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
You see, my friends, you will never, ever live in tomorrow—ever! Never. And if you don’t believe me, stay up all night; watch your clock. And tonight at twenty-three fifty-nine, fifty-nine, when tomorrow will be precisely one second away, one second later it will have moved. What you thought was tomorrow would have become today.
Do you know you have been living in a very long “today?” Do you know that? It’s just been today! Every day that you are alive in—is today, today, today, and today. And then one day, no more day. But it’s today.
So, here is the problem. Is there a problem in thinking about tomorrow? No, of course not. What’s the problem, then? Well, the problem is, tomorrow has become the source of your hope—not today. So the problem is, the hope is coming tomorrow—and you’re stuck in today!
So it’s like, you keep asking for more gold, and it keeps coming in your neighbor’s house. You see the problem? You want it in your house, and your neighbor keeps getting richer. You asked for a great looking wife, and he has one. And you asked for a faithful dog—yours isn’t, but his is!
Hope should be coming from today! Do you know how to bring hope from today? It shouldn’t be licensed to tomorrow. It should be today.
Hope brings you joy! But if your hope is tied to tomorrow, which is not coming, so neither is your joy. Yeah, I’m just being logical. It’s a problem. It’s a real problem.
And this moment that you live in…. And it’s the same thing. You only live in one little sliver of all this time that we talk about, and it’s called “now.” And you’re stuck in now. You can’t go back, and you can’t go forward. You’re stuck in now. And do you have any idea what “now” is?
So, here are the problems. So, you see the problem? You have no idea where you are. You have no idea who you are; you have no idea where you are; you have no idea why you’re here.
And you have a map. You have a map. And the problem with the map is, you have no idea where you are on the map.
So when Socrates says, “Know thyself,” he may as well say, “You’d better know where you are on that map.” Because as soon as you know where you are on the map, you can choose to go anywhere on that map. But if you don’t know where you are on that map, how will you go anywhere? And here is the belief problem.
So, should you just believe, “I’m here”? It’s problematic. Navigation-wise, it’s a big problem.
So, this is the business of “present position.” This is the business of knowing where you are on that map. Who are you?
And if you want to traverse this ocean of life, please, this is supposed to be an enjoyable journey…not you drowning in it! This is supposed to be existence, the epitome of joy, the epitome of parties, the epitome of all that is possible—life. Life.
– Prem Rawat
Just stop for a minute and realize that you are not free unless you really have removed this box that you carry around you all the time.
There’s a box, and this box is full of a lot of noise, a lot of imagination that is not even your imagination—somebody else’s imagination, a lot of ideas. And in fact, this is who you think you are! This is “you!” And this box is the greatest hurdle possible in truly knowing yourself.
You need to know yourself. If you don’t know yourself, you don’t know anything, really! Because it is this being that processes what it knows, or what it thinks it knows. When it does not know itself, the processing is happening by information that has been put there by other people, not you!
The noise that you hear between your ears in perfect silence is the noise that other people have put between your ears. That includes your beloved parents.
We’re not talking about, “You have to hate your parents to get rid of the noise”—no, no. They did it for a very good reason, because that’s what happened to them. That was their reasoning. That’s the reasoning that they’ve always followed.
So, whatever happened to them, they did it to you. And their parents did it because their parents did it. So this is something of your great-great-great, great-great-great, great-great-great, great-great-great, great-great-great, great-great-great, great-great-great, great grandfather’s gift. And I would say grandmother too, but I forgot how many times I said great-great-great.
But that’s the noise. And wherever you go, this noise goes with you. And you can silence all the other noises but you can’t silence this noise—because it’s there. And it defines your good and it defines your bad. It defines your right and it defines your wrong.
It’s you, your life, your existence. You are the major player in this. And if you can understand that, that’s everything.
– Prem Rawat
The first person you have to make friends with is you.
You cannot make friends with other people if you are not friendly with yourself.
This is why it’s important to know yourself.
You know the whole world, but you don’t know yourself. Number 1 point - Know Yourself.
This will bring you peace.
People say “now,” right? I have said “now.” And one day I was thinking about “now.” Now is the most elusive thing there is. Because by the time I say “now,” it’s not now anymore. So, by the time I finish saying “now,” now is gone.
Here is one for you. If you don’t understand the meaning of “one,” what is the point in going on to two? After all, “two” is just two ones.
If you don’t understand the meaning of “now,” what is the point in trying to understand the meaning of “tomorrow”? Because you would be pleasantly surprised that tomorrow too will be just full of a bunch of nows—and none different. You need in your life to know.
– Prem Rawat
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