In our lives, one of the things we do is we accept failure very easily, very quickly. Because there is one thing which is failing, and then there is the failure.
So, failing will happen.
There was a time in your life where failing didn’t mean anything. It was acceptable; it was normal. And the part of your life where this happened was when you were learning to walk. So there you were, coming from a place, from a time in which language didn’t mean a whole lot.
So, nobody indoctrinated you into this; nobody gave you a lecture about this; nobody —do you know—you didn’t go out and read some scripture, but you had an urge to walk. And this came from inside of you, and there was no question about it—you wanted to walk!
But you were extremely ill-equipped to walk. You had two legs, but the muscles in that leg that needed to carry you were not developed. You needed a sense of balance. And you didn’t really understand it. And so, a day came in which you made this attempt to get up. And anybody could have told you what was going to happen.
It was not a happening thing. You were going to fall—and you did! And you failed! You…you actually failed—because the first, first part is just getting up. But you kept going—and you would fail! And you would fail, and you would fail....
And finally you got to the point where you could actually get up. And as soon as you got up [demonstrating, wobbling] there was still going to be failure! You were going to fail again. Because now the whole sense of balance starts to kick in, and stabilization, and you know, the nerves are telling the muscles, “Do this, do....”
Because everything is an overreaction, underreaction. Nothing is used to anything—and you are doomed to failure.
But you weren’t a failure because you never accepted failure.
And so you took that one little step, and boomf! You failed—bam! And sometimes the kids even look at the mother, “Should I cry?” You know…you…you—they get to, right to that point of where their bottom lip is quivering and everything, and they’re like... And the mother looks like, “Oh, it’s okay, it’s okay”—it’s like, “Oh, it’s okay.” Brainwashing!
But you just kept failing and failing and failing and failing and failing and failing. Till one day, because you did not accept failure, you did the impossible, and you took that step. And then the next step. And all of a sudden the most incredible transformation took place. And what you just accomplished wasn’t walking. You unlocked the world to yourself. Krrrract! Now you could go wherever you wanted to go. You were free.
So, “fail” and “failure” meant two different things.
Then as you grew up, you started to associate the two; you merged the two. “Failure is always painful—demeaning and painful.” And all your life, your energy turned into “not failing.” So that no failing happens in your life, you would have to become non-human. Not going to happen! You’re human! But there is a way out of this pickle. And the way out is, “Don’t associate failure with failing.”
The challenge that faces us is a very different one, my friends, than we generally accept or understand. It is not about rich countries; it is not about good economics! It’s not!
Our effectiveness lies in not, solutions to our problems, but doing the right thing—and the right thing is peace. Not on earth! Because that sounds so good, right? “Peace on earth”—I mean, I’m, I’m called the “Peace Ambassador,” so I shouldn’t, I should not be saying, “No. Not peace on earth.” I should be saying, “Oh yeah, peace on earth, peace on earth. Peace, peace, peace on earth, peace on earth, peace on earth,” right?
I’ve traveled the earth. And I have found only one thing that is making no peace on earth. And you know what that is? That is the human being. If there is no peace on this earth, it’s not because of the crows; it’s not because of the alligators; it’s not because of anything else but human beings.
They are the ones polluting... "What about hunger?” People ask me this. “What about hunger?” And what about hunger? Do you think there’s a shortage of food? Forty percent of the food that is grown is wasted!
Because it is our shortfall in our own understanding... It is the shortfall in our own understanding; it is the shortfall of us not understanding our potential that we have!
Do you know...? Then, the example I’m about to give is for everyone sitting here. Do you know that once upon a time, you did something—all of you have done this. And this one act that you did require phenomenal courage, incredible drive, and hundreds of failures.
You know what I’m talking about, right? Walking—when you learned how to walk. Your legs were not strong enough to let you walk. Your muscles had to be strengthened—and you were going to do it.
Oh, by the way, how many books did you read on the subject of walking? None! How many classes did you attend? [Ind.: None.] None! How many tutorials did you get? None! There you were, all by yourself, learning to walk. you failed—but you never accepted failure. That was the only difference. Now when you fail, you accept failure. You got up and you fell! And you failed! Right? You failed!
What is the difference between then and now? Only one. Because you still get challenges like that. But there is one difference. Then, you failed but you never accepted failure.
That’s the only difference. The challenges that you face. They require phenomenal courage; they require phenomenal strength! You may not even have the tools with you! But you fail, and you accept the failure.
Same thing with peace! Same thing with peace! Peace is not a one-day event. Peace has to be nurtured every day. Every day, there has to be an introspection! Every day there has to be learning; every day there has to be growth—and every day there has to be understanding. And every day, the courage has to be exercised.
To be motivated, not by me or someone else—but to be motivated by you to move forward. To find your strength, not your weakness! To understand your self—you! Don’t you, don’t you remember what Socrates said? “Know thy self.” Know you! Do you know you? Do you make an investment in knowing the self? Or is it all about, “I want to know my friend; I want to know this; I want to know that”—but not the self.
So, is peace crucial to our societies, to our countries, to our existence, to our civilization? Unquestionably!
It is 7.5 billion people just like you and me that constitute the population of this earth. And if something has to change, the change has to happen from and to the individual.
You know, we have tried everything. We have tried so many things, over the past centuries—but one thing that has never been tried is peace on an individual level. I propose... You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to play detective here. I propose—everything else has been tried—this is the only one remaining... Well, let’s try this one. What have we got to lose? Nothing.
- Prem Rawat
Individual: [reading question]
“I have done something in my life that I cannot forgive myself for. I killed two of my children and nearly killed myself because of the abuse I was suffering. I want to feel the peace that you are talking about, but I think I have lost the capability to feel it. Is there any chance for me?”
Well, do you think there is any chance for this person?
There is the answer. Sometimes you may have walked too far away from your home. And when she did what she did, she walked a little bit too far away from her home. But her home is still there. And it may be a long journey, and it may take a little while, but the home is still there.
– Prem Rawat
You have a mind and you have a heart; you’re balanced. If you learn how to use both of them equally, not only will you be in peace, but you will prosper. Most people only know how to use one. The heart, they don’t understand.
I say “the heart,” and people go, “What are you talking about? What is this thing called the heart?” But let me tell you what it is. The heart is the place where the courage resides, the courage to move on, to go forward, to fulfill who you really are.
The heart is the place where your truest wisdom resides. The heart is the place where you will find your passion. The heart is the place where you will find your compassion. The heart is the place where you will find the quest, the thirst for being fulfilled.
All that is good in you—not from the perspective of the world, but that is good in you from the perspective of a human being—is the place where all these beautiful things reside. And that is the place referred to conveniently as being the most important, and thus called “the heart.”
That’s what a heart is. The courage. The courage to seek clarity in the midst of confusion. When everything is going wrong, the courage to say, “No! I want clarity; I want to be fulfilled.”
Have you experienced this courage? Have you felt this courage? Have you understood this courage? It’s your power to thrive in this world—to thrive, to shine, to be.
You don’t need fear; you need strength. And the strength that I am talking about is inside of you. Knowledge of the self, of you! So you can understand, so you can see, so you can feel, so you know.
To welcome every single day like you will not get another one—and that’s when every day starts to become a gift.
– Prem Rawat
There is a dragon. What form does the dragon come in? Oh, any form you like. Any form you like. The doctor tells you, “You’ve got two weeks to live; you have incurable cancer.” “Grrrr!” Here it is! Comes out of its den breathing fire, breathing confusion, looking at you, showing the teeth. "I get to eat today.”
Somebody you love—really been close to all your life, and they pass away. Powh! Here it comes. Boss says you’re fired. Kkkch! Here it comes. The dragon approaches, breathing fire. This is the weapon of the dragon—confusion.
So, there you are. And you are going to be the most afraid when that dragon is in front of you. It’s powerful. It’s breathing fire! Confusion is just pouring out. Its teeth! Enough to put fear in anybody. Its size. And all this is making you feel totally inadequate.
And in that moment you want to win, but you know you can’t! And it is precisely in this moment when you need to draw your sword and engage the dragon. Sounds like fun, huh?
And if that dragon smells fear in you, it will breathe even harder and show his teeth even more. And its claws.
So, do you practice with your sword? Is your sword familiar to you? Are you at ease with your sword? Do you have enough confidence in yourself to be able to take on this dragon? Because that’s what you’re going to need. That’s what you’re going to need.
Because that dragon is so huge, there is not enough muscle-power in you to ever be able to defeat it. So, the only way to win is to show the dragon your strength so it just backs down. Because if you think your sword is bigger than its one nail in the claw, that’s only because the dragon is not close enough yet.
But if you can show that strength, show that you are completely willing to fail, without ever accepting failure, this, to that dragon, is the most intimidating thing. Any dragon. When it has understood you’re not going to back down….
There is a dragon, but you don’t have to be afraid of it. Because if you call upon your wisdom, upon your experience of you, that’s one thing that that dragon cannot fight—it knows that. It will get defeated. It will get defeated. It knows—it has never been able to fight that. Ever!
– Prem Rawat
You know, the understanding of, well, who the self is—a lot of people think that this is a very Eastern idea—understanding the self. It’s not. It’s a human idea—understanding the self.
“Who are you? What are you?” Everybody on the face of this earth, soon or later, will ask the question, “Who am I?” Above and beyond everything that we get involved in—“Who am I? What is it to be a human being?”
You come in this world—and I was thinking today, “For me, everywhere I go, it’s like passing through.” So I go home, and I’m just passing through. I’m not there too long; I’m passing through. And I go to one country, and I’m passing through—and go to another country, and just passing through.
And before you know, life is the same way—just passing through. And this is what we do. And in one way all the complexities of being on earth—our relationships, our ideas, our wishes, our dreams—trying to realize those dreams…
Trying to wonder why things happen to us the way they do; why things are good; why things are bad; why things are right; why things are wrong … all these complexities—and we want to understand them!
But we never focus on understanding, “Who am I?” And unless you know who you are, what is your reference? Unless you know what a human being is, how would you know what a human being is supposed to be?
But, what is a human being? Of course, these are physical traits—but what is a human being? And what is the importance then, of understanding what a human being is?
Because, in our aspirations, what do we want? There is a state of being, and in this state of being a person becomes desireless—desireless. You can call that state “contentment”; you can call that state “happiness”; you can call that state “bliss”; you can call that state “peace”—and I don’t really care, because these are just words.
What I do care about is that state. I don’t care about the words. Ah, but the world’s caught up in the words: “Talk to me about peace. You’re Ambassador of Peace.” What? Peace is inside every human being. And peace is something that really cannot be talked about. It needs to be felt.
So, the question then becomes, “In this process of feeling the self, understanding the self, do you feel that state? Are you in that state, in that state of equilibrium?”
Now, you may say, “What are you talking about?” Well, this is how your body works—your physical body works like this: if there is something wrong, it’ll tell you. But if there’s nothing wrong, it shuts up!
Feeling of well-being is… some people call it “peace.” Because there, no more, no less, nothing being weighed; nothing being measured. “Go on. Be. Exist.” And filled with the feeling of well-being, glad to be alive, content—content—this is the nature of the self. This is the nature.
– Prem Rawat