So, when it came time to depart and come to the West, there were also a lot of things going on. And one of the things that was very much happening was, “No!” There were, there were definitely people who were of the opinion, “He shouldn’t go. He should stay. He should never go to the West.”
And…and this was a powerful force of people—it’s like, “No, he shouldn’t go.” And I wanted to go. But at the same time, I didn’t know what I was stepping into; what was this world going to be like? It’s not like in India, you really had a way to be able to see the world. The only thing we got was National Geographic.
And once in a while, if somebody brought it, it was the Life magazine. But most of that was just, you know, wars and fighting, and, you know, “this person, that person,” so on and so forth. So, “What was it going to be really like?”
And then, of course, there was my mother. She goes, “No, you don’t want to go. You don’t—don’t—you, no! There’s no way you’re going to go.” “So, what—I’ve got my passport; I’ve got the ticket, and....” “No! You can’t go!” “No, I want to go.” Said, “Okay, you can go on the summer vacation, and…but, you have to come back. After your summer vacation is over, back to school.”
And so, it was then, kind of understood that, this was the big experiment. “Maybe people in the West, maybe they’re all very happy”—and certainly from the Indian viewpoint, they had everything that an Indian could ever want. And more than even, an Indian could ever imagine! And so they had it. And so it was like, “Well, are they going to listen to this? Are they going to—you’re going to talk about peace? You’re not…you’re not going to bring a religion?”
And so, anyways, I came, and I came to England. And that starts a very definitive chapter. Because I see the people, and there is a want for an alternative religion. There’s an incredible want for an alternative religion. And so, do I take my message to them, or do I provide them with an alternative religion, because I easily could. And it wasn’t even an alternative religion for me—it was just the Indian religion. You just bring it, and you repackage it, and you say, “Here it is.”
So, all of this—all of this starts to happen. All…it all begins. And it’s, in a way, incredibly beautiful. And we…we’re trying to do events, and we don’t even know where to go to do events. So we’re going to peoples’ living rooms; we’re going to peoples’ houses; we’re going to temples to do events. Wherever we can find a little opening, a little niche where there is an invitation, off we go.
And then there was the whole thing of, you know—that this whole issue came up of me going again to the…what’s that festival? Glastonbury, yeah.
And so, they: “Come!” And I said, “No, I don’t want to go.” They said, “Come!” And I said, “No! I, I don’t want to go! I, I.... You know, it’s just, the whole hippie scene’s going to be happening there.” And it was. “And I don’t want to go.”
So, they were all..all on me—it’s like, “Go, go! You have to go; you have to go.” I said, “No, I don’t want to go.” And there was some prophecy involved with it. And once I heard that—and that really turned me off. It was like, “I really don’t want to....”
So, I started out in a car; I said, “Take me for a ride.” So I’m driving around, and I said, “Oh, how far is Glastonbury from here?” “It’s, oh, about forty-five minutes.” I said, “Let’s go.” So, off we went. And, you know, it was like, “Well, he’s not coming,” so there was nothing prepared. And so, last minute, it was like, “Yeah, he’s here!”
The music stopped, and everybody…the beauty was, most people were stoned. So, when the music stopped and the chair was put…being put up, they were just like.... You know, like, “Wow, what’s going to happen now?” And, what I said, I said it very quickly, and I was out of there before they could have gone.... “Heh—did you hear music, here? They’re not playing music anymore!”
But, anyway, all of those things happened, and it became obvious to me that I really did not want anything more than the message, because message worked. Nothing else did. So, it isn’t that, “I am here in the West to bring the culture. No, I am here to bring a message—not the culture.”
And a lot of people can’t divide the culture and the message. They can’t separate the two. Has to be separated because it’s for everyone. It doesn’t matter what you do. It is for everyone. Because as soon as it…as soon as it falls under the umbrella of culture, eventually, eventually, eventually things and segregations are going to start coming into it.
And that’s what we forget! Because all this is learned by rote.
And we don’t distinguish those things. And if we don’t know what the difference is between everything that we have learned by experience and by rote, then how are we going to take charge of our lives? How are we going to say, “Well, these are the decisions I want to make. These are the conscious decisions that I want to make. And these are the paths that I want to traverse. This is how I want to be. This is what I want in my life.”
- Prem Rawat