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
We have a program that is initiated by TPRF, The Prem Rawat Foundation. And one of the things that the Foundation puts out is the Peace Education Program—and we call it “PEP.” The PEP has just started a few years back, and it’s one of the most incredible programs around the world.
It first started from prisons. All of a sudden, the prison officials noted that the inmates that had gone through the Peace Education Program had the lowest rate of return when they were released. So they started taking a look at “what is this?” And the University of Texas San Antonio, who specializes in monitoring all of this, became really, really fascinated by the program.
Since then, this program spreads from India to South Africa, to America, to Europe, to the Pacific. And people write to me, and they’re saying, “If I knew about this before, I would not be here.” People ask us, “Please show this program to my children so they don’t end up like me.”
What does this program really deal with? This program deals with people and their choices. It says, “What choice you made has brought you here. And what choice you make will get you out of here.”
This program, since then, is not now limited to prisons anymore. Now it has spread to the veterans—these are the soldiers coming back from the war—police, army, universities, colleges, libraries, hospice, hospitals, doctors, through the whole spectrum.
Maybe we have not gone through the Peace Education Program, but what choices do we make every day? Our choices, each one of us—our choices are going to have an influence on this world.
– Prem Rawat
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
How many of you worry? I’ll raise my hand too—just, it makes it easier for you. Now, please explain to me how worrying is going to take away your problem?
And here’s a good one—look up “worrying” or “worry” in the dictionary—and it’s really funny. It says, “Something that makes you unhappy.” Something that makes you unhappy...?
My goodness! I like to worry. I like to worry! But I never asked the question, “Why am I worrying? Is this actually going to solve the problem?” No! Because, where action will solve the problem, thinking about a possible solution will solve the problem, worrying will never solve the problem—but I like to worry.
And worrying will make me unhappy—that’s according to the dictionary—and I can vouch for that. And yet every time I am faced with a problem, I worry.
And then one day when I was really into worrying—and feeling quite unhappy—and this may come as a surprise to you—I said to myself, “Why do you want to feel unhappy?”
“Yeah, but it, you know, it’s not in my control. I didn’t do it. This is happening to me; it’s other peoples’ fault; it’s, yeah, da-da, the other people are the....”
I said, “No, no, no.” And this is me, having a conversation with myself, silently, by the way. And I’m saying to myself, “No, it’s you. That even in this moment, you have a possibility not to be unhappy.”
And it is taking a more proactive and a positive approach, which is to find the solution to the problem—and if you don’t know it, find somebody who does.
- Prem Rawat