What do you focus on every day? Is it things that make you angry? Is it things that you don’t like in your life? Are you a complainer? Do you complain, “This isn’t right; that’s not right. This should have been this way; that should have been this way; why is this this way; why is that that way? And, ababla-bla-blable, ablabla-blablalba.....”
“Why me?” Are you one of those “why me’s”? So, if you are a “why me”—good luck. That’s not a nice note to end with, “Why me? Nothing is right. Why is everything so unjust?”
Remember Yudhishthir! Same thing, he’s caught in the injustice and he cannot go. He’s caught. The cycle of birth and death, the inconvenience of the birth, and he’s caught in it. Because he’s also caught in his concepts of “what is right, what is wrong, what is right....”
He’s caught up in his concepts of what is right and what is wrong. And this is then driving him to start looking at what is just and what is unjust. And so far he’s going in his life, going, “This is just; this is unjust; this is just; this is unjust,” he’s caught in fear; he’s caught in anger; he’s caught in all those things that he doesn’t really want.
When he frees himself from that, severs those.... I like the word “sever”; just to, “Kkkch,” indiscriminately. Not like, “Where should I do it?” No, just do it. It doesn’t really matter, if you’re going to cut a rope, whether you cut here or you cut it—and just cut the thing.
And then, then that comes; then comes the freedom. Then comes the freedom. And the freedom? And, when you are free, you can feel. Now you are free to feel this life; now you’re free to feel the gratitude; now you’re free to feel what that beauty is.
The life should never be about, you know, three things only. Life is giving you a lot more than three. Take it all! “No, no, we should only have....” Not one.
“What is the most important—well, what is that one most important thing to you?” God knows who started that. But it’s the same people who said, “Take that little ball and put it in the little hole.”
Trying to explain to the aliens, you know, again, “Yeah, they just—somebody has four important things, but this guy only wants three!” I won’t mention your name, Mitch, in case there is an alien.
So, just to keep that focus and continue to enjoy this life, this is what it is. And that is the best way to pay the tribute to what is the past—whatever you have learnt that is good, keep it, and move forward with it.
- Prem Rawat
I thought this was kind of interesting, because I just today received a letter from Argentina—and so I’d like to read it to you; I brought it with me.
“Dear Mr. Prem Rawat, we’ve been watching the Peace Education Program for three months running. And we would like to thank you, because your message helps us know ourselves. When we listen to you, we forget that we are in prison. Thank you very much.
“With respect and love, we would like to invite you to this prison unit. It would be an honor for us to meet you in person and talk with you about what we have learned. Kind regards, Men’s Prison, Buenos Aires, Argentina!”
So, there I am at this prison; I said, “Okay, you know, you realize, God is the only one in this entire creation that can’t go from here to here.” And you should have seen their faces; it was like, “Huh? Of course God can go from here to here.”
I said, “No, it’s impossible for God to go from here to here. Why? Because if God leaves here to go here, it’s not possible, because he will always be here. And he is already here, so how can he come here? Can’t go from here to here!”
And when they heard—it was like, it takes a little while, right? Just, “dit-dit-dit-dit-dit, dut, dah-doo, dut, dit-dit-dit....” And then it’s like, “Damn, he’s right!”
Because I’m using that same logic. The problem isn’t the logic. The problem is the thing that created that logic—about “going,” about “coming,” about creating—not God creating us in his you know, shadow, but we creating God in ours. And giving God exactly the same attributes of jealousy, fear, anger, everything else.
“If you don’t do what I tell you to do, I’m going to destroy you.” Well, excuse me, that was the plot all along. So, what’s the news here!? I mean, isn’t that, in the creation, how it’s laid out? “I was, I’m going to be born, and one day I will be destroyed.” So what is this thing of “destroying?”
And it’s like, “Oh, well, if you don’t do these things, they’ll send you to hell.” Well, why do you have to send anybody to hell; it seems like we can create our hell right here all by ourselves; you don’t need a separate department. We, when everything is perfectly good—but there we are, suffering. And you wonder why. “Why are you suffering?”
“Oh, this happened, and then that happened....” So? So? Are you not concerned about what opportunity you have right now? Why are you attached to what happened yesterday—when yesterday has graciously said, “I’m out. I’m out of your life. You will never be able to get to me again!” And you’re like, “Yeah, well that doesn’t matter.”
You’re trying to contemplate, “What’s going to happen tomorrow; what’s going to happen tomorrow? What’s going to happen tomorrow? What happened yesterday; what happened yesterday? I don’t like this guy. I don’t like that guy. I, da-da-da, what’s going on here? Yeah.
“How, how come I’m not with that woman? How come I’m not with that man? How come I don’t have that car? How come I don’t—I’m not rich like that?” Day and night! “How do I get out of my problems?”
So, you see this letter, and the reason why I brought it is that they’re in the prison. They—and it’s not like, “Oh, we heard you and we got out. You know, there was a seven-question quiz and we passed from everything you had said, and then now we’re out.” No, they’re still in prison.
But when they listen and they savor that clarity, the bars are lifted; prison is opened. You’re no longer a prisoner; you are free. And that freedom is felt from within you. It is not sitting there and daydreaming, “Oh, yeah, I’m free.” Reality and dream are not colliding.
Because—and many times I’ve seen that first event that I—the transcript from that first event ever, when I was four years old—the satsang I gave, or the talk I gave. And it’s like, “You have to realize what this opportunity is”—this is that four-year-old talking—“you have to realize what this opportunity is, what you have been given here.
“And in realizing that opportunity, you shall find peace; you will find peace. In acknowledging that, you will get peace. In that clarity, you will find your freedom.”
Because freedom is not an independent state. Freedom is not an independent state; it is merely for those ties, those bonds that bind you to be severed. And when that happens, when that process happens, when those ropes, those anchors that bind you, when they are severed, you automatically go into freedom. It’s, that’s it; that’s how—the only way you can get there.
But the question is, who binds you to these? You do. Other people offer you the rope, but you tie the knot. And who suffers? You do. And then you hear me say, “Cut it,” and you go, “Oh, that’s really difficult.” It wasn’t so difficult tying the knot, was it? Was it? It’s like, “Oh, yeah, okay, another rope. Wow, this is good; this is good.”
Because, you see, when you come to the realm of Knowledge, this is what’s really awkward about it—and really, really—and I have seen this since I was very, very young.
Everything out there has a set of rules, and you have to buy, accept that set of rules. If you don’t, you’re not going to graduate.
What do you want out of your life? Do you want that clarity? Do you want that simplicity in your life? Do you want that beauty that is possible in your life? And I was saying, “This is what’s different about Knowledge.” So, here’s what’s different about Knowledge.
Everything else requires you buy into that set of rules. If you don’t buy into the set of rules, “no go.” So anything you come to, like, “Okay, I want to be this,” or “I want to be that,” or—“Okay, here are the rules; here are the rules; here are the rules; here are the rules.”
Knowledge: no rules. “Just get in touch with your thirst.” If you’re not thirsty, no big deal—till you are! And when you are, look me up. If you are, let me help you.
No rules! This is befuddling to people. “Whaat? No rules?” No rules. “If I practice, just...?” Excuse me. “If I stop practicing Knowledge, will I go to hell?” No! “What? No rules?”
And believe you me, people try to create rules. “There have to be rules, so let’s make some rules. How can we not have rules? If the Christians have rules, if Hindus have rules, if the Jewish religion has rules, if the Moslems have rules, we have got to have rules.” And it’s like, “No. No rules.” And then, like, “Oh my God. What am I to do?”
So people ask, “What’s next?” The answer is, you are. You are next. Because, instead of focusing on everybody else, and everything else that is none of your business.... Instead of focusing on everything else and everyone else which is none of your business—this is not why you’re here—you need to focus on yourself. That’s your business. And that should be the only business you have.
And you are next! And you’d better be next on your agenda, my friends.
- Prem Rawat
You know, you come here; you sit down and you listen—and things start clicking, maybe? And some people are like, “Well, it doesn’t click for me”—because you haven’t made it your business! You are not your business; that’s why it doesn’t click. You’re still caught up in everybody else’s business, which is none of your business.
“How can I,” people go, “how can I have a happy home?” Why are you trying to make your home happy? If there is ever a reason why your home is unhappy, it’s because of you and you alone—because you’re focusing on making your home happy. Home doesn’t need happiness. You need happiness. If you focused on yourself to become happy, your home would automatically become happy.
“How can I make my kids happy?” The only reason why they’re unhappy is because of you. There’s no other reason in this whole world. Because you keep poking your nose where it doesn’t belong. And they want you as far away from them as you can get. And Mars is not far enough.
Nobody is interested in figuring out, feeling in their lives the blessing of coming and going of this breath—but we want the new iPhone. The latest and the greatest gadget—and just like I was saying, when the guy has nothing to say, changing the microphone isn’t going to help.
That’s why, in social media, so much anger prevails. Because the word “social” means “how we get along together.” This is how we don’t get along together. And everything gets manipulated. And then there are the social media experts—and if you’re not one of them, pfft, forget it. And they can make and break the fortunes of millions.
Greed hasn’t gone; nobody has captured greed. They have given another avenue to greed, to proliferate, to go. Meanwhile, whether the greed, no greed; anger, no anger, and just, social media, no social media, new iPhone, new Android phone....
So, stop the noise by hanging onto the clarity, not losing it. How quickly can you lose the clarity? I go that-a-way; you go that-a-way; you walk two steps—gone.
Is that how vulnerable you are? Then where is your strength? Then where is your strength? Where is your strength? Your strength is in that tolerance. Your strength is in the kindness.
- Prem Rawat
Whether Ram actually said this or not is irrelevant. And I am sure that Ram is not the one who sat down and wrote this. But he says—and this is obviously in some understanding on Ram’s behalf, some conclusion that this writer has, in which he says, "This is the vessel to go across the ocean of this world."
"What ocean?" Right? Ocean of ignorance. "This form that you have is the vessel to go across this ocean. The coming and going of this breath is my blessing. Coming and going of this breath is my blessing."
Wow. Wow. Wow, hmm-hmm. Coming of this breath, going of this breath is the blessing?
Is that obvious to you? Don’t shake your head yet; the question isn’t finished yet—is it obvious to you every time you breathe? Because it still is a blessing.
And this you have to feel in your life, acknowledge, understand in your life. No doubt. Not taking my word for it. Experiencing it for yourself, knowing—that’s what Knowledge is, hmm. Not reading in a book.
Because, putting something down in a book, it’s a real challenge. For me, it’s a real challenge. Because here I am offering words, but I’m also the same person who offers experience. And it’s a real dance! It’s a real dance. What can only be experienced should not be written about. And that’s a hell of a discipline—but it must be experienced.
I’m in a unique situation; I know that. If somebody comes to me, and says, "I have heard this thing called a 'mango.' What is it?" I am one of those people who doesn’t have to hand this person a book. I can hand him a mango.
There are other people who don’t have a mango; they can only offer him a book. But I am, it's slightly different; I have a slight different advantage; I can hand a mango. And hopefully, you're here to taste the mango.
- Prem Rawat
I think it’s also gotten a lot more difficult to get in touch with who we truly are because of the sheer noise of life—technology, opportunity. The desire to know oneself is sort of trendy today. And I think that, in and of itself is overwhelming for people.
So, how do you tap in? What would be the first step?
You’re absolutely right! People are so caught up in everything else that they have forgotten who they are. And so our journey must begin with first establishing base with ourselves—not with other things, not with other solutions, but with us, with us, just as an individual, just as who you are.
Continuing onscreen text:
Jessica Zweig, Host of The SimplyBe Podcast.
Interviews Prem Rawat, Author & Global Peace Ambassador
The SimplyBe. Podcast is a collection of conversations about building a business by knowing WHO YOU ARE at your core, and showing up as your true, unapologetic, authentic self.
Jessica interviews thought leaders, CEOs, and some of the most magnetic personal brands of today.
A Common Thread
Welcome to my show Prem; thank you so much for being with me today.
It’s a great pleasure to be with you and with your audience and to share some insights. I’ve been doing this for quite a long time, and it’s just wonderful to help people all around the world who need help, who want to take some help.
I could not agree more. And it is; the honor and privilege is mine. I know you have a prolific career, over fifty years traveling the globe, speaking in over 250 cities, probably more, on this topic of peace and the universal desire that we all have for it. And I’d love for you to speak to that—why, why peace, Prem?
Well, but, you know, so much of the education that we receive.... Because everything that we think we know is really something that has been added to us; this is not fundamentally what we knew when we were born.
We knew one thing when we were born, which is, "Give a cry if you need something, and if you are happy, go to sleep." And that’s how our lives actually started. And then it’s like, "Oh, I have to do this; I have to accomplish this; I have to succeed in this." All this was learnt later on.
And what does it mean when we learn all these things? Do we make a separation between these things and who we are? We don't! We think, "This is my idea; this is what I have to do." [Jessica: Umm.] And on we go!
And then, before you know it, we find ourselves in a very complicated situation. And the situation might be that we even have a job that’s bringing home the bread and butter, but we hate it; we hate it. And we hate going to our work every single day.
And there we are, caught in this paradox of “What do I do now?” Because I know that I have to get bread and butter home; maybe there are other people in my household who are relying on me to bring that bread and butter home, but something in me doesn’t want to do it. I don’t enjoy what I’m doing; I don’t enjoy being who I am; I don’t enjoy—"This is too much pressure; this is too much...."
And a lot of people, they go, "Okay, ahh...." All of a sudden one day, they find themselves walking on a road. And they find that a shoe that they’re wearing is full of a very sharp rock.
And instead of taking the time to remove the rock from the shoe and comfortably go on walking, they are like, "Well, give me an aspirin; give me something that’ll take away my pain; give me a band-aid; give me something because this is horrible."
And somebody comes along and says, "Well, you know, why are you taking all this medication? Why are you doing all this? Do you know why you’re doing this, because you don’t have to. All you have to do is take away that rock that’s in your shoe, and you will be comfortable again."
And sometimes it sounds so simple when you say it, but it's so complicated. With all the challenges that we have in our life, we find ourselves nailed against the wall sometimes. And we’re looking for a solution out of this misery. And yet it's just like, the more solutions we look to, the more complex those solutions are.
You know, it’s like, "Okay, sit down in a room—and don’t think about anything." And it’s like, "Control your thoughts."
And I remember, when I first came—I was a teenager when I first came to America; I was thirteen years old. And people much older than me and much more educated than me would sit down and go, "Okay, how do I control my thoughts?"
I said, "Well, why do you want to control your thoughts? I mean, what do you think you’re going to gain by controlling your thoughts? Don’t you understand that the desire to control your thought is a thought in itself?" [Jessica: Right.]
You’re still attached to the thought, and you’re going to be sitting there in some room, going, "Am I controlling my thoughts? Have I controlled my thoughts? Have my thoughts gone away?" And you’re going to be thinking about your thoughts going away. And so, how have you become thoughtless? You’re not thoughtless; you're still thinking.
And that just goes to the quintessential essence of it. Because we need to understand who we are as a human being. And if we understand who we are as a human being, we can understand our limitations, and we can also understand our strengths.
And this is what we don't know; we don’t know our strengths, but we finally have learnt our limitations. [Jessica: Yeah.] And the world is frustrated because of that.
Right. Well, I think it's also gotten a lot more difficult to get in touch with who we truly are because of the sheer noise of life—technology, opportunity. The desire to know oneself is sort of trendy today. And there are all of these different ways in which we can explore that. And I think that, in and of itself is overwhelming for people.
So, how do you tap in? What would be the first step? Because I agree with you; it's really, really simple—but it's still so hard for people.
Yeah. And you know, it's like, in a way, exactly what you said and it's very true. But at the same time, it's like, "Well, I can't smell myself. I can smell the flowers and I can smell the bees and I can smell everything else, but I can't smell me."
And it's like, "Well, but excuse me. You don't know who you are? I mean, you are in you—and you are attached to you. And yet you are so alienated from you. How can that be?" Wait, what's going on here? What mirror are you looking at? Who are you looking at, if you cannot find yourself amidst this huge ocean?
And yet you are absolutely right. People are so caught up in everything else that they have forgotten who they are. And so, our journey must begin with first, establishing base with ourselves. Not with other things, not with other solutions, but with us, with us, just as an individual, just as who you are. Not how you should be—but who you are. [Jessica: Right.]
And begin with that—and that is the very first step.
What is your investment? I’m talking about this now, so I’ll tell you—three things. Three things. Maybe I’ll add a few more. Three things.
One, “Know the difference between wisdom and knowledge.” Acquire the knowledge. But use that knowledge wisely: wisdom! Without that wisdom—ha-ha!
So, there is a lot of technical knowledge in this world—a lot of technical knowledge—but without that wisdom, it’s being used by people to kill each other. Use it wisely, and it could be there to reverse the effects of global warming. Use it wisely; it could be helping the polar bears, as they’re losing their housing.
The ills that human beings have done, the same technology can reverse it—if wisdom was there. But no wisdom is there and it is used in a stupid way.
So, knowledge is good, but it needs to be used wisely.
Two! Two: “Know yourself.” Who are you? What is your strength? You lie, of course, in this desert, devoid of much color, devoid of any sustainability for anything living—and yet that tiny little seed, if the rain comes—which it will—can transform even the desert. All its monotony, all its problems—gone. “Know thyself.”
Third! Third: Everybody is into social media and this and that; we want to communicate with other people. That’s not what you need. It’s fine; I’m not saying one way or the other way; it’s up to you. You want to use—it’s your time. You know, it’s your body—if you want to throw it in front of a car because you were doing this while you were crossing, walking across....
You see, technology, knowledge, but no wisdom. So they got the phone, but no wisdom. They got the technology, but no wisdom. As soon as the traffic comes to a stop, you know what people are doing? They’re not looking that the car is moving. And so people start honking.
So, the solution, in my opinion, is what you need to garner is empathy. Not sympathy; empathy. This will make you far more sociably acceptable. You want to become socially acceptable? Sympathy isn’t going to give it to you; empathy is.
If something can stop the wars, it is if people could just empathize. They don’t do that anymore. No empathy—to be able to place yourself in the other person’s shoes. That doesn’t mean you agree with them; it doesn’t mean you disagree with them—just to be able to see their viewpoint.
- Prem Rawat