There was a man. He had saved up some money, and one day he came across a piece of land, and the piece of land had been totally abandoned. So he went to the owner and he said, “You know, you have this land. Could you sell me this land?”
And the owner realized he wasn’t using it; it was abandoned. So whatever little money he could get would be welcome. So he made a deal and sold the land pretty cheap. Well, the man got the land. He went in; he started to clean the land. Picked the rocks, put ‘em aside; started to plow. He took care of the land. He plowed the field.
And before you know, he had a beautiful crop. And more he took care of the land, the better his crops were. And he started to get one crop, and then second crop, and third crop, and he just was taking four crops. And soon he saved the money and he became rich.
He got married; he had children, built himself a beautiful house—saved, saved, saved, and he bought gold with the money he saved. He took all the gold, which was substantial, that he had saved and he put it in a box. And he took the box and he buried it in the field. But he didn’t tell his children.
When the time came for him to die, he called all his family and called his children, and he said, “I am going to give you one piece of advice. And if you follow my advice, you will never be poor. And my advice to you is, ‘plow the field.’ That’s all.” He died.
The children were not into plowing the field. They wanted to live in the city; they wanted to have parties; they wanted to have everything else happening. They were not interested in being a farmer.
So, the land fell in disrepair. Weeds started to grow; people started to throw garbage on the land. Years passed by. One day a man came to them and said, “You know, you have this land—it’s completely abandoned. Sell it to me. This is all the money I have.” He had a little bit of money. He said, “Sell it to me.”
The children looked at each other and said, “Yeah, we’re not using it. At least we’ll get a little bit of money from it; that’s good.” And they always kept wondering, “Why did father say, ‘Plow the land and you will never be poor’?” So, the question in the back of their mind...but, they were happy to sell the land and get rid it.
The man who bought the land, he went in, and he plucked the weeds; he threw away the garbage, started to take care of the land. And one day he plowed the field. And when he did, guess what he found? He found the box with the gold.
You are the field, and in this field there is a box. And in this box there is a wealth, and this wealth is more expensive than gold. It’s more expensive than diamonds. There is a wealth—a wealth that, more you share it, the more it grows. There’s no wealth like that in this world except this inner wealth that you have. More you share it, the more it grows. What a wealth.
Some people say, “Oh, destiny! It’s just destiny.” And I say, “Choice.”
– Prem Rawat
So, my question to you is, “What do you practice?” Because whatever you practice, you get good at it! How long does it take you to become angry? How long does it take you to become angry? That means you practice anger, and you have become good at it! How long does it take you to get confused? That means you practice confusion, and you have become good at it.
How quickly can you lie? That means you practice lying. And you have become good at it. How long does it take you to become frustrated? That means you practice frustration, and you have become good at it.
Practice what is important to you! Practice clarity! Practice consciousness! Practice peace! And you, too, will get good at peace. That’s how simple it is.
– Prem Rawat
Today I’d like to begin with a Chinese proverb. And the way this proverb goes is like this: “It is better to light the candle than curse the darkness.”
And the reason why I said this is because it’s not obvious to us that we have become masters of cursing the darkness. We have become really good at cursing darkness.
And in fact, I had this experience. A few weeks back I was in Europe, and one day we were just bashing the world, just having a conversation and bashing the world. We’re talking about the politics and how dirty that is.... And we’re talking about how “these super-companies, they’re just taking over the world, and are just destroying everything.”
And it went on—and I mean, it was just bashing after bashing. And I have to tell you that it did feel good. Now, it’s not something that, you know, I recommend, but it really did feel good. It was like, “Yes!” I don’t know—there was something just absurd about it.
And after all that bashing was finished, I went to bed, and I put my head on the pillow—and it was just that time before sleep came to me—and I was thinking, “It’s so easy to bash the world—because this world is not in order!
But what about my world—is it in order? What are the super-companies in me that are taking over? What are these elements that are creeping in every day and destroying the experience of being alive?”
Because if I was to ask anyone “What is the experience of being alive?”, they would be shocked with the question. I mean, yeah, it’s like, you know, nobody asks you that.
“Where is your ticket? Where are you going? What do you want for dinner; what do you want for lunch? What’s your shoe size? Are you married? Are you single? Are you feeling well? Oh, by the way, what is your experience of being alive?”
I don’t know—some people will probably go, “Gee, I…I never thought of that.”
I mean, what is my experience of being alive? I’ve had good days—and tell me if this sounds about right—I’ve had good days and I have had bad days. I’ve had challenges; I have had easy runs. I have good memories.... Does that sound right? About, about, approximately...?
Some things I would change; some things I wouldn’t change.
But, do you know that every day that you have been on this earth—that you have been alive on this earth—this earth has been in motion, traveling through space, hurtling through space? There has been a morning—and it is merely an illusion, as the earth rotates—a sunrise, a sunset, the time in between....
And, everything, everything in motion. Everything that.... You know, and I…I really have an issue with the word, “it.” Because in reality, there is no it. Everything is alive! Life has been happening all around you.
All this time there has been a motion; there has been a sequence of events taking shape— people coming onto this planet Earth, things coming onto this planet Earth, things leaving this planet Earth. I mean, it is actually a drama that you cannot even imagine that has been taking place.
And you have been alive! And you’ve looked at your problems—your problems—“I have a problem.” And in retrospect, what has your problem really been?
You’ve had a plan. And when things didn’t go according to your plan, you had a problem! When things went according to your plan—“Wow, I love it.”
And you’ve been alive all those days! How many days do you actually get to live? It’s a shocking reality. Even if you live for a hundred years, that’s only thirty-six thousand, five hundred days.
I wish I were missing a zero. I am not. That’s all there is.
Now, when I put it like that, then that doesn’t sound like a whole lot. But that’s it! And this is it—this is the time you get. You get those thirty-six thousand, five hundred days to get it right.
– Prem Rawat
I’d like to tell you a very simple little story, and it has something to do with each one of us, as individuals, as we look at ourselves, as we understand ourselves. And the way this story goes is there was a young American Indian, living in a camp. And one day he approached the chief and said, “Chief, I’m confused.”
And the chief looked at him and he says, “Why are you confused? What are you confused about?” He says, “Well, I see some people who are good sometimes and the other times they’re bad! How can this be? If they’re good, shouldn’t they be good? If they’re bad, shouldn’t they just be bad. But sometimes they’re good; sometimes they’re bad. How can this be?”
And the chief looked at the young kid and he said, “It’s very simple. Inside each one of us we have two wolves—a good wolf and a bad wolf—and they’re constantly fighting each other. And that’s why sometimes people are good and sometimes people are bad.”
So this really got the young kid thinking. And he thought, and he said, “Chief, tell me which wolf wins?” And the chief looked at him and said, “The one we feed the most.
I think after you hear that story you just need to go away, sit down in a quiet room for about an hour, and do a little thinking. Because right there that story says, “Things are not that complicated. That this whole achieving that beautiful thing in your life is not that difficult. All you have to do is feed the right wolf.”
But this is where I will interject—that’s not our strategy. Our strategy is not to feed the right wolf. And the story very clearly says, “Which wolf will win? The one we feed the most.” But our strategy is to beat the bad wolf. And this is why we don’t succeed.
Why do we beat the bad wolf? Because this is what, somehow, we have been told: “Beat the bad wolf.” Sounds logical? Never, ever thinking, “Well, ah, what is that going to do for the good wolf? I should, you know, feed the good wolf, so that the good wolf will be strong.”
But, “No, and let, let’s, let’s figure out a way to beat the bad wolf.” And that’s what we do. “Oh, I made a mistake! Oh my God, I made a mistake. I made a mistake! I made a mistake, I made a mistake, I made a mistake. Oh, man, I made a mistake.”
You have to stop that thing that just comes and beats the…—I won’t say the word, but it starts with a “c”, ends with a “p”—out of you again, and again, and again, and day, and night, and influences your dreams, influences your happiness.
That’s life! That’s life—to know yourself, to understand, to feed the good wolf. Feed the good wolf. When you understand the value of today, you feed the good wolf! When you understand the value of yourself, you feed the good wolf. When you lament in sorrow, when you watch your dreams crumple…
Because you created those dreams; nobody else created them for you. You created them yourself.
You created your dreams. Maybe there are better dreams—doesn’t matter. You’ve got to have the good wolf win in your life.
Don’t sit on your living room sofa while somebody’s knocking at the door going, “I wonder who that is. It could be Uncle Tom. It could be my friend Jerry. It could be my friend from India—no, and no, he wouldn’t do.... Hmmh, I wonder who it is? Let me call Prem Rawat! ‘Who is at my door?'"
So, go find out! This is what I’ve said. All along, people have said, “Oh, wha’, wha’, wha’...?” Go find out. Know for yourself. Know it for yourself. And that’s being victorious over the self. You make the rules. You make the rules.
Not just somebody’s.... And, do you know how many people there are in this world who have swallowed the idea of heaven, the heaven that you go to after you die, if you’ve done everything right? Swallowed it, “gulp!” How you could swallow such a big horse pill, I don’t know. But you swallowed it—without water.
Oh.... Heaven? There is a heaven—of course there is a heaven. It’s here. And you need to know it! And so, what is hell? Well, if you don’t know it—and you’re not in heaven—guess where you are! And do you get toasted? Yes, you get toasted. Raked over the fire, absolutely—again and again.
And there you are. One day you find yourself totally devastated and destroyed. And somehow you’re put back together again, to have the same experience two days later? Same exact thing: fried, toasted, not any flour, not any oil, just dry-toasted over the great barbecue that you light yourself, that you create yourself. And that’s what happens.
So, the victory over the self: most important, most important. And it’s not so complicated; it’s not sophisticated; it’s not like, “He’eeah-heeeaah, victory over myself."
No—because it’s very simple. First, you begin by knowing yourself. Now that you know yourself, easy to gain victory over yourself. This is not about swords and dragons. This is about, "very simple, very practical."
- Prem Rawat
MC: [Graeme Richards]
One of the questions that was posed is, “If forgiveness is difficult for you to begin with—forgiving someone else is hard enough—turning it inward to the person that you know better than anyone else, the person that you probably judge more than anyone else—how do you forgive yourself?”
Well, that’s a wonderful question. Because that is so important, to be able to forgive yourself. And let’s just not even bring “you and somebody else” into the picture. Let’s just talk about forgiveness, what “forgiveness” is.
And a lot of people think “Forgiveness is granting license to mediocrity, granting license to somebody’s mistake.” That is not forgiveness. “Forgiveness” is to sever the relationship with that action that is dragging you down.
So, now, whatever—and, you know, somebody did something to you that was terrible. And that happened a long time ago. But, that person still has a clutch on you. They still have a clutch on you. Because every day that you wake up, perhaps, and in a solitary moment, you curse that person; you think of that person; that person is still connected to you.
And forgiveness is saying, “No more. You will not have control over me. I want my life back. I want my life back, and I do not authorize you, any more, to haunt me.” That’s what forgiveness is.
So, it’s not going around saying, “Oh, yeah, I, I, I know you, you....” I mean, uh! And this is the way I see it. This is the way I see it. I mean, one time a horrible thing happened to me. And then, every time I would think about it, it was like, “Oh, my God, oh, my God, oh, my God.”
And then I just said, “You know, that little punk still has control over me. And I’m not even in his country anymore. And I’m not going to let him have control over me.” And I said, “That’s it. Gone!”
That’s what forgiveness is. Forgiveness is very powerful. It’s really saying, “No, I’ve got my life. Thank you very much.”
Regaining—it’s regaining. Because, if you don’t, then the clutches will still be there. And what it does to you—what this clutching does to you, these claws that are buried inside of you, to infuriate you—it causes anger; it causes fear; it causes you to shut down; it causes you to stop moving forward; it stops appreciation.
And you live in fear. You live in fear! And that person is gone, but the clutches are still there. And it’s saying, “No more, thank you!”
And when you start to look at forgiveness that way, it takes on a whole different meaning. Because, up till now it’s been, it’s like, “Oh, uh, I, I forgive you, and you know, it’s okay. Eh, and you did this to me, and it’s like....”
But you know, there are things that can happen to you in this life that, if you are talking about acceptance of somebody’s actions, it’s not going to happen. It’s just not going to happen! Because you cannot accept some of those actions. They are so heinous!
And you cannot allow yourself to be a victim. Some of the things, you will never be able to say, “Oh, yeah, I’m fine with that.” But! It’s up to you whether you allow the talons of that person and that activity still to be gripping you. Because if you don’t, then use the sword of forgiveness and free yourself. You move on.
So that’s how I see forgiveness. Not saying, “Oh, yeah, okay, you did this.” Because, some of the actions are so heinous! And you see that. You see that happening, so many places.
Another way to understand this is, one day Buddha was out walking, and all these people were saying very bad things about him. So his disciple who was with him came back, and he said, “Buddha, all those people were doing terrible things, saying terrible things to you. Aren’t you affected by that?”
And Buddha said, “Okay, well, see this bowl? Whose bowl is it?” It was Buddha’s bowl. And he said, “Yeah, it’s your bowl!” So then he took the bowl and he scooted it towards his disciple a little bit. He says, “Whose bowl is it now?” The disciple said, “It’s still your bowl.” He scooted it a little closer. “And whose bowl is it now?” Scooted it in a little closer. “Whose bowl is it now?”
He kept going like that, and then finally he took the bowl and put it in his disciple’s lap. He said, “Whose bowl is it now?” He says, “Buddha, it’s still your bowl.” He said, “Exactly. Exactly! I don’t have to accept this. The day I do, it becomes my bowl. But if I don’t, it’s still theirs.”
You know, and I understand—I mean, sometimes these stories are easier said than actually translated into your life, but at least, if you begin to chisel away....
I mean, maybe the rope is so thick that you won’t be able to cut it in one day. But at least, you start severing it, start understanding the dynamics—that you have the power to sever that rope, that this is what forgiveness means.... That, ultimately one day you will weaken that rope; that it will, it’ll be severed.
But you need to begin. You need to start understanding that.
- Prem Rawat