So, here you are. You’re alive—and here is the situation—and this is an analogy. One day you receive this lottery ticket. And you have won! And the ticket allows you, entitles you to go to this shopping mall. And there are beautiful shops in this shopping mall; there is a grocery store in this shopping mall; there’s clothing in the shopping mall; there is everything you could possibly imagine in this shopping mall.
And you are excited: “Wow! I get to go there?” And not only do you get to go there; you can have anything you desire. If Bentley is your thing, they have them. If Rolls Royce is your thing, they have them; if Mercedes is your thing, they have them. And you get to have it!
And then you flip the ticket over; there’s a caveat. And the caveat is, "You can have anything you want, but when you leave the shopping center, you cannot take anything with you."
"Wow! Aaagh!" Would you be disappointed? I see some people shaking their head. I mean, my God, beautiful things, incredible things.... And you can have them! All yours! But you, when you leave the shopping center—which you must—there’s a time, you must leave the shopping center, and when you do, you don’t get to take anything with you.
What am I talking about? Ta-dah! Here you are—in this most amazing, incredible shopping center. There are the oceans, the mountains. And you can have anything! And one day you have to leave the shopping center. But when you do, you don’t get to take anything with you.
Now, the issue is strategy. Simply that: What are you going to do? What is your strategy going to be? Are you going to stay home, and get angry at this ticket? “How stupid! How weird! I get to go; I can have everything I want, but I don’t get to take it out with me? I mean, that’s really stupid!” Or are you going to say, "This is the divine joke. Ha-ha-ha"?
What is your strategy? What do you do? And it is precisely the strategy that you must have—you must have a plan. And you must not only have a plan, but you must execute it perfectly. Perfectly!
And in this plan, it is not about lamenting, and it is not about “I wish it was this way; I wish it was that way.” No! It is afoot! Here is your ticket; there’s the shopping center. This is the time you get in, and this is the time you get out. And there are no “ands, ands, buts” about it. That is it.
So, I’m not here to preach to you. I’m not here to tell you I am better than you. I’m not here to tell you, “I have a plan; copy my plan.” I’m not here to sell you a plan. But I am here to share with you fifty-plus years of experience, and that’s it.
Because I have seen plenty of people who go, "This is stupid. This is weird. This is strange. Why me? This is a torture!"
And I’m here to say, "But, look. One, you have no limit for enjoyment." Right? Just simple stuff, right? Simple stuff? You have no limit. Because nobody has temples or churches or any of the holy places where you go to say, "Dear Lord, please remove some of this happiness; I just can’t stand it." It’s always about sadness, "Please remove the sadness." But happiness? That was like, "Bring it on!"
We are here. "Is it afoot? Do I want to be a part of it; don't I want to be a part of it? What is it all about; where do I go; where did I come from?" But that’s not what it’s about, folks. You’ve got a ticket. And the ticket says, that’s the shopping center—and you are in the shopping center now, by the way.
By the way, you’re in the shopping center, and it's an opportunity of a lifetime, and you have no strategy, no plan! And so I say, "Keep it simple; you’re in. This is what’s been given; this is the opportunity you’ve been given. Have a blast."
Why not? Why not? You feel hungry? Go to the supermarket and eat. Feel thirsty? Go to the supermarket. Drink. Feel like sleeping? Go to the bed section. Find a comfortable bed and rest well. Feel like exercising? Go to where all the cardio equipment is; find a treadmill and go at it. Because you get to do it all.
- Prem Rawat
It was a Greek philosopher who said once, “You are never happy if you get what you don’t want.” Tricky words. If you get what you don’t want, you’re not happy. And even if you get what you do want, you still won’t be happy because you won’t be able to keep it. That’s the problem.
So many families, finally they get everything going and the husband dies. “Oh, terrible, what’s going to happen now?” Children grow up too fast; they start bossing you around. You’ve been bossing them around? Wait! You will get a taste of your own medicine. They will boss you around. They will start telling you things.
You had the child because you wanted a child—because you thought all these beautiful, lovely thoughts about having a child, “How sweet the child will be.” And now you are going to be on your bed without a second of sleep, thinking, “Where are they? Why are they not home? It’s already past midnight. What are they doing?” You can’t keep it! Can’t keep it!
You finally got your promotion; you finally got your promotion that you had been waiting for, waiting for, waiting for. And after you have got your promotion, you realize that there are twenty other people wanting the same chair. The one before, there were only five wanting that chair. This one, twenty more....
And if you go to the next one, it’ll be forty more, and if you go to the next one it’ll be a hundred more. And now it’s a matter of, you make one mistake—one mistake—and your chair is gone; promotion is gone. Because you can’t keep it! You can’t keep it; you can’t keep it; you can’t keep it.
Because there is a change afoot, and you don’t like changes. You don’t want changes; you don’t want anything to change. You, even though you want your son who is three years old to grow up, you don’t! You want that child to just stay that way. And you want your wife who’s so pretty to stay that way. And you want your husband who is young to stay just that way.
But everything is changing, changing, changing, changing, changing—and so are you. But you don’t know. Why don’t you know? Because you don’t know yourself. You know your friends; you know your neighbors; you know other people, but you don’t know you.
That’s what Socrates says, “Know thyself.” Knowledge of the self! “All knowledges are good; knowledge of the self is the supreme.” When you know yourself, now you know who you are.
– Prem Rawat
But what is a conflict? You see, conflict does not begin on the outside; conflict begins inside. The war begins in the minds of human beings, and then you see the outside expression.
And what is the outside expression? Innocent people die, destruction, lives and families ruined, prosperity gone. All the things that we don’t want become the outside expression of the conflict that is inside the human beings.
First thing, first thing…we have to learn how to respect. Respect who? First, you have to learn how to respect yourself. Now, most people think “respect” is good manners: “Oh, hello, how are you, thank you very much,” smile, this and that....
That’s just manners, good manners. There’s nothing wrong with good manners, but respect is different. It’s more than just manners. And that respect has to begin with you. When you respect yourself, then you can respect other fellow human beings.
Right now, people are ready to kill each other because of differences of opinion. “You believe in this; I believe in this. I don’t like you; I’m going to kill you.” Well, what is the point of your belief if it is destroying other human beings? What is the point of having something that promotes conflict, when just as easily you can have the peace which resides inside of you?
You know, is darkness truly far away from light or light far away from darkness? No! It’s like one coin: one side is darkness; the other side is light. Which one are we picking?
In your home is peace. In your home is wisdom. In your home is clarity. In your home is light. In your home is the joy. In your home is fulfillment. But the only one that is not home is you. So, come home.
– Prem Rawat
Does the heart say, "Go to Timbuktu." Does the heart say, "Go to this place?"
No. The heart says always one thing. And it's so simple.
Be content; be happy. Be in that place; be in that enjoyment.
Be. Be. Just be.
Have you created the circumstance for yourself where you can find contentment, where you can be fulfilled? Because if not, what peace is is going to mean nothing to you.
If you don’t understand the value of being alive, then everything is all out of phase. No amount of wisdom is going to come and make any difference.
– Prem Rawat