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
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
Only when we begin to know ourselves do we realize that the treasures we seek on the outside are the treasures that are within us—that that compassion that we seek from the others is the compassion that is already within us, that generosity that we need in our lives is the generosity that is already within us.
And this generosity—I’ll tell you about it. You know what is the greatest gift, and given so abundantly? And it is generosity beyond belief. Then all you have to do is look at your breath. Generosity. It is the most precious thing, because it is generosity at its best. It is life! And the life dances. It is real!
Do you get scared with your problems? When the problems come, does that scare you? Of course. It scares me. But I have learned...I have learned that the problems come and go. They come; they go. Then they come back again, but then they go. Then they come back again. And they go. And every time they come, they scare you.
This dance of this breath, on the other hand, is with you! It comes in—and this is how it begins; it doesn’t just begin by going out. This is how this note plays. This note, this symphony begins with this gift of breath coming in, and the whole symphony ends with the breath going out and not coming back in.
And that constitutes your life.
– 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.
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