In this life, you have an opportunity. You have a chance to do right; and first of all, you have to do right by yourself, and there are not too many people in this world who do that. They’re not fair to themselves. They don’t look at the opportunity as an opportunity.
They look at opportunity as something outside of themselves. Not that, I am an opportunity! I’m alive! I exist! And this means something.
But you wonder, where is the sense of purpose? When people wake up in the morning, what do they think of? What is the sense of purpose? What do you do? In each one of our lives, there may be these little variances up and down, or whatever it is, but what is the overall sense of purpose?
And a lot of people who are aged, they go, “Well, you know…” They’re busy hanging up. I see that, and it’s like, why are you busy hanging up? The breath isn’t hanging up on you. You’re hanging up on yourself.
The concept of retirement, the concept of aging, the concept of getting old… because the reality of getting old is this. You’re only as old as you really feel.
There was a time when you, even though maybe you were ten, eleven years old, there were things you could not do a certain day because you felt bad – right? Because maybe you had sprained your leg, or you broke your arm, and you couldn’t do something.
So, not being able to do something was always there, because it hurt to do it, or just, something wasn’t right. So that’s that part of it.
But, how old do you feel? And the reality there is very, very interesting. Because you don’t feel any older here [indicating his head] than when you were young. Because the brain actually doesn’t age the same way as people think. You know, your skin might not be renewing so easily or quickly…
So, what changes? The only thing that changes is other people’s perception of you, which only changes as you think the other people perceive you. “Oh, but the other people think I am old. Oh, well look what they said.” Or, “That young girl isn’t going to like me anymore”, that’s what it becomes.
We don’t look at our wisdom. We don’t look at our opportunity. We don’t understand that we had such a good life, and it is still the opportunity to move forward and to go forward.
But I see a lot of people and it’s like, “Oh, I’m getting old.” You cannot ever lose the fervor of being alive! That would not be fair to life, or to the breath. Your vibrancy, your existence, your need to be alive, respect it. Respect your life. Wherever you go, whatever you’re going to do…
And, don’t live your life by the perception that you have of what other people see you as. This is really, really unfair. Because you are who you are. Good, bad, right, wrong – you’re alive! The significance of everything that has been said up to this point is relative to that.
Do right because you are alive. This is your opportunity. Your opportunity. And how long does this opportunity last? It lasts till the last breath.
You know, if everybody is fine suffering—why have hope? If you are quite content bickering with each other—fear, jealousy, everything...?
There is a fundamental question: Is greed ... normal to a human being? It’s a very important question. “Is greed normal to a human being?” So here is the answer. “Up to a certain point, but it’s limited.”
Food, you can only eat so much. After that you will stop. And if others come to eat, you will have no problem. Water, same way. You cannot drink too much water! You cannot drink too much water—after you’re satisfied, your thirst is gone, you will be happy to leave, and let other people come and enjoy the water.
But today the greed for the fame and the wealth has become so significant—and why? I’ll tell you why. I call it the “Bolly-Holly dreams.” (That’s Bollywood and Hollywood.) They are the dream-makers. They are the dream-makers!
They are the ones who say, “You are not pretty because you don’t look like Beyoncé. [Individual: Yeah! That is true.] You don’t sing so well, because you don’t sing like Beyoncé. [Individual: Definitely!]
“And this is the dream you should have—your house should look like this. And your clothes should look like this. And you should be doing this.” And you go, “Ah-hah, yeah, that’s what I should have; that’s how I should be. I want to look like Beyoncé.” [Individual: That’s right—we do.]
No. No. No. No. No-no-no-no-no. If you know yourself, if you really understand yourself, you will go, “How come Beyoncé doesn’t look like me?” [Individuals: Yeah!]
You see, you have to ask yourself, “Do you live for yourself or do you live for other people?” [Individuals: Yes, sir.] All you young kids in here, do you live for yourself, or do you live for your friends? All day long, aren’t you concerned of what your friends are going to think of you? [Individual: We are, yes.]
You want to be socially accepted. You want to be cool! But if you understand, you are so cool—you are so cool—that they should join you, not you join them! You, you are beautiful. [Individual: Yes!] You are intelligent. You are full of kindness. [Individual: Yes! That’s right.]
“Know thy self.” Know who you are. Without that, you are lost. If you do not know who you are, you will never know what your possibilities are, what you are capable of achieving, who you are, what pains you, what brings you joy, what brings you sorrow, what brings you clarity, what brings you knowledge—you will never know!
You will never know! Do you really want to live your life in confusion? In pain? In suffering? Do you? [Audience: No!] You don’t look good when you are suffering.
I say this to people—I say, have you just heard anybody going to a temple, a synagogue, a mosque, a church, and praying to God, “God, I am too happy. I have been happy for too long. Please take away some of my happiness”—have you? Does anybody go do that? [Audience: No. No. So, it’s, “Please take my problems,” yeah!]
But what do people do who go there? “I am sad. And this sadness, please take it away. This misery, please take it away.” What does that tell you? We don’t like misery. [Individual: Yeah. True.] We like joy! We like happiness! We like contentment!
Now, the question becomes, “What do you do for the joy?” What do you do for the joy? Do you allow your problems to affect you? Do you allow your problems to affect you? Do you? Your problems come. Do they affect you? [Individual: Yes, they do.] They shouldn’t! They shouldn’t.
But if you don’t want the problems to affect you, you will have to live your life consciously.
– Prem Rawat
It’s about being alive—that incredible miracle that came and touched you in that first breath that came into you. And because you took that breath, you had a mother. Because you took that breath, you had a father. Because you took that breath, you were alive. Because you took that breath, you could go home.
Ha! You took the breath. You were alive. And since then, my God, what a symphony it has been. The exercise, the agendas, the careers, then all of this that’s going on. You’re aware of the things, but you’re not aware of why you are aware of those things.
Point here is, do you know that you are alive? Do you know what it means to be alive? Do you know the power of being alive? What’s in a breath? It makes you what you are.
– Prem Rawat
When you see a jungle, when you see a forest, what do you see? What do you see? You see trees, right? But do you know the story? Behind every tree there was a seed. And that seed was successful. And that seed came from another tree, that came from a seed that was also successful.
So, do you see the setup here? It’s just success, success, success, success, success, success. In nature, that is allowed, that works, to go on. That which doesn’t work? Sssheowuk! Gone! You, by design, are not a mistake. You have evolved because of success. And your success is that feeling of peace, of that joy. It’s your goodness.
Believe me when I say this: there is a lot of good, a lot of good in this world. In fact, there is more good in this world than there is bad.
I don’t think any prophet...anybody could ever have imagined the condition where, including those people who talk about God, people have been swallowed whole by the greed. Everywhere you look, nothing remains untouched.
This is not good. But the good news is, there is good in all of us. There is wonderful good in all of us. And regardless of how much bad happens, it does not reduce, deplete, subtract from the good in all of us.
– Prem Rawat
You go anywhere in the world, anywhere in the world—and so they have a pizza place. You can get pizza. So you go there and you read in the menu, “Pizza. Pizza Margherita.” So what does it say? It says “Pizza ... Margherita.”
So you order Pizza Margherita—right? The spelling of the pizza is the same. The spelling of “Margherita” is the same. Even in Italy—“Pizza Margherita.” “Pizza” is spelled the same way. “Margherita” is spelled the same way. You go to India—“pizza” is spelled the same way. “Margherita” is spelled the same way.
You think they will taste the same?
There. That’s the difference. Just—what you read said the same thing. So why don’t they just taste the same?
You go to Italy, pizza tastes completely different than in New York, than in Chicago, than in Los Angles, than in Hawaii, than in Japan, than in Australia. And the spelling is exactly the same: “pizza.” How can this be?
Because that’s the difference between living and theory. Theory can say, “Yeah, it’s the same.” But living says, “No, it’s not the same.”
In your eyes, in your feeling a snowflake is a snowflake. Right? Snowflake is a snowflake. Look closer, and each snowflake is different.
And then have you ever seen a whole field just full of white snow—maybe two feet deep, just snow, snow, snow, snow—have you? Imagine how many snowflakes there are in that field. And now imagine, each one is different. Reality. Theory? “The field was covered with snow.”
Do you feel cold? There you are sitting in a beautiful 70-degree room; the fireplace is lit; you’re sitting next to it. You’re reading the book, and the book says, “And the field was covered with snow.” You don’t feel cold.
But! In reality, you will feel what is there. In reality, even if you do not acknowledge it, each one of those snowflakes is different than the other. And all the snow in the world, it is not repeated in those flakes.
Is that something to wonder, “Wow....” This is where I live. This is where I am; this is where I’m alive.
So, you know—really—in your, in one’s life, I really think you have to pick how do you want to live, how do you want to be? Because, if you want to be in reality, it’s one thing. If you don’t want to be in reality, it’s another thing.
And then to always know the difference—always know the difference. I can read the menu, but I can’t eat it—that if I am hungry, I have to eat food, not the menu. That’s sanity. That’s sanity.
– Prem Rawat
We live in this world. Technology has changed; so many things have changed. But we are still human beings. We are still human beings. And the issue here is, “What is a human being?”
Human beings have forgotten who they are! And not only have they forgotten who they are, but what are their true needs! What is it? You have to understand the difference between need and want. Need is something without which you cannot exist. That’s your need. You need air; you need warmth; you need food; you need water.
The first thing: I am a human being—the first thing. That’s the first thing I was when I was born. And when I take my last breath that’s what I’m going to be, a human being.
And in between, I can think of all the things—who I am, what I am, what I would like to be. I can have all the titles; I can have all the things. But, I didn’t have them when I was born, and they’re not going to help me when I die. I cannot say, “Oh, but I am so-and-so. You can’t just come into my house and take me.” No, no!
And I will give them all the value; I will give them all the importance, as the world gives importance to all that we do—but we do not give importance to what we truly understand.
And for us on the face of this earth, the challenge is to get in touch with what we fundamentally are. Not of who we want to be. Because this is what we have gotten lost in. We are lost in this fake world that we have created for ourselves, and in that fake world we are super-beings!
We’re not. We are human beings. And we are not all about money, but we are about kindness; we are about generosity; we are about love; we are about feeling; we are about understanding. And these are the gifts that you can give, not only to yourself, not only to your fellow human beings, but to your family, and to anyone you want.
And the beautiful thing about the gift of generosity, the gift of love, the gift of kindness, the gift of understanding is, the more you give, the more you can give, because it’ll only increase, not decrease. The gift of understanding, the gift of love, the more you share, the more you will have.
Peace begins with you. Simple as that: peace begins with you—you understanding who you are. It is no mistake what Socrates said, “Know thyself.” To know who you are.
– Prem Rawat