In my life, in your life, the quintessential miracle exists. Just because we have an inability to see it, experience it, feel it, does not mean it isn’t there. And having said that—having said that, you are quite capable of feeling that miracle in your life every single day.
What does it take? There is a subtlety. There is a subtlety. We always assume when something is good, it’s the big flashing lights; it’s the big driving sound. But actually, if you want to feel what is within you, you are going to have to be very, very quiet. Do you know how to be quiet? Have you ever been quiet?
See, for most of us, "Yeah, I didn’t speak for five minutes; I was quiet." Something else was speaking! "De-de-de-de, de-de-de-de, de-de-de-de, de-de-de-de, de-de-de-de, de-deh. Did you, we, what-what about this? Well, I have.... Have you been quiet; have you been quiet? Are you really quiet? I—are you really quiet? Are you quiet; are you quiet? Ah.... Do you feel quiet? I’ve been—you’re not speaking, so you must be quiet...."
We look at this world, we look at ourselves, we look at our lives, and the first thing we do is we compare: "How come that person is like that? How come I am not like that person?" Oh, it—oh, by the way, it goes both ways!
Oh yeah! There are people who are looking at another person for want of being rich—or they’re looking at a very “spiritual” person....
Because a lot of people come to me sometimes, and they say, “Oh, I wish I was like you.” And I’m like, “Why? Why do you want to be like me? You have no clue who I am! You have no clue what goes on in my head! Why do you want to be like me?" But, that's it: “Oh! You can talk about peace. I want to be like you."
That’s exactly the point—peace is nothing to talk about; peace is something that needs to be felt. Do you feel peace? Have you ever been quiet enough to feel peace? What if I was to tell you that, peace does not come from somewhere else; it comes from within you. And right now it is within you. With all your problems, it is within you.
First thing you must be dedicated to, is the joy that dances in your heart. The first thing you need to be dedicated to—is to be certain, not in doubt. To favor clarity in your life, rather than confusion. To be dedicated to knowledge, instead of ignorance. To be dedicated to being fulfilled, rather than empty.
And if you were dedicated to these, surely they will reward you by bringing you the most exquisite gift of peace, of joy, of understanding.
- Prem Rawat
It was a Greek philosopher who said once, “You are never happy if you get what you don’t want.” Tricky words. If you get what you don’t want, you’re not happy. And even if you get what you do want, you still won’t be happy because you won’t be able to keep it. That’s the problem.
So many families, finally they get everything going and the husband dies. “Oh, terrible, what’s going to happen now?” Children grow up too fast; they start bossing you around. You’ve been bossing them around? Wait! You will get a taste of your own medicine. They will boss you around. They will start telling you things.
You had the child because you wanted a child—because you thought all these beautiful, lovely thoughts about having a child, “How sweet the child will be.” And now you are going to be on your bed without a second of sleep, thinking, “Where are they? Why are they not home? It’s already past midnight. What are they doing?” You can’t keep it! Can’t keep it!
You finally got your promotion; you finally got your promotion that you had been waiting for, waiting for, waiting for. And after you have got your promotion, you realize that there are twenty other people wanting the same chair. The one before, there were only five wanting that chair. This one, twenty more....
And if you go to the next one, it’ll be forty more, and if you go to the next one it’ll be a hundred more. And now it’s a matter of, you make one mistake—one mistake—and your chair is gone; promotion is gone. Because you can’t keep it! You can’t keep it; you can’t keep it; you can’t keep it.
Because there is a change afoot, and you don’t like changes. You don’t want changes; you don’t want anything to change. You, even though you want your son who is three years old to grow up, you don’t! You want that child to just stay that way. And you want your wife who’s so pretty to stay that way. And you want your husband who is young to stay just that way.
But everything is changing, changing, changing, changing, changing—and so are you. But you don’t know. Why don’t you know? Because you don’t know yourself. You know your friends; you know your neighbors; you know other people, but you don’t know you.
That’s what Socrates says, “Know thyself.” Knowledge of the self! “All knowledges are good; knowledge of the self is the supreme.” When you know yourself, now you know who you are.
– Prem Rawat
But what is a conflict? You see, conflict does not begin on the outside; conflict begins inside. The war begins in the minds of human beings, and then you see the outside expression.
And what is the outside expression? Innocent people die, destruction, lives and families ruined, prosperity gone. All the things that we don’t want become the outside expression of the conflict that is inside the human beings.
First thing, first thing…we have to learn how to respect. Respect who? First, you have to learn how to respect yourself. Now, most people think “respect” is good manners: “Oh, hello, how are you, thank you very much,” smile, this and that....
That’s just manners, good manners. There’s nothing wrong with good manners, but respect is different. It’s more than just manners. And that respect has to begin with you. When you respect yourself, then you can respect other fellow human beings.
Right now, people are ready to kill each other because of differences of opinion. “You believe in this; I believe in this. I don’t like you; I’m going to kill you.” Well, what is the point of your belief if it is destroying other human beings? What is the point of having something that promotes conflict, when just as easily you can have the peace which resides inside of you?
You know, is darkness truly far away from light or light far away from darkness? No! It’s like one coin: one side is darkness; the other side is light. Which one are we picking?
Religion has its place. Absolutely, religion has its place, and politics has its place. But so does humanity. You are human, first. If you lose your humanity, you lose everything. Then you become poor; then you become weak.
But so far that, on the face of this earth, we do not lose our humanity, we will be strong enough to help each other.
– Prem Rawat
So, Mr. Prem Rawat, I’m doing this language laboratory program in the Danish radio. It’s a weekly magazine where my main focus is to try and discover how language can change people and how we can change ourselves and our surroundings through language.
Well, first of all, thank you very much for having me on this show. And what I have learned is, language, or whatever we use to communicate—we need to communicate; we have a need to communicate. And sometimes people don’t see the need—that they need to communicate.
I mean, in this world today, there are obviously those people who believe in peace and who want peace to be there. When you look at all these wars going on, it is the innocent victims who had nothing to do with making those decisions, who are getting punished. And if they could say something, what would that be?
And that, to me, would establish the need—but they don’t have a voice. And to me it’s like, no, there has to be the voice of need that needs to be the loudest for humanity, the need to be in peace, the need to prosper, the need to be content, the need to be fulfilled.
And just, the need to live a life that they feel is good, that they can be; they can practice their religion; they can practice their faith; they can practice their understanding and have a path that they can go on, that can allow them to better themselves. This is the need, and we need to help each other, not get in each others’ way.
So, taking away that greed and taking away differences and starting to see the similarity, that’s the vision of clarity; that is the voice of clarity, and that is the voice of peace.
Concerning the “voice of peace,” and the “language of peace” that we’ve been weaving around here, you’ve been traveling through so many countries and visiting so many cultures—you’ve got them under your skin. Are there any languages or any cultures in the world that you would say have peace as their core foundation?
I think all of them do. The idea of peace, the feeling of peace, the need for peace, the want for peace has been there with us all along. The better half of a human being is peace. And I think that all cultures do give rise to that—you know, do give credence to that.
“Shalom! Salaam!” Peace! To greet a person by saying, “Peace. May peace be with you.” And this is coming from some of the regions that have been fighting with each other for such a long time! And yet, the first word uttered to greet another human being is “peace.”
I think we want peace, you know? But that voice is so dim now, overshadowed by the noise of greed and arrogance and anger and fear... I mean, so many politicians, they use fear! Fear—“But you don’t do this, then this will happen. And, don’t you, you know, and”—fear!
Give people information; let people make up their mind. Give people information! Don’t manipulate their emotions. Give them information, because I think people are intelligent and will make the intelligent choice.
When I listen to you, I also think sometimes that there’s a heavy load on each individual—the force or the need to change and transform into a better environmentalist, into a more peaceful person, and to be talking in a more peaceful language.
So, how much of the peace and prosperity and of our survival in this world is based on the individual changing and transforming—and how much on systems changing and performing?
That’s a really, really good question. Because, when you were asking that, I was just thinking in my own head, “Is ‘being green’ normal, natural, real? Or is it something that we have to change for?”
So, being green, does that mean...? Is that a deviation? Or, is it coming back to the track where you should have been all along? Being kind, is that a deviation, or is that where you should have been all along?
So, when you start to look at, “That yes, this takes effort”—but it’s only because we have already deviated. And this exercise is not about deviating further, but it’s coming back to where you should be, being human. That’s being human.
And I think that having generosity, having clarity, having kindness, having good choices is normal. And where we are, where it’s anger, it’s fear, it’s, “Destroy nature, capture nature, arrest nature, tame nature,” I think that’s deviated. Because you can work with nature—and she will work with you. Or you can be saying, “I want to tame you”—and she will tame you.
That change that really needs to happen is about understanding who we are—not looking at our differences, but our similarities. And, that in fact, if we all came together—not everyone has to come together—enough of us have to come together—it is, you know, the mass.
Enough of the mass comes together where the greedy become a true minority. And those people who truly understand generosity, acceptance of a human being, acceptance of what we have on this earth—that’s generosity. And I think something amazing is going to happen, amazing is going to happen.
But those who need that voice don’t have it! Because they are like, “No, don’t say anything.” And I think everybody needs to come together and say, “No, say it. Say it.” Say you are alive; say you are here; say you want heaven here—and I think amazing things will happen.
It’s been a pleasure.
Can world leaders really make a difference to peace in the world? And how do you think your message can impact them?
Well, I must, first of all, apologize to a lot of the leaders, because I have met a lot of leaders and they’re beautiful people, and they want peace in their lives too. It’s not like that they become leaders and they become different.
But I also know that peace will come from every single human being, that global leaders can help by putting an end to the conflicts, by not perpetuating the conflicts, not perpetuating the wars, but helping people understand prosperity and giving people the dignity that they deserve.
But peace is within human beings. They need to discover it. They need to explore it. They need to feel it. And if we keep relying on world leaders to bring peace, I’m afraid that is not going to be anytime soon.
But if we rely on ourselves as the citizens of the earth—that every single human being has the right to feel peace, “It’s a fundamental right to feel peace”—that if we take that approach, then there can be peace on this earth.
- Prem Rawat