Wherever I go and I start talking about the subject of peace, most people wonder and ask me, “What about all these problems that we have? Why don’t we have peace? What happened?”
So I would like to tell you a story. There was a man and he had heard about elephants—that elephants were big; they were huge; they were powerful and they were mighty; they could lift a whole tree with their trunk. He wanted to see an elephant.
So he did some research; somebody told him, “You want to see an elephant, go to India!” So he found the village which is very famous, very popular for elephants, and he went there. And when he arrived at the village, he saw all these magnificent elephants standing there. And each one of the elephants had a very thin little rope tied to the leg, just very thin—and they were standing.
And the man was really surprised. He had never seen an elephant before, and he was very impressed by the power of the elephant. But he was also very confused. So he went to the village chief, and he said, “Chief, I have a question!”
He said, “This is the first time I’ve seen these elephants, and they’re strong, they’re mighty, they’re powerful. But you are tying them up by this little rope that is so fragile. Why don’t these elephants just run away? Why are they standing there? It’s not the rope that’s holding them, because they could easily break that.”
And the chief said, “Oh, that. Let me explain to you. When these elephants were really young, we tied them with these little ropes. Then they were not so strong, and the rope was enough to hold them. Now, they are definitely strong enough to break the rope, but they have forgotten their strength, and this little rope is enough to hold them.”
In a way, that is so sad. But that is our story too. That is our story too. We have forgotten our strength. We forget who we are. We forget the compassion in us. We forget the passion in us. We forget the kindness in us. We forget the joy in us. We forget what is a human being.
You cannot talk about peace without talking about the human being, because it is in the heart of that human being that the peace dances.
Right now, I know people say, “Oh, people are terrible. Look what they’re doing! They’re killing each other, terrorizing each other, putting fear in each other.” That’s not the nature of a human being.
There is a lot of good in this world; there is a lot of kindness in this world. There is a lot of generosity in this world. And this is the true nature of a human being; this is your true nature. To adore—to adore peace! To want peace. To be fulfilled! Need I say it? Indeed, to create a heaven right here on the face of this earth.
People talk about, when they die, will they go to heaven? There’s a small problem with that beautiful heaven. You have to die to get there. Why not create an experience, the heaven, whilst you’re alive? Whilst you are alive, whilst you are here?
People say, “Oh, look how many people go hungry.” Why? Have you ever thought of why people go hungry? Is it because there is shortage of food? No! Forty percent of the food that is actually farmed goes to waste. It’s thrown away. It’s unfit for consumption. There is more than plenty of food to feed everybody.
People say, “People don’t have clean water!” There’s plenty of water—believe me, there’s plenty of water. And who makes the water unclean? We do.
It’s up to us to understand our true nature, our power—that if we want the peace, we can have peace. We don’t have to be held back by a little rope of the elephant.
– Prem Rawat
So, do you know yourself? Or, do you know yourself in relation to the others? Because if it is in relation to the others, then you don’t know yourself. Knowing the self has nothing to do with somebody else.
Who are you? What are you? What is your gift? Why are you alive? You. Do you cast from within, from yourself, like light emanates? Does love emanate from you? Does kindness emanate from you? Emanate? Emanate—not forced, not hosed, but emanate—“emanate” means it just emanates.
– Prem Rawat
Have you seen those plastic candles—those digital plastic candles; they’re about this big, and you just have an on-off switch; you can just put it.... When I first saw that, I said, “This is it! This is great! No fire danger. No problem. Want candle, just turn this on....” And now they even flicker, and they do everything.
But then I said to myself, “There is something that a candle does, that this can never do.” Do you know what it is? A candle that is lit, can light another unlit candle. This digital candle can never do that.
You as a human being, if you are a lit candle, you can light another candle. Maybe peace is not that impossible. Maybe peace is not that difficult—if we can change our way of looking at peace. Because the most beautiful news is this: “It doesn’t have to be created. Peace is already there.”
If it had to be created, then we have truly a very big challenge afoot. The good news is, peace doesn’t have to be created—it is dancing in the heart of every single human being, regardless of religion, regardless of race, regardless of color, regardless of whether they are rich, whether they are poor, whether they’re educated, whether they are uneducated—whatever the circumstances may be, the peace is dancing in the heart of every single human being.
It’s here. Peace, my friends, has to be discovered! Not created. And that’s the peace that’s going to make the difference.
– Prem Rawat
Religion has its place. Absolutely, religion has its place, and politics has its place. But so does humanity. You are human, first. If you lose your humanity, you lose everything. Then you become poor; then you become weak.
But so far that, on the face of this earth, we do not lose our humanity, we will be strong enough to help each other.
– Prem Rawat
Don’t worry—I am not a politician. I’m not going to be in…I’m not in politics; I’m not going to run for politics; politics is not my thing. I want to bring people together; I don’t want to divide them.
And that’s why I don’t put any labels…I don’t want to use any labels. People would love to give me a label. I don’t want any labels.
People say, “Oh, you are Ambassador of Peace.” I want everybody to be Ambassador of Peace—everyone! Because that’s what your possibility is; that’s what your potential is. This is what you can achieve in this life. You should be an Ambassador of Peace. You should be.
One little…one little act of kindness goes a long way—one little act of kindness. But what do we believe in? “Thank you.” So, this is what the mother teaches the little boy: “Say thank you.”
He doesn’t know what ‘thank you’ means—so he looks up and he goes, “Thank you.” And what are you teaching that little kid? Do you know what you’re teaching that little kid? “Say something you don’t understand.”
Instead of teaching the kid, “Did you feel good when somebody gave you this? Did you like it?” The child will say, “Yes!” “Then, take that liking that you have, and share a little bit of it back.” That’s what gratitude is. That’s all gratitude is.
If somebody did something for you, and it felt good, then give them a little bit of that goodness back.
– Prem Rawat
How can a human being choose compassion over hatred? How can a human being choose love; how can a human being choose wisdom over ignorance? How can a human being choose light over darkness? How?
I have a story—it’s also in the book that has come out. And this story is about an archer. He goes from town to town, displaying his skill of his archery. And he’s very good, very good. He picks up an arrow and sends it, and it hits the target right in the bullseye. Next arrow whoosh—tears the first arrow apart.
People come from the villages, all stand there and clap, applaud him. And of course, this makes the archer feel very good.
One day he is exhibiting his skill, and all of a sudden everybody is clapping, applauding, “Wow, this is amazing! This is amazing!”—and he hears somebody singing at the top of their voice, singing, “It’s only a matter of practice.” Singing! “It is only a matter of practice.”
He did not like that. He’d like to think that he was the best! And it was special for him—and it wasn’t just a matter of practice, but it was him!
So, after the show was over, he went looking for who was singing, “It’s only a matter of practice.” So he goes, and he sees this man sitting there with two very large pots, very large clay pots full of oil in the front, in the back. A pole. And he says, “Were you singing?” And he goes, “Yes. I was singing.”
“So what do you mean, it’s a matter of practice? Don’t you see how many people come to see me? They come; they applaud. I am so special; I am…I am so good.” And he said, “Look. You are good at archery because you practice. Let me show you something that I practice.”
So he picked up a big clay pot of oil, took an empty bottle, put it down; picked up the big clay pot and poured oil from the big clay pot through the neck of the bottle and filled the bottle without dropping a drop. Then he said to the archer…he said, “Now, you try it.”
The archer said, “I understand. I could not do that. You practice pouring oil, and you are good at it. I practice archery; I am good at it.”
So my question is this: “What are you good at?” If you practice kindness, you will become good at kindness. If you practice compassion, you will become good at compassion. If you practice hate, you will become good at hate. What do you practice?
How long does it take you to become angry? How long does it take you to become disappointed? How long does it take you to lose hope? How long does it take you to doubt? Because if you do this, then this is what you’re practicing.
And more you practice, the better you will get. The better you get at the wrong thing, you will not realize your potential.
Today is your day. You can be kind. Today, you can live with completeness, with fullness. Today, you can live with understanding. Today, you can feel alive.
– Prem Rawat