Hello, everyone. Prem Rawat here. So, you know, the whole idea of these videos is really to just help you out in any whichway I can. Because of the lockdowns, the coronavirus virtually all over the world, I thought it would be a great opportunity just to exchange some ideas, some thoughts that I have had.
And when you look at the situation—I mean, to say that it’s a calamity, I don’t think that would be too far-fetched. And this coronavirus just rising and rising and rising and rising—well, where it started from in China, they’ve got it more or less under control. But in the other places, it’s still making a beeline for its peak. And where that is going to be, nobody knows.
In a sense, what can I say, that would help? So, I was thinking about it last night—and the only thing that comes to mind, (at first, anyways), is that, this isn’t the first time. And calamities have hit mankind before. And when you think about it, things have happened that are just amazingly bad, but somehow we gather, we gather our strength.
And so, this is the point that I want to make. It is not what we are faced with, but how we handle it that makes the difference—whether it is something good that we are given as a gift or it’s something terrible like now, this coronavirus.
So, in a way, you’ve got two things happening. One is your life, your existence—and that’s a gift that you have been given. And of course, the second thing is, (whatever, why-ever, I’m not going to get into that), but you’ve got this virus that, you know, whatever people talk about it and however they put it, it really scares people. And in a way, it’s justified that yes, they are scared.
But it’s not what you have in front of you, but “how do you react to it, how do you handle it?” So, just off the top of my head comes this story of Ram. And on the day of his coronation.... And everybody is very excited; he’s excited; his wife is excited; his father is excited; his mother is excited—and it’s going to be this coronation.
And all the citizens of Ayodhya, (this place in India), they’re all extremely excited that Ram is going to be the king. He’s going to be a just king; he is very learned; he’s young—he’s got everything!
And that very day that he is going to be crowned the king, his second mother, his stepmother, who had gotten some boons that she hadn’t used—so she, (more or less; I’m paraphrasing this), she goes over to the king and says, “Look, remember those boons I had asked you for? Well, what I want you to do is, I want you to stop this coronation. I want you to have, not Ram be the king, but my son, Baharat, be the king. And I want you to exile Ram for fourteen years in the jungle—just exile him!”
And you can just imagine, you know, everybody’s so excited; everybody’s so like, “Yes, this is going to happen”—and then all of a sudden, instead of all that excitement and all that anticipation, something totally different is going to take place.
And the father didn’t take it well because he really wanted Ram to be the king. Ram’s mother didn’t take it very well. But how did Ram take it? How did Sita take it? How did Lakshman take it? That was another brother from the third wife; Lakshman and Shatrughan, the twins, Bharat from Kaykeyi, and then Ram, the eldest son.
So, Lakshman just told Ram; he said, “Look, you know, we’re inseparable. I’m coming with you whether you like it or not.” Sita said, “I’m your wife. I don’t care, you know, my place is with you, not particularly in a palace. I didn’t marry a palace; I married you so I’m coming with you.”
And for just even a minute, if you can think like, “Oh my God, you know, here is everybody so excited about something so wonderful”—and then this entire calamity happens, this really weird thing happens.
So, the king calls Ram and says, “Look, you know, this is what you’ve got to do.” And Ram says, “No problem. Not an issue. It’s okay. I was going to be king because you wanted me to be king. And now you want me to go to exile and not be king, fine! I’ll be okay, you know, whatever you want.”
So, without getting into the nitty-gritty of the story, (because the story is very beautiful), the whole issue really becomes not what you’re handed but “How you take it; what do you do with it?” What do you do with your life? What do you do with this human existence that you have?
What do you do with this earth that you have; what do you do with the trees; what do you do with the rivers; what do you do with the oceans; what do you do with the air; what do you do with the nature; what do you do with all that we have access to, that we have been given—what do we do with it?
We can destroy it—we can destroy our time. Because, you know, one of the big things becomes the boredom! The boredom of not—you know, people who are so into socializing and this and that and “go out there and party and do all that.” Now you can’t do that. You can’t go out and you’re basically in your room, in your apartment, in your house, in wherever you live.
So, a long time ago I used to talk about solitary confinement—and I used to say, you know, “Why is that like the worst punishment you can have?” Because people really don’t know themselves. You know, here is this incredible opportunity. And this is what I talk about, the three things that we need to do—and the three things that we need to do, is one: “Know yourself.”
Because if you don’t know yourself, don’t understand who you are, what you are about, all the other trappings that you get used to, you know, “go out there and do this and do that and my job and my this and my that,” and, you know, everyday grind—and all of a sudden it’s like, well, you get a holiday in a way. You get a holiday—but it’s with yourself!
Now, can you take that? Can you actually say, “Hey, I can actually enjoy this—because I do know who I am. And what a wonderful time for me to really get in touch with me, with who I am—try to understand, try to have sympathy for myself, empathy for myself, understanding of myself....”
So, one thing you’ve got to do is know yourself. Without knowing yourself, it’s basically, you are a stranger, a stranger that you don’t know who you are.
And then, all of a sudden, with some virus from somewhere comes along and it’s affecting the world. I mean, this is like, you know, a horror movie, in a way. And then, next thing you know, it’s really affecting the whole world and the world has to, really, the governments are coming down, saying, “Well, you’ve got to isolate; you’ve got to lockdown and you can’t go out there and you can’t do all this....”
And when you look at all the lists of everything you cannot do, amazingly enough, in that list there is one thing you can do—and that is that you end up with yourself—and you can get in touch with yourself; you can know yourself a little bit better; you can understand yourself. Because those are the basics!
And other things I’d like to talk about, (the two other things I’d like to talk about in future videos). And since we are in a lockdown, I may as well talk about that in great detail! But here is the one about you.
And so, given this situation, given this set of circumstances in which, there you are and you have to be with yourself, what are you going to do with it; how are you going to spend that time? Are you going to be frustrated; are you going to be saying, “Oh, this is terrible,” and blame somebody, play the blame game? You know, that’s what people love to do, play the blame game.
The thing is that, on one side, the internet is a wonderful thing—can be. But on the other side, there’s so much misinformation out there. So, a lot of people are just like, “Well, should we do this; should we do this; should we do this; should we do this?”
So, very, very interesting times. But you could definitely make it worth your while by trying to understand yourself, by trying to say, “Okay, it’s not the situation; it’s what I do with it.” Do I come with courage? Do I come with clarity?
When you read Ramayana—or when you hear Ramayana, you know, everything is like, perfect! The day that has been chosen for him to be crowned, it’s like the perfect day—and all the stars all line up and everything else. And there’s quite a bit of talk about that.
And to me, well, you know, when I was listening to this it was just like, “Well, the stars said that this was great, but it didn’t quite pan out that way,” because on that very day that he was supposed to be crowned, he’s being exiled for—not for one year or two years or three years. This is fourteen years he’s going to be out.
He’s not going to be a prince; he’s not going to be, you know, someone that somebody looks up to but he is going to be in the jungle! He is in exile. He is eating whatever he can find! It’s not like he’s got a chef and he just says, “Okay, I want this for dinner tonight.” Very difficult!
And he’s got a wife, (he’s got a beautiful wife), and he’s just gotten married to her—and this is a killer. And he realizes he can’t have sex with her. Because if he does and she gets pregnant, and there they are for fourteen years; he’s going to take that baby and the baby will also be in exile for fourteen years. So, it wouldn’t be in a very comfortable situation. And it would be so much more difficult for Sita.
So, there they are; they love each other—but they haven’t consummated their marriage. And it’s like, unbelievable. But what does he do with it? He comes with courage; he goes forward—and he actually ends up slaying so many people that are bad, that interfere. And he goes forward and he protects Sita; he protects the good.
And of course, he is the incarnation of Vishnu, so in that sense, he’s there for a purpose. And so, one way or the other way, you can, of course, legitimize everything and say, “Well, yeah, this happened; this was preordained; this is this way; this is this way.”
But not so much that, but to look at him as a human being, because he is. He’s got a wife; he has a brother that dearly loves him. And he loves his father and he is very much duty-bound to whatever his father wants.
So, anyways, this is what I thought would be worth thinking about, at least, for a day—not think about your calamity, not thinking about your problem, but how you are going to react to the problem.
So, I hope this helps in some way—and I will see you again. Have a good day—have a good evening; have a good night; have a good day. And again, whatever you can do to make it worth your while, do it.
Hello, everyone; Prem Rawat here. I just thought I’d take this time and address everyone.
We’re in the midst of coronavirus. And it’s very hard and very trying times for a lot of people. And if, some way, I can alleviate the load, the burden, the concern—of course, we all need to be concerned, but if I can somehow alleviate the burden that people feel on their shoulders, then it would be wonderful.
So, what’s going on? Well, it’s a little, little virus that’s taking over. And there are so many commentaries; there are so many ideas that people have; there is so much misinformation. There is good information; there is bad information. And somehow, there is very little clarity. There is very little understanding of what really it’s all about.
Now, has anything changed? Well, in one way, everything has changed. But every human being wants to feel secure; everyone wants to feel good; everyone wants to feel free. So, in that sense, nothing has really changed because this is, when everything was fine, when coronavirus was not an issue, people wanted to feel that too.
But today, because this burden is upon us and it’s like, the fear—the fear comes in. And of course, you can let the fear take over, and fear would love to take over. But let me just remind you of something.
There is something really wonderful inside of you, and it’s called “courage.” In these dark times, in these very concerning times, we need to be using courage, not fear, to live through this. We need the light that shines from within our hearts to illuminate this very dark jungle out there.
We need to live every day with a sense of purpose, a sense of clarity, a sense of understanding, a sense of just, not doubt, but clarity—and this is what I talk about all the time. But in these times, these elements that we have inside of us really need to shine—every day!
It’s not a question of, you know, “Today is not important.” No, today is important. All of a sudden, the world being in pretty much, a lockdown, just locked down everywhere, just about—what do you do? What do you think about?
And there’s just so much misinformation—on television, on social media and so on and so forth. But there is a truth inside of you—and you need to let that truth come out. There is a reality inside of you and you need to let that reality come out.
So, the contrast, I would say, is immense right now because there is so much that is, well, real concerning stuff that is going on, this coronavirus—that we need to isolate ourselves. And that we need to make sure that we are healthy. But we have to be healthy, not only physically, but we have to be healthy here too, in our minds.
So, all of these issues really come into play; it’s like, “Okay, how do we do this? How do we take the good and make the good really come out? How do we enjoy ourselves in these dire circumstances?”
So, sometimes, you know, you really have to just step back and say to yourself, “Well, what is this all about? I am here; I am a little part in this puzzle.” Of course, you don’t want to hurt other people, so you don’t want to go and become a person who contaminates more people. And the best way to do that is to isolate; the guidelines are being provided. And some of it makes complete sense.
What do you rely on? Well, for once, you also have to look at inside of you. You have to rely on yourself too, your heart, your understanding, your desire for clarity, your desire to be happy. You have to—you have to rely on that. You have to accept that, that this is a very basic thing.
Not just be drowned in fear, drowning in, like, “Oh my God, what’s going to happen to me?” Now, you should be concerned, but by the same token, there is something very beautiful that is being said from your heart, from yourself.
And you need to include yourself in this one. Don’t exclude yourself; you need to include yourself in this one. You need to include that beauty that you have inside of your heart on this one.
Because, what’s going to happen? Well, you know, we saw, we see the numbers from China—and this is where the epidemic started. But by the same token, they clamped down and were able to manage it to the point where, at this moment, anyways, the numbers of people dying and new cases have significantly dropped down!
“Can we do this; can we win this war?” Yes, we can win this war. The only thing is, it would be nice if we didn’t have such high numbers or, you know, these enormous numbers were not there for people dying.
But we human beings have to bind together; we have to come together, and we have to come together in a very funny way—and we have to come together by being together ourselves. Even in isolation, we have to be complete; we have to be whole and not do silly and stupid things.
But at the same time, will human beings win this race, win this war? And, yes, you know, yes, we have to; we have to. We have to go on. And the way we can win it is to be sensible, to be clear, not be in doubt, not be anger, not be in frustration, not be finger-pointing at each other. It is time.
This little virus—which is not a living thing; it’s just some RNA wrapped around in some fat—it has done, for this world, something really amazing.
It is calling upon us, in its very unfortunate and harmful way, to come together—all of us, helping each other around the world, spreading good news, not rumors, not wrong information, but spreading the news that “Use courage! Use clarity. Use that good stuff that you have in you.”
And then and only then, I really feel that not only can we win this, but we can really win this war, really, really win—and not be shortchanged by it, not be smacked by it, not be hurt by it, but come together.
And it is time to rely on yourself to do not silly things. As the guidelines are, you know, “Isolate; stay home. Don’t spread this to other people; maintain your distance”—to follow these simple guidelines.
But by the same token, also be visiting our heart, visiting ourselves, visiting our understanding—and just, from clarity, coming out from clarity, to be able to see that, “Yes! I’m still alive and my aspirations have not changed.”
So, whatever it may be. And people, you know, have their ideas of “how this is going to happen and how that should happen.” And doctors are coming together; medical staff is coming together to help people. And we need to be helpful towards them; we need to be helpful towards each other.
It is time for humanity to really kick in—and for us humans to really take on those super-nice attributes that we have as human beings and offer that to each other, offer each other kindness, offer each other understanding. This is the time for empathy. This is the time for clear thinking; this is the time for courage.
And if we can have that, then I think we can make a huge difference for ourselves, for every single day that we are alive, even without the coronavirus. Because our world needs to be—with or without coronavirus, we need to be in that clarity.
So, I hope, of all the things that I have said, something makes sense to you. And you take that to heart. And no reason for fear because fear doesn’t do anything, you know, except just clamps you down.
What you need is courage. Understand the complexity of the problem; understand the severity of the problem, but instead of giving fear the rise, give clarity the rise; give courage the rise; give understanding the rise, not the doubt. And these are the things that can make a difference in every single day that we have.
Now, I’m going to try to communicate with you as much as I can—and this is the first attempt at it. I’m doing this, you know, in a very simple, very simple way. I set up my little tripod; I set up my little iPhone—and this is what it’s recorded on. I don’t have extra lights; I’m just in this room—and it’s a pretty plain background.
So, to me, background doesn’t matter. You know, the lighting doesn’t matter—just so far I can reach and give you some comfort, give you some understanding, give you some clarity so that you can have a better time of this, you know, because these are trying times. There’s no question about that.
And not have to be living in fear, but come from courage, come from clarity, come from understanding. And yes, we will win; we will win. We will win.
I have been affected by this, very much, just like everyone else. I had gone to Europe. I had done a few events. And then, Europe was coming into a lockdown, so I decided, well, I’ve got some time and may as well go to South America. Because, not much, in terms of coronavirus, was happening there.
So I flew to Brazil. And then when I was in Brazil, amazingly, the next day or so I was supposed to go to Argentina–and Argentina went into lockdown.
No more meetings, no more this. So, okay. And I really didn’t want to go to Uruguay, because, again, I didn’t want to be doing meetings and spread this thing.
So, lot of these things have been happening. And finally, not too long ago, I got to the United States. I haven’t yet been home. So, I’m still a few thousand miles from home. But I am in America and I hope I can get home soon.
And–of course, of course–I’m going to isolate myself. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t talk to you. That doesn’t mean that I can’t send this message out to you, wherever you are.
And maybe, maybe I can make a difference. And I will certainly make as much time as I can available to you. And I hope that these broadcasts get to you, and you can enjoy them, like them, and have a good time with them.
So, thank you. I’ll see you later.
Hello, everyone. I hope you’re all doing well, safe, and feeling well. What I’d like to talk to you today about, again, is very simple. Because that’s what we have to, in our lives, really come down to. Whatever the situation may be, simplicity will see you through it. Look at the simplicity of life; look at the simplicity of existence and you’ll understand what I’m talking about.
In our lives, we sometimes don’t understand how important it is to have harmony in our existence, to be harmonious with everything that is around us, to be harmonious with this nature, to be harmonious with the people that we are around.
And most importantly, to be in harmony with ourselves, the harmony of our existence, the harmony of this breath coming in, filling us with life—the simple things, the beautifully simple things in life—you, your existence. Your want, put aside—but look at your needs, the simple needs to be fulfilled, to be in peace, to be in joy, to understand.
To question, but then to have the answer, too. To understand that all those answers, the ocean of answers, is within you. To query, “What is this,” but then to find the answer to what this is.
That understanding can only be if there is the profoundness of simplicity in your life, if you understand the rhythm of this joy, of this existence—that it comes, that you exist, that you want to thrive—you want to go beyond surviving; you want to thrive. That what it’s going to take is just that simple thing of simply being. To be, to exist, to see the harmony, to see it in the simplest of ways.
Not the complicated. We like the complicated—oh, we love the complicated. Because when it’s complicated, we feel challenged of, “What can we say; what can be the profound thing?”
You know, and one time I saw somebody who was talking about somebody’s past lifetime, “Oh, you were an elephant. Oh, you were a this; oh, you were a that.” Why are you going there? This is the life you have. Not that. That you had. This is the life you have. And what can you do in this life? What can you be in this life? Can you be simple? Can you see it with the eyes of a child?
What is that? And that is simply to see, to accept something without wondering, “What is it; what is it called? What is its function; what is its purpose?” That’s going to happen later—but there is that one stage where the child merely looks at something and accepts.
Many times I have seen this. You show the child the moon. You bring them out. You show; the night is there; they look up; they see the moon—they don’t know it’s called “the moon.” That’s the parents who go, “Moon”—they give it the name.
But without giving it the name, without anything else, the child is looking at it and appreciating its beauty, appreciating what it is, without having to know “How far it is, what the diameter of the moon is, what the circumference of this thing is, what is a moon; where did it come from”—all that happens later.
But the issue is, “Fine, it happens all later; later we get into all this stuff”—but what about that simplicity? I always ask that one question, “What happened to that child?” You were once that child—that child that was incredibly simple.
And for a lot of people, you know, they don’t see the profoundness of that. I do. To be able to see something for what it is, without having known its name, without having known its characteristics, without giving it a purpose, without giving it a this....
I mean, why does the moon look beautiful? Is it beautiful? Well, when it’s shining up in the sky, it does look beautiful. Why does it look beautiful? It doesn’t matter, so far it is.
Can that be me too? Do I have to give ten thousand different meanings to everything that happens in my life—or can I simply, simply accept, “I am. I exist”?
And can I accept my needs? I want to be in peace. I want to feel good. I want to be in joy. I want to be fulfilled. And a lot of people go, “You know, what is it that we’re going to get fulfilled by?” Somebody just recently asked me a question, you know, “What is peace...? What is peace?” Somebody—actually, many times people have asked me, “What is peace?”
Wow. Really, you want to know what peace is? You don’t want to feel it; you want to know what it is? What is sugar? What is chili; what is salt!? You know, you can give it a name: “Yes, it’s this; it’s this; it’s this.” Taste, taste it!
There is that story where there was this king—and he was sitting in his court and an ambassador came. And the ambassador said, “My king has sent you, as a gift, this fruit that comes from his kingdom.” And so the king that was sitting there going, “What is it?” He goes, “It’s a mango.”
Now, it just so happened that in their kingdom, they didn’t have this fruit. So he goes, “Well, what is a mango?” And somebody said, “Okay, let me go take a look at it.” So they went and looked at a mango. And they said, “Oh, sire, it’s this fruit and it looks like this,” you know, “and that’s what a mango is.” “But I don’t understand,” the king said, “what a mango is.”
So, then their man went and touched it and he goes, “Well, it feels like, you know, gooey-gooey.” And the king said, “I still don’t understand what a mango is.” Then somebody took a bite of it and said, “Oh, it’s really delicious; it’s sweet; it’s got this beautiful aroma,” and the king said, “I still don’t understand what a mango is.”
And finally, this kept going on and on and on and on and everybody was getting sick and tired of it—and then one courtier got up; he took a slice of that mango, put it on a plate, brought to the king and said, “Sire, taste it.” As soon as the king put it in his mouth, he said, “Now I know what the mango is. Thank you.” That’s the power of knowing.
And the power of believing? “More, more, more, believe in this; believe in this; believe in this; believe in this,” because it’s not knowing; it’s “believe, believe, believe.” Somebody is going to go out there and figure it out for you—and then put it in a pill and give it to you. And you’re going to take that pill and say, “Now, I think I know it now.”
But you don’t know. “And I just believe; I believe more of this; I believe more of this; I believe more of this, but I believe more of this,” and the belief goes on and on and on. And then there have to be people who will interpret that belief for you. And so there’s no shortage of interpreters.
And what do they do? They get up and they, you know, open the books. And they, it’s like, “Okay, let me tell you this as in this book, and it’s true because it’s written in this book and it’s not true because it’s written in that book, and it’s true in this....” And it’s like, on and on and on it goes.
But that’s what belief is all about; what is the power of knowing? What do you want in your life, beliefs or knowing? You want to know. And that is being in harmony with the self—not at odds, but being in the harmony with the self, the true harmony, to be in that rhythm.
Otherwise, what is life like? And I can tell you this; it’s like a band playing and one player is playing off beat. He’s completely somewhere else, playing off-key and off beat. Does that sound like your life sometimes, where the music isn’t making sense because somebody’s playing something else? It’s not in the same beat; it’s not in the same harmony.
This life needs to be in that harmony every single day. Every moment that you can be, you need to be in that harmony. With the times right now, that is challenging.
Because this is going, “What’s going to happen?” This is going, “What’s going to happen; when is this going to end? What is this; what is this; what is this; what is this?” And the heart is more interested in what happens every day: “You’re alive,” your life, your existence.
Understand what it means to be in that harmony. Understand how important it is for you to be in that harmony. Harmonize with this existence, for the time you have—for the time you have. And when this is gone, you won’t be able to harmonize. Will you want to? Yes, but would you be able to? No.
This is your chance; this is your opportunity to feel, to experience. And how beautiful that is, that you can do that; you can feel; you can feel peace; you can feel joy. You can feel the goodness of being alive, the goodness of who you are, the harmony, the understanding. And you know, that’s what it has to be. Not the complicated, but the simple.
And when you understand what that simplicity is—and how precious that simplicity is, then everything begins to change. Everything takes on a new meaning: “Wow. How do I capture today? Just be me”—and you will capture it. This is what you want. It’s always a good time, always a beautiful time because you understand what that means.
Not analytical, not through analysis, “Oh, there’s....” We need analysis; I’m not saying we don’t need analysis. We need analysis. And in this world, there are many things that need analysis.
But your existence is afoot. No point in analyzing “what this means, what that means.” Accept. Accept and understand—that you need to be in that simple harmony, in the simplest synchronicity with your existence, with this breath. As simple as it is, you need to become that simple; you need to become that real.
What is real? Not some philosophy that bounces between these two ears. No, no, no, no, no. What is simple; what is real—to you? It’s the coming and going of your breath, your existence. Your.... What is real is your desire for peace, your need for peace. What is real is your need to be fulfilled. What is real is your need to be in that simplicity.
What is real is to have that harmony in your life, your need to have that harmony in your life. To once again, see the world and to see yourself with the eyes of the child. I always say this, you know, “What happened to that child, do you think?” That child is still here. Each one of you, once upon a time, was a child. That child never died. That child is still there.
Get in touch with that child; get in touch with that simplicity; get in touch with that harmony; get in touch with that joy. And the reward for all that is fulfillment, is peace, is the beautiful stuff in life.
Be safe; be well. Be. Thank you.
A Matter of Choice
It is good to, once in a while in this life, sit back and understand what is going on. Even if you live to be seventy years, that’s 25,550 days. If you live to be a hundred, that’s only 36,500 days.
You were born—and one day you have to go. Being born was the culmination of all these things that are around me, the oxygen, the hydrogen, carbon, calcium, nitrogen and phosphorus—this is what we’re made out of.
All these elements came together, all this dirt, all this oxygen, all this air, all this water, all this stuff came together—to create me. Me—you, me. And now, all this is going back to where it came from. So, it’s not like this. It’s like this! Where am I going? This is where I came from.
So, arrival was local—and the departure is also local. But it is this circle that separates the two. And this circle is called “life.” And it is the fundamental core, backbone of this being called “the self”—you, me: “the self.”
And then you, of course, hear, “Know thyself.” And most people, (and I can say this because I’ve been doing it for fifty years, so I’ve got experience), most people find that very mysterious, very philosophical.
After all, Socrates was a philosopher—so, philosophical: “I mean, and it’s just, what is the practical thing of, ‘Know thyself’? I mean, what? Of course I know myself. My name is dah-dah-dah; this is my cell phone number; this is my email—that’s my cat; that’s my dog; that’s my house. That’s my suit; that’s my shoes; that’s my belt.”
But think about it. If you truly knew yourself, you would know—you would know what all is in you—the good and the bad. But here comes the issue, “Have you made your choices? Have you made your choices? Have you actually made...?”
You are on this journey (if you want to call it “journey” or whatever). But you’re in this ring now. You were born—obviously. And so, life is afoot. Have you made your choices, by the way? Have you made your choices? Or are you ad hoc?
You get up in the morning—“And, ahh, I don’t feel good. I don’t like that guy; I don’t like this; I don’t like that; I know that, yeah, this is not right. I don’t want to go there; I don’t want to, yeah, but, ah-duh-duh-duh, duh-duh-duh....” Or have you made your choices? Have you made your choices?
It’s a very, very interesting question: “Have you made your choices?” You’re going to be living—that’s what the ring is—are you going to live this life without making any choices? Or are you going to live this life with a very particular set of choices?
But how can you make the choices if you don’t know what you have? So let me shed some light on what you have. You have in you, ignorance, fifty percent—and you have in you, knowledge, fifty percent. You have in you, darkness, fifty percent; you have in you, light, fifty percent.
Don’t give yourself too much credit—it’s fifty percent. Don’t go, “Forty-nine/fifty-one.” No, no. No, it’s just not true. It’s exactly fifty percent.
And by the way, the fifty percent that you have—is more than enough for you to live a life incredibly. Or—or that bad fifty percent is more than sufficient to destroy you—totally. And you have both. You have both.
You have in you, fear—and you have in you, courage. Fifty percent. But if you truly know this, then you can make a choice. You can make a choice: “I want in my life—I want to choose courage, not fear.”
So, instead of living in beliefs, you have to start to live in the “know,” in the knowing, in the knowledge. And this takes courage. And that’s the choice you have to make: “Do I choose courage? Or do I choose the fear?”
Fear is easy; nothing doing, it’ll.... Just lie on the bed and keep imagining the monster—and he just keeps getting bigger, and bigger. And the fangs get bigger; the nails get bigger; the eyes get bigger, and it gets more hungry, and it gets dangerous, and it’s under your bed, and it’s going to eat you without the ketchup.
But—knowing. “I want to know! I want to feel....” Because one thing is very obvious. One thing is very, very obvious. Life is incredible; life is precious; this breath is an incredible gift—since you don’t push a button for it, it is an incredible gift; it is given to you freely. Shouldn’t you be filled with gratitude? Naturally? Are you?
(I ask too many questions.) This life, should it not be filled with gratitude? But why isn’t it? Why isn’t it? Why is all this stuff that I’m talking about just not obvious? Shouldn’t it be obvious? Why isn’t it? Because maybe the choices have not been made.
You—had a phenomenal amount of courage. When you were a baby, you did something. You did not have a college education; you were not a scientist. You were not a physiotherapist; you were not a doctor; you were not a psychologist; you were not a psychiatrist; you were not an athlete, and you were not an athletic coach.
And you decided—you made a choice; you wanted to walk—so you tried. You tried—and it didn’t work. It failed; you failed! But you were not a failure. And you know why you were not a failure? Because you tried again.
And when you did, you failed. You failed but you were not a failure—so you tried again. And you kept doing this—till one day you did it; you walked.
Nobody could help you. Because the sense of balance is very personal; it has to be in you. Could it be that you were very clear, as a baby, of what you wanted to do? And now you’re not. Could it be that that one thing that can empower you is to know yourself? To know that you have choices?
Do you know you have choices? In your pain, in your suffering, in your confusion, do you know you still have a choice? Do you? That you have a choice—you always have a choice. And you can choose not to choose. (You even have that choice.)
And most of the time, have you not chosen not to choose? (The little masala of destiny....) What is in your destiny? If you don’t do anything, you are born; you will live the amount of days you will live—and then you will, “Cct,” go back. The elements will go back wherever they came from. You’ll be disassembled; when you were born you were assembled, and then you will be disassembled.
No. When the choices have been made—and from those choices, comes the gratitude because one witnesses the value and the amazing existence of this being on the face of this earth....
When the eyes are open, when the heart is full, when there are no dualities, when the questions have become answers, when there is a sweetness and a serenity that dances in one’s life, then peace manifests itself. And when that peace is felt, the heart overflows with gratitude—overflows with gratitude.
Find that heaven, the heaven that is in you—your heaven. Transform, awaken! Enjoy! Be! Exist! Adore the simplicity. There’s wisdom in that. There is wisdom in that.
When I first came to the West, everybody was like, “We don’t want to hear about peace; tell us how we can be rich.” And that’s such a game. I was asked—I was a teenager! I was a teenager! I was like, thirteen years old. I was asked, “Are you rich?”
And I happened to be in a really good mood and I said “Yes, I’m really rich. I am really, really, really rich—in the heart.” Money-wise, I only had twenty-five pounds. That’s all I could bring from India—and they wouldn’t allow any more; they gave everyone twenty-five pounds and that’s all we had.
What is twenty-five pounds? What is twenty-five thousand pounds? I mean, somebody could just have a little news—and that could be nothing. One day you have more than you owe, and one day, you owe more than you have.
I mean, I just love the certainty—you know, just, the certainty of this world is just amazing. If this kind of certainty was exhibited by my car, I would never drive it. And here this breath comes like clockwork, incredibly dependable.
You want to understand the definition of “dependable”—think about your breath. (Not about your dog.) Because it’ll come. It is the very thing that allowed you, if you were born in a hospital, to come home. And it is the breath, if you were born at home, allowed you to stay home.
Because if this breath was not coming, you were not coming home—and if this breath was not coming and you were born home, you were going to the?—hospital, pbbt. This is how it is. It’s simple; it’s profound: “Know thyself.”
A Process of Discovery
Conference on Multiculturalism, Tolerance & Peace
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, first of all, I would like to just say, it’s a great honor to be here. And it is great to be in the company of those people who are interested in peace.
Because when things happen in this world that are not conducive for us to go on, (wars, the refugee problems, the destruction of natural resources), we have to ask one question. “Why?” I know that I read in the newspapers, “We have a problem; we have a problem; we have a problem; we have a problem.”
But of course, I have to ask, “Why do we have this problem?” What’s wrong here? What’s wrong in this picture; why do we have these people who are called “refugees”—who have left their home where they were raised, their families, their assets—and they have to go somewhere else to a new land, to a new place, to be able to survive. Why? Why do we have these wars? Why do we fight?
And I know, around the world, everybody has an explanation: “Oh, we’ve been fighting for a long time, so it’s okay.” Really? That’s good enough?
I mean, can you—just do it someday when you have some time—sit down and make a list of how many things we have that just divide us. This is how we see each other—“division, division, division, division. You are from India; you are from Australia; you are from England!” Come on.
The truth of the matter is, all of us, ninety percent, ninety-nine percent of us are made out of the same thing. It’s oxygen, carbon, calcium, hydrogen, nitrogen, and phosphorus—all of us. Man, women, child, educated, non-educated, rich, poor, we’re all made out of the same thing. These are the elements we are made out of.
And as human beings, we have a desire for peace. Why? That’s very simple too. We’re very vulnerable. Peace is something we actually need. Why are we vulnerable? We don’t have claws. We don’t have claws like lions do. We don’t have those big fangs like the lions do. We are not well suited to fight—you know why?
Because our most vulnerable area (that all the other animals protect) is completely wide open. We are an open invitation, “Come and kill me.” And not only one way—“Ah, let me show you quite a few different ways that you can do it. You can try here; you can try here; you can try here; you can try here, you....”
I mean, we’re vulnerable. Peace is something we have sought out in our situation. But we have fallen victim to greed. We have forgotten our passion. We have abandoned our passion for compassion—and we have adopted a very strange logic.
When I say “peace,” people ask, (I’m sure, and they don’t say it. But I know this is going on in their head), “How do you propose—how do you propose, Mr. Rawat, to bring peace to this world? And how do you propose this? With the world in disarray, with the problems in this world, how do you propose...!”
Ah, so let me explain something to you. This is how I “propose....” Peace—is already inside every single human being. And because it is inside every single human being, nothing actually needs to be done. Nothing needs to be created—nothing! It is a process of discovery, people discovering peace within.
To have a war, (because of our vulnerability, not being very good at fighting at anything).... I mean, if we punch too hard, we’ll break our hand—I mean, this is how bad we are at fighting.
So, what do we need, to fight? Do you know what we need, to fight? We need trillions of dollars to fight. We can’t fight! We need trillions of dollars to fight; we need armies to fight; we need machine guns to fight. And you know that to fight, everyone has to be trained? (Even if you’re going to punch somebody, you really have to be trained?)
This is how bad you are. All this idea, the logic of fighting, the logic of actually declaring a war, you have to be taught! But peace is inside of you. Always was. No teaching is required. No teaching is required. All you have to do—it’s like Socrates said: “Know thy self.” And when you get to know yourself, you understand that this peace that you are looking for is inside of you.
We are not understanding the potential of the human being. We are saying, “Oh, human beings make mistakes.” But human beings, for other human beings, have the biggest heart. They can love—and when they decide to share kindness, it’s unparalleled. Unparalleled.
In the past three interviews now, people have asked me, “You have met a lot of dignitaries. Who do you remember?” And then I tell them a little story.
The one I actually remember wasn’t a dignitary. It was this person.... And one day I was in India; I was driving in my car. And they had packed a lunch but they forgot the water. And so we had lunch—and go, “We’re very thirsty.”
So, we saw a farmer pulling water from the well in a musk. So we stopped the car; went over to him. And he asked—we asked him, “Could you please give us some water?”
I remember this man as clearly as I’m looking at you today. (This happened quite a few years ago.) He said to me—he said, “I don’t have much. But my hut is right over there. And I have some bread from yesterday and a few pieces of pickle. If you are hungry, it would be my honor to offer you this.”
Generosity—yes! This is all he had. We took the water; we had the water. We thanked him. And to this day, that has made a mark on me. And I will never forget. I’ve traveled the world many, many times; I have met a lot of people—but I don’t forget him ever. Why? Because of his kindness.
This is the level of humankindness that there can be. This is the level of a human achievement, to walk with peace. These are all possibilities—and demonstrated in this world.
This is our possibility. This is our possibility. This is our understanding; this is our moment; this is our chance. But as mankind looks at its achievement, then all I can say is that “Man’s, human being’s finest achievement will be peace.”
And that the humanity looks back—and say to each other, to say to their children, to tell them a little story, not about the three bears. But you know, to be able to say this: “Do you know, we established peace.” In perhaps the most impossible odds, “We established peace.”
The thirst for peace unquestionably crosses every single barrier there is. I have seen that. It crosses language; it crosses religion. It crosses all that long list of differences we have—it completely bypasses them. And the thirst for peace is in every human being.
Could we understand the dynamics of that effort that that baby makes, that each one of you made, by the way, by the way...? That baby once was you. And you got up, you got up and you fell! You fell—and the kindness to give you encouragement was there.
This is about us. This is about us understanding—and us making the effort, and us making it possible to have peace in our lifetimes.
On Being Human
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Today there are problems, a lot of problems. People are blowing up each other, killing each other, cheating each other, robbing each other. And everybody wonders what’s going to happen. Economic problems plague the world. People don’t feel safe.
And so you wonder, “Why? What happened? How did we become like this? Is this our nature; is this who we are?” Or is something else going on—that maybe we are so separated from our true self that we don’t understand our nature anymore.
And so, the question, “Who are you?” Not “What are you”—not “What are you,” (a doctor, a lawyer, a pilot, a farmer, an office worker). No, not “What are you.” “Who are you?” (Not “husband, wife, daughter.”) No, who are you? Who?
As a human being that you are, do you realize what you are, what you have been given?
On one hand, you are made out of six things: hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, calcium, nitrogen and phosphorus. Where do you find these things? Everywhere. Everywhere. You walk on it. You spit in it. And this is the stuff that, every day you come home, you try to get rid of it by washing yourself. But that’s what you’re made out of.
But truly, who are you? You have the capacity to know; you have the capacity to understand; you have the capacity to be fulfilled. You have the capacity to be in peace. You have the capacity to understand. You have the capacity to feel—to feel. You have the capacity to express. You have the capacity to smile. This is you. This is me.
So, the question is, “How fulfilled am I? How fulfilled are you?! How fulfilled are you?” If you have the capacity to be fulfilled, the question would be, “How fulfilled are you?” Because if it is not a hundred percent, something is wrong. If it is not a hundred percent, why not?
You have the capacity to feel in peace—and are you in peace? Every day? Have you really grasped what it is to be human—and have you brought this to the apex? Even a tree—even a tree tries to bring its fruit to an apex. What about you? What about you?
Or are you caught in the same formulas of anger, fear, frustration—confusion—with peace as a hope somewhere over here, way back here, “Someday...?” When the peace is always inside of you.
Anger is inside of you; forgiveness is inside of you. Hate is inside of you; love is inside of you. Joy is inside of you; sadness is inside of you. Confusion is inside of you; clarity is inside of you.
What is yours, is yours and only yours, and you cannot give it to anyone else because it is only yours—selfish or not selfish. It’s a fact. So now that it is yours and only yours—and you are the custodian till this breath comes in and out of you, what are you going to do with it? Are you going to be in peace?
So, people, you know, always go, “So where is peace?” In you. “Well, how come I don’t know?” Have you looked? Have you? Have you!? Or are you one of those people...?
Because I know there are a lot of people waiting for an angel that’s coming. (They’ve been waiting for that angel for three, four, thousand years....)
Peace is not the issue. You choosing the peace is the issue. Because the day you do—it’s within you! And people go, “No! No, it can’t be”—but, what do you think it is? You know, and exactly where do you think it is? In outer space?
So, when the astronauts are up there, they must feel really peaceful. “Duk-duk, duk-duk, duk-duk, duk-duk, duk-duk.” Every time a light comes on, every time something doesn’t work, “Ah-ah, oh my God.....”
You have that power—because you are human. The Superman is in you! You don’t need a Superman. You don’t need a miracle. You know why you don’t need a miracle? You know why? Because you are the miracle.
Dirt—can love? Can smile, can laugh, can understand, can have compassion? That’s not a miracle? Then what is? What is?
This? Not here forever. “Come. Go.” “Go where?” Right here.
I say to people—they look at me like, “What?” And I say, “What do you think—when you were born, the earth got heavier? And when you die, the earth is going to get lighter?” Uh-uh, it stays the same. It does get a little heavier, but that’s because so much dust keeps falling from space.... (To make a new eggplant, to make a new tomato, to make a new you!)
But it is to understand the power of this breath. It’s about you! This is the gift that you have, that is being given.
I say the word “gift.” This goes, “From whom?” Really? Really? Really?! There you are in the middle of the ocean. You have been swimming for two days—nothing around. All of a sudden, all of a sudden, there is a life preserver.
Are you really going to say, “Which ship—is it from my ship that crashed? Or is it—I mean, who does this belong to? Anyone? Anyone?” Really? Or are you going to go, “I cannot be so selfish as to take this life preserver. There may be another one behind me....” No! “Ahh, thank you!” Who are you thanking? Who are you thanking?
This is understanding. This is a process of simplicity. And this is the process of “knowing thyself.” (That’s what Socrates said, “Know thyself.”) This is the process of knowing yourself.
However, we have made it our occupation to know everybody else. “Let me, let me introduce you to”—and “so-and-so.” Have you been introduced to you?
So, “talk about peace, this and....” This is what I do. I introduce people to themselves. That’s what I do. And that’s all I need to do.
“Is that going to bring world peace?” The world doesn’t need peace. Believe me, there’s nothing wrong with the world. It’s, we human beings need peace.
This idea of “world peace” is bizarre. Hey, I’ve been doing this for fifty years—fifty years. I started.... I started when I was nine years old. And this year is the fiftieth anniversary. So, this comes from a lot of experience—the world doesn’t need peace; people do. The world doesn’t feel hungry; people do. The world doesn’t kill anybody; people do.
It’s about people. People have forgotten people. Politicians have forgotten people. In the name of “this and the that,” we have forgotten human beings—human beings. The peace happens to be in human beings. To understand it, it’s simple.