Prem Rawat: There’s a saying about tradition. (I love it. Really like this saying.) It goes like this: “Tradition, what is tradition? Tradition is peer pressure from the dead.” They’re dead; they’re gone! But the pressure is still there.
And there they are, “It should be this way; it should be this way; it should be this way,” and this is the tape that plays in your head, and this is how you make your selections.
Whatever happens. So much of it is not being driven by our selection as we would like to think it is. It is not being done that way; it is the tape that plays. I call it “noise.” What do you call it?
It’s noise. “This has to be this way; this has to be this way; this has to be this way; this has to be this way; this.... You have to sit on the right; you have to sit on the left; you have to do this and you have to do that and you....” Noise, noise, noise, noise, noise, noise, and this whole life becomes full of noise.
And in the midst of this noise, we want sanity?! In the midst of this noise, we want clarity?! In the midst of this noise, we want to be happy?! You really are asking a lot! You’re really asking a lot. Because that’s not going to happen.
The way we have structured our life, we have made it so difficult, so incredibly difficult, that the path to peace indeed has become incredibly, incredibly difficult.
When the desire for peace is simple, the path going back home.... That’s the only way. That’s the only way you’re going to experience peace in your life, is when you go back home—home here, in you. Not here! But here, in you. That’s the only way you’re going to experience peace.
You’re only going to experience peace the day you get in touch with you! And that process of getting in touch with you is incredibly difficult because we have wandered so far away from our selves.
Now—here is the problem. Here is the real problem. Now, we don’t recognize home. Now, we don’t recognize home. And when you don’t recognize home, you could be standing in front of it, and you will go, “What, that’s my home?”
You already have a preconceived idea of what your home looks like. Absolutely. And when your concepts don’t meet up with it, you go, “That’s my home? That’s not the home I want.”
But “home” isn’t about that; home is home. Home is that place you come to—and you close that door. And you are in your world. That’s what home is. Everything, everything is familiar.
In our lives, we want to hear about how we can be prosperous, but really it takes a little bit of thinking. But there is no way that you can be prosperous without peace.
How many of you take baths? Thank you. How many of you like to go swimming in a swimming pool? So, it’s nice. It’s nice to be in that water. It’s nice. So, it’s nice to soak. It’s nice to swim in that water. Flex the muscles and feel that warmth or the coolness of the water. It’s refreshing, isn’t it? And how many of you would absolutely love to be in this beautiful Caribbean place – crystal clear water, cool wind, nice perfect temperature water, step into it and just float? Because of the salinity and feel the rejuvenation of the salt - and the water – and the wind. How many of you would do that?
Okay. So let’s take that one step further. So now I have established that you do like the ocean. If I were to take you and put you in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, thousands of miles from any land, would you like that?
So wait a minute, here we go. We do like the water, but there has to be something that has to be available as the comfort factor. And that comfort factor is land.
Well! In my analogy, peace is that land. Prosperity is the water. It feels good; it’s warm; it’s cool; it’s this, it’s that. The waves, the frolicking, the this, the that. I mean all of that good stuff. That’s all fine. So far it is in the context of something because you are not water based. Even though seventy percent of you is water, but you are land based. You need to breathe the air. You need to be on the stability of earth.
Terra firma under your feet when all is said and done. And in the same way, peace, joy, tranquility, serenity, clarity, understandings are your “terra firma.” When you are with these, all is truly well. And you may venture away from this, only if you are able to come back to it. Because this has to be readily available at all times.
When I first went to the West, I was only a teenager. In fact, it was my first year of being a teenager—thirteen. And all these people would come—much older than me, much more educated than me. And they would sit down, and they were very proud of the fact that they were searching for peace.
And I would say to them, “Why are you searching for peace? Why are you searching for peace when peace is inside of you?” Search not for peace, but search for the way to be able to get in touch with what is already inside of you.
And so the question becomes, “Well, you already have peace, right?” Do you? Or don’t you?
Because nothing is missing. There is nothing missing from the equation. You have in you—this is the way you are made—all that you need you have, and you have been made to take advantage of it.
Maybe you don’t have a temple for it. Maybe you don’t have a song for it. Maybe you don’t have a garland for it. Maybe you don’t have a light for it. Maybe you don’t have a location for it. But it is here, in you.
And if you are unaware, then you’re unaware of something fundamental. And this is ignorance. What is ignorance? It’s a play of words in English, but “ignorance”—where does ignorance come from?
Generally, when somebody does something bad—a little child or something—we say, “Oh, it’s okay. He was ignorant.” 'Ignorant' generally is considered to be an excuse to forgive the person, because “they were ignorant.”
But that’s not where the word comes from. The word actually comes from “ignore.” “Ignorance"—ignorant comes from the word “ignore,” which has to be done on purpose.
See, we say ignorant. "Oh, he’s ignorant; it’s okay.” But “ignorant” actually comes from the word “ignore,” which has to be on purpose—that you ignore something.
Ignorance in this world...we think, “Oh, people are ignorant.” No! If they are ignorant, that means they’re, on purpose, ignoring that which is real. Not a fluke! Not a fluke.
And people go, “But I don’t see it!” You’d talk about the Divine, “But I don’t see the Divine!” So, do you see gravity? Do you see the earth spinning? Does that mean it’s not?
You cannot, in this life, merely live in tangled beliefs. Yes, this is the first time I’m using this, “tangled beliefs.” Because beliefs will get tangled. It is their nature because they are so open to interpretation. But knowing is not open to interpretation.
The Divine, in the same way, is everywhere, and by “everywhere” meaning, also in you. To me, when I hear the word “everywhere”—when I hear the word “omnipresent,” it doesn’t mean just omnipresent. It means “in me as well.”
And if that reality is knocking in me, if that reality is residing in me, what am I doing in my life to feel it, to acknowledge it, to understand it? Because if you want peace in your life, that’s the only way you’re going to get it.
– Prem Rawat
How many of you think something has to be done to have peace? A few! There’s more. Come on, there’s a lot more. Because we are the doers! We’re the doers.
If we want to make okra, it has to be made; it has to be cut. It doesn’t come that way from the okra plant. You have to pick it; you have to cut it; you have to clean it. Then you have to put it in the frying pan. “Do something to have something”—except for peace.
It is what we have been so busy in doing that is preventing the peace from being felt in our lives. And what has to happen is, please, let peace emerge. Emerge. Emerge. Not create. Not think. Not sit there and go, “Now, I am in peace.” And then somebody there, going, “Yes, yes, yes, now you’re in peace.” It’s all we need, right? No! Peace has to be real. Do you think peace is an option?
If you think peace is an option, how many of you are busy in your daily lives and think it’s kind of not possible to sit there and pursue peace because you’re so busy from morning ‘til evening? You’re getting your education; you have to go to college; you have to go to your shop; you have to go to your business; you have to go to your job, your government job, your, you know, whatever! How many of you think, “No time for peace”?
Nobody? This is what people say: “I don’t have time! I’m busy! I am busy being miserable. I have no time for happiness.” Then all I can say is, “Will you please reconsider? This is your life. Reconsider your priorities of what is important to you.”
But we sit in the grand illusion, thinking that it is so. And this is what I said: “All is not as it seems to be. All is not as it seems to be. All is not as it seems to be.”
– Prem Rawat
You’re all successful in your field—that’s why you’re here. So what can I tell you? Well, maybe there is something I can tell you, and it’s not about your business. I’m not here to tell you about your business. When it comes to business, you are miles ahead of me.
But I’m here to tell you about the value—because you understand the word “value”—value of being alive. And I’m here to tell you about something that is fundamentally missing from our equation.
We understand success. We have milestones; we set milestones. And through these milestones, we gauge our success. How much money; how much this; how much that. But in our milestones that we have, where is the milestone for you as a human being?
Who are you? What are you? You’re here. One thing we all share in this room is, we are in the business of being alive—and believe me, it is not shy of any business. It requires constant maintenance.
Family is a business! You have to negotiate. Sometimes your family is your client; sometimes they are the other union—especially the husband or wife. And you have to sit down, negotiate and convince each other of what this is. And of course, when the kids get older, you have to negotiate. You have to figure it out.
But what about you!? What about you as that human being that is alive, that exists? Because without any reference to that, some picture that will be generated will not be complete. Do you know what it means to be alive?
What do you think about during the day? Do you think about your problems? Do you think about your issues? Do you get frustrated with them? Or have you mastered the art of being able to say, “Give it some time”? Averting frustration; diluting it: slow frustration, frustration now tolerated in a period of five days rather than one hour.... And only, why? Because the doctor said so.
But my point is, if you don’t know who you are, you don’t know what your nature is. And if you don’t know what your nature is, you have no idea where you belong.
And for the leadership that you have to provide, it is quintessentially important that you know where you are—otherwise you will not be able to! The leadership requires that not only you know where you are—because that’s the whole crew! That’s your crew onboard your yacht, depending upon you to say, “Ah, we’re here!” Or not going, “Um, I, I, I think we are here...” No. “I am here.”
Do you practice, every day, having a recognition of yourself? The fact that you are alive offers the opportunity for the highest potential to be fulfilled. Let’s just look at a situation, a possibility in which a human being is at that utmost state where the potential of that human being is fulfilled.
No hundred percent, or a hundred-and-one percent, or a hundred-and-two percent, or a hundred-and-three percent. No, we’re not talking percentages; we’re not talking about scales. We’re talking about feeling!
Do you know what you all do every day for feeling? Just for feeling? I know when I said the word “feeling,” it’s like, “Well, yeah, ‘feeling’.... I want to look at my sheet, my bank balance, you know. ‘Well, how much did I make today?’ Yeah, but if that sheet says a big fat zero, how does that make you feel!?
Somebody says to you, “Okay, your business is finished.” How does that make you feel!? Your child comes up to you and says, “Dad, I hate you.” How does that make you feel!? This little thing that’s only this big has this much power? More power than the balance sheet? More power than the bank book?
But have you ever wondered what really makes you feel good? So let me draw your attention to peace. Not the peace that says, “You can park there, and I’ll park there”—I don’t really care. But the peace in which you have achieved your human potential. In that potential, how do you feel from within?
Strength from within! Not strength from outside, but strength from within, clarity from within, understanding from within! These are the simple and basic steps that need to be taken for you to be you. And if you exclude this from your formulas, it’s not going to be a complete picture.
So, for us as a human being, we need this balance. Do we have it? Do you have it? Your interest in your wellbeing—your wellbeing isn’t just your blood pressure. Your wellbeing isn’t just your good eyesight; your wellbeing isn’t just being able to hear well. Your wellbeing isn’t that you can exercise for five hours a day.
Your wellbeing actually begins from solid foundations within you—which, by the way, begin in the fertile fields of peace. This is who you are. These are your requirements. What I am talking about is not a luxury, nor an option. It is a necessity, like air, like water, like food, like warmth.
The fact that you are even interested in peace is extremely commendable, extremely commendable. In your positions—and you can make a huge difference, you really, really can.
– Prem Rawat
When I say “heart,” when heart is talked about, heart is the place in a human being where the goodness in you resides, where the clarity lives, where your God lives with you, where understanding lives, where the peace lives in you—that’s the heart. The place of light, not darkness
– Prem Rawat