I’d like to tell you a very simple little story, and it has something to do with each one of us, as individuals, as we look at ourselves, as we understand ourselves. And the way this story goes is there was a young American Indian, living in a camp. And one day he approached the chief and said, “Chief, I’m confused.”
And the chief looked at him and he says, “Why are you confused? What are you confused about?” He says, “Well, I see some people who are good sometimes and the other times they’re bad! How can this be? If they’re good, shouldn’t they be good? If they’re bad, shouldn’t they just be bad. But sometimes they’re good; sometimes they’re bad. How can this be?”
And the chief looked at the young kid and he said, “It’s very simple. Inside each one of us we have two wolves—a good wolf and a bad wolf—and they’re constantly fighting each other. And that’s why sometimes people are good and sometimes people are bad.”
So this really got the young kid thinking. And he thought, and he said, “Chief, tell me which wolf wins?” And the chief looked at him and said, “The one we feed the most.
I think after you hear that story you just need to go away, sit down in a quiet room for about an hour, and do a little thinking. Because right there that story says, “Things are not that complicated. That this whole achieving that beautiful thing in your life is not that difficult. All you have to do is feed the right wolf.”
But this is where I will interject—that’s not our strategy. Our strategy is not to feed the right wolf. And the story very clearly says, “Which wolf will win? The one we feed the most.” But our strategy is to beat the bad wolf. And this is why we don’t succeed.
Why do we beat the bad wolf? Because this is what, somehow, we have been told: “Beat the bad wolf.” Sounds logical? Never, ever thinking, “Well, ah, what is that going to do for the good wolf? I should, you know, feed the good wolf, so that the good wolf will be strong.”
But, “No, and let, let’s, let’s figure out a way to beat the bad wolf.” And that’s what we do. “Oh, I made a mistake! Oh my God, I made a mistake. I made a mistake! I made a mistake, I made a mistake, I made a mistake. Oh, man, I made a mistake.”
You have to stop that thing that just comes and beats the…—I won’t say the word, but it starts with a “c”, ends with a “p”—out of you again, and again, and again, and day, and night, and influences your dreams, influences your happiness.
That’s life! That’s life—to know yourself, to understand, to feed the good wolf. Feed the good wolf. When you understand the value of today, you feed the good wolf! When you understand the value of yourself, you feed the good wolf. When you lament in sorrow, when you watch your dreams crumple…
Because you created those dreams; nobody else created them for you. You created them yourself.
You created your dreams. Maybe there are better dreams—doesn’t matter. You’ve got to have the good wolf win in your life.
What do you focus on every day? Is it things that make you angry? Is it things that you don’t like in your life? Are you a complainer? Do you complain, “This isn’t right; that’s not right. This should have been this way; that should have been this way; why is this this way; why is that that way? And, ababla-bla-blable, ablabla-blablalba.....”
“Why me?” Are you one of those “why me’s”? So, if you are a “why me”—good luck. That’s not a nice note to end with, “Why me? Nothing is right. Why is everything so unjust?”
Remember Yudhishthir! Same thing, he’s caught in the injustice and he cannot go. He’s caught. The cycle of birth and death, the inconvenience of the birth, and he’s caught in it. Because he’s also caught in his concepts of “what is right, what is wrong, what is right....”
He’s caught up in his concepts of what is right and what is wrong. And this is then driving him to start looking at what is just and what is unjust. And so far he’s going in his life, going, “This is just; this is unjust; this is just; this is unjust,” he’s caught in fear; he’s caught in anger; he’s caught in all those things that he doesn’t really want.
When he frees himself from that, severs those.... I like the word “sever”; just to, “Kkkch,” indiscriminately. Not like, “Where should I do it?” No, just do it. It doesn’t really matter, if you’re going to cut a rope, whether you cut here or you cut it—and just cut the thing.
And then, then that comes; then comes the freedom. Then comes the freedom. And the freedom? And, when you are free, you can feel. Now you are free to feel this life; now you’re free to feel the gratitude; now you’re free to feel what that beauty is.
The life should never be about, you know, three things only. Life is giving you a lot more than three. Take it all! “No, no, we should only have....” Not one.
“What is the most important—well, what is that one most important thing to you?” God knows who started that. But it’s the same people who said, “Take that little ball and put it in the little hole.”
Trying to explain to the aliens, you know, again, “Yeah, they just—somebody has four important things, but this guy only wants three!” I won’t mention your name, Mitch, in case there is an alien.
So, just to keep that focus and continue to enjoy this life, this is what it is. And that is the best way to pay the tribute to what is the past—whatever you have learnt that is good, keep it, and move forward with it.
- Prem Rawat
Individual: [reading question]
“I have done something in my life that I cannot forgive myself for. I killed two of my children and nearly killed myself because of the abuse I was suffering. I want to feel the peace that you are talking about, but I think I have lost the capability to feel it. Is there any chance for me?”
Well, do you think there is any chance for this person?
There is the answer. Sometimes you may have walked too far away from your home. And when she did what she did, she walked a little bit too far away from her home. But her home is still there. And it may be a long journey, and it may take a little while, but the home is still there.
– Prem Rawat
I’m just a human being. And I am not sitting here claiming I don’t have bad days—that would be stupid! I do! But I also question, “Why am I having a bad day?”
I’m having a bad day, not because the day is bad! Uh-uh-uh, the day is the same!
You think the sun comes out and says, “Here, I’m going to nail that guy.” You really think so?
There are people who believe in the cosmos—you think all those planets and all those stars know, “Hah, huh, oh, let’s nail that one.” No! Mars doesn’t know you exist. Saturn has no idea you are here and you had a burned toast and slipped in your bathtub and have diarrhea … and flu!
I mean, do you really think Mars goes, “Yeah, let’s get that guy. He’s—just keep that train going. So far, we’ve gotten him to slip in the bathtub, burnt his toast, killed the electricity, no coffee in the morning. Let’s just keep going with that thought! I mean, just…the flow is on.”
No! No! It has nothing to do with it. You need explanations, so you create an explanation. And this is the beautiful thing about human beings: they have used their creativity, not to create clarity, but to create an explanation which has no head and tail. Point: “Why is this happening to me?” “It was your last lifetime.”
All right. Would somebody please tell me what is it that I did, so I won’t do it? I mean, the whole point of punishment should be that you don’t repeat! I mean, what is the point of a punishment—that you are not told?
Somebody walks up to you, hands you a ticket: “What is this ticket for?” “Parking violation.”
“I don’t even own a car. How can I have a parking violation? What did I do? Please! So I won’t do it again!”
“No, that’s a secret. You…you figure it out.”
I mean, I’m not saying there isn’t karma—there is! But it’s much more recent. It’s nothing to do with the last lifetime. It’s now!
– Prem Rawat
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