One day, a wise man and a student were traveling, and they were stopped by thieves. And the student became very afraid. And the wise man was just sitting on his horse, “Fine….” The thieves said, “Give us all the valuables you have.” The wise man said, “Whatever you find of value, please take it.”
They searched…searched the wise man’s pockets—nothing! They searched his box—some clothes—nothing! The thieves said, “You have nothing valuable.” They left. The student said to the wise man, “Weren’t you afraid? Weren’t you afraid of the thieves, that they’re going to steal the valuables?”
The wise man said, “The most valuable thing I have, they cannot steal. Because that’s in me! Not in a box! It’s in me! They didn’t even search for it. They didn’t even ask me if I had it. And what was the most valuable thing I had? They didn’t even ask!”
The most valuable thing you have is within you! That is the beauty. That is the potential, the true human potential. Because when that is correct, then whatever is built on top of that is beautiful.
That is the value of one and zero. Do you know the story of one and zero? Place as many zeroes as you want in front of one, and it doesn’t mean anything. Place as many zeroes as you want after one, and it becomes more, and more, and more, and more, and more, and more. Same zero—no different. Before one? After one.
What is the one? You are the one. Place the zero…of all the priorities in your life, place them before you? Nothing. After? Same priorities—more, and more, and more, and more.
The mistake we make, we put it before. One stays one, and you say, “But look how many zeroes I have.” Ahh…but it doesn’t mean anything. This is the potential. Just re-arranging and you increase the potential.
To understand is your privilege. To practice should be your joy if you understand: “How, where am I putting the zero? Before me? Or after me?” After me? I’m rich! Before me? I’m still one.
– Prem Rawat
So, what is the self? So, is the self your ideas? Or, is “self” the way you perceive the world? You can perceive it any which way you like it—it’s not going to change the world. It will be. It has been marching at a rhythm for a very, very long time. Do you know how big this stuff is out there?
Perceive? Perceive? Next time you are stuck in a traffic jam and the traffic is moving really slowly, remember this. You are on planet Earth, going at a speed, (around, around, around), of 1,040 miles an hour—and, around the sun at a whopping speed of a little over 67,000 miles an hour, (67,042).
Are you hungry for speed? Are you a speed demon? And this is what the cops should be telling people who speed too much—it’s like, “Sir, do you really want to be going that fast? Because, do you know how fast you’re really going?”
So then, what is the self? What?! “Yeah, well, you know, I…I have…I have over the years gotten to know myself. And…and…and sometimes I get mad, and most of the time, I’m okay. And....” You think that’s the self? You think that’s the self? Interesting question, huh? You’ve heard, “Oh, you should know yourself. ‘Know thyself.’” What is the self?
“I”—and “am,” which denotes existence. “I” and “am.” What is this “I”? Do you know? And because you don’t know, anybody can come and give you an idea—“I think you are” ... da-da-da-da, da-da-da—and that’s what triggers.
“Oh yeah, I, uh, I read—I read....” That’s one of our weaknesses: if we read it in a book, it has to be the truth. How did that happen?
Then the self is this be-ing that has the capacity to know that there’s something more going on here. The beauty, the power of that divinity of this entire universe in action, this earth spinning with you on it, with this breath going in and out of you—with a heart that has been in you wanting to be fulfilled, to the simplest of those things.
Is there anything more? And it doesn’t need glorification. This story of the human being just simply needs to be told.
– Prem Rawat
One day you start off on this cruise, and whilst you’re on this incredible cruise, the boat sinks—pooh!—explodes. You find yourself on the beach of an island. You wake up; you look around, and basically you’re intact—a little bruised, but intact. And there is this island—beautiful beach, lush green trees.
You look around, explore—and there’s fruit; there’s fresh water; there’s a nice cave. And it’s like, “Okay! I am okay; I’ll survive here. I’ve got water; I’ve got food; I’ve got a cave, and I’m relatively safe here...” And it’s not a big island—small island, so, you know, you do your survey rather quickly and it’s okay—for the short term, it’s okay.
So, you drink some water, and take a bath, and get cleaned up, and, you know, find some nice fruit and..... And you know, it’s okay. Now, days go by—and the fourth, and the fifth, and the sixth day. As you’re exploring, you come across this part of this island and it’s nothing but gold. And how deep the cave goes, nobody knows, but it’s just gold. Then you find there’s another part, and it’s just rubies, diamonds, emeralds.
What are you going to do? The problem is you can’t spend it on anything. You can’t buy anything with it; you’re stranded on this island. And there are no shops. There are no banks—and you have all the gold and more than you could ever imagine, and all the diamonds and emeralds and rubies and sapphires and everything—but there you are.
And, up to this point, you really were hoping to get rescued. You see the problem? You see the problem!? If you get rescued, you might lose all that! So now you have it….
Do you light the fire and let everybody see that you’re on this island: “Come and get me”? Because it’s not a big island, and if somebody discovers all that, you’re not going to end up with it. So now, what do you do? What do you do?
You can say, “Well, I could hide it.” But it’s out in the open! Everybody can see! It wouldn’t take long. And those people coming there would come in droves and take it all away! And you could say, “Well, I claim this bit in the name of myself.” But they won’t respect that. What do you do?
But do you realize this is the same quandary you are in on this earth, in your big city? All that wealth that you have garnered and gathered, you don’t get to take it with you. You can’t take it off the island called “earth.” (This one isn’t surrounded by ocean; it’s surrounded by space.) But you don’t get to take it. So now what do you do? What do you do?
All our life long, we’re enamored by our dreams. All our life long we’re enamored by what people have told us. But we are never enamored by the call of our heart, which says, “Be fulfilled. Experience peace. Experience joy. Experience that feeling that is within you.”
Not in your head; in you—that is always there, in good times and in bad! It is always there, regardless of your circumstances.
Experience what it is to be alive! Because that’s your reality. That’s what makes you, you. This is who you are; this thing called “life” glues it all together. And as soon as that is gone, everything falls apart, and nothing is any more.
– Prem Rawat