesn’t understand that’s him. Chimpanzees do the same thing—after a little while, the chimpanzees get it, “That’s me.”
That’s the trick. When you don’t know who you are, you become your own enemy. (Because that gorilla was becoming his own enemy; he was thinking that’s his enemy—but it was really him!)
We become our own enemy; we cannot get along together; we don’t understand “who you are, that you are just like me. You are capable of suffering pain; I am capable of suffering pain,” but most importantly, “you are capable of experiencing joy and I am capable of experiencing joy.” And that the joy doesn’t come from outside; it comes from within you.
These are the subtle understandings. When we start to see that we don’t have to be reliant on others, that we need to be reliant on us, then we begin to understand what Socrates actually said when he said “Know thyself”: you are the treasure.
You want wealth—you want wealth, but where is your wealth? Is your wealth buried in a cave? Or is your wealth buried inside of you?
How does one go about seeking the guidance in this respect? Because people are so busy with their day-to-day lives—across the world we see it; people don’t have time for themselves, Mr. Rawat. That’s the reality....
I know. I know; I, I know that; I know that. So we want tea; we push a button. On the tea kettle, we push a button. We want to do something; we push a button. We want to take a shower; we turn a knob. And this is what people think—that they, “Give me a quick way, push a button and I can have peace.” No button for peace—because it’s already inside of you.
So now, how do you go—the question is, “How do you go searching for something that you already have?” So, you can’t use your hands—so you can’t go, “Oh, where is it; where is it; where is it; where is it?” How do you go searching for something you already have?
So, you have eyes; you see. You see everybody’s eyes; you see everybody’s face; you see everybody’s eyes—but do you know that your eyes can’t see your own eyes, themselves—that your eyes cannot see your face? You see everybody else’s face—but not yours.
Not until you have a mirror in front of you. To see you, you need a mirror. To see anybody else, you don’t need a mirror.
So, how do you search for something you already have? The search isn’t “search”—be ready to witness. Big difference. Be ready to witness who you are—when you look in that mirror, don’t be surprised what you see, because it is you.
In the same way, we are in the mode, one, “Peace is not inside of us; we will find it somewhere else.” So that’s what we do. We go to different countries; we go to the holy places; we go to this temple; we go to that—“That’s where peace is; that’s where peace is.” But peace is inside of us.
So, can you accept the fact that peace is inside of you? Not so easily. This.... Why not, first, that “Yes, peace is inside of me”? Understanding that is the first step.
“I do not need to search. It is already here” is the first step, the beginning step to peace.
We see so many rich, successful individuals who are so unhappy—and this is not a phenomenon that is limited to a particular geographical location. So many successful individuals are so unhappy. What’s the cause for this?
Because they were handed a formula: “Make a lot of money—and you will be happy.” Well, they made a lot of money—and they’re still not happy—but nobody is doing the report card. Nobody is sitting down in their life ever and saying, “What works for me and what doesn’t work for me?” Nobody does that. “Is this working?” No, people just go and go and go and go.
And yesterday, when I was coming—after I arrived at the airport, I was driving and I am seeing, everybody is trying to catch the bus to go home. And they’re just running after the bus and—and they do this on Mondays and Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
And they know the routine; they know this is what they have to do, “This is what’s going on; this is what’s happening.” But nobody says, “Is this what my life is all about?”
And when you do, the answer is very simple: “Take care of your responsibilities—but not as they will be the source of your happiness,” no. The source of your happiness you have to find inside of you....
Taking care of your responsibilities so you can have a roof over your head, that you can be sheltered during the rain; you can be sheltered when it’s cold; you can have some food to eat? Then it’s fine. Then it’s okay. But you have to understand, “What is the main drive?”
What drives you? I asked people—I was just in Malaysia—I asked people: “You’re all here because you want to be happy. Let me ask you a question: ‘Why? Why do you want to be happy? Have you asked yourself, why do you want to be happy? Why do you want to be content? Why? What is so outrageous about happiness—that you like?’”
I’m not saying that they shouldn’t—but I’m just asking, “Did you ever wonder, ‘Why do you want to be happy?’” You, of course, know why you don’t want to be sad, because that makes you feel terrible. So, if happiness makes you feel good, what are you doing in your life to truly strive for that?
You know, you look at a crab; he goes around—he’s not, he doesn’t have GPS; he doesn’t have technology. But he has enough of a technology, he needs to eat. He eats. That’s, a little crab knows that. How come we have forgotten it?
You know, the crab knows there is no value in him wearing an expensive watch and this and this—and I’m not saying you shouldn’t wear an expensive watch. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have fancy cars; I’m not saying you shouldn’t have fancy homes. But don’t look at those as the source of your happiness. The source of your happiness is inside of you.
We’re speaking about peace and its capacity for development in an individual.
You’ve said “Know thyself” is what we all need to really go back to. However, peace seems to be, today, a theoretical construct. Practically, there are too many complex implications for the effective practicality. So, how do you suppose countries need to incorporate this theory of peace into practical implementation, in terms of methodology?
Well, we have to first begin with understanding what peace is. Because most of the world, in my traveling, I have understood, has no idea what peace is. For most people, peace is a utopia. It’s this world.... And yet they don’t understand how utopia came to be, (the word “utopia”).
There was a novel of the same name that was written—and the author, for the first time, introduced this word “utopia.” So, basically, the word actually means “no place like this”—utopia. And yet, we have created in our imagination, this scene....
Oh, and what is utopia? It is the exact opposite of our problems. In utopia, we don’t have to work. In utopia, everybody is happy. I mean, it is exactly a reverse of the world that we live in, that we don’t like.
If peace takes on the manifestation of utopia, (understanding what utopia means, “no place”), it’s never going to happen. It’s too impractical. To try to create in this world, an exact opposite world would be impossible!
But if peace is understood to be something that is already inside of you—peace is the experience, is the experience of the joy that is inside of you. Peace is the experience of clarity that is inside of you. Peace is the experience of that beauty that is inside of you. Peace is the experience of the light that is inside of you.
Your final words to the people watching us right now?
You are very fortunate; you are alive. The greatest of gifts has been given to you, the coming and going of this breath. This life is the most amazing thing you have.
You were born one day; one day you have to go. There’s no “and, ifs and buts” about it. What you have—is not the wall that you came through when you were born, or the wall you’re going to go through when you die. But in between those is life.
Life is dancing; life is calling your name. Life is calling you for joy, for happiness. And that is the reason why you like to be happy. Do it! Understand yourself; see yourself. See and awaken within you.
Don’t wait for other things to happen—what needs to happen for you has already taken place: you are alive. And there’s no better news than that.
Thank you very much; this was fantastic. Mr. Prem Rawat, global Peace Ambassador, speaking to News 1st. Thank you very much.
Thank you. Pleasure.
Annual Social Change Lecture
Prem Rawat spoke to students enrolled in the Peace Education Program at TSiBA University, in Cape Town, South Africa.
What is a heart? What is a heart? We talk about heart, “Oh, I love you from the bottom of my heart.” What is a heart? And I have been asking people this question: “Do you know what a heart is?”
I mean, yeah, obviously it’s not this thing that goes, “Dohnk,” and “dohnk, dohnk, dohnk, dohnk”—it’s also called a heart. Because once it stops, you put electricity to it and crank it right back up—or if it’s getting its tubes fouled up, you put stents in it, one after another, to open it up and get it going again. I mean, what is a heart?
So then, let me tell you what a heart is. (I’m not here preaching to you; this is from my experience.) Then, the heart in me is where my clarity resides. The heart in me is the place where the courage to know the reality exists, the courage to be in joy exists, the courage to be a human exists.
This is the place—in me—that my understanding resides. This is the place in me where I am me, rather than the reflection of people’s wants and need.
So many people, especially when you become a father—you have your children. They look at you as a father; you think about their needs day and night. You become a mother, you look at your children; you think about their needs day and night. And all of a sudden you stop being you and you start being a father.
But a father who is not himself, a mother who is not herself, a wife who is not herself, a husband who is not himself—and pretty soon, you are a citizen of this world, but who is not himself or herself.
So, the value of it becomes the nest that is empty. Because once the birds fly away, that nest is nothing anymore. The wind will come, throw it out—all the effort that went into weaving that nest together will get dismantled—and then that’s it.
In life—because this is everything. We hardly have an understanding of what it means to be alive.
This is a powerful number: even if you live to be a hundred years old, (and that’s pretty good), do the math: 365. And do the math—it’s only 36,500 days. That’s all you have. That’s if you make it to be a hundred years old.
Do you live your day like it lives in you? With precision! A second does not waste itself, does it? But you waste a second. An hour does not waste itself; an hour never goes missing, does it? A day, does it ever go missing? But you go missing from the day.
You have a watch but you don’t know what time means. And so we try to live, but we don’t know how to live. We try to love, but we don’t know how to love. We try to be. But we don’t know how to be.
We don’t know that we have generosity.
To us, when we walk into a room and throw the lock, we are alone. We’re alone—really? Really? Excuse me, your anger came with you in that room. It’s right there. You may not be angry—but the anger is ever-ready. And it’s right with you; you did not leave your anger in some other room.
Wherever you go.... Even when you fly and they say, “Are you flying alone today”—and you say, “Yes,” you’re lying. Because that’s not true; you’re flying with a lot of excess baggage called “anger,” called “fear.” Greed—always, wherever you go it’s right there.
Ever feel lonely? You should never feel lonely. [Audience: Yeah.] You have lots of little friends that are right there. Think about it; you never leave home without these guys—you might leave home without the American Express credit card, but you never leave home without anger and fear and greed and lust.
And—you never leave home without understanding, without clarity. They’re also there with you. The question becomes, “What have you been nurturing in your life?”
Two fields: what is the difference between a garden and an abandoned field? What is the difference? Soil is soil. And sometimes you see an abandoned field and a wall, and then a garden—so you know it’s the same soil. But one is lush, green, has flowers growing in it; the other one is barren and has weeds growing in it. What is the difference?
Well, in one, somebody planted the seeds of the beautiful flowers and gives them water and nurtures them—and in the other one, nothing was planted and nobody nurtures it. And what grows is despicable, and what grows in the garden is beautiful.
In our understanding—and this is what it means. There is a really beautiful story I would like to tell you. And the story is called, “The Cracked Pot.”
Once upon a time, a king relegated to a gardener, a field, and said, “I want you to have a garden here for me.” And so the water—and this was quite high and the water was all the way down in the valley where there was a little river that used to flow.
And so the gardener would have to go every day—and go down to the river and fill his pots with water and carry them up, all the way to the garden and water all the plants and water all the grass and everything—and in due time, that garden started to look really beautiful.
And he had these two pots, big, big clay pots—and a bamboo, (one pot in the front, one pot in the back); he’d take them down.
One day, the pot in the back developed a hole in it—so the water would leak out. So, he’d go all the way down and he’d fill both the clay pots up; he’d bring them up and by the time he’d get up, one pot would be full; one pot would be empty.
This went on for a while. One day the pot from the front said to the pot in the back, “You’re no good. You’re useless. This gardener works so hard; he goes all the way down, fills them up, fills both of us up with water, but because you have a hole in you, by the time he comes up here, you are empty; I am full. And this garden that you see that is so beautiful is because of me.”
This made the pot in the back very sad. One day when the gardener came out and looked at the pot in the back and said, “Why are you so sad?”—it’s just a story. [Audience: Yeah.] But it’s a beautiful story. [Individual: Yes, we get that.] He looked at the pot in the back; he said, “Why are you so sad?” He says, “Well, I’ve got a hole in me.” He says, “I know that.”
He said, “Every day you take us down there; you work so hard and you fill us both with water and that one in the front, which doesn’t have a hole, because of him, this garden is green and it’s beautiful. But because I have a hole in me, I am no good. By the time you bring me here, I’m empty.”
So, the gardener looked at the pot with the hole—and said, “I want to tell you something. I know you have a hole in you. But I never stopped putting water in you. And let me tell you why.
“Because of the pot in the front, only this garden is green. But because of you—have you noticed?—all the way from the river to this garden, there are beautiful flowers growing, and it’s all because of you. This garden is only enjoyed by the king—that path is enjoyed by so many who admire the flowers growing there.”
Sometimes we don’t understand. Because of our ideas and ideals that the world places upon us, we don’t understand our own power; we don’t understand our own potential.
There is no limit! Do you understand that there is no limit to understanding? There is no limit; there’s no physical limit to understanding. There is no limit to joy! There is no limit to happiness. Do you understand the power of that?
When you are in pain, people go to churches, to temples, to mosques to pray to God saying, “God, please, get rid of the pain.” Do you think anybody goes to a temple, a mosque, a church to pray to God and say, “Please get rid of my happiness?”
There’s no limit. There is no limit—and people wonder why human beings don’t come with a manual. Because maybe it’s too obvious? Manual not required? Engineered to perfection?
That you can hold the happiness of the whole world and never gain an ounce—and enjoy all of it. But you have to understand what true happiness is.