There is a saying in Hindi. One day it started to rain gold—and it was raining gold everywhere. There was a washerman. He said to himself, "My goodness, it’s raining gold outside. And this is my house! And this is my house. And whatever gold is raining by my house is mine! So nobody’s going to come and get it."
"But where I wash my clothes, that’s on the banks of the river—and that’s not really my place, but it’s raining gold. So, I’d better go there and get the gold first." So, by the time he got to the bank of the river, the gold had been picked clean. There was nothing left for him. And he went, "Naah, not, not to worry. Nobody would have taken the gold at my house."
So, he went back. By the time he got to his house, all the gold had been picked clean. So it rained gold, and he didn’t get any, neither at home nor at his workplace. So, the saying in Hindi goes, "Na ghar ka, na ghat ka." And, “ghat” is by the bank of the river; "ghar" is “home.”
Would you like your condition to be like that? "Na ghar ka, na ghat ka." Came here; had the opportunity to enjoy, to have that bliss, to have that beauty in your life. But you said, "Oh, well, let me work hard"—like an idiot, like a donkey, day and night.
At night, what did you think of? Your job. In the morning, what did you think of? Your job. In the evening, what did you think of? Your job. And at night, what did you think of? Your job. And then when you got sick and tired, you started thinking about retirement.
And then you got to retirement. And then you started looking at your whole life that had passed by. And then you start to smell, "sniff-sniff, sniff-sniff, sniff-sniff, what is that peculiar smell? Ah, that’s the crusty old wall." You smell it.
Knowledge offers that opportunity to enjoy that heaven now, while you’re alive, every single day. And you don’t have time for that? You’re in the wrong body, son! You’re in the wrong place! You should have been on Mars. In one of those other planets, some frozen amoeba, seven thousand feet under the surface, waiting for an opportunity.
Because this is very different. Here, the blessing comes, blesses you; leaves, comes again. Leaves, comes again. Leaves, comes again. Leaves, comes again. Leaves, comes again. And each time that it comes, it is new and it is fresh and it is real.
And that’s how elegant it is—elegant! Knowledge is elegant. Not a set of rules—elegant! You accepting it, you understanding it, you opening it, you taking advantage of it, you enjoying it. You.
- Prem Rawat
I’d like to tell you a very simple little story, and it has something to do with each one of us, as individuals, as we look at ourselves, as we understand ourselves. And the way this story goes is there was a young American Indian, living in a camp. And one day he approached the chief and said, “Chief, I’m confused.”
And the chief looked at him and he says, “Why are you confused? What are you confused about?” He says, “Well, I see some people who are good sometimes and the other times they’re bad! How can this be? If they’re good, shouldn’t they be good? If they’re bad, shouldn’t they just be bad. But sometimes they’re good; sometimes they’re bad. How can this be?”
And the chief looked at the young kid and he said, “It’s very simple. Inside each one of us we have two wolves—a good wolf and a bad wolf—and they’re constantly fighting each other. And that’s why sometimes people are good and sometimes people are bad.”
So this really got the young kid thinking. And he thought, and he said, “Chief, tell me which wolf wins?” And the chief looked at him and said, “The one we feed the most.
I think after you hear that story you just need to go away, sit down in a quiet room for about an hour, and do a little thinking. Because right there that story says, “Things are not that complicated. That this whole achieving that beautiful thing in your life is not that difficult. All you have to do is feed the right wolf.”
But this is where I will interject—that’s not our strategy. Our strategy is not to feed the right wolf. And the story very clearly says, “Which wolf will win? The one we feed the most.” But our strategy is to beat the bad wolf. And this is why we don’t succeed.
Why do we beat the bad wolf? Because this is what, somehow, we have been told: “Beat the bad wolf.” Sounds logical? Never, ever thinking, “Well, ah, what is that going to do for the good wolf? I should, you know, feed the good wolf, so that the good wolf will be strong.”
But, “No, and let, let’s, let’s figure out a way to beat the bad wolf.” And that’s what we do. “Oh, I made a mistake! Oh my God, I made a mistake. I made a mistake! I made a mistake, I made a mistake, I made a mistake. Oh, man, I made a mistake.”
You have to stop that thing that just comes and beats the…—I won’t say the word, but it starts with a “c”, ends with a “p”—out of you again, and again, and again, and day, and night, and influences your dreams, influences your happiness.
That’s life! That’s life—to know yourself, to understand, to feed the good wolf. Feed the good wolf. When you understand the value of today, you feed the good wolf! When you understand the value of yourself, you feed the good wolf. When you lament in sorrow, when you watch your dreams crumple…
Because you created those dreams; nobody else created them for you. You created them yourself.
You created your dreams. Maybe there are better dreams—doesn’t matter. You’ve got to have the good wolf win in your life.
There was a guy, and his job was to go every day to the mountain. And he would cut a piece of rock; he would take the rock, bring it back home, and he would make little things from that rock. He would make mortar-pestle, small statues—and he would sell them. And this is how he made his living.
So, one day he was very sad. And he was walking along the street—and he was just sad with his situation, because he saw no future, and he did not like his lifestyle. So he heard noise coming from behind the wall; he just heard some noise coming. So he stood on his tiptoes and he looked!
And it was a beautiful house! And they were having a party. And there were servants! And there were guests! And there was music! And people were dancing! And he went, “Wow! The person who lives in this house, he must be really powerful. I, I want to be like him!”
So he looked up, and he prayed. “God, I want to be like him.” It just so happened that that day, God was listening. And God said, “Okay!” And he snapped his finger—and the man had become rich!
And he said, “Now, this is more like it! I like this. I am powerful! I have servants! I have a house! I have rich friends! Ah, this is really good!” And he was enjoying it.
One day, a procession went by, and he just heard all the noise, so he came out of the house and he looked—and it was the king! And he was going.... And all the rich men were lined up bowing to the king! And he said, “Wow! This king is more powerful than me! God, I want to be like the king!”
Also that day, God just happened to be listening. Just like that, he was the king! Big army, lots of servants—everybody paying respects to the king.
One day, he came out to his balcony in the morning and he saw the sun rising. And as the sun rose, all the birds started to wake up. All the animals started to stir! It’s like, “Wow! This sun is more powerful than me!” So he looks up, prays, “I want to be like the sun!”
Just like that, he’s the sun! And one day he’s shining really bright; it’s really hot—and he sees there’s something between him and the earth. And he looked—and it was a cloud. And the wind was blowing and moving the cloud. “Wow! The wind is more powerful than me! I want to be the wind.”
Well, he becomes the wind. He blows! Nothing can stop him—he goes wherever he wants! He’s blowing, blowing, blowing, blowing, blowing! And all of a sudden he’s stopped! “What’s stopping the wind?” He looks—and it is a big mountain. “Ah! I want to be the mountain. More powerful....” He becomes the mountain.
Very happy. Most powerful. Mighty! Strong! And one day he notices that somebody is cutting the mountain! And he goes, “Who can be more powerful than this mountain? Cutting the mountain?” And he looks, and way down there is a stonecutter, just like him, cutting away at the mountain.
In this moment he realized that all along he has been powerful, but he did not know it. Same thing for all of us.
– Prem Rawat
I’m just a human being. And I am not sitting here claiming I don’t have bad days—that would be stupid! I do! But I also question, “Why am I having a bad day?”
I’m having a bad day, not because the day is bad! Uh-uh-uh, the day is the same!
You think the sun comes out and says, “Here, I’m going to nail that guy.” You really think so?
There are people who believe in the cosmos—you think all those planets and all those stars know, “Hah, huh, oh, let’s nail that one.” No! Mars doesn’t know you exist. Saturn has no idea you are here and you had a burned toast and slipped in your bathtub and have diarrhea … and flu!
I mean, do you really think Mars goes, “Yeah, let’s get that guy. He’s—just keep that train going. So far, we’ve gotten him to slip in the bathtub, burnt his toast, killed the electricity, no coffee in the morning. Let’s just keep going with that thought! I mean, just…the flow is on.”
No! No! It has nothing to do with it. You need explanations, so you create an explanation. And this is the beautiful thing about human beings: they have used their creativity, not to create clarity, but to create an explanation which has no head and tail. Point: “Why is this happening to me?” “It was your last lifetime.”
All right. Would somebody please tell me what is it that I did, so I won’t do it? I mean, the whole point of punishment should be that you don’t repeat! I mean, what is the point of a punishment—that you are not told?
Somebody walks up to you, hands you a ticket: “What is this ticket for?” “Parking violation.”
“I don’t even own a car. How can I have a parking violation? What did I do? Please! So I won’t do it again!”
“No, that’s a secret. You…you figure it out.”
I mean, I’m not saying there isn’t karma—there is! But it’s much more recent. It’s nothing to do with the last lifetime. It’s now!
– Prem Rawat
There was an aborigine tribe in Australia. And one day the tribespeople got together with the chief and said, “Chief, the winter is coming. Is it going to be a really cold winter?” And the chief said, “Okay, I’ll have an answer for you in a few days.”
So he goes, finds a phone, calls up the Met Office and says, “Is it going to be a cold winter?” And the Met Office said, “Oh, yes, it’s going to be a cold winter, we think.” He comes back, says, “Oh, it’s definitely going to be a cold winter, and you’d all better start collecting wood, so you can light the fires and stay warm.” So they all go out and they collect wood.
A few weeks later, as they have been collecting wood, they go back to the chief, and they say, “Chief, how cold is it going to be?” The chief says, “I’ll get back to you.”
He calls up the Met Office, and he says, “And how cold is it going...?” He says, “It’s going to be really cold. It’s going to be really cold.” So he tells all the tribes, “Well, you better go collect more wood! It’s going to be really, really cold!”
A few weeks later the crowd gets together again, “Chief, really, exactly how cold is it going to be?” This chief calls up the Met Office, “So, how cold is it going to be?” The Met Office says, “We don’t really know exactly how cold it’s going to be. But every time we see through the satellite the aborigines collecting the wood, we know it’s going to be really cold.”
So, one triggers the other! One is going for the other. And this is what happens in our lives.
Because, if you want to begin to understand what hope is, you have to begin to start to understand what “today” is. Now, how do you understand today!?
So, if you want to experience “today,” then from today, remove yesterday and tomorrow, and you will be left with today. And you will find that today is more profound that you ever imagined.
- Prem Rawat