One day, there was a man who had never seen an elephant; he had never seen an elephant. So, he decided that he wanted to go see an elephant; so he inquired. And he was told that there is a village in Africa where they have big elephants. So the man made his journey to Africa. He went, and he saw a very big elephant.
And never having seen the elephants, he was really surprised. And then he looked, and he saw that the elephants were tied with a very small thin rope around their feet—and that was it. So, he was surprised. Such a big elephant, only being held in place by a small little rope? So he went to the chief, and he said, “Chief, these elephants, they’re strong, aren’t they?”
And the chief said, “Oh, yes. They’re very, very strong.” He said, “Chief, I have a question. How can such a big animal, so strong, so powerful, be held back with just this tiny little rope?” And the chief said, “Oh-ho! Let me explain. When they were babies, we used to tie them with this rope. And they tried to move, but they couldn’t move! And we kept them like that.
“And now that they have grown big and strong, they stopped trying. And they think that this tiny rope should still hold them in place. Of course, if they tried, this rope cannot hold back such a powerful animal. But the elephants have given up trying."
So, why did I tell this story? Because in a way, this is what is happening. Who we are, who you are is much bigger than the sum of your problems. But these problems come, and they’re holding you back. And you do not realize your own power. You don’t realize your own strength!—that as a human being, you have the strength in you to go beyond these barriers.
- Prem Rawat
I’m not the first one to ever say, “What you are looking for is inside of you.” So, if you are looking for peace, that’s inside of you; if you are looking for hope, that is inside of you; if you’re looking for clarity, that is inside of you. If you’re looking for joy, that is inside of you.
And the question is, “Why is it easier said than done?” Because we don’t know ourselves. We don’t know what our strengths are. We don’t know what our strengths are. You are stronger than you realize. Even in the face of calamity, you are stronger than you realize. But because you don’t know yourself, you’re ready to surrender to the calamity—and you do!
You are worried about all those things you don’t know. And in the list of all the things you don’t know, you also don’t know yourself.
We look for strength, but not in us—in other people. People come to me, and people ask this question, “So, when you have a problem, what do you do?” They think I’m strong.
I’m only strong when I’m connected to the strength inside of me. Otherwise I am weak too. I’m a human being, and I have to remember, there is an incredible strength inside of me. When I don’t tap into that strength, nothing is strong. When I do, I am strong too. Same thing for you.
It’s simple! It’s not complicated. We can make it complicated, but it’s not complicated. It’s very, very simple.
- Prem Rawat
We want our children to be good. We want our children to grow up well. What do we tell them when we see them in the morning? Monday or Tuesday, what do we tell them? "Are you ready? Are you ... You're late, you're going to be late. Get ready." We don't tell the, "I love you.“ We don't tell them, "I love you.” "So good to see you."
I know, in some cultures, women, men are shy to say, "I love you.” But can't you say the same thing another way? "So good to see you today." Aren't you glad to see them that day? Aren't you? Do you say it?
And what do you want? You want everybody in your family to be happy. After all, all the men that are here, you work very hard to make everybody happy in your family. Don't you? Don't you go to your job from morning till evening? Don't you work really, really hard to make them all happy? And do you once tell them you love them? No.
Strange! I find that very strange. Why is it wrong for you to be human? Aren't you human? Relationship of darkness, light. Relationship of absence, presence. All the things you imagine you are, you are not. But what you are, you don't know. So you imagine yourself to be a doctor, a lawyer, a housemother, a wife. An I.T.––"it". IT technician. It. "It" is referred to people without life, things without life. It. I.T. It means you go into a room, and try to plug wires and see if something works or doesn't work.
You ask somebody, "Excuse me, sir. Who are you?" "Oh, I'm a salesman." Really? You're not a human being? This relationship of absence and presence. We don't understand the presence. The presence is real. Absence is nothing.
What is the presence? The presence is, this breath just came into you. This is the presence. Do you understand the meaning of this breath? Do you understand the value of this breath? When you were born ... when you were born, when you came out of your mother's womb. Yes, all of you came out of a mother's womb. You better have come out of a mother's womb. Otherwise, you should be stuffed and sent to a museum. You all came out of a mother's womb.
In our societies we don't respect women. Women have one thing over every man. A woman can give birth to a man or a woman. A man can't do that. And we forget. We forget, we forget because we are playing the wrong game. Not of the presence, but of the absence.
And so far we keep this ... this is the game my friends, of ignorance. And what you are looking for, that word "Peace" indicates knowledge. Not ignorance. And the world is trying to figure out in the world of ignorance what knowledge means. Impossible. I say, impossible. Impossible.
Never figure it out. That's why the world doesn't know what peace is. Because we're playing a game of ignorance with ourselves, and wars that we hate are a result not of knowledge, but of ignorance. So, which world do you want to live in? Which world do you want to live in? The world of presence or the world of absence?
When you live in the world of absence, you have to have beliefs. Believe it's there, believe that's there, believe this there, believe this there, believe this there. Believe that Gods live just slightly above the clouds.
I'm a pilot. When I travel around the world, I fly myself. So you're climbing above the clouds going, "Hmm! Anybody there? Anybody there?" There's nothing there. Clouds, more clouds, more clouds, more clouds, more clouds, more clouds, more clouds.
We live in the world of present, in the world of knowledge ... Where? Where? Where? Then the answer is here, here, here, here.
- Prem Rawat
Kabir is referring to all of us, not the renunciates, not the fellows with the long braided hair—no, no, all of us because we are all seekers of that truth, of that peace: “That your lord, your Divine is also within you.”
So, don’t underestimate me when I say “an unopened gift.” Don’t underestimate me. I am talking about the gift of all the gifts.
The peace that you seek is within you. The Divine that you seek is within you. The truth that you seek is within you. The clarity that you seek is within you.
- Prem Rawat
Comedy or humor has a bit of truth—otherwise it’s not funny!
And it is funny that in everything else, in everything else that we do ... You go to a bank? The line, where it starts, we know. You go take a number, ticket number. You know—and you watch the counter, “Okay, what is the number?” So you know! And when it comes to the self, no idea!
And when I propose this, a lot of people go, “What do you mean, ‘Knowing yourself?’ Of course I know myself. My name is bla-bla-bla-bla-bla.” Really? Was that your name before you came out? When you were born, what was your name? Just when you were born?
Because you didn’t exist! Officially you did not exist; your birth certificate hadn’t been signed yet. You did not have a piece of paper validating you exist—but you existed. On what strength did you exist? Do you know what that is?
The wisdom that you seek from the world is actually inside of you. Do you know that? You are wiser than you realize. Do you know that?
So, if you don’t, don’t you think it’ll be good to know yourself? Then you would know who you are, the strengths you have, how you can go forward. And of course, when it comes to loving, if you don’t know yourself, how are you going to love yourself?
- Prem Rawat
Who am I? Seventy percent water and I can talk? Seventy percent water and I can actually see things? Seventy percent water and I can think?
When was the last time water thinks? Does that come across the news: “We have thinking water.” And we have thinking water right here! So, who am I? This tourist that has to go one day? Who? What?
What is this life all about? Why do I want to be happy? I mean, well, what is this crazy thing: “I mean, well, I just want to be happy.” Even when I’m sad, I want to be happy. It’s not like when I’m happy, I want to be sad. Then I’m crazy. Then I need to see a psychiatrist.
But why is it, naturally, that when I am happy, I want to remain happy and when I am sad, I want to be happy? Clue? Sherlock Holmes, clue? What is the clue? That I am biased.
“Oh, but, and no human being is born with an instruction manual.” Maybe we don’t need it—because the instruction manual is obvious!
Nobody goes to the church, nobody goes to the temple, nobody goes to the mosque to pray to God, “Too much happiness; please take it away; I can’t stand it.” Too much sadness? “Oh, please, too much sadness; take it away.” Too much happiness? Not a problem. Too much joy, not a problem. Too much clarity, not a problem.
So if this is who you are, what have you done about it? If you are hungry, you need to eat! Or do you need a scientific discourse?
Socrates said, “Know thyself.” Why? Why? I mean, why know yourself? Isn’t your name enough—on a card? Isn’t it? Isn’t it?
But is that who you are? Somebody else had that name, and somebody else will have that name.
“Within you,”—the “Paras” is this mythical stone in India, that when you take this stone and touch it to metal, it’ll turn the metal into gold, the alchemist’s metal, the alchemist’s stone, the famous stone—“that that’s within you too, and the pearls are within you too, and the one who understands the value of these is also within you.” The appraiser is also within you.
“Within you resonates the silence”—the silence. “And within you springs the spring of hope, of joy, of knowledge, of wisdom.”
- Prem Rawat