When good things happen, you boost your ego.
“I did this. I did that.”
When bad things happen, you lose heart. You lose patience with yourself. And you blame yourself for everything.
That’s no way to live. Like a yo-yo. Up and down, up and down, up and down. Find that stability because that’s inside of you too.
Discover it and hang on to it. Hang on to the good in you.
- Prem Rawat
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
And so under this circumstance, in which there is so much greed, there’s so much pain—and the pain isn’t created by anyone else, but people around us and us—to understand the idea of, "one day would be enough" for anything is hard to imagine. What would be—where one day would be enough when a lifetime isn't enough?
But you haven't given your life a chance to show you the possibility it has. You have given the world a chance. You've given this world many, many chances. "You're fired." "Eww!" "You're hired," "Aaah!" "You're fired," "Euuuh." You’re hired again, "Aaaah!" You're fired again, and, "Ewww." "Sorry sir, you've missed your flight." "Euugh."
I mean, there are these shows, and airport shows, where the people, you know, showing the airline thing—it’s like, "Wow. Wow!"
But have you given your life a chance to show you what it has? What does the world of joy look like? What does the world of understanding look like? What does the world of answers look like? What does the world of clarity look like?
Where you can rest and fade away your tiredness—to become excited about, indeed, every breath that comes into you: "Wow, what a gift!" To embrace reality that is not born of ideas or discussions—but a reality that you feel, that is tactile!
Not just empty promises. Don't you see the difference between empty promises? And what your life wants to show you is not empty promises.
- Prem Rawat
I thought this was kind of interesting, because I just today received a letter from Argentina—and so I’d like to read it to you; I brought it with me.
“Dear Mr. Prem Rawat, we’ve been watching the Peace Education Program for three months running. And we would like to thank you, because your message helps us know ourselves. When we listen to you, we forget that we are in prison. Thank you very much.
“With respect and love, we would like to invite you to this prison unit. It would be an honor for us to meet you in person and talk with you about what we have learned. Kind regards, Men’s Prison, Buenos Aires, Argentina!”
So, there I am at this prison; I said, “Okay, you know, you realize, God is the only one in this entire creation that can’t go from here to here.” And you should have seen their faces; it was like, “Huh? Of course God can go from here to here.”
I said, “No, it’s impossible for God to go from here to here. Why? Because if God leaves here to go here, it’s not possible, because he will always be here. And he is already here, so how can he come here? Can’t go from here to here!”
And when they heard—it was like, it takes a little while, right? Just, “dit-dit-dit-dit-dit, dut, dah-doo, dut, dit-dit-dit....” And then it’s like, “Damn, he’s right!”
Because I’m using that same logic. The problem isn’t the logic. The problem is the thing that created that logic—about “going,” about “coming,” about creating—not God creating us in his you know, shadow, but we creating God in ours. And giving God exactly the same attributes of jealousy, fear, anger, everything else.
“If you don’t do what I tell you to do, I’m going to destroy you.” Well, excuse me, that was the plot all along. So, what’s the news here!? I mean, isn’t that, in the creation, how it’s laid out? “I was, I’m going to be born, and one day I will be destroyed.” So what is this thing of “destroying?”
And it’s like, “Oh, well, if you don’t do these things, they’ll send you to hell.” Well, why do you have to send anybody to hell; it seems like we can create our hell right here all by ourselves; you don’t need a separate department. We, when everything is perfectly good—but there we are, suffering. And you wonder why. “Why are you suffering?”
“Oh, this happened, and then that happened....” So? So? Are you not concerned about what opportunity you have right now? Why are you attached to what happened yesterday—when yesterday has graciously said, “I’m out. I’m out of your life. You will never be able to get to me again!” And you’re like, “Yeah, well that doesn’t matter.”
You’re trying to contemplate, “What’s going to happen tomorrow; what’s going to happen tomorrow? What’s going to happen tomorrow? What happened yesterday; what happened yesterday? I don’t like this guy. I don’t like that guy. I, da-da-da, what’s going on here? Yeah.
“How, how come I’m not with that woman? How come I’m not with that man? How come I don’t have that car? How come I don’t—I’m not rich like that?” Day and night! “How do I get out of my problems?”
So, you see this letter, and the reason why I brought it is that they’re in the prison. They—and it’s not like, “Oh, we heard you and we got out. You know, there was a seven-question quiz and we passed from everything you had said, and then now we’re out.” No, they’re still in prison.
But when they listen and they savor that clarity, the bars are lifted; prison is opened. You’re no longer a prisoner; you are free. And that freedom is felt from within you. It is not sitting there and daydreaming, “Oh, yeah, I’m free.” Reality and dream are not colliding.
Because—and many times I’ve seen that first event that I—the transcript from that first event ever, when I was four years old—the satsang I gave, or the talk I gave. And it’s like, “You have to realize what this opportunity is”—this is that four-year-old talking—“you have to realize what this opportunity is, what you have been given here.
“And in realizing that opportunity, you shall find peace; you will find peace. In acknowledging that, you will get peace. In that clarity, you will find your freedom.”
Because freedom is not an independent state. Freedom is not an independent state; it is merely for those ties, those bonds that bind you to be severed. And when that happens, when that process happens, when those ropes, those anchors that bind you, when they are severed, you automatically go into freedom. It’s, that’s it; that’s how—the only way you can get there.
But the question is, who binds you to these? You do. Other people offer you the rope, but you tie the knot. And who suffers? You do. And then you hear me say, “Cut it,” and you go, “Oh, that’s really difficult.” It wasn’t so difficult tying the knot, was it? Was it? It’s like, “Oh, yeah, okay, another rope. Wow, this is good; this is good.”
Because, you see, when you come to the realm of Knowledge, this is what’s really awkward about it—and really, really—and I have seen this since I was very, very young.
Everything out there has a set of rules, and you have to buy, accept that set of rules. If you don’t, you’re not going to graduate.
What do you want out of your life? Do you want that clarity? Do you want that simplicity in your life? Do you want that beauty that is possible in your life? And I was saying, “This is what’s different about Knowledge.” So, here’s what’s different about Knowledge.
Everything else requires you buy into that set of rules. If you don’t buy into the set of rules, “no go.” So anything you come to, like, “Okay, I want to be this,” or “I want to be that,” or—“Okay, here are the rules; here are the rules; here are the rules; here are the rules.”
Knowledge: no rules. “Just get in touch with your thirst.” If you’re not thirsty, no big deal—till you are! And when you are, look me up. If you are, let me help you.
No rules! This is befuddling to people. “Whaat? No rules?” No rules. “If I practice, just...?” Excuse me. “If I stop practicing Knowledge, will I go to hell?” No! “What? No rules?”
And believe you me, people try to create rules. “There have to be rules, so let’s make some rules. How can we not have rules? If the Christians have rules, if Hindus have rules, if the Jewish religion has rules, if the Moslems have rules, we have got to have rules.” And it’s like, “No. No rules.” And then, like, “Oh my God. What am I to do?”
So people ask, “What’s next?” The answer is, you are. You are next. Because, instead of focusing on everybody else, and everything else that is none of your business.... Instead of focusing on everything else and everyone else which is none of your business—this is not why you’re here—you need to focus on yourself. That’s your business. And that should be the only business you have.
And you are next! And you’d better be next on your agenda, my friends.
- Prem Rawat
People say, “People are not born with a manual.” I disagree. The manual is so good; it’s innately built inside of every human being. You don’t need to read anything. It’s innately there. And what does this manual say to you? “Listen! Be the bird, not the wind.” Because the day you try to be the wind, you will realize that you will never be successful.
But what you can do is be the bird, extend your wings, and fly. That’s your relationship. Be the bird, not the wind. Be the bee, not the flower. Don’t try to be a flower, because that’s not your nature—you are the bee. Go from flower, to flower; and you have the expertise of extracting the nectar!
Do it! The good! The beautiful. The adoration for peace is your nectar from the flower of every day—you be the bee. You be the bee, and every day that that flower comes to you, extract the most amazing nectar from it.
Be the candle, not the light. Be the candle, not the light. Too many people try to become the light. Uh-uh-uh-uh-uh, be the candle. When it is lit, light will be there. That’s who you are. You are the source! What is not in you? Do you know what is not in you?
Do you know that love is in you? Do you know that? Love is in you? The other person is just a catalyst. Love is in you. Hate is in you! Questions are in you; answers are in you. Understanding is in you; misunderstanding is in you. There’s more in you than you realized. Lies are in you; truth is in you. Confusion is in you; clarity is in you. What don’t you have? What don’t you have? And yet, what do you practice?
Driving here today, I was looking at the rivers and the waterfalls and the mountains. And I looked at the rocks, and I said, “The rocks have the rigidity and the firmness. The water is supple and liquid. The rocks, rigid and strong—solid! But, at the end of the day, guess who wins? Not the rock. The water. Water carves the rock.
Do you know the art of water? Water has patience! Water has patience. Do you have patience? Have you understood your own patience? Have you acquired the skill for patience—to understand, every single day, every single day, the possibility that is presented to you? Simple! But profound.
- Prem Rawat
My strategy is very simple. And my strategy isn’t to have world peace. I said it. “Aagh,” pin-drop silence. Because that’s not possible.
But this is what’s possible—you, be, first in peace with yourself. It’s just you. Nobody else is involved. You be in peace with yourself. And how can you be in peace with yourself? One—and that’s why we are here tonight: “Journey to the self”—you must know yourself.
And once you know yourself, you then must gain victory over the self. Not victory over your neighbor, not victory over that person, and that person, and that person, and that person, but victory over the self.
And when you are victorious over yourself, then you can be in peace with yourself. And when you are in peace with yourself, then you make peace with the world.
And when enough, enough people make peace with the world—because they have made peace with themselves—then, vaguely, the idea of world peace starts to come into view.
When every war happens and the innocent die.... Same way, when you are at war with yourself, the innocent moments of your life are being slaughtered. Because they’re innocent! They can be anything.
Never have I seen more innocence, in a moment of existence.... It’s, totally, as it comes to you, it’s innocent—just brings you possibility, anything you want—like a baby, like a baby.
You can mold it; you can fold it; you can destroy it; you can create a monster out of it if you wish. Or you can have it as the most tender-est, gentle time—the time with you, listening to that feeling which fills this heart and causes the gratitude to emerge.
- Prem Rawat