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
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
How magnificent this earth and how magnificent the being that carries in them the possibility of being clear—clarity. Clarity. Love! And the most amazing thing, love! Caring! Appreciation! A heart that can fill with joy. A heart that can understand. A heart that then offers the greatest gift of gratitude.
That with all of this amazing stuff, should it really be the grind of day after day after day after day after day? Or, are we missing something? Simple question. Simple question: “If this is the possibility, then what are we achieving in our lives?” Not.... Listen. Just forget about the world for a minute. Just you. Just you.
You’re alive; this is your time; you exist. You can feel; you can see. What do you think—you think, is the possibility for you? The grind? All that we deal with? Or is there something more?
Is there such a thing as a “content human being?” Is there such a thing as a human being full of gratitude? Is there such a thing as a human full of clarity? Is there such a thing as a human being full of joy? Is there such a thing as a human being full of understanding? Is there such a thing as a human being full of light? Is there such a thing as a human being full of answers?
Is there such a thing? Because if there was, then to experience this, one day would be enough. To experience that, one day would be enough.
- Prem Rawat
"Oh, I'm old. Oh, I'm young. Oh, I'm this. Oh, I'm that."
You don't understand what young is. There is only one thing that can be young and it stays young forever and that is inside of you. You trying to preserve what is unpreservable. Its destiny is to get recycled.
See, the word "green" has just come about. Nature has been green all this time and it doesn't care. So, you want to be young? Turn within. You're ageless. Be a part of that which is ageless because this is how it really works.
You have to pay attention to the company you keep. If you keep the company of the mortal, you too will be mortal. But if you keep the company of the infinite, it just rubs off. You too will understand what that infinity is. And you will respect that in your self, in your being. And you will understand what must go and what you get to keep. And you will know it.
This is what knowing is.
- Prem Rawat