Already before you, billions and billions and billions of people have already played the game you are playing. They have done it all! The game you play today, they have played it. And they’re gone, and there is no trace of them. Pshew! Like a magic trick, disappeared from the face of this earth.
The pictures of the “good, bad, right, wrong, ‘nice,’ desires, wants,” they’ve all done that. They’ve all done that. “I want to be successful”—oh my God…. How—just, okay, bear with me—how many do you think said that to themselves on the face of this earth?
“I want a better life. I want a better husband. I want a better wife. I want a better kid. I want a this; I want a that. I want to win this. I want to succeed. I want to be successful.” And how many of you actually think some of them were? Actually were successful, brilliant? And then, gone. No trace. Just gone.
Today, what you should be looking at is, “What is this all about?” Because this has something to do with peace. This is where peace comes in—not for stopping wars. War is a consequence. To stop a consequence, you have to first stop what is causing the consequence.
Now, anybody who has been on a boat and has had the incredible experience of being on a boat with a hole in it will understand that if you do not plug the hole, coming up with ingenious ideas about how to take the bucket and fill it with style, with flair, with a song, with a dance is not going to help!
You’ve got to plug the hole. Now, I use that analogy because I was once on a boat—not a big boat, a little boat—and somebody forgot the plug. And so here I am…. and of course we didn’t realize—where it would have been nice, which is by the dock. But after we left the dock and went a little ways, that’s when the water started to really come in.
And so you’re like, “Hmm, well, what happened?” And you realize there’s no point in yelling at the person, “You idiot, how could you forget the plug?” Because you could then turn around to yourself and say, “You idiot, how come you didn’t check it?”
Because no amount of blaming is going to help. Now, something has to be done! So what do you do? You’ve got to get that water out! You cannot stop. (Actually, that’s what I realized—you couldn’t stop; you had to keep going.) And then I got to the dock, and finally, it was like, “Ah, whew!”
So, we are trying to fix the consequence, but not the problem that is causing it.
We, all of us, are human beings. Excuse me, what is a human being? Exactly, what is a human being? So let’s have a list on one side: somebody who fights; tells lies; kills each other; steals from each other; thinks badly about other people; thinks badly about themselves. Would I be wrong?
I know a lot of people say, “Oh, peace can’t be.” “Peace cannot” this; “peace cannot” that, and I say to them, “Hey, excuse me. Look at your report card. It’s not looking very nice. You’re failing on every single subject. Contaminating the oceans? Check. Contaminating the air? Check. Contaminating drinking water? Check. Contaminating food? Check.” You could just go on!
And so what is a human being? Is that what a human being is? But let me tell you what a human being is.
Human being, a human being, is the infinite source of joy. A human being is the stage on which understanding can dance. Human being is the platform where clarity likes to dwell. Human being is the platform where understanding manifests itself. Human being is that platform, is that soil. And where it’s sown with the seeds of knowledge, knowledge grows.
Human being is that vehicle that can love like nothing else can love on the face of this earth. Human being is the source of that beauty that is more beautiful than anything else. Human being is that being in which the infinite resides. Human being is that platform in which this light of understanding, the light of joy—the light, the beacon—shines.
Human being is that platform on which peace dances. This is truly a human being. Life!
And if you agree with me—you may not! You might go, “Nah.” I know, for some people—for some people—it’s the first list.
But, no. Even though the first list is true and valid, so is the other one. Peace allows us to realize these potentials that we have, and that is why we need peace in our lives.
– Prem Rawat
Are we fully aware of the preciousness of each moment of our lives? The stage has
been set for a beautiful dance, what a tragedy it would be to have missed the show.
There are so many cuisines in this world. You have Indian cuisine; you have Chinese; you have Japanese; you have European. You have so many cuisines. But what is the fundamental thing behind each one of these foods, behind each one of these cuisines? It’s hunger!
Now hunger—does hunger have a language? No. Does hunger have a nationality? No. Does hunger have a time? No. Hunger is hunger. If you feel hungry, you need to eat.
And it’s the same way, even so far that we are looking at peace as an external thing. Yes, likes, dislikes—“I don’t like that flavor of peace; I want this flavor of peace.”
But if you’re hungry and you’re hungry for that peace that is inside of you, then all these barriers go away, and you see only the reality of peace, not the concept of the reality of peace. And that’s important, very important to recognize.
– Prem Rawat
So, people ask, “How do I practice peace? How...where do I find peace?” You have two eyes. What do the eyes do? They see the world. They see everybody’s face. What can’t they see? Your eyes cannot see your face.
Isn’t that true? They can see everybody’s face, but they cannot see your face. If you want to see your face, you need a mirror, and that mirror is knowledge of the self. Not knowledge of how to drive the car, but the knowledge of you!
Who are you? You are alive. The time is going. Cannot stop it, cannot rewind it—it’s going—and it’s gone! It’s gone, it’s gone, it’s gone, it’s gone, it’s gone!
Do you know the meaning of “now?” Now? “Now” doesn’t even represent now! As soon as you say “now,” it’s not now anymore. That’s how fast it’s all going.
Stop! Take account of being alive! Take account of who you are! And take account of what the Divine has given you—given you, without asking, without filling a form—given you, every day. Every day you are given this gift of breath. Do you understand what that means? Do you?
– Prem Rawat
In this life, you have an opportunity. You have a chance to do right; and first of all, you have to do right by yourself, and there are not too many people in this world who do that. They’re not fair to themselves. They don’t look at the opportunity as an opportunity.
They look at opportunity as something outside of themselves. Not that, I am an opportunity! I’m alive! I exist! And this means something.
But you wonder, where is the sense of purpose? When people wake up in the morning, what do they think of? What is the sense of purpose? What do you do? In each one of our lives, there may be these little variances up and down, or whatever it is, but what is the overall sense of purpose?
And a lot of people who are aged, they go, “Well, you know…” They’re busy hanging up. I see that, and it’s like, why are you busy hanging up? The breath isn’t hanging up on you. You’re hanging up on yourself.
The concept of retirement, the concept of aging, the concept of getting old… because the reality of getting old is this. You’re only as old as you really feel.
There was a time when you, even though maybe you were ten, eleven years old, there were things you could not do a certain day because you felt bad – right? Because maybe you had sprained your leg, or you broke your arm, and you couldn’t do something.
So, not being able to do something was always there, because it hurt to do it, or just, something wasn’t right. So that’s that part of it.
But, how old do you feel? And the reality there is very, very interesting. Because you don’t feel any older here [indicating his head] than when you were young. Because the brain actually doesn’t age the same way as people think. You know, your skin might not be renewing so easily or quickly…
So, what changes? The only thing that changes is other people’s perception of you, which only changes as you think the other people perceive you. “Oh, but the other people think I am old. Oh, well look what they said.” Or, “That young girl isn’t going to like me anymore”, that’s what it becomes.
We don’t look at our wisdom. We don’t look at our opportunity. We don’t understand that we had such a good life, and it is still the opportunity to move forward and to go forward.
But I see a lot of people and it’s like, “Oh, I’m getting old.” You cannot ever lose the fervor of being alive! That would not be fair to life, or to the breath. Your vibrancy, your existence, your need to be alive, respect it. Respect your life. Wherever you go, whatever you’re going to do…
And, don’t live your life by the perception that you have of what other people see you as. This is really, really unfair. Because you are who you are. Good, bad, right, wrong – you’re alive! The significance of everything that has been said up to this point is relative to that.
Do right because you are alive. This is your opportunity. Your opportunity. And how long does this opportunity last? It lasts till the last breath.
You know, if everybody is fine suffering—why have hope? If you are quite content bickering with each other—fear, jealousy, everything...?
There is a fundamental question: Is greed ... normal to a human being? It’s a very important question. “Is greed normal to a human being?” So here is the answer. “Up to a certain point, but it’s limited.”
Food, you can only eat so much. After that you will stop. And if others come to eat, you will have no problem. Water, same way. You cannot drink too much water! You cannot drink too much water—after you’re satisfied, your thirst is gone, you will be happy to leave, and let other people come and enjoy the water.
But today the greed for the fame and the wealth has become so significant—and why? I’ll tell you why. I call it the “Bolly-Holly dreams.” (That’s Bollywood and Hollywood.) They are the dream-makers. They are the dream-makers!
They are the ones who say, “You are not pretty because you don’t look like Beyoncé. [Individual: Yeah! That is true.] You don’t sing so well, because you don’t sing like Beyoncé. [Individual: Definitely!]
“And this is the dream you should have—your house should look like this. And your clothes should look like this. And you should be doing this.” And you go, “Ah-hah, yeah, that’s what I should have; that’s how I should be. I want to look like Beyoncé.” [Individual: That’s right—we do.]
No. No. No. No. No-no-no-no-no. If you know yourself, if you really understand yourself, you will go, “How come Beyoncé doesn’t look like me?” [Individuals: Yeah!]
You see, you have to ask yourself, “Do you live for yourself or do you live for other people?” [Individuals: Yes, sir.] All you young kids in here, do you live for yourself, or do you live for your friends? All day long, aren’t you concerned of what your friends are going to think of you? [Individual: We are, yes.]
You want to be socially accepted. You want to be cool! But if you understand, you are so cool—you are so cool—that they should join you, not you join them! You, you are beautiful. [Individual: Yes!] You are intelligent. You are full of kindness. [Individual: Yes! That’s right.]
“Know thy self.” Know who you are. Without that, you are lost. If you do not know who you are, you will never know what your possibilities are, what you are capable of achieving, who you are, what pains you, what brings you joy, what brings you sorrow, what brings you clarity, what brings you knowledge—you will never know!
You will never know! Do you really want to live your life in confusion? In pain? In suffering? Do you? [Audience: No!] You don’t look good when you are suffering.
I say this to people—I say, have you just heard anybody going to a temple, a synagogue, a mosque, a church, and praying to God, “God, I am too happy. I have been happy for too long. Please take away some of my happiness”—have you? Does anybody go do that? [Audience: No. No. So, it’s, “Please take my problems,” yeah!]
But what do people do who go there? “I am sad. And this sadness, please take it away. This misery, please take it away.” What does that tell you? We don’t like misery. [Individual: Yeah. True.] We like joy! We like happiness! We like contentment!
Now, the question becomes, “What do you do for the joy?” What do you do for the joy? Do you allow your problems to affect you? Do you allow your problems to affect you? Do you? Your problems come. Do they affect you? [Individual: Yes, they do.] They shouldn’t! They shouldn’t.
But if you don’t want the problems to affect you, you will have to live your life consciously.
– Prem Rawat